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Let’s start at the beginning… What is Firefly?

FireFly Media Server (formerly mt-daapd) Firefly Media Server Forums Firefly Media Server General Discussion Let’s start at the beginning… What is Firefly?

This topic contains 15 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 9 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • #2146

    Anonymous

    Hi everyone,

    As you can see I’m an “extreme” newbie. I have been sent a link to this site by someone suggesting I use Firefly. Basically I am after a system whereby I can store all my music centrally and then connect to it via iTunes – that is to say, I want full iTunes controllability from any machine on my network.

    Is this something I can do with Firefly? What spec do I need? How do I set it up? Could I use a G4 running OSX or will I need OSX Server? Could I possibly run this on a Bubba Server if I buy one?

    As you can see, lots of questions need answering 😉 if there’s a FAQ which covers all this stuff (in plain English if you please, I’m not a Unix/Linux ‘fan’ so be gentle with me!) 🙂

    Thanks,

    :-Joe

    #15925

    rpedde
    Participant

    @jowie wrote:

    Is this something I can do with Firefly? What spec do I need? How do I set it up? Could I use a G4 running OSX or will I need OSX Server? Could I possibly run this on a Bubba Server if I buy one?

    That’s what this is. It’s like iTunes music sharing without the iTunes. A g4 would work fine for this purpose. Here (http://preview.tinyurl.com/yrrjwj
    ) is a verstion that should work fine on your g4.

    Just double-click on it and let it scan.

    As far as the bubba server, their web page seems to indicate it already has firefly installed in firmware.

    — Ron

    #15926

    Anonymous

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the link! I will have a look at it shortly. Now that there seems to be a Mac version of Firefly, do I have to go through all the installation instructions that involve the Terminal, as shown in the help Wiki here?

    I’m still tempted to get a Bubba so I’m not totally sure about installing this on my G4 yet. It’d be great to have some low-power server which ran all my media-type stuff.

    I have a list of questions I need to get off my chest:

    1. How exactly does Firefly manifest itself in iTunes? Is there a login?
    2. If I install it on a Bubba Server, how do I rip CDs to Firefly?
    3. Does music copied to Firefly arrange itself in the same directory structure as iTunes?
    4. What happens if I am logged in to the same Firefly music library from two computers?
    5. Do I just edit song ID tags from within iTunes as if the library was on my client machine?

    I’m sorry if there is a FAQ answering all these questions, if there is please point me to it and I’ll leave you all alone! 😉

    Thanks!

    #15927

    Shorne

    I have similar questions. Will FF allow adding new music over the network to an HP Media Vault? and can i sync to the ipods. I currently have multiple users, each with their own libraries and ipods.

    I’ve tried to install this on the HP Media Vault following this:

    http://www.k0lee.com/hpmediavault/iTunes/index.html

    But have had no luck installing, any help would be appreciated.

    #15928

    andyg
    Participant

    Now that there seems to be a Mac version of Firefly, do I have to go through all the installation instructions that involve the Terminal, as shown in the help Wiki here?

    short answer is ‘no’

    http://nightlies.fireflymediaserver.org/version.php?version=svn-1586

    go grab the .dmg version which is the mac version & is a self-installed thingy.

    Couple of things to bear in mind once installed and you’re setting up firefly in the preference pane:

    shorten the name firefly gives itself – a long name will bum it out.
    remember to open up a port in the firewall – if you’re not sure how then holler.
    firefly will show in bonjour – from there you can configure various options including what file types firefly should handle/playlist options etc. Look out for the advanced configuration link which opens up all those options.

    How exactly does Firefly manifest itself in iTunes? Is there a login?

    firefly shows up under the shared music triangle (remember to enable itunes sharing in itunes prefs)
    If memory serves me correct, the admin login is blank and the password is mt-daapd but someone correct me if I’m wrong…

    Does music copied to Firefly arrange itself in the same directory structure as iTunes?

    Firefly is *only* serving the music so you’re not copying anything to firefly, rather firefly is serving the music as per where you pointed it to in the initial setup (on a standard mac setup that would be /user/Music/iTunes/).

    What happens if I am logged in to the same Firefly music library from two computers?

    so long as your itunes sharing is enabled on your various machines and they’re running firefly then you can serve up music from any of those boxes. Same principle as itunes sharing.

    Do I just edit song ID tags from within iTunes as if the library was on my client machine?

    yep… and then do a rescan of the library for firefly to pick up those changes. BTW you can set rescan intervals from within the config page – personally I prefer 0 then manually rescan when I actually add something to the library.

    Enjoy! 😀

    #15929

    Anonymous

    Thanks for all the info Andy!

    I’m a little confused though, from the sounds of it all Firefly is doing is sharing iTunes Libraries, in the same way iTunes would if it were running on a machine. Am I missing something?

    I’m still not sure how I am supposed to edit my files from a remote machine. If I’m just connecting to Firefly’s share through iTunes Sharing, how can I edit names and ID tags etc from a remote machine?

    Sorry I’m a really slow learner 😳 but once I get to grips with something I’m usually ok… 😀

    #15930

    andyg
    Participant

    I’m a little confused though, from the sounds of it all Firefly is doing is sharing iTunes Libraries, in the same way iTunes would if it were running on a machine. Am I missing something?

    that’s pretty much it – the thing about firefly being that you don’t have to use itunes; is multi OS compatible; handles a greater variety of different filetypes including the popular lossless FLAC format; and if you have firefly installed on a network device such as a NSLU2 or Buffalo Linkstation etc. you can leave the computer out of the equation – it doesn’t need to be on in order for firefly to serve the music.

    I’m still not sure how I am supposed to edit my files from a remote machine. If I’m just connecting to Firefly’s share through iTunes Sharing, how can I edit names and ID tags etc from a remote machine?

    Well if your machines can talk to each other and you can access the files in your music folder from another machine then you can use itunes or some other tag editor prog. And then have firefly rescan to pick up those changes.

    #15931

    Anonymous

    @andyg wrote:

    that’s pretty much it – the thing about firefly being that you don’t have to use itunes; is multi OS compatible; handles a greater variety of different filetypes including the popular lossless FLAC format; and if you have firefly installed on a network device such as a NSLU2 or Buffalo Linkstation etc. you can leave the computer out of the equation – it doesn’t need to be on in order for firefly to serve the music.

    Well that’s still pretty cool. It’d save me from having my hugely power hungry G4 Tower on when playing music.

    Well if your machines can talk to each other and you can access the files in your music folder from another machine then you can use itunes or some other tag editor prog. And then have firefly rescan to pick up those changes.

    Hmmm… But normally iTunes may only edit file data if it is local – or pointing at an iTunes Music Folder with the correct directory structure. Connecting to a shared iTunes music library doesn’t allow for any file editing.

    In order to edit songs and ID info, I’d need to get my iTunes pointing at the Bubba for its own internal library. If then that iTunes is also looking at Bubba for the shared DAAP, I can see multiple files being accessed at the same time and possible file corruption and/or iTunes crashing. It seems a little bit messy for iTunes… 🙁

    My alternative would be to get a Mac Mini as a media server, and running iTunes permanently on that. This way I’d be able to edit my music data using remote desktop. But I’d much rather a solution using Bubba, the Mac Mini solution seems a little OTT. At present though I can’t see any way of doing this…

    I can’t imagine using some other app to edit my iTunes library, I do a lot of batch editing of files and using the Grouping field to tag my tracks for Smart Playlists…

    #15932

    jtbse
    Participant

    @jowie wrote:

    I’m a little confused though, from the sounds of it all Firefly is doing is sharing iTunes Libraries, in the same way iTunes would if it were running on a machine. Am I missing something?

    No..you are correct…Firefly just presents it’s library to iTunes clients in the same way that iTunes would to other iTunes clients. It’s just DAAP sharing.

    @jowie wrote:

    I’m still not sure how I am supposed to edit my files from a remote machine.

    Well Firefly really doesn’t enable you to do this. It’s just a music server, not a music manager. To manage your library over your LAN, it needs to be located on a network share or disk that you can access directly from the “remote” machine. Then in iTunes (assuming that’s your preferred library management application), you configure to point your “local” library to the shared location. Not being very Mac-literate, I can’t provide much more detail than that….sorry.

    [EDIT:…u guys are just way too fast for me….by the time I posted this, there were two more replys!!….so feel free to ignore] 😀

    #15933

    Anonymous

    @jtbse wrote:

    To manage your library over your LAN, it needs to be located on a network share or disk that you can access directly from the “remote” machine. Then in iTunes (assuming that’s your preferred library management application), you configure to point your “local” library to the shared location. Not being very Mac-literate, I can’t provide much more detail than that….sorry.

    No that’s okay – I could do that, but only if it’s possible to set up Firefly to arrange its folders in the same way iTunes does. If it doesn’t then it’s probably no good. 🙁

    iTunes aside, what do all you Firefly users use to manage your music libraries?

    #15934

    jtbse
    Participant

    @jowie wrote:

    No that’s okay – I could do that, but only if it’s possible to set up Firefly to arrange its folders in the same way iTunes does. If it doesn’t then it’s probably no good. 🙁

    Well…Firefly can read an iTunes xml database directly to load his meta-data. So I think letting iTunes arrange the folders and just telling Firefly where they are would work fine.

    @jowie wrote:

    iTunes aside, what do all you Firefly users use to manage your music libraries?

    Being more of a Windoze/Linux person, I run Firefly on an unslung NSLU2 that that has two USB disks attached. Firefly’s primary purpose in my setup is to stream to two Roku SoundBridges that I have in the house. The music library as available as a Samba share to Windows clients. I use several apps for working with my music files….dbPoweramp for ripping and encoding. MP3Tag for tagging, and Winamp for organizing, sometimes playing, and iPod synching. I could do all of this with Winamp, but the other apps are a bit more robust for those tasks.

    #15935

    Anonymous

    @jtbse wrote:

    Well…Firefly can read an iTunes xml database directly to load his meta-data. So I think letting iTunes arrange the folders and just telling Firefly where they are would work fine.

    That’s good. 🙂

    My problem really is this: I tend to just potter about the house, listening to iTunes streamed from my server machine (G4 upstairs) to the hifi downstairs. If a tune comes up and I want to add some metadata to it (eg add an album name or tag it with some words) or just rearrange it in some way, I remote-desktop into the machine and mess with the data in iTunes. Ideally it would be nice to be able to connect to a music server just by using iTunes alone and be able to manipulate that library as if it belonged to the client machine.

    What I’m really looking for is “Vaporware” in a way 😉 I want “iTunes Server”, the ability to launch iTunes, connect to a shared library using an admin username and password and then to have complete control over that library.

    Still, that’s not to say that Firefly may be a slight improvement on what I have at the moment in terms of pointlessly large amounts of processor power. 😉 I know I have been able to get iTunes to point to its own library over a network, it just unnerves me that’s all. The library file it relies on is ridiculously big (in my case about 20MB), and I’d be too worried about having a power outage or losing network connection and screwing up my lovely library. With all the best backups in place, this is still a rather daunting issue to have to sort out.

    #15936

    rpedde
    Participant

    @jowie wrote:

    Ideally it would be nice to be able to connect to a music server just by using iTunes alone and be able to manipulate that library as if it belonged to the client machine.

    I agree. But sadly, the iTunes daap protocol is read-only. From a remote daap share, you can’t tag or create playlists, etc. It’s what I want as well, but probably won’t have any luck while we don’t have iTunes source.

    What I do to manage my library with iTunes and still share it for devices that I might listen to when my laptop lid is closed (roku soundbridge, etc), is to manage my master library from iTunes on my laptop and synchronize it to my server. That way it acts as both my backup and my centralized music server. I use rsync for that, but one could as easily use Unison on a windows machine, or whatever else works.

    It’s not ideal, but it does take care of three of my problems — disconnected music sharing, centralized music management, and backups of a collection of ripped & tagged music that represents too much effort to lose.

    I know I have been able to get iTunes to point to its own library over a network, it just unnerves me that’s all.

    Yeah, I’ve done that in a pinch before too, but I don’t care to either.

    — Ron

    #15937

    Anonymous

    @rpedde wrote:

    What I do to manage my library with iTunes and still share it for devices that I might listen to when my laptop lid is closed (roku soundbridge, etc), is to manage my master library from iTunes on my laptop and synchronize it to my server. That way it acts as both my backup and my centralized music server. I use rsync for that, but one could as easily use Unison on a windows machine, or whatever else works.

    Interesting… So you’re saying you actually do all your management and editing in iTunes, and then rsync deals with copying it to the main Firefly server… Sounds like a nice idea!

    Is rsync clever enough to just backup the changes rather than just create an entire new copy?

    #15938

    rpedde
    Participant

    @jowie wrote:

    Is rsync clever enough to just backup the changes rather than just create an entire new copy?

    Yes. It only copies changed stuff. Aside from the initial sync (which ran overnight), the syncs after that only take a couple minutes.

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