Media Server

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Revision as of 09:35, 26 June 2007 by Gateley (talk | contribs) (Tracking Down Problems)

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How does Remote Server differ from Library Server?

What is Library Server?

Library Server gives users access to their library from any computer on the network or on the Internet, as long as both computers run the same version and build of Media Center.

It provides on-demand streaming of files (music and images) from a server to a client. The server is the one that makes its library available to other computer, while the client is the computer that sees those files. It allows the user to share the library from one computer to another computer, or across the Internet.

You can listen to your home computer's Media Center library at work. You need to run the Server on your home computer, and the client on your work computer. Both computers must have the same version and build of Media Center.

Using Library Server

On the server, in the Organization Tree, select Services & Plug-ins, Library Server and click the start button. You need only start the server once; it will automatically start whenever Media Center opens.

On the client, from Media Center go to File > Library > Search for Library Servers. Media Center automatically finds any Library Servers running on your local network. Or you can specify the server in your list of libraries (if the Library Server is not running on your local LAN), go to File > Library > Library Manager and select "Add". Type in a name and enter the server's IP address in the location field.

To disconnect, on the client go to File > Library and choose a different library.

To stop the server, expand Services & Plug-ins, choose Library Server and click the Stop button.

Library Server cannot share a library that is not loaded. It will only share the library currently in use.

Automatic File Conversion/Transcoding

You can set Library Server to automatically convert some lossless file types (ape, wave) to mp3s to conserve bandwidth.

To enable, on the client go to Tools > Options > Library, check this option and then select the original file type in the drop down-menu. Some file types permit more advanced settings.

If transcoding is done, then you will not be able to seek in the track. Transcoding makes it harder or impossible to jump to random parts of the track.

The option must be set on the client, not on the server.


By default, Library Server advertises its presence on the local network, so that clients may connect without knowing the address of the server. This works by sending the IP address and port the server uses via UDP's broadcast mechanism. The broadcast will only go to the local network, it will not cross routers (Auto-detection will not help when trying to listen to your home collection at work).

If your server is not at home, in a secure environment, turn off the auto-detect feature.

On the client, searching for Library Servers (File->Library->Search for Library Servers) will automatically connect to the server if it finds only one, otherwise it displays a list of the servers it found for you to choose.

Choosing a Port

Library Server is configured to choose the first available port number between 80 and 90. Port 80 is quite common, and often used by other programs. If you are not using auto-detection, choose a port explicitly in the options.


If your Library Server is available to the Internet (or if you are not sure if it is), use Authentication. In the server options, enable Authentication and set a user name and password that must be provided by the client before the connection is allowed.


The Library Server client uses Internet Explorer's proxy settings.

One case that may require more care: when a proxy is used for general Internet access, but the Library Server and Client are both on the LAN. In this case, set the Client's IE Proxy settings to include an exception for the Server's IP address. Thanks to StarBand Guy

After the Library is Served

You can play your media on the client, and create playlists. But any changes you make on the client are not saved on the server.

A possible way to use personal playlists is a conversion to M3U (File -> export playlist -> export to M3U). Store your converted playlists in a separate folder on your local drive and add this folder to auto-import. Your playlist(s) will appear in "Imported Playlists" Note: Don't forget to update your M3U playlists if you made changes

The client will send play count and last played information back to the server.

Library Server and DVDs

Library Server cannot share DVDs across the network. Library Server uses the HTTP protocol to transfer files: where there is a filename in a local library, there is a URL in a shared library.

Playing a DVD relies on 3rd party code: J. River does not control this code. The 3rd party code does not correctly handle URLs, only filenames. This may be by design, to prevent sharing DVDs over networks.

To be more technical: DVD playback is different from other video file playback in that it uses a DVD Navigator filter instead of a regular file source filter. Therefore the URL source filter is not useful here.

Sharing DVDs between multiple computers on network is achievable using Library sharing DVD Library in Media Center.

Library Server and Audible

Library Server can share Audible files, but only without conversion.

Burning CDs

Library Server does not currently support remote burning of CDs (on the client).

Tracking Down Problems

Checking the IP address and port

To check the IP address, open a command window (start->run and type cmd). Then use the command:


It will return a result like (many lines not shown):

Windows IP Configuration

Ethernet Adapter ...:
IP Address:

This means the server is using IP address The port that the server uses is displayed at the top of the status page on startup. Many problems arise because of confusion over the port number. To be certain, choose a port number on the server, start the server, and make sure the server starts. Then use this port on the client.

Manually Test the Server Connection

With a web browser, connect to

Replace with the IP address of the Library Server, and 80 with the port the Library Server is listening on. The web browser should ask if you want to save a file. If it doesn't, there is a firewall or proxy preventing access.

If a large library is failing, create a new smaller library and share that. You must load the smaller library on the Server machine before connecting from the client.

Examining the Library

On the server, the library is compressed into a zip file. This file is located in the temporary directory, in

JRTemp\Library Server Library - <random number> .zip

The temp directory is usually something like:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp

Firewall Considerations

Library Server uses 1 TCP port, this port is displayed on the status page at Startup. This port must be allowed through any firewalls between the client and server.

Library Server also uses 1 UDP port for "Search for Library Servers". If you want to be able to search, the port 5556 on UDP must be opened. The client sends a UDP packet with destination port 5556, destination address, and the server replies.

NAT Considerations

If the client and server are not on the same network segment, the client must know the IP address or name of the server. "Search for Library Servers" will not work. One way to find this out is to enter in a command window:


However, most home machines are behind routers that do NAT (Network Address Translation). They'll have addresses that look like 192.168.x.x or 10.x.x.x. The router translates this into a real internet address as needed. If your server is behind a router like this, you will need to know your server's IP address ( will show it) and you must configure your router to port-forward traffic to your Library Server.

For example, my server's IP is, and my router's IP is, and I run Library Server on port 80. From inside my router, I connect to, and from outside I connect to In addition, I have to configure the router to forward all traffic destined for to