This is kind-of like Windows file sharing/SMB, except that a digital media server can be a lot smarter. You get access to traditional media such as picture, audio or movie files, like you would through network file sharing. TVersity though can take things further, supporting:
- On-the-fly transcoding of media into a format suitable for your media player,
- Downloading content from the Internet,
- Streaming media as it is being downloaded or transcoded,
- Tagging of media to present a smarter content view instead of just a traditional directory structure,
- Improved network performance compared with normal network file sharing. I'm able to stream 1080p video rather than having to copy it to the internal HDD
It supports many video and audio formats, including H.264 video, FLAC/AC3/DTS/AAC audio and MKV/MP4/MOV containers. As such I don't really need the transcoding capability of TVersity. What I'm interested in is the content that TVersity can access from the Internet, including:
- Picasa Web Albums (like I did for my BeyonWiz DP-DP1 PVR)
- RSS feeds of music
- Internet radio stations
- and plenty more
Configuring TVersity was a bit tricky because it didn't recognise the capabilities of my media player and was initially attempting to transcode pretty much everything.
I had to modify the configuration file profiles.xml in the TVersity installation directory. I've uploaded the additions here. Insert the new section at the end of your existing file before the line </profileList>. Make sure to backup first.
This defines a new profile for the Astone media player. Specifically this entry defines the HTTP Header used to identify the AP-300:
<HTTPHeader inUASubstr="DLNADOC/1.50|RealtekVOD neon/0.27.2"/>You'll note there are two separate headers defined, since the RealTek chip appears to change the header during communications. This is described here.
The remaining entries define the Internet Media Types or MIME Types and the codec's associated with each. I've tried to fully define the capabilities of the AP-300, but I'm sure there are things missing.
There is also an thumbnail image I created for the AP-300 - which you can download here:
Once you connect via UPnP, the Astone Media Player should now be identified on the TVersity Status screen:
Try playing back existing media on your computer. If that is successful, then you can try to add some Internet feeds to TVersity - you do this from the Library menu.
Type: Audio RSSNote for the YouTube videos in particular, I had to retry playback a couple of times. The first time it starts trying to download, and the AP-300 times out before any content is streamed. Be careful not to start too many downloads or your Internet connection will slow down. I'm not sure at this stage how to playback HD videos from YouTube - does anyone know.
Audio RSS: http://instrumental.podomatic.com/rss2.xml
Title: Dreamweaver's Instrumental Music Podcast
Type: Photo RSS
Image RSS: http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne?format=rss_200_enc&ids=30814434%40N03
Title: Mark's Cat pics on Flickr
Type: Photo RSS
Image RSS: http://picasaweb.google.com/data/feed/base/user/109228047036312897703/albumid/5820610194044843585?alt=rss&kind=photo
Title: Mark's Chicken pics on Picasa
youtube Type: Top Rated Today
Tile: Top Rated YouTube
youtube Type: By User
Title: Mark's YouTube
For Internet radio, I found I had to strip the URL from within a playlist file (*.pls):
For example, the playlist on this page contains URL's I would plug into TVersity like this:
Type: Internet AudioI've found the transcoding function of TVersity to be useful at least for Monkey Audio (*.ape) files. These are not supported naively by the AP-300, and transcoding/streaming occurs very quickly (unlike for video).
Audio URL: http://scfire-ntc-aa01.stream.aol.com:80/stream/1035
Tile: Digitally Imported: Chillout
TVersity runs on Windows only. There are alternatives, check out this list: