Apple TV?

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  • #974
    vahtryn
    Participant

    Well with the announcement of the Apple TV I’ve started to consider setting up a centralized NAS to hold onto a boat load of media. I’m not adverse to purchasing the biggest disks I can right now in order to store as much of it as I can though there are some things nagging me.

    First off I just bought a NLSU2 and plan on flashing it into a linux box. I found out about this project while reading up on NAS solutions for the home. I don’t see this as too much of a problem as the directions are pretty straight forward and I’ve installed linux onto some crazy things in the past.

    I did read that there is a limitation of mt-daapd that the files can only be served from one disk. Is this true? If so can I create sym links to other file systems to get around this constraint? Any plans on changing this in the future?

    Most of my questions are in regards to video. I’ve not been able to find a reliable document or article on importing DVDs to iTunes. Let’s face it, I’m not going to purchase every film and TV show I already have on DVD to use as a digital file. Screw that. It’s cheaper for me to go to Amoeba Music and buy used DVDs than it is to purchase them through iTunes.

    How do I go about creating a video file to use through this or at least through iTunes? How would I make sure that it had 5.1? How would I go about getting the best resolution (since apparently the apple tv does 780p)?

    Finally, how does this work with purchases from iTMS? Between me and my girl we have some tracks that were purchased on iTunes as well as one television show. I’d like to make sure I can use those as well.

    Thanks in advance.

    #8341
    rpedde
    Participant

    @vahtryn wrote:

    I did read that there is a limitation of mt-daapd that the files can only be served from one disk. Is this true? If so can I create sym links to other file systems to get around this constraint? Any plans on changing this in the future?

    That limitation is with the stable release (the 0.2.x line). The nightlies are beyond that, and are in fact what you will need to stream video anyway. More on that later.

    How do I go about creating a video file to use through this or at least through iTunes? How would I make sure that it had 5.1? How would I go about getting the best resolution (since apparently the apple tv does 780p)?

    I think it’s pretty straightforward — mpeg4 or h.264. If you are on a mac platform, I think handbrake would be the easiest way — it’s a one-step transcoder (two, if you count putting in the dvd).

    On a straight-up linux platform, you’ll need something else. Transcode? vlc? mplayer? Not sure, exactly.

    Finally, how does this work with purchases from iTMS? Between me and my girl we have some tracks that were purchased on iTunes as well as one television show. I’d like to make sure I can use those as well.

    These should work as well, in a perfect world.

    Some caveats are in order. Currently, the nightlies will serve movies to an iTunes client. Something isn’t right with the metadata, though — it just copies the whole file to the client and then starts playing. Not sure why. Problem with the metadata somehow. Same thing with FrontRow — it doesn’t like connecting to a firefly server. I need to take a closer look at the metadata iTunes sends and figure out whats going on.

    I fully intend to have this working before iTV ships, though, as mine is already on pre-order.

    Thanks in advance.

    np… yell if you run into anything.

    — Ron

    #8342
    seggerman
    Participant

    @vahtryn wrote:

    Well with the announcement of the Apple TV I’ve started to consider setting up a centralized NAS to hold onto a boat load of media. I’m not adverse to purchasing the biggest disks I can right now in order to store as much of it as I can though there are some things nagging me.

    First off I just bought a NLSU2 and plan on flashing it into a linux box. I found out about this project while reading up on NAS solutions for the home. I don’t see this as too much of a problem as the directions are pretty straight forward and I’ve installed linux onto some crazy things in the past.

    I did read that there is a limitation of mt-daapd that the files can only be served from one disk. Is this true? If so can I create sym links to other file systems to get around this constraint? Any plans on changing this in the future?

    I built myself just recently a home NAS system with an RAID5 array (960GB) and have my MP3/fotos/videos etc. on it. Since it acts as a single HD, there are no problems with mt-daap. Additionally I have a certain amount of data-safety.

    @rpedde wrote:

    I fully intend to have this working before iTV ships, though, as mine is already on pre-order.

    Great, since mine is on pre-order since yesterday aswell. I’m looking forward to see if iTV only streams from iTunes, or also does file based streaming (mayby over AFP ?)

    Alexander

    #8343
    vahtryn
    Participant

    Thanks for clearing some stuff up for me. I’m gonna hunt down a slug and install gentoo on it and set it up to use distcc so the two macs in my apartment can do most of the compiling (good god, I can’t imagine compiling on a 233mhz proc anymore).

    Should be fun!

    #8344
    CCRDude
    Participant

    Damn, I’ve been wanting to get my Siemens M-740 AV to run a custom Linux for months, and now its got competition by that shiny thing 😯

    A really good video server sounds very nice. Is it possible to put own videos (not bought from Apple shop; I record TV either as DVB-mpeg or wmv sometimes) into Fireflys video sharing? wmv probably not, right? Hmmm… this rekindles my interest to look back at the above box or an old Nokia or Sagem DBox to see how they did play streamed video 🙂

    #8345
    fizze
    Participant

    Well, I recently got myself a Pinnacle Showcenter 200.

    Currently Im serving some videos off my NSLU2 to it even wire wireless.
    The slug is definetely up for the challenge, even HDTV-streaming isnt an issue.

    My NSLU2 isnt tuned on performance, and my smb-file-copy performance is really weak compared to others I saw on the web, but its enough. By far.

    I use Wizd mostly to stream videos, but trying to get Oxyl to run on Cherokee. Anyway, theres plenty of software that serves video content and more.

    I too think of getting another nas, and linksys’ shortly announced NAS200 sounds really intriguing to me 🙂

    #8346
    rpedde
    Participant

    @CCRDude wrote:

    A really good video server sounds very nice. Is it possible to put own videos (not bought from Apple shop; I record TV either as DVB-mpeg or wmv sometimes) into Fireflys video sharing? wmv probably not, right? Hmmm… this rekindles my interest to look back at the above box or an old Nokia or Sagem DBox to see how they did play streamed video 🙂

    If I can get the metadata jiggered right to stream rather than copy+play, then video transcoding sounds like the next obvious step. Got plenty of “other format” video around that it would be nice to convert. Probably need a fairly stout box though. Wont’ be doing video transcoding on a slug.

    — Ron

    #8347
    grommet
    Participant

    vahtryn, DVDs are 480p… the video downloads from iTunes are close to that, too. (640 x 480) Apple TV can natively output up to 720p, one of the HDTV standards.

    The formats supported are: H.264 and protected H.264: 640 by 480, 30 fps, LC version of Baseline Profile; 320 by 240, 30 fps, Baseline profile up to Level 1.3; 1280 by 720, 24 fps, Progressive Main Profile. MPEG-4: 640 by 480, 30 fps, Simple Profile.

    I was told it only supports 2-channel audio, but maybe they were wrong.

    Purchased content may require iTunes 7. I don’t think Firefly is going to support Fairplay DRM anytime soon. Ron? 8)

    Transcoding “live” to H.264 or MPEG-4 will take quite a bit of horsepower.

    My contact at Apple says this isn’t going to be as easy as some might think. (Apple TV vs. Firefly… or any other DAAP implementation.) We’ll see if he’s right…

    #8348
    rpedde
    Participant

    @grommet wrote:

    My contact at Apple says this isn’t going to be as easy as some might think. (Apple TV vs. Firefly… or any other DAAP implementation.) We’ll see if he’s right…

    Eeek. Certainly syncing will be a new protocol. But streaming? I saw on the keynote they had something funky going on. When you tried to stream from the macbook using iTV, it prompted the user on the macbook to allow the connection by typing in a code. Maybe there is some kind of key exchange or something going on there.

    Hope not. Hope it’s just as simple as straight daap. Why would they break that?

    If it is encrypted somehow, then it won’t be me cracking it. It will be hammerton or jon or someone.

    Guess we’ll see.

    #8349
    endaff
    Participant

    I’m waiting also to see if someone hacks the MSS II to upgrade its mt-daapd server to issue out video & photos as well as music, ill keep on watching these forums … so I can evnetually buy the apple TV box, im want it know, but need to see if it will do the job first form the nas, as i am tyring to avoid running a server be it a PC or mac mini just to share itunes and iphoto content, what I see so far and what Apple didnt tell me, only Itunes will do the job …

    It does music at the moment, but doesnt do playlists. I have managed to hack the firmware to give me telnet access, what changes do I need to make to the mt-dappd conf , or point me in the right direction to modify the configs to give me more functionality ?

    Any help would be much much appreicated.

    #8350
    fizze
    Participant

    I guess openmss.org is your friend.

    for example:
    http://www.openmss.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=138&highlight=mtdaapd

    #8351
    endaff
    Participant

    Thank you, I shall have a look.

    #8352
    sansp00
    Participant

    Here are some ‘specs’ that I found in a post on AVS Forum …
    http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2395
    Will see clearer when the box actually ships, Im waiting for more info and feedback from actual users to take the decision to pull the trigger or not …
    Patrick S.

    #8353
    rpedde
    Participant

    @sansp00 wrote:

    Here are some ‘specs’ that I found in a post on AVS Forum …
    http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2395
    Will see clearer when the box actually ships, Im waiting for more info and feedback from actual users to take the decision to pull the trigger or not …
    Patrick S.

    This:

    When it ships in February, Apple TV will require the forthcoming releases of iTunes 7.1 and QuickTime 7.1.5.

    is particularly chilling, and makes me think perhaps grommet is right. Wonder if this means the end of iTunes playing nice with 3rd party daap servers?

    #8354
    CCRDude
    Participant

    Well, that article, I don’t know…

    According to those familiar with the matter, iTunes 7.1 is due for release within the next 45 days.

    Does one have to be familiar with the matter to recognize that there are a few changes necessary to iTunes to allow this? Imho the AppleTV was to be integrated both like a iPod (“push content”) and a streaming client, and I guess on the like-iPod side, that couldn’t be possible without client changes. And if the AppleTV is to ship end of February, its only natural that there are no more than 45 days left. Reading updated news that it may even ship in the middle of February already, I could as well announce that an iTunes update is due within the next 30 days 😀

    I’ve played around with recoding a few small fun videos to iPod format and put them into Firefly just to see how exactly this works. Takes too long for me probably, I’ll wait as well 🙂

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