I've come up with a quick pet project (which might, maybe, even end up being useful at my home someday); the idea is to allow users of a Linux device (I'll call it A, and it'll probably be a small embedded one) to play music that is stored in other computers (I'll designate those by B), located in the same local network. The difference between this and straight-out streaming would be that, in this case, B would be as passive as possible, merely making the files available, and A users would be able to view shared files and select a target for playback.

I haven't found ready-made solutions for this case, though I'm sure many of them are bound to exist. So my question is what would be the easiest way to do it: through a ready-made solution or, if one is not available, through combining various applications and standards (NFS?) or coding it out.

  • There are tons of already-built things which do this, pretty much any much player can play from a network share. There are even fairly cheap boxes you can buy and connect to a TV that will play music off of shares (of the appropriate type). Like, say, a PS3. Please be more specific, this is hopelessly lacking in focus...
    – derobert
    Oct 17, 2012 at 20:19
  • You may or may not want to use a sound server: Sending audio through network Oct 17, 2012 at 22:52
  • Since it was a pet project anyway, I really didn't have a very specific focus. But thanks everyone, I'll be looking into those media servers.
    – userBigNum
    Jul 23, 2013 at 22:47

3 Answers 3


When it comes to streaming media and sharing files, you have several options. Some are more compatible with others. I would be interested in knowing what OS or application system B is. This might help:

Linux <-- SMB --> Windows
Linux <-- Netatalk (AFP) --> OS X
Linux <-- uPNP --> Most Media Servers regardless of Operating System

The easiest way would be to use SMB ("Windows File Sharing") on both machines. B will share folders full of files, and A will browse those folders. There are numerous clients and a couple of SMB servers available for various distros and DEs.


As for a ready-made solution, how about giving OwnCloud a try? It would run on B and any A can use it to playback music stored on B, with the integrated media player or any Ampache-compatible media player (Or you could just use Ampache, of course.)

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