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5 Excellent Linux Media Servers for the Enterprise - page 2

MediaTomb, Jinzora, Wizd

  • March 7, 2011
  • By Eric Geier

Firefly Media Server

The open source Firefly Media Server uses Apple's Digital Audio Access Protocol (DAAP) to share content with iTunes, Rhythmbox in Linux, and other players that support DAAP. It's beneficial if you don't want to install or run iTunes on all PCs. It also features on-the-fly transcoding for converting content format not supported. It's relatively easy to install and use, and features a web-based interface. Though the project isn't under active development, you may still be able to find packages for your distribution under the name mt-daap. Roku also provides the server for Windows and Mac OS X.

MythTV

MythTV� is much more than a traditional media server. Its main function is a digital video recorder (DVR) that gives you similar TV viewing, recording, and play-back functionality to what cable companies provide with set-top-boxes. It can run on Linux, BSD, MacOS X, and Windows. It is an open source project distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Since 2002 it has been under relatively heavy development and seems to be well maintained.

MythTV lets you watch and record analog and/or digital TV, including HDTV. You can pause, skip, and rewind live or�recorded TV. It features automated commercial detection and skipping so you see just the good stuff. You can also watch and archive DVDs. The parental controls can help you limit what your children watch. You can manage the settings and recording schedule on the TV or remotely via a web browser. In addition to the DVR functions, MythTV plug-ins give you the ability to stream photos and videos.

MythTV is comprised of server and client components. You can run the server and client on the same machine, or have one or more servers and clients depending upon how many TVs you want to setup. Remember, you'll need at least one TV tuner card on the server. Some computers or video cards may also have an S-Video output you can use to get the MythTV interface onto your TVs.

Though MythTV provides great documentation, you may find the preparation and configuration of MythTV relatively lengthy. Since you're working with video, the higher performance of the server and/or client PCs, the better. The amount of streams you can simultaneously capture and watch is limited to the performance of the PCs.

Eric Geier is the founder of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi networks with the Enterprise mode of WPA/WPA2 encryption by offering an outsourced RADIUS/802.1X service. He is also a freelance tech writer, and has authored many networking and computing books for brands like For Dummies and Cisco Press.

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