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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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This is probably the fanless PC that you're looking for:

http://www.fit-pc.com/

Wi-Fi is b/g instead of n, but... well, in my Apple hardware environment that's fine, because the 802.11n devices are on 5GHz and the 802.11g devices are on 2.4 GHz. Not sure whether that works for you.

Of course, you could nix the built-in Wi-Fi and use a USB wireless NIC that supports 802.11n, so maybe that's not a problem at all... and your internal storage would be an IDE SSD, so you'd have the two external USB ports available, one for WiFi and one for the FM transmitter, no hub required.

True. There's a certain point when there's too much dangling off the box. No technical objections, it just seems like a bad idea. =)

Eh? You were originally proposing to have 3 items dangling off the box (2 USB drives and an FM transmitter), whereas this would involve two if you require 802.11n (an 802.11n USB dongle and an FM transmitter) and only one if you can get away with 802.11g (only the FM transmitter).

So, with all due respect, I fail to comprehend how two is more than three.

Well, 1+1 *could* exceed three for sufficiently large values of 1. Especially if I don't read the post carefully enough...

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