the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: minidlna

minidlna, redux

I haven’t used minidlna is quite some time, but as I was trying to get a friend into streaming, I thought it was time for a revisit, not only for my own re-edification, but for two reasons: First, Roon does not support streaming video; minidlna gives me a handy way to do that using VLC. Second, I don’t have all my digital audio in my Roon library. I reserve that for lossless or better digital files that Roon can easily recognize and tag properly.

I started with this old post – which is a GREAT place to start. But had a few issues, foremost, minidlna didn’t load any music from my mounted RAID drive on my computer! To troubleshoot why nothing was there, I checked user permissions on the folder:

sudo -u minidlna ls -al /mnt/data/Music/napster

Access denied! Fair enough.

First thing I did was add the user “minidlna” to the “user” group.

sudo usermod -a -G "user" minidlna

Then verify it added:

user:~/Desktop$ id minidlna
uid=131(minidlna) gid=137(minidlna) groups=137(minidlna),1000("user")

Next, I had to check the permissions of the drive I have at /mnt/data/. Ends up that it was created with 755 so I changed it to 775 so the group had access to the mount point and gave others read and execute:

sudo chmod 775 /mnt/data
sudo chmod o+xr <folder>

Next, reboot and check again. It worked:

I’m using VLC locally as it’s a very easy and useful front end for mindlna/UPnP servers, and Bubblesoft remotely (because I did all those years ago) but further interacting with clients I’ll save for the next post.

Quick note: Artwork wasn’t turning up when I added it, but after I killed minidlna and did a rescan, it appeared.

sudo service minidlna stop
sudo minidlnad -R

On the web:



When talking about digital music servers other than Squeezebox Server, I feel like a cheater. It’s been my reliable go-to method for serving up my ripped and downloaded music for over a decade now. But not every piece of hardware speaks to it; Beep appeared a while back and saw me install miniDLNA on my linux box, where all my music files reside.

The Digital Living Network Alliance is a trade group that certifies compliance to a standard for delivering digital media. MiniDLNA is an implementation for Ubuntu, and mini it is! No interface (save a bare bones web page at port 8200), it is configured by editing /etc/minidlna.conf.

Set the path to your music; I’m only looking for audio files, so I mark the directory with an A.

Set the database cache directory (important!) and enable logging:

Tell it to look for new files or not:

Enable links outside user-defined media_dirs:

Set the name of the server presented to clients. This provides a simple way to check if you’re connecting to you server.

That’s it! Restart the service after you make changes to the configuration,
sudo service minidlna restart

or rebuild the database if you’ve changed or added music.
sudo service minidlna force-reload

There’s a ton more it can do, including serving videos, pictures, etc, and it also offers per-user configuration as well; but for my purpose my newly acquired Oppo BVD-103 can now stream all the music on my computer.

EDIT: Also including a link for the bubblesoft add-on server. I use this with the Bubblesoft app to access MiniDLNA on my Android phone. Uses java and requires port 58050 to be open.

On the web:
MiniDLNA Ubuntu

this is beep

Just before the holidays I received Beep, a $99 music streaming device. It’s a very simple thing, whose purpose is to provide wireless streaming capability to dumb systems, like a pair of powered speakers, stereo system, boom box, well, just about anything that has an audio input that accepts either 3.5mm analog or digital optical output. I especially like that last part, digital. The Beep runs on 5VDC, sports a metallic finish and consists of a large multifunction knob (start/pause/skip/stop/volume) and some cool flashing lights.

It’s controlled by an app, available on either Android or iOS, that also helps you setup the player on your network. When I first got it, Beep was pretty limited. I could play either Spotify or Pandora, or in my case, neither (because I don’t use either service), though it now also supports SomaFM radio. Okay, it’s still pretty limited. No support for Google Play, Amazon Music, that iTunes thingy, etc.
Recently however, Beep have added support for DLNA music servers. This is great news, because I can now play all the music on my local media server via the Beep. In order for me to do so, I first installed MiniDLNA software on my Ubuntu box using apt-get, manually edited the config file to get it setup, and opened a few ports in my computer’s firewall, 8200 TCP and 1900 UDP to let MiniDLNA out. It would have been easier if the Beep would just connect to my Squeezebox Server (aka LMS), but it’s just not there, yet…

It would also be better if Beep were a little more stable, and transparent. Throughout the day it randomly lights up “smiley face” (looking for network connection) and “sun shining” (all lights glowing, who knows what this means). That’s ultimately going to be the hard sell on Beep: without a display, no one wants to decode blinking lights; what’s it doing? why is it doing that? It just needs to work.

To use Beep as a renderer (something that plays media from a DLNA server), I had to get another Android app, BubbleUPnP. It’s a fairly straight forward app, though I did have to install the “demo server” in order for it to find my MiniDLNA server. Not sure if this is me or the app, but it was not very intuitive to figure out. That done, however, I can stream my server’s music library to whatever I connect my Beep to.

On the web:
Beep | Bringing music to every room in your home
BubbleUPnP Server