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Home Media Server
Jeff with Leif and Piano
jbailey
I'm been wrestling with the idea of a home media server for a bit. Our home computing needs are pretty light, they only thing either of us really do outside of a web browser these days is ssh (me) or nethack (Angie). Outside of the laptop we have a pretty standard non-connected house. The only case where I'd really like to change this is music. We don't generally watch TV (and when we do, it's usually DVDs that we've actually purchased), but we do listen to a fair amount of music. The CDs tend to get scattered around the house and then mauled by our velociraptor offspring.

I looked at the Squeezebox, which would be perfect if it wouldn't mean replacing a whole bunch of perfectly good stereos with a whole bunch of nicer-than-we-need stereos.

The solution I've hit onto is this: a NAS with an FM transmitter on the site. The LineX one looks like it would do a nice job since it just acts as a USB speaker. The question then is figuring out if there's software or whatnot to drive such a thing.

What I think I want:

* 802.1n NAS with no moving parts. 2 64GB USB keys in a RAID-1 config would do the job nicely.
* Enough horsepower to play Oggs, MP3s and FLACs.
* Remote song selection through an Android app.

Anyone know if anything comes close to this? The best thing I can think of is perhaps Debian running on a Linksys NAS box. If I could get that far, then the software seems pretty straight forward if it doesn't exist in some form or other in the Debian archive already.

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how about:

http://www.cyrius.com/journal/debian/kirkwood/sheevaplug

Main problem is that for your usecase you'd need a usb hub, and some hubs are notoriously flaky.

I do worry a bit about the hub, although I don't have any concrete reason to do so. I haven't had a flaky USB hub in half a decade. I'd need for it to be powered, which is one disadvantage, though. The FM transmitter I'm looking at is USB powered.

If I can find something with an internal powered USB hub, then that will be ideal.

That looks like a nice little box, though!

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