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MinimServer and Windows Media Player
18-12-2013, 22:51 (This post was last modified: 18-12-2013 23:03 by DavidHB.)
Post: #1
MinimServer and Windows Media Player
The 'Browsing your Library' page of the MinimServer User Guide still states that Windows Media Player is not compatible with MinimServer. However, Simon indicated in earlier posts that WMP compatibility at a basic level would be provided in the next version, and this seems to have happened in MinimServer 0.81.

On my desktop machines (Windows 7 and Windows 8.1), WMP sees MinimServer, and can access its library. There are, of course, only the usual Album, Artist and Genre views of the library, which makes WMP of limited use for classical music enthusiasts. But it at least recognises the MinimServer browse tree; I have MinimServer prefix track titles with the composer's name, and the track titles show up in this form in the WMP view.

There was an interesting difference between my Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 machines (both OSs are running on SSDs, and are therefore quite fast). The Windows 7 machine took a noticeable time to read the MinimServer library on first access, as if it were adding it to its own index; later access was immediate. On Windows 8.1, the access to the library was from the outset as nearly instantaneous as I have come to expect from other control points.

Personally, I am not that fond of WMP (foobar2000 is my default player), but I think it is very good news that MinimServer can now work with WMP, and with a greater degree of functionality than I was expecting. The millions of WMP users out there now have a means of trying out the only network music streamer I want to use. Broadening the MinimServer user base is good for us all.

David
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18-12-2013, 23:45
Post: #2
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
(18-12-2013 22:51)DavidHB Wrote:  The 'Browsing your Library' page of the MinimServer User Guide still states that Windows Media Player is not compatible with MinimServer. However, Simon indicated in earlier posts that WMP compatibility at a basic level would be provided in the next version, and this seems to have happened in MinimServer 0.81.

Thanks for the reminder. I have updated this list to show WMP as "functional".

Quote:On my desktop machines (Windows 7 and Windows 8.1), WMP sees MinimServer, and can access its library. There are, of course, only the usual Album, Artist and Genre views of the library, which makes WMP of limited use for classical music enthusiasts. But it at least recognises the MinimServer browse tree; I have MinimServer prefix track titles with the composer's name, and the track titles show up in this form in the WMP view.

I don't think it's correct to say that WMP recognises the MinimServer browse tree. WMP uses its own Artist/Album/Genre browse tree instead. WMP does recognise the metadata that MinimServer sends to the control point.

Quote:There was an interesting difference between my Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 machines (both OSs are running on SSDs, and are therefore quite fast). The Windows 7 machine took a noticeable time to read the MinimServer library on first access, as if it were adding it to its own index; later access was immediate. On Windows 8.1, the access to the library was from the outset as nearly instantaneous as I have come to expect from other control points.

I think this is because Windows 8.1 includes UPnP search support at the OS level. Unlike WMP, this support does recognise the MinimServer browse tree. You can see this by finding a MinimServer library in Network and opening it.

Quote:Personally, I am not that fond of WMP (foobar2000 is my default player), but I think it is very good news that MinimServer can now work with WMP, and with a greater degree of functionality than I was expecting. The millions of WMP users out there now have a means of trying out the only network music streamer I want to use. Broadening the MinimServer user base is good for us all.

David

I agree that this is a useful step forward, though I find it disappointing that WMP is lagging Windows 8.1 in its level of support for the MinimServer browse tree. This browse tree is (from my perspective) the main reason to use MinimServer.
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19-12-2013, 13:39 (This post was last modified: 19-12-2013 15:12 by DavidHB.)
Post: #3
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
(18-12-2013 23:45)simoncn Wrote:  Thanks for the reminder. I have updated this list to show WMP as "functional".

Thank you. The explanation is now very clear.

Quote:I don't think it's correct to say that WMP recognises the MinimServer browse tree. WMP uses its own Artist/Album/Genre browse tree instead. WMP does recognise the metadata that MinimServer sends to the control point.

Correction accepted (and lesson learned).

Quote:Windows 8.1 includes UPnP search support at the OS level. Unlike WMP, this support does recognise the MinimServer browse tree. You can see this by finding a MinimServer library in Network and opening it.

I had high hopes for this approach, but, sadly, the implementation is a bit of a mess.

Firstly, the browse tree cannot be accessed through Network; double clicking on the MinimServer device in Network gets you a (blank) http page on port 9791 of the server (could this be used to redirect the user to the browse tree?). You do have a context menu option to open the device in WMP, but this only gives you the same instance of WMP that you can open directly, that is without the browse tree.

You can however access the browse tree after a fashion through This PC->Network Locations and double-clicking on the green MinimServer icon. The tree is then presented as a conventional folder structure, and it is much more troublesome to navigate through the way Windows presents folders than through a proper browse tree. Add to this
  • that there seems to be no global setting for ordering groups and tracks,
  • that Windows insists on confirming that foobar2000 is my default player every time I try to play a track, and
  • that the transcoded wave files are downloaded (God knows where) before they are played, rather than streamed
and the only assessment of the capability I can make is that it is worse than useless.

People who are used to WMP are probably better off trying out just the stunted support for MinimServer's capabilities that WMP provides, and then graduating to another player, for which my recommendation would be foobar2000/foo_upnp, even though some computer knowledge is required to make it work well, and the documentation is nowhere near as good as that of MinimServer.

Quote:I find it disappointing that WMP is lagging Windows 8.1 in its level of support for the MinimServer browse tree. This browse tree is (from my perspective) the main reason to use MinimServer.

Given the points made above, I cannot but agree. The sensible thing would be for WMP to work as a properly UPnP compliant combined control point and renderer. Bubbleguuum has created 3 working and compliant control points (Bubble DS, Bubble UPnP and the foo_upnp addon) in the time it has taken the MS bureaucracy to fail to come up with one.

David
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16-03-2014, 19:54
Post: #4
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
Hello.
I installed on my NAS minimserver and if I open Windows Media Server on any computer on the network, I can see the music minimserver, however, says that the files (flac) does not recognize them (I have installed the codecs). However, if I browse to the NAS drive and I double click on a flac file, VMS runs without problem. Anyone know how to make VMS files minimserver recognize?
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16-03-2014, 22:19
Post: #5
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
(16-03-2014 19:54)nonesup Wrote:  Hello.
I installed on my NAS minimserver and if I open Windows Media Server on any computer on the network, I can see the music minimserver, however, says that the files (flac) does not recognize them (I have installed the codecs). However, if I browse to the NAS drive and I double click on a flac file, VMS runs without problem. Anyone know how to make VMS files minimserver recognize?

As far as I know, Windows Media Player can't play FLAC files. I'm not sure what you mean by installing the codecs. Can you post a screenshot of the error you are getting?
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17-03-2014, 01:25
Post: #6
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
(16-03-2014 22:19)simoncn Wrote:  As far as I know, Windows Media Player can't play FLAC files. I'm not sure what you mean by installing the codecs.

Forgive me if this is stating the obvious, but it is possible to install codecs that will enable Windows Media Player to play FLAC files. I am using the xiph.org open codecs for this purpose, and FLAC files play happily in WMP on my systems. However, for reasons already given, I use foobar2000 rather than WMP as my default media player in Windows.

The query is stated to be about Windows Media Server, but I am not aware of any product of exactly that name. Is the reference to the Windows 8 DNLA Media Server? If it is, I am not sure that it supports the external codecs. Also, why is there a need to use MinimServer with another server at all?

David
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17-03-2014, 14:45
Post: #7
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
(17-03-2014 01:25)DavidHB Wrote:  
(16-03-2014 22:19)simoncn Wrote:  As far as I know, Windows Media Player can't play FLAC files. I'm not sure what you mean by installing the codecs.

Forgive me if this is stating the obvious, but it is possible to install codecs that will enable Windows Media Player to play FLAC files. I am using the xiph.org open codecs for this purpose, and FLAC files play happily in WMP on my systems. However, for reasons already given, I use foobar2000 rather than WMP as my default media player in Windows.

The query is stated to be about Windows Media Server, but I am not aware of any product of exactly that name. Is the reference to the Windows 8 DNLA Media Server? If it is, I am not sure that it supports the external codecs. Also, why is there a need to use MinimServer with another server at all?

David

Hello.
Excuse me, I wrote Windows Media Server instead of Windows Media Player, besides surely Google Translate translation is not entirely reliable.
What I mean is that I have installed codecs flac xiph.org. If I from my PC on the network navigate to the directory of the NAS and I double click on a flac file then VMP opens and plays the file correctly.
But if I open VMP and agree to minimserver library, taught me that I have the albums but when trying to play gives me error says it does not recognize the file type.
I will try to send a screenshot.

Thank you both for your interest
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17-03-2014, 14:49
Post: #8
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
I do not get attach a jpg file
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17-03-2014, 15:24
Post: #9
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
(17-03-2014 14:49)nonesup Wrote:  I do not get attach a jpg file

You need to use the New Attachment: Browse button to select the .jpg file to attach, then click the Add Attachment button to add this file as an attachment.
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17-03-2014, 16:10 (This post was last modified: 17-03-2014 16:20 by DavidHB.)
Post: #10
RE: MinimServer and Windows Media Player
(17-03-2014 14:45)nonesup Wrote:  I wrote Windows Media Server instead of Windows Media Player, besides surely Google Translate translation is not entirely reliable.
What I mean is that I have installed codecs flac xiph.org.

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't want to assume that you meant Windows Media Player.

Quote:If I from my PC on the network navigate to the directory of the NAS and I double click on a flac file then VMP opens and plays the file correctly.
But if I open VMP and agree to minimserver library, taught me that I have the albums but when trying to play gives me error says it does not recognize the file type.

In the absence of the screen-shot, I'm guessing that this error message comes from Windows Media Player rather than MinimServer (which, I believe, is working correctly). It sounds as though, when WMP is functioning as a combined UPnP (or, more likely, DNLA) control point and renderer, it bypasses the DirectShow abstraction layer to which the xiph codecs connect and just uses its own codecs, which of course do not include FLAC. Simon will, I am sure, be clearer on this than I am. But I am not surprised by it, because, in my experience, DNLA devices typically support only a rather limited range of formats.

I do not get this problem, I think because I use MinimStreamer to transcode my FLAC files to WAV (or WAV24 in my case). As WMP sees the files as WAV (which it supports natively), they play without difficulty. So transcoding may be a possible workaround for you. However, a better approach may be to use foobar2000 with the fooUPnP plugin, because it has much better usability as a streaming device than WMP, and it does support the FLAC format.

David
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