Media Extender – It Ponders

For some reason, I don’t appliances that don’t work my way. That Yamaha RX-N600 receiver is an appliance and it’s networking is a bit crippled (some would say really crippled and I wouldn’t argue) but the crippleness seems to be common to Yamaha and Denon and other fine Audio names. They all seem to be wired to only work with Microsoft servers, for various degrees of crippled

Yes, you can break in and hack the firmware on the box (I’m told), but it’s more hacker easy to fix a server whose code you can modify. Fuppes is media server that the Yamaha can see (once the config file is setup correctly) but it’s got some bugs for me and the maintainer seems to have taken an extended break. It’s in C++. Not my favorite swimming hole to dive into and then see how deep it is or if I can swim out.

Coherence is a Python program that the Yamaha doesn’t see as server. It’s also a base component of several Ubuntu applications. I’m less likely to hit my head diving into that swimming hole.

I don’t hate Python like I do C++ but I’m not fond of the Python learning/community experience. Granted, I’m working on things that “you’d already know if you were a pythonista”. I’m OK, with the “code is your documentation” mindset and the “wiki or docs are only a guide” but you have to know enough to read them. I just want to play with and fix the code if I can. I don’t want a mind meld with the “Python Way”.

Pick a borg. Actually, I could crank up that dubious copy Windows XP in a virtual machine, install the Windows media server, duplicate all my MP3’s over to the Windows (virtual) machine, run out of disk space and repeat the install of everything with bigger virtual disks and clever mapping and shit. That would be fun. Leaving that VM sucking up half my memory all the time even if I only use the media server but once a week. Assimilation doesn’t hurt. Much.

If you download the Coherence tar ball and expand it.
tar -zxf Coherence-0.5.6.tar.gz
cd Coherence-0.5.6
python ./ build
sudo ./ install

That seems to work for me. (on Ubuntu 8.04) and a lot easier at this point than figuring all the easy_install crap. Ruby gems suffers the same problem. It only makes sense after you get it correct and even then, you don’t know if you really did it properly and you probably didn’t.

That said, this version of Coherence (0.5.6) doesn’t kill Rhythmbox which is a lot better than the last time I tried it in Ubuntu 7.10. Coherence has a lot of “could be” roles in RhythmBox (an iTunes like media player). It’s used to connect to my Buffalo Linkstation NAS DAAP (itunes) server. That works and running the server side on a different media library from the command line hasn’t killed anything. Doesn’t won’t work with the Yamaha but there’s enough XBox 360 turdlets in the log files to know that it’s not yet impossible. Once I get on the Python Way.

It might have occurred to you that if I just bought a modern media player (aka extender) my problems would be over. I did spend a lot of time yesterday researching it and I think a PlayStation 3 would probably work for what I want and I’d get a Blue Ray player should I want one. I’ve got that Go’Mint stimulus check and tax refunds. That’s almost free, eh? I think it comes with a game or two. Rumor is you can run Linux on it without hacking. Costs about what I built my main box for though. Sony has no ties to the MSFT suck machine, right?

Or it could be as dumb a device as the Yamaha when Linux is involved. A lot more google to go.