New Media Player For Mac - Wireless Media Center
Following the ideas in this post will also make it possible for lots of personal entertainment options. Since the foundation of the home media center in our RV is a robust network, including a router and Wi-Fi setup, that means we can stream all of our content both Internet based or locally hosted, to our devices like tables, laptops, and phones. This works for our locally hosted content even with absolutely no Internet connectivity!
New Media Player For Mac - Wireless Media Center
If you only watch TV shows from Netflix, movies from Amazon Prime, and listen to music from Spotify, then you can probably skip this component of your system. If you do own digital content that is not protected by digital rights management (DRM) then the media server is going to be one of the most important components in your RV home entertainment system. That is because having locally hosted content in your RV means it is still possible to enjoy that family movie or watch a Seinfeld re-run with absolutely no Internet connectivity.
For your hardware, focus on something that is a small form factor. This is going in an RV after all! We use an Apple Mac mini for our media server. It is a pricier option but has good power and features. One of the most import features you will want is an HDMI output so you can hook up directly to your television. This is handy for the cases where your media player might not work correctly in a no Internet scenario and you want to connect directly to your media server to watch a show on your TV. You also need to consider storage capacity. Video files, especially full-length movies tend to be in the two gigabyte range in terms of files size. This can fill up a small hard drive pretty quickly!
There are a ton of media server software options out there. The two top choices for most are Plex Media Server and Kodi. The both have a great set of features, good looking UI, and make organizing your media a breeze. We use Plex as we tend need multiple screens streaming different content at the same time for the times Dad is watching Seinfeld but the kids want to watch Teen Titans Go!. Plex is better suited for streaming to multiple devices out of the box. Kodi is great because it has a very active 3rd party developer community which means lots and lots of plugins are available to expand the base functionality. There are lots of Plex vs. Kodi comparison articles on Google so we encourage you to do your own research and make a choice.
Now that your content is loaded, connect the Mac mini media server to your TV. Since 2010, all Mac minis have provided an HDMI-out port. HDMI is your gateway to connecting the computer and TV since one cable does the job for sound and video. The HDMI port on 2014 and later Mac minis supports 4K resolution at 30 frames per second. There is also a 3.5mm stereo audio port for connecting an amplifier or speakers other than those on your TV.
If doing less than 4k can you use the Mac Mini as your main desktop, media ripper and media server and then stream to devices via such as Apple TV, iPad, iPhone or Smart TV with Plex app. via internal wired and wireless home network?
There are a lot of variables when ripping media. Resolution, codecs, audio quality, etc all play an important part in how large a file will become. For most users a Mercury Elite Pro ( -mercury-elite-pro) is the perfect choice to house the media library and then another Elite Pro to serve as a backup for the computer and media library.
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Unfortunately, Windows Media Center has been discontinued, and Windows 10 and Windows 11 users must use an external program to have a media center. However, it is essential to note that media center software is not the same as media players.
Kodi is open-source software, and you can install it by clicking the OS you have on this page. Currently, it is compatible with a lot of OS, including Windows 10, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, Apple TV OS, and Raspberry Pi. It also supports all the main audio and video file formats for playback and allows users to stream content from different online media streaming services.
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Serviio is a free media server. It allows you to stream your media files (music, video or images) to renderer devices (e.g. a TV set, Bluray player, games console or mobile phone) on your connected home network.
Serviio works with many devices from your connected home (TV, Playstation 3, XBox 360, smart phones, tablets, etc.). It supports profiles for particular devices so that it can be tuned to maximise the device's potential and/or minimize lack of media format playback support (via transcoding).
A NAS (network-attached storage) media server is an enclosure with slots or bays for hard drives and has the ability to distribute files/media throughout a network. When using a NAS as a media server, it will need to have a decent processor and RAM/memory.
Its purpose is to provide high-quality video to one or even multiple sources without buffering. If it has a slow processor or small amount of RAM, then it will be more susceptible to buffering or lag. The NAS can perform transcoding to deliver one type of media to any type of device.
A computer set up as a NAS media server is basically a computer that is specifically being used to distribute files and media. Generally, a computer set up as a NAS media server should be dedicated to this task, and maybe a few smaller tasks.
It should not be bogged down by other processes such as web browsing and everyday typical computer uses. Its main purpose is to store the files and media on its hard drives, then distribute and/or transcode them when needed.
I definitely suggest using identical, red, NAS hard drives in a NAS enclosure or computer being used as a media server. I recommend either the Seagate Iron Wolf NAS HDD or Western Digital Red NAS HDD. Below is a comparison chart of the 2TB (Terabyte) model from both Seagate and WD.
Next, you need to connect the NAS media server to the home network. Delivering high-quality media to different devices will require a high network speed. Your media server will have issues delivering media to devices if it has a slow network speed such as 10Mb/sec.
When I began the process of setting up my Mac as a media center, I found that other guides were specialized for Windows PCs or left out important functionality that made it less fluid to use. I thought that sharing my experience of creating my media center would hopefully help users who also want to get some use out of their old Macs.
Naming your media takes a bit of time, but is worth it in the long run, since if it can recognize which files you have, it can automatically download metadata and pictures to make the experience much nicer.
Plex will do its best to automatically identify and match your content. You can help that process out and give yourself the very best results by ensuring that your content follows our media preparation guidelines.
The Plex Media Server comes with the Plex Web App, which allows you to control Plex and access your media through any browser. Again, this should launch automatically and start the Setup Wizard when the server is run for the first time.
We suggest, at this point, that you prepare a test folder for each media type, add libraries, and see how it looks in Plex. Try some movies, TV shows, home videos, music, and photos. You can always go back and update the library, delete it, recreate libraries, or start over with a new library.
Once you have downloaded the app, make sure you are on the same local network as the server. If both are on the same network, everything should work, and you will be able to browse and play media from the device.
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Not only the app supports the popular media format including MP3 and MP4 but it also supports other formats including FLAC, CUE, APE, and M4A among others.I also love that Vox supports both Tunes and personal music libraries. Not only that, but the app also supports streaming music via SoundCloud, YouTube, and more than 30000+ internet radio stations.Other features of the app include gapless playback, enhanced stereo sound, bass audio engine, a cloud storage solution for all your music, and more. Putting everything into the right perspective, Vox Media Player is a top-notch iTunes alternative for Mac.ProsConsSupports several file formatsExporting playlists seems a bit slowSupports both Tunes and personal music librarySubscription-based pricing30000+ internet radio stationsSupports streaming music via SoundCloud, YouTubeSupported Platforms: macOS, iOS, WindowsDownload: (Free, $4.99/month)
Thanks for your recommendation. iTunes had troubled me quite a long time. I tried some alternatives here. Work fine! I also downloaded a media transfer program WinX MediaTrans. It is great to sync photos, songs, movies and books.
Available services: turn_on, turn_off, toggle, volume_up, volume_down, volume_set, volume_mute, media_play_pause, media_play, media_pause, media_stop, media_next_track, media_previous_track, clear_playlist, shuffle_set, repeat_set, play_media, select_source, select_sound_mode, join, unjoin