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Rubbish YDL How-To 1: Streaming MP3s From A Mac

Since I’m finding it very difficult to keep Linux commands in my head, and basic Linux information seems to be damn near impossible to come by without endlessly clicking through unsearchable mailing list archives, I thought I’d start writing up things that have taken me a while to work out here, under the snappy series title ‘Rubbish YDL How-To’s.’

This is mainly for my benefit, but since I know absolutely nothing about using Linux, they might be helpful for people in the same boat. Folk who do know something of Linux, feel free to point, laugh or suggest alternative methods.

Anyway, before I installed YDL, my old iBook was mainly used to download files with P2P applications and play MP3s over the WLAN in my house, from the new iBook and the external drive plugged into it, so these are the things I’m keen to get up and running as soon as possible.

First of all, here’s how I’m streaming MP3s over the network. What follows will doubtless be heresy to experienced Linux users, but it works. (Reading forums and mailing lists I am beginning to suspect that anything one Linux user does is considered heresy by all other Linux users, and vice versa).

The following assumes you’re have one Mac running YDL 3.0 and another running OS 10.3.4, though they may well work with other versions of the two operating systems.

First of all, you need to get the YDL computer and the OS X computer talking to each other. There’s lots of ways to do this, but the only one I had any luck with was using Samba which is installed by default with YDL. (And, just to confuse matters, is meant for connecting Linux computers to Windows computers.)

Here’s how to set up Samba so your YDL computer can use files on your OS X computer:

  1. On the OS X computer, open System Preferences > Sharing and check the box next to Windows Sharing.

  2. On the YDL computer, first you need to make a directory where you can mount your OSX computer as if it were a CD or drive. Since there’s a mount directory already there, it seems reasonable to put it in there. Open up a terminal and type:

    mkdir /mnt/ibook

  3. Next, you need to get your mount on. Turn back to the OS X computer, and at the bottom of the Sharing Preference Pane, it’ll say something like this:

    Windows users can access your computer at \\yourusername

    Take a note of that, and turn back to the YDL computer.

  4. On the YDL computer, in a terminal, type the following (all on one line):

    smbmount // /mnt/ibook -o workgroup=WORKGROUP,username=yourusername

    As you can see, that’s the smbmount command followed by the address given in the Sharing Preference Pane, followed by the directory you made in step 2. The last bit tells Samba what workgroup you want to join - wittily called ‘WORKGROUP’ by default on OS X - and your username on the OS X computer.

  5. After you type the smbmount command above, some information about the OS X computer will appear on screen, followed by a password prompt. You want the password associated with ‘yourusername.’

  6. Now, if you didn’t get any error messages, you’ll be able to navigate into the /mnt/ibook/ directory you made before, and inside will be everything found in your Home directory on OS X. I’m guessing that if you’ve bothered to read this far you’ll know how to do that. If not, to see a list of everything in your newly-mounted Home directory, all ready to be used by the YDL computer, you could type something like:

    cd /mnt/ibook


With your Home directory mounted, you can now happily add MP3 files from your Music folder to whatever MP3 player you’re using on YDL. I’m using something called XMMS, which isn’t exactly iTunes, but does the job.

If you keep your MP3s on an external hard drive, there’s another step to make them available to the YDL computer. (Never having heard of symlinks, this is the bit that took me a while to figure out.)

  1. On the OS X computer, open Terminal, cd to the Desktop and type something like this (again, all on one line):

    ln -s /Volumes/ExternalDrive/MusicFolder/ FakeMusicFolder

    The ln -s bit tells the computer to make a Symlink, which is the same as an Alias but works with all sorts of computers, not just Macs. The next bit is the folder on your external hard drive you want to make a link to, and the last bit is the name you want to give your Symlink.

  2. That’s it really. Have a look inside /mnt/ibook/Desktop/FakeMusicFolder, or whatever you chose to call the Symlink, and you should see all your MP3s waiting and ready to be played over the network.

Other options I’m looking into: using web-based streaming apps like Netjuke or Andromeda (which would maintain the playlists I have in iTunes) and getting Appletalk running. Yes, Appletalk.

Next up: installing Bittorrent. I’m finding it increasingly ridiculous that when using Linux I can work out how to stream MP3s over a network with relatively little trouble, but haven’t yet managed to install the one application I really need!

Posted at 8pm on 03/08/04 by Jack Mottram to the linux, mac category.
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  1. I don’t suppose you fancy letting me post a copy of that to my LUG’s wiki?

    It lives here:

    Posted by Rob at 9pm on 03.08.04

  2. Not at all, Rob - though I’m really not confident that any of it will work for anyone not using my two computers, right now!

    And I wish I’d happened upon the Samba tutorial on the wiki during my endless Googlings last night…

    Posted by Jack at 9pm on 03.08.04

  3. Er, can OSX do NFS? If so, why not use it instead of samba. It’s more Unixey.

    Posted by c0NZ at 12am on 04.08.04

  4. Yeah, it can - I tried that, and various other options, until I found myself trying to use AppleTalk of all things, and decided that since Samba was the only one that I could get to work I’d stick with it!

    Posted by Jack at 9am on 04.08.04

  5. anymore of this gobbledygeek and i shall cancel my subscription.

    aghast of agreasby

    Posted by bobbydad at 10am on 05.08.04

  6. Hee - I’ll stop soon, promise. My internet friend Hobbes said the other day that reading what I write is ‘like listening to a little japanese man and being mesmerised by him talking away while not understanding a bloody word he is saying.’

    Posted by Jack at 11am on 05.08.04

  7. Subj.
    Anybody have?

    I’ts better, if you have XRumer 5.04…
    Gimme url


    Posted by JungleDirector at 9pm on 06.01.09

  8. Thats what I’m talking about lol :)

    Posted by GLikey at 4am on 07.01.10

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