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Linux media center audio players

Over the weekend I did some research on devices that can sit in my entertainment center and play music files from my file server. I'm not sure why there isn't a device that can just mount the samba share, but most of the devices want to do streaming instead. This means the server has to run some kind of streaming software.

The Squeezebox solution from Slim Devices looked promising because the slimserver software is GPL and it actually worked. Slim provides a SoftSqueeze hardware emulator of the client player, which is what I used for testing. I was able to play all of my OGG files as well as Internet Radio. Very cool.

Other notable devices include the Roku Soundbridge. These seem to be available cheap on eBay right now because the latest iTunes is not compatible (RokuLabs is working with Apple on this).

On a related note, I was able to set up an iTunes server on linux using mt-daapd (renamed to Firefly) and play music from a Mac OS X computer running iTunes client. The OGG files would show up in iTunes on the Mac but did not display all of the track information until after playing the song.

And finally, I found an iTunes client for Linux named Banshee. I installed it on Ubuntu Dapper without any problems and was able to play iTunes shared music.