QNAP TurboNAS Firmware: 3.5 Deep Dive Part Six: Media Streaming

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iTunes Server

I don’t use the iTunes server as my devices stream music just fine with Twonky, but configuration is simple,  First, under Application Servers, click on iTunes Server.

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Enable a password if you want to use authentication.  Click on Smart Playlist and add whatever parameters you want to.

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The playlist that you configure here will be available to all iTunes clients on the network.

I did set up and test the iTunes server and it worked without issue with the one PC that I have iTunes installed on.

Multimedia Station and Q Mobile

QNAP provides a web-based streaming experience, as well as Android and iOS device support, called Multimedia Station.  Once I had the NAS set up on a network without a WHS unit on it, I was able to stream content using the webpage.  With the NAS set up on my network, I was able to use the web interface on my PC’s with no issues.

However, after the iOS5 update, the iOS Q Mobile app stopped working.  I never got the Android application to work; it would fail to connect to the server and would not stream content, whether on the network locally or connected to the cellular network.

Conclusion

The Twonky application works very well with none of the permissions-related issues that plagued Twonky in the HP Version 3 WHS environment.  I would stay away from transcoding content as the NAS is an Atom-based system and I don’t think that the Atom is robust enough to support that.

Streaming content using the web interface worked fine, inside and outside of the network.

It looks like QNAP has some work to do with the multimedia station and the Q Mobile app.  I hope that the iOS version is updated to work in iOS5 as it is a very nice interface and streamed well when it was working.  The Android app has some development required in order to make it truly useful.

I have to say that media streaming is not generally a core feature set for a NAS unit; the manufacturers generally are targeting business users who won’t really value these features.  That being said, QNAP has included them in order to appeal to more home users.  I encourage them to continue to develop these features as home users will value them, and especially encourage them to update the iOS app to work in iOS5 and the Android app to work generally.

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