Build-It: Save Money with a Linux Media Jukebox

By Dave Salvator  |  Posted 2003-04-10 Print this article Print

For today's project, we show you how to build and configure an inexpensive media jukebox/server that can live in your entertainment center, and serve up media for your entire home network.

TiVo and broadband routers dont have a whole lot in common, except for the OS that powers them: Linux. Between its versatility, power and always-improving driver support, its now possible to put together a Linux-based home server in a small-footprint case that can store and display your digital photos, rip and then serve up audio, play MPEG videos (and DVDs), and even act as a TV/TiVo. How versatile you want this server to be depends on what gear you already have in your A/V rack. But at a minimum, this can be a great place to store your digital images, rip and store all your music, and have them all in one central location, both for your living room entertainment, and for viewing/listening from any other PC on your home network. So with introductions out of the way, lets get down to business and get your home media jukebox up and running.
This story is organized into the following sections:
  • Design Goals & Parts List–What to buy and why.
  • OS and Samba Installation – getting the basics installed
  • Installing and Configuring the Freevo software

Dave came to have his insatiable tech jones by way of music—,and because his parents wouldn't let him run away to join the circus. After a brief and ill-fated career in professional wrestling, Dave now covers audio, HDTV, and 3D graphics technologies at ExtremeTech.

Dave came to ExtremeTech as its first hire from Computer Gaming World, where he was Technical Director and Lead (okay, the only) Saxophonist for five years. While there, he and Loyd Case pioneered the area of testing 3D graphics using PC games. This culminated in 3D GameGauge, a suite of OpenGL and Direct3D game demo loops that CGW and other Ziff-Davis publications, such as PC Magazine, still use.

Dave has also helped guide Ziff-Davis benchmark development over the years, particularly on 3D WinBench and Audio WinBench. Before coming to CGW, Dave worked at ZD Labs for three years (now eTesting Labs) as a project leader, testing a wide variety of products, ranging from sound cards to servers and everything in between. He also developed both subjective and objective multimedia test methodologies, focusing on audio and digital video. Before all that he toured with a blues band for two years, notable gigs included opening for Mitch Ryder and appearing at the Detroit Blues Festival.


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