1.    27 Aug 2017 #1
    Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 126
    Windows 10

    Best program for working on music files?


    I am no musician at all. I've taken all my music and over the years ripped that to mp3. My wife did the same, but used her dad's Apple computer so there's a bunch of flac files. So we've all this disorganized music files in all sorts of different formats and different sampling rates. I'd like to clean that all up and organize it better. That's not all I want to do though....

    Ultimately I would like to moved the external drive I have all this music loaded on and attach it to our router. What I don't know is, do I need special software on my "music cloud". That way if I'm on my laptop and I want listen to Pink Floyd "Animals" and my wife is in another room and wants to listen to Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" in another room, how would that work? Would this also require a some other software or media manager like Kodi or Plex?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    27 Aug 2017 #2

    Quote Originally Posted by jayv2251 View Post
    I am no musician at all. I've taken all my music and over the years ripped that to mp3. My wife did the same, but used her dad's Apple computer so there's a bunch of flac files. So we've all this disorganized music files in all sorts of different formats and different sampling rates. I'd like to clean that all up and organize it better. That's not all I want to do though....

    Ultimately I would like to moved the external drive I have all this music loaded on and attach it to our router. What I don't know is, do I need special software on my "music cloud". That way if I'm on my laptop and I want listen to Pink Floyd "Animals" and my wife is in another room and wants to listen to Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" in another room, how would that work? Would this also require a some other software or media manager like Kodi or Plex?

    This really needs a bit of work to get it going satisfactorily.

    I suggest you create a large "spanned" of HDD on an external server say 2 X 3 TB in a RAID 0 array of 6 TB. I'd go for a Linux server rather than a basic Nas box as you can install apps on it very easily. Note RAID0 has no redundancy --it's just mega fast so you'll need to backup the music once in a while because if one HDD in a RAID 0 array goes bonkers the whole array is GONE - so backup is vital --but if it's a decent music collection I'm sure you've already got backups anyway.

    On the server install mdadm for RAID (you can do that later if you don't want to use RAID) and you'll need to set up SAMBA so the clients (your computers / smart TV's etc) can access the HDD's.

    You actually don't need ANY server software for the multi-media so long as you have the relevant players on the client.

    For music simply ensure your client computer can see the HDD's from the network and then simply run VLC, Winamp (yes it still works!!) or your player of choice. Organise your folders on the HDD's say by Username, Music type or whatever --it's up to you.

    I'd ALWAYS avoid proprietary database software - especially if you need more HDD space as you often can't dynamically add more when an HDD is full - also backing up and restoring is usually a pain.

    Same for video.

    If you have an android phone / amazon fire tv box / stick /android tablet then I'd also install KODI (not on the server).

    easy way to install Kodi on an amazon fire TV / stick is to install KODI on the phone and then use the apps2firetv on the phone to send the app to the firetv stick / box- does it all automatically. (Doesn't matter if the KODI app doesn'r work 100% on the phone - it will on the target firestick -- the main issue on the phone is there's no handset controller. It works 100% on the remote TV though.

    Linux isn't that hard -- also if you are only using it for basic file serving (multi-media) almost any bog standard distro will work almost straight out of the box. LINUX MINT is probably an easy one to start with and the GUI's available are very Windows like - but of course as a file server you don't need a GUI and it can run totally headless once you've set it up.

    I've not much experience with those dedicated network storage drives - but they will have to have some sort of OS in there - possibly something like QNAP where set up could be a lot harder.

    So you in either case will need some kit -- but for linux any low end computer will work -- I recommend a low end HP Proliant gen 8 Microserver as you can stick 4 HDD's in the bays and the form factor is very small (cube type server). Without HDD's this can be got for around 200 USD so good value and is perfectly powerful enough to run file sharing. You'll probably need CENTOS (Linux) or Windows to set this up easily but other OS'es work too. The advantage of the HP microserver is that it also has a built in video facility so easy to set up directly from a screen via VGA port. (up to 1920 X 1280).

    Otherwise you'll have to fiddle around with an external computer and command line stuff -- easier to set up locally connected. The HP server has 2 ethernet ports, loads of USB2/3 slots and can also boot from an internal MicroHD card as well. No wifi so of you want wifi card use a USB2-->Lan connector or a USB2 wifi card.

    Note though multi-streaming full HD movies to serveral clients at the same time will need a really DECENT wifi speed !!! the server's I/O can handle anything a typical home wifi demands though as speeds in a lot of places aren't that good - especially if 3 or 4 people are sharing the connection.

    Remember --all the software on Linux is FREE -- If you go for a Windows OS you'll need another Windows licence - so remember to factor that into your cost too. You only need stuff on the CLIENTS for accessing music / video.

    BTW Kodi will also play Blu Ray and DVD Iso's on a smart TV / Android phone / tablet (including menus) provided they've been ripped and decrypted so you can rip and store these images on your server too.

    Others might recommend getting a NAS dedicated server - probably easier for first time users - but IMO my method is far more flexible if you can get it to work - and it's not that difficult. Also a bit of fun in doing it too.

    Good Luck

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    27 Aug 2017 #3
    Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 126
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Jimbo,

    Wow! That's one helluva answer! Odd part is I actually did understand quite bit about it all. I'd thought of setting up a media server box (windows probably because of games I want to play), but for now I was going to just tie this all in at the router as a stop gap measure. For now the first major step is to get a conversion program. I'm well aware that VLC can play just about anything out there, but I wanted to streamline all this. I mean even my daughter's 13yr old ears are not going to tell the difference between 256 and 512 bit sampling. If said recommended program also has editing abilities like sound enhancement and such, all the more better.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    27 Aug 2017 #4
    Join Date : Oct 2016
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts : 448
    Win10 Home x64 - 1709

    Ultimately I would like to moved the external drive I have all this music loaded on and attach it to our router. What I don't know is, do I need special software on my "music cloud". That way if I'm on my laptop and I want listen to Pink Floyd "Animals" and my wife is in another room and wants to listen to Bee Gee's "Stayin' Alive" in another room, how would that work? Would this also require a some other software or media manager like Kodi or Plex?
    Hey jayv2251,
    When you say external HDD, I'm assuming it's a USB HDD. If so, you don't need any special software, etc ... If your router has a USB port and supports USB File Sharing. Just connect your USB HDD to the router, log in to the router admin and set up the File Sharing. Now you have a simple Music Cloud that will show up as a Network Share on your PCs and everyone can access the shared folders/files and listen to whatever they want, using whatever they want

    Note: If you router has a Media Server function, that makes things even better.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 


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