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  Topic : [Problem]How to load DLNA Media Server Files New Topic
Horgas
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Posts : 173
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Tech Points : 11
From: Canada
Posted:2/1/2012 12:40:00 PM # 1
Hi there,

I got this router to replace my somewhat antiquated setup of switches, routers, and local backups.  Long story short, everything is up and running now except for one of the key features why I bought this router in the first place, and that is DLNA media server.  I have hooked up a 2TB drive to the router, enabled DLNA under USB applications > Servers Center > Media Server and am using the latest firmware 3.0.0.3.90.  All of my DLNA capable devices detect the router as a DLNA server and I get the standard menus, that is Music, Videos, Pictures, and Recorded TV.  However, I see no default folders on the actual HDD created by the router to load media into so...

What is the problem here?  How do I actually load media into the appropriate libraries to have them be accessible across all of my devices?

Also, it looks like I can only create/add folders into the Backup directory on the router.  That seems kind of silly.  I do not understand why I do not have access to the root of the drive.

Thanks for the help!

Edit: Definitely all of my DLNA devices are seeing some "default" configuration containing Photos, Videos, Music, etc. but there seems to be no way to add any media to these.  What the hell is the point of this thing being a DLNA server if you cannot load any media to it???  This is so freaking frustrating! >:

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Trancewarp
Posts : 14
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Tech Points : 4
From: Canada
Posted:2/1/2012 10:39:00 PM # 2
Good point! I asked the same question. After spending days trying to find information on it and not being successful I did a technical inquiry and the only way to do it is to put all your files in the root directory :( It would be nice to keep all the files in their own organized directories but you won't see them there. Maybe there will be another firmware update soon... Asus are you listening!!!

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Asus RT-N66U B1- DSL line 15Mbps down, 1Mbps up - I don't know a lot but what I do know I'm willing to share :)
Horgas
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Posts : 173
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Tech Points : 11
From: Canada
Posted:2/1/2012 11:44:00 PM # 3

Quote:
Author: Trancewarp Posted: 2/1/2012 10:39:00 PM

Good point! I asked the same question. After spending days trying to find information on it and not being successful I did a technical inquiry and the only way to do it is to put all your files in the root directory :( It would be nice to keep all the files in their own organized directories but you won't see them there. Maybe there will be another firmware update soon... Asus are you listening!!!

Wow, you're kidding me...so I have to dump everything into the root of the drive without organizing any of the files into their categories **and** I have to do this external to the router (i.e., I have to load and manage files with the drive plugged into a computer and cannot manage them at the router)?!

Wow!  Talk about false advertising!  Not exactly a DLNA media server is it <_<  In fact, checking at the DLNA site, this thing is not even DLNA certified.  Bah! >:

I will try to put all of the files in to root of the drive and see if that will get them to show up on the devices.  Just wow, a $200 router and this eh...I am speechless, and not in a good way...

We need a firmware update that allows managing DLNA media server properly, i.e., that allows you to properly manage the Music, Videos, Pictures, Recorded TV, and Movies libraries **directly** on the router and have them be properly linked to the DLNA reported "libraries".  What is the point in even having this thing reporting that it has those libraries when it is impossible to put any files into them or manage them at all.  This is not a DLNA media server then, this is just a file server.

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Horgas
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Posts : 173
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From: Canada
Posted:2/2/2012 1:36:00 AM # 4
A quick update I feel is worth a separate post.

I tried creating a bunch of folders in the root of the drive (I actually just figured out that the drive is sharing the root by default, as the drive label itself, go figure) and while I can create a single-level depth folder structure right from the router, files put into the directories are not really readable.

I loaded an AVI file into a folder named Movies but when trying to play it back from Windows file explorer the file show up like a folder...a folder!  None of the DLNA network devices recognize any content in any of the folders however, so it looks like using a folder structure of any sort does not work with this router with the current firmware.  I will try to dump the files themselves into the root directory and see if any of the DLNA devices I have (PS3, Samsung LCD TV, and my Windows 7 Media Center) can actually play back the contents or if I will be forced to add everything as shares to be able to play content back.

Also, even with the drive unplugged, the router still reports that it has a "library" structure (as it should because it is supposed to be a DLNA media server) but of course as before these point nowhere.  Asus really needs to release a firmware update that would allow us to link the libraries to proper folders containing the media on the attached drive and really improve the file and folder management ability directly from the router.

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Trancewarp
Posts : 14
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Tech Points : 4
From: Canada
Posted:2/2/2012 2:59:00 AM # 5
I can do everything I need from my windows PC via network share. I've also played with the ftp server. I can see the folders and look at files. Add files/folders, delete, etc. I don't have to physically plug the drive into the PC. But when it comes to the media server the files need to be on the root folder. I tried with my PS3, Xbox 360, windows media player and that's the only way it will work. I know there are third party firmwares coming out soon for these routers so I'm going to wait and try those too. DD-WRT and Tomato for anyone interested :)

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Asus RT-N66U B1- DSL line 15Mbps down, 1Mbps up - I don't know a lot but what I do know I'm willing to share :)
Horgas
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Posts : 173
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Tech Points : 11
From: Canada
Posted:2/2/2012 3:56:00 AM # 6

Quote:
Author: Trancewarp Posted: 2/2/2012 2:59:00 AM

I can do everything I need from my windows PC via network share. I've also played with the ftp server. I can see the folders and look at files. Add files/folders, delete, etc. I don't have to physically plug the drive into the PC. But when it comes to the media server the files need to be on the root folder. I tried with my PS3, Xbox 360, windows media player and that's the only way it will work. I know there are third party firmwares coming out soon for these routers so I'm going to wait and try those too. DD-WRT and Tomato for anyone interested :)

Yeah, I have to correct myself in that regard.  The "inability" to access was my own PEBKAC.  I just did not realize that the router shares the root as the default directory appearing in the share with the name of the directory being the volume name.  So yes, writing files and deleting them does work fine.  However, I am yet to test the other portion as organizing media even in the root folder did not work.  I need to see what happens on mine when dumped directly into the root drive without any organization.  Either way, this is not correctly implemented.

Also, when you say that you can use DLNA clients with files dumped into root, are you really using DLNA clients or just clients capable of accessing the SMB root share?  I want to make sure we are talking about the same thing here.  In other words, if you say access your RT-N66U through a DLNA player on your TV, does it correctly categorize all images in the Photos library, all videos in the Videos library, etc. or do you get nothing at all or just a dump "view" of all of the files?  Just to add to this, I dumped a single JPEG into the root directory yesterday (did not know it was root at the time but I do now) and my DLNA certified TV could not see it.  It did not show up under photos or anywhere.

Also, keep in mind that the PS3 (don't know about XBOX) is capable of differentiating media types on its own so it will show the right items in the right categories without them actually being categorized in any way, but generally uncategorized files will appear under Folders or the like in the PS3, and not in pictures/albums, etc.  I hope you understand what I am saying since it is kind of hard to explain without visuals.

Finally, do you mind grabbing an AVI and dumping it into root of the drive and letting me know how it shows up for you when browsed through Windows network shares?  Can you do the same then but have the file reside in a custom folder created under root, say called "Movies".  For me the AVI at least in the latter case shows up as a "folder" and not as an actual AVI file.  I would also need to know what size of drive you are using and what file system...

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Trancewarp
Posts : 14
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Tech Points : 4
From: Canada
Posted:2/2/2012 10:56:00 AM # 7
I think I understand your scenario. I can't say for sure that I am using the DLNA service per say but it's the same way I've shared my multimedia before. I am currently doing maintenance on my drives. I can tell you that I had a 500 GB Passport USB3 NTFS. I used it on the RT-N56U and I could look at the folders and was able to see all the files on the PS3. I don't browse files by category but by folder location. They show up either way. I will do as you ask. It probably won't be until tomorrow. There are definitely drawbacks to these routers as far as the firmware. Asus needs to address these issues but I don't know what it's going to take to work them out.

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Asus RT-N66U B1- DSL line 15Mbps down, 1Mbps up - I don't know a lot but what I do know I'm willing to share :)
Horgas
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From: Canada
Posted:2/3/2012 1:58:00 AM # 8
Here's something interesting I came accross on SmallNetBuilders in a RT-N66U thread that I think nicely summarizes how a DLNA should work and why the RT-N66U DLNA media server does not actually work.

Quote:

I am also interested in this router, also for its DLNA capability but wanted to ask a couple of questions:

Currently I have a Linksys RT-54G, connected with a Netgear ReadyNas Duo. The NAS is connected with an external USB drive where I keep all my music files. This is very robust and I can stream from the NAS anywhere.

The DLNA streaming service in the NAS gui ,includes of course the activation button, a selection where I chose which folder to track for files, and a button to scan this folder for media. I can point to any existing location on the USB I want. Scanning takes a few minutes and thats it. This works fine. My usb is formated in EXT3 as my NAS is faster with this. I am guessing the Asus router should theoretically be faster too with EXT3 formatted drives.

Does the GUI of the Asus router allow for a similar setup?
Asus has this demo GUI but I wasnt sure how one user, scans the folder of interest to construct the DLNA database.
http://service.asus.com/demoui/RT-N66U/RT-N66U/RT-N66U/192.168.1.1/upnp.html
I thought for UPnP the router with its better cpu would be an upgrade to my nas which has a slow CPU for reading off usb.

Thanks in advance


Notice how he states "[the] DLNA streaming service in the NAS gui ,includes of course the activation button, a selection where I chose which folder to track for files, and a button to scan this folder for media. I can point to any existing location on the USB I want. Scanning takes a few minutes and thats it. This works fine.".  This is the key and this is **exactly** what the RT-N66U is **not** able to do.  While the router reports standard libraries to the DLNA client, nothing can be associated to those libraries at all and therefore no true DLNA functionality is possible.  @Trancewarp, what you are describing with the PS3 and XBOX is almost certainly just those boxes browsing the SMB share, because they are able to do so.  I am almost 100% certain that your TV for instance will not be able to browse the content on the RT-N66U.  Another good test of this is actually opening Windows Media Player 12 and in the left sidebar expanding the RT-N66U libraries (should be just below Other Libraries).  You will notice that there is stuff like Music, Videos, Pictures, etc. there but if you click on any of them no media shows up at all.

Link to the original post is here http://forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showpost.php?p=36964&postcount=411

According to some of the posts in that thread, Asus is aware of DLNA issues and is promising to fix them in the upcoming firmware implementation but they do not state what is the "problem" that they are trying to fix.  I personally would not call this "DLNA issues", but rather a "problem of missing DLNA feature".

As for my specific updates, I tried loading the files into the root and while they can be browsed as an SMB share, DLNA client access is still not possible.  I will validate access from my PS3 to the root share files as well tonight, but I suspect that this will work.  However, this is not DLNA access, this is just straight SMB share access (i.e., file server access).  I also noticed some issues with folders/files running and NTFS formatted drive so I reformatted the drive using ext3 which seems to work better overall, at least in the few short tests that I did.  I no longer have issues with the loaded AVI files appearing as folders and folders appearing as files (I had these types of issues when the drive was using an NTFS file system).

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Trancewarp
Posts : 14
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Tech Points : 4
From: Canada
Posted:2/3/2012 12:34:00 PM # 9
New software update today (Feb. 2). Might just fix our issues. So far I've tried it with Windows Media Player and PS3. It's showing my videos. Haven't tried any other media. This is awesome! Asus staff, if you guys are listening you get a standing ovation from me.

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Asus RT-N66U B1- DSL line 15Mbps down, 1Mbps up - I don't know a lot but what I do know I'm willing to share :)
Horgas
VIP Member
Posts : 173
Level :
Tech Points : 11
From: Canada
Posted:2/3/2012 3:20:00 PM # 10

Quote:
Author: Trancewarp Posted: 2/3/2012 12:34:00 PM

New software update today (Feb. 2). Might just fix our issues. So far I've tried it with Windows Media Player and PS3. It's showing my videos. Haven't tried any other media. This is awesome! Asus staff, if you guys are listening you get a standing ovation from me.

Can you share with me how you have set up your stuff following the latest FW update?  I already updated the FW, but the AVI that I loaded as test into the root directory of my drive is not visible in Windows Media Player.  Where are you looking for it anyway in Windows Media Player?  All I see there is the Music, Video, Pictures, and Recorded TV, under RT-N66U (same categories as before) and there is nothing in any of the categories.

Edit: So I finally got to test what happens when I have media dumped into the root of the share.  Unfortunately whether it is the root of the share, or a folder in the share, my 1.5GB test AVI file is not visible on any device other than when accessing the file as a network share on my desktop computer.  I also tried many other files, like JPG, PNG, WMV, and none of those are visible as well unless again I am using the desktop computer.  PS3, my TV, etc., do not see any of these.

If you can share your detailed configuration with me that would be great.  I am hoping as step #1 that I can at least see the shared media in the root on the PS3 and using Windows Media Player.  I cannot see anything right now, unless I'm using a desktop computer.

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