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Monday, June 11, 2007

Linux is overrated!

I recently started setting up an old PC to be used as a home media center and a bandwidth router for the whole network (so I can simultaneously make use of a cheap local ADSL account and the usual ripoff international one). From the bit of research I did it quickly became obvious that linux was the was to go for the bandwidth task, so my choice was made for me. After a bit of a false start with an old Ubuntu version from 2004 and a bit of a memory shortfall, eventually got the machine going with an up to date Ubuntu install. It didn't take long to find two candidates for the media sharing job, TwonkyVision and Tversity. I tried TVersity at work first (since it's free and Windows only) and was helluva impressed. I keep it running now so when I'm away from my PC working on our test setup I can stream music to my PSP over our WiFi network. TwonkyVision by comparison was a big mistake. It was the obvious choice since TVersity is Windows only, so I'd have to use wine or something to run it (and I suspect that may be a bit much for the PC at home). Unfortunately after being blown away by the features in (free) TVersity, Twonky (which is 30 euros) was a bit uderwhelming. Besides support for alternative operating systems, Twonky loses on all counts.
A short list of complaints about Twonky would be:

  • Limited transcoding support.
  • Internet radio only supported through their listing system (which is broken), no adding of any old podcast URL.
  • Standard media browser doesn't work on PSP's web browser and the scaled down RSS link only carries feeds for music, so no way to access movies and pics on the PSP.
  • TVersity has WAY more customization options to control network optimization and such.
I now have the Linux box humming away at home, running Twonky, and it's great to have access to all our media from the 360 and music from the PSP (and soon Natz' new WiFi capable phone) but it looks like I'm going to be fighting with Wine soon :/


Dan Kegel said...

tversity install instructions for wine
are at
It's not quite easy yet, but it supposedly works. (I did just verify that it installs ok.)

Flint said...

Thanks Dan. I've been checking it out on the Tversity forums, and I think I may try running a VMWare image first and seeing if my poor machine can handle it. It seems as though the transcoding doesn't work on wine :(

Andrew said...

So it's not so much linux which is overrated as Twonky ;)

Don't do it man, don't try and run a VM on that machine... you'll bring it too a grinding halt :(

Try wine instead it really has improved in leaps and bounds over the last 6 months!

Flint said...

I tried that this weekend, and while I got it working with about half an hour's fiddling, I couldn't get the 360 to pick up the Tversity server (time for more forum digging :/)

Andrew said...

Actually having said that... I've never used wines networking... So maybe not such a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Why not just use Mediatomb which is Linux native? Much faster and more efficient than anything else and also comes with quite a range of features... maybe less than you need, but worth a look.

Flint said...

Thanks for the tip.. I'll check it out when my Twonky license expires ;)


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