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FreeNAS Tutorial Part 4 – UPnP Streaming

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During our last segment of the FreeNAS install guides, we showed you how to stream your music, pictures, and videos to iTunes. This time we will walk you thru how to stream media to a much more broad range of devices. After this tutorial, your FreeNAS server will essentially be a DLNA media server and will send media to any of your DLNA/UPnP televisions, media boxes, HTPC, Xbox, PS3, tablet, phone, and many other devices. DLNA/UPnP is a network protocol that device manufacturers follow to have their devices discover each other’s existence on a network designed to aid in data sharing. FreeNAS uses FUPPES (Free UPnP Entertainment Services) to stream your content. FUPPES was created by Ulrich Völkel and is available for download on many platforms, find more about it here: http://fuppes.ulrich-voelkel.de/.

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Just like with our previous tutorials, this one will be really easy to complete. With just a few simple steps, you will be able turn your simple storage server into an entertainment powerhouse that will stream content throughout your Connected Home!

UPnP Setup

1. Login to your FreeNAS web-administration console

2. Click on the ‘Services’ Tab

3. Click on the ‘UPnP’ menu item

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4. Click on the ‘Enable’ checkbox to select this item

5. In the ‘Server Name’ field, change this to how you would like your server to appear on your DLNA/UPnP enabled devices

6. Under the ‘Database directory’ section, click on the ellipsis button

7. Navigate to the folder where you would like your configuration files and database to be saved. Once you see the path in the field, click ‘ok’

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8. Under the ‘Content’ section, in the ‘Add’ field, type in the location of the folder containing the music, pictures, and videos you would like to share.

9. Click on the ‘Add’ button and your folder should now be listed in the ‘Content’ list

10. Repeat this step until you have added all of the folders you would like to include

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11. In the ‘Profile’ section, leave the menu item as ‘Default’

12. In the ‘Transcoding’ section, check the ‘Enable transcoding’ checkbox

13. In the ‘WebGui’ section, check the ‘Enable web user interface’ checkbox

14. Click the ‘Save and Restart’ button and confirm that the changes have been applied successfully

15. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and on the very bottom section is the ‘URL’ section. Click on the link which will bring up the FUPPES administrative webGUI

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16. On the left side of the page, click on ‘Options’

17. In the ‘Options’ page, click on the ‘rebuild databases’ link. **Depending on the size of your media collection, this may take a while**

18. The webGUI may not tell you when it is done, so go back to the web browser with the FreeNAS web console

19. Hover your mouse cursor over the ‘Status’ tab

20. Click on the ‘Processes’ menu item

21. If you see the ‘fuppesd’ process at anything over 0%, then the system is still cataloging your media. If it is at 0% or does not show up on the list, you can go to the next step

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22. Go back to the FUPPES browser window and click on ‘Options’

23. Click on ‘rebuild virtual container’

24. Repeat steps 19 to 21 to make sure that the system is finished rebuilding

25. Once done, go back to the FUPPES browser window and click on ‘Status’

26. If the count is approximately the count of media files in your collection you are finished!

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That’s it! Fire up your DLNA/UPNP-enabled TV, media centre, game console, or toaster (you never know…) and stream that media! You should now be able to access your music, pictures, and videos on multiple devices on your connected home network. Feel free to leave us a comment below if you have any problems with your setup!

If you happen to have missed any of the previous FreeNAS Media Server Build series, you can find the entire series here:

freenas install

FreeNAS Server Setup Part 3 – iTunes Streaming

FreeNAS Server Setup Part 2 – Disk, User, and CIFS Setup

FreeNAS Server Setup Part 1 – Installation and Initial Configuration

John

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About the Author

John ReyesJohn, a seasoned IT professional working in the field since the Dot-Com Era, currently works as a system engineer for a large health care organization. In addition to his full time job, John also specializes in small business consulting, data recovery, forensics and freelance writing. He is also very active in the open-source community. When he’s not in front of a computer, you’ll usually find him mountain biking on a hill somewhere.View all posts by John Reyes

  1. JFR
    JFR02-06-2011

    Hey john thanks for your blog very nice,
    im setting up FreeNas for media streaming to my dlna tv sony bravia 55hx701
    everything is working fine with my pc in my network, my ps3 also i have no problem
    but my tv, when i go in the media server troubleshooting tells me server name FreeNas:, the server does not support DLNA. Any idea what I did wrong?
    I cant find anything online about this issue
    thanks
    JF

    • John Reyes
      John Reyes02-15-2011

      Hello JFR,

      Thanks for reading our blog. It’s a shame that Sony chooses not to use the same streaming protocols between its own devices. Anyone would assume that if FreeNAS was able to stream to a Sony PS3 that it would be able to stream to a Sony Bravia. It has been documented that Sony TVs do not work well with all DLNA/UPnP servers. Still, there are several things you can try. In the UPnP section of FreeNAS, play around with the ‘Profile’. There are about 10 different choices you can test. Try to find a profile that works on both of your devices. Let us know what you find.

      Good luck,
      John

  2. brad
    brad04-25-2011

    Having the same issue with my LG tv. I can see the list of movies and pictures but I am unable to see any of them…

    • John Reyes
      John Reyes05-09-2011

      Hi Brad and JohnP,

      Thanks for your interest in our article. Do you know your television model number? If so, check out this site to see what features your television is DLNA certified. http://www.dlna.org/products/ You may find certain features are enabled such as viewing pictures and listening to music, while things such as video are not supported by your device.

      Good luck,
      John

  3. Wojtek
    Wojtek10-08-2011

    Hi,
    I wanted to have a media server for my Samsung TV.
    (Samsung UE32C6600 and FreeNAS 0.7.2 (Sabanda) on a PC)
    In order to do this I have :
    - installed FreeNAS on a PC in my LAN, mounted a partition DATA1 on /mnt/
    - run a uPNP server with Database directory and Content set to /mnt/DATA1/
    - run a SMB server with a share SHARE1 on path /mnt/DATA1/
    - placed audio/video files by using SMB on SHARE1 share.
    - browsed available locations on server by TV.
    The success is that the TV can see a folder „DATA1”.
    But the folder is shown as empty, no audio/video files are there. Only a subdirectory .snap is visible.

    Why?

    I thouhgt the files should be accessible in this location by both protocols.

    My ideas are: missing privileges or location is not the same.

    Please help me. This is my first time with FreeNAS and DLNA.

    Wojtek

    PS Thank you for the tutorial. Really helpful.

  4. Wojtek
    Wojtek10-08-2011

    Hi,
    already found my mistake: everything works well but I was browsing with video files filter on, while only music files were in the folders. Thus I couldn't see anything.
    Thank you for the tutorials again, John.

    Wojtek

  5. kasper6986
    kasper698611-07-2011

    i have a toshiba led tv with wifi and i cannot get it to say anything but no applicable media files

  6. Tom Abell
    Tom Abell11-08-2011

    Hmm, I guess the obvious question would be if you have the right kind of media files on the server. What video format are you using?

  7. Jens Peter
    Jens Peter12-05-2011

    Looks like the UPNP service have gone missing in FreeNass 8.02.
    Do you know of any (easy) ways to make the Freenas server as a media server ?

    • Serge Couture
      Serge Couture12-19-2011

      Jens is right on this one…

      Which version did you use for your tutorial? (Great tutorial I must add!)

      Serge

      • Tom Abell
        Tom Abell12-20-2011

        This Tutorial was done on FreeNAS 7, working on getting on up for FreeNAS 8 soon!

  8. Danswan
    Danswan01-04-2012

    Any tips for getting album art to show on clients? I've tried a windows client (Media player 11) and an android one on my phone (Bubble UPnP I believe) and although music plays fine I dont get the album art from the folder, usually in the form of a folder.jpg file.

    • David
      David02-13-2012

      Did you ever solve this? I have exactly the same question (with Bubble UPnP on my android) – same issue with the folder.jpg file.

      Not yet worked out how to get the album art to show.

      • Tom Abell
        Tom Abell02-13-2012

        I believe John is looking into this one David, check back soon!

        • David
          David02-14-2012

          I got mine solved! I was streaming from a Netgear ReadyNAS Duo. Turns out that there is a DLNA config file on the ReadyNAS that specifies what album art filenames to look for. Presumably owing to a bug in the software, having Folder.jpg towards the end of the line of text does not work, but having it as the first entry on the line does work!

          Technical bit for anyone interested: you need to enable SSH root access on your ReadyNAS, then log in as root. Once you've done that, the file that needs changing is /etc/minidlna.conf

          The offending line is:
          album_art_names=Cover.jpg/cover.jpg/AlbumArtSmall.jpg/albumartsmall.jpg/AlbumArt.jpg/albumart.jpg/Album.jpg/album.jpg/Folder.jpg/folder.jpg/Thumb.jpg/thumb.jpg

          I put Folder.jpg at the front of that line (correctly capitalised) and that worked for me.

          Unless you install another text editor, you probably have to use vi – a bit unintuitive to use at first (don't mean to start a holy war), but plenty of instructions available on internet.
          [Note: this fix is not one that should be undertaken lightly by people with little or no command line / linux experience!]

          I found this solution at: http://www.readynas.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=76&…

          • Tom Abell
            Tom Abell02-14-2012

            Nice job David! Thanks for sharing your findings with everyone.

  9. bob
    bob01-19-2012

    thanks

  10. Rich
    Rich01-30-2012

    ah this is fustrating. I have set up UPnP as i should of and followed the steps meticulously.

    I am attepmpting to share the folders with my Xbox360, I have shared the folder and it is displayed on my xbox although when i enter the folder i cannot view any media. I have tried various file types from avi to mkv to no avail.

    Have you seen this problem before?

    • Jalex
      Jalex02-14-2012

      Have you put a colon after the server name i.e. " freenas: "? I had this problem when i was trying to stream to my PS3.

  11. Kevin Malmo
    Kevin Malmo02-04-2012

    I have been reading about freeNAS for my next home project and I hope I can decide to go ahead with it. out of the shelves NAS is another consideration that I am thinking.

    • Tom Abell
      Tom Abell02-05-2012

      Hey Kevin, I think you'll find that a solution like FreeNAS will give you a whole lot more options than the standard NAS's we find on store shelves. Check out our articles about Ubuntu also, throw XBMC in there and you have an awesome set up that store bought NAS's can't keep up with. Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Chuck
    Chuck02-17-2012

    Can freenas 8.03 support any media streaming? any links on this ? What the best zfs setup for smooth video streaming?

  13. Thanh
    Thanh02-19-2012

    I can't find this service ???

    UPnP Setup

    1. Login to your FreeNAS web-administration console

    2. Click on the ‘Services’ Tab

    3. Click on the ‘UPnP’ menu item

  14. Thanh
    Thanh02-19-2012

    I install FreeNAS-8.2.1-ALPHA-r10163-x86
    Then I'm looking for UPNP service for media streaming
    Why my NAS hasn't UPNP service

  15. jay
    jay02-28-2012

    FreeNas 8.x does not support UPnP. They have plans to add it as a module in a future release. The latest version of FreeNas that supports UPnP seems to be 0.7.2 Sabanda (revision 8191).

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