Linux On-Demand Streaming Server

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Problem :

I’m looking for a server software for Linux, with which I can stream
Video files via the network.

I’d prefer a Software with a (web) GUI or one where you only have to point your
media player to a URI.

The Problem with VLS/VLC is, that you start a Stream and it runs always, you just switch it on like a TV show. But I want it in an on-demand fashion, so the films starts when I want to watch it. Also I had other issues with it.

I felt FFmpeg was too difficult and I had trouble getting it to run.

I’d like to be able to sit down and watch a film from my server at my girlfriends place. There isn’t even SSH on her laptop and I don’t want to fiddle around with putty forever, it has to be easy and quick or the solution won’t work 🙂

I wasn’t able to have a look at XMBC yet, is it possible to use it to stream over the network (I read that somewhere)?

Solution :

Assuming that you’re streaming over LAN (and not over the wider internet), what you want is a UPnP media server. While UPnP media servers can (IIRC) be used with a web browser, you’re best experience will probably come from a dedicated media player. Fortunately, more or less every platform has a player capable of connecting via UPnP – VLC and XBMC are two popular, open source media players which have built-in UPnP clients.

Now, the question is – what server do you want to use? There are several listed on the fairly comprehensive Wikipedia page, although a particularly popular one is MediaTomb which should be availble for most distributions. I’ve used MiniDLNA to stream to an Xbox before, and configuring it is fairly simple.

The other issue you might have is video encoding, unless you choose to use something like VLC or XBMC as a client, since they can play every format uner the sun (more or less). If you’re going to use something like Windows Media Player instead, make sure to look at their list of supported codecs and containers.

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