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Friday, June 8, 2007

Organizing all your audio with Jinzora

If you are like me and like to keep all your music stored on you PC for easy access, you are going to love this.

I have all my music saved on my main PC (one of the 11). I’m kind of a neat freak when it comes to computers, so I keep it all organized by Genre => Artist => Album => Music.

A while ago I was looking for a server type where I could store all my songs and have easy access from the network. That’s when I stumbled on Jinzora’s name on the Ubuntu forum. It’s a great application that let’s you import all your music information to a database (My SQL) and easy access it from anywhere with a browser (LAN or WAN). Here’s is some screen shots and a link for a live demo:

Some of the features included are:
- Import music information by folder (like me) or by ID3;
- Use different players, even a built in flash player (XSPF);
- Download music;
- Download album art;
- Download lyrics;
- Create users and playlists by users;
- Play random cds, artists or songs;
- Others

I literally felt in love with the application. Requirements are not that high. Any old Pentium 3 PC is more than enough for an in-house streaming. I’m using a Pentium 3 (about 500MHz) and 384Kbps upload to my ISP. I was able to stream to 3 different users at the same time over the Internet with no problem.

You will need a LAMP OS, which can be achieved easily with Ubuntu. Just follow the steps here.

Now configure your web server using the configuration files. I’m not going to get into that here.

Once your server is up and running, web/php/mysql are installed, it’s time for us to create a user and database on MySQL. This can be done easily by using the following commands:

$ mysql -u root
mysql> create database [database];
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON [database].* TO '[user]'@'localhost'

Copy all your media to a folder on the server. I actually bought a new HD and mounted it to fstab. I was stupid enough to buy an 80Gb HD, and I’m now getting close to being full. You can also mount a NFS or SMB share.

After that, download Jinzora to your server (See for download link) web root folder (usually /var/www), extract the tar.gz file, change the folder permission/ownership (to web user) and execute Jinzora:

$ sudo tar -xzvf [file]
$ sudo chown -R www-data [jinzora folder]
$ sudo chmod 777 [jinzora folder]
$ sh

You can now use a browser to access your install page, either from another PC or from the same ([Jinzora folder]). The installation is pretty straight forward from now on. It will give you information if something is wrong, which you can search on the web or on the Jinzora official forum for an answer.

One common error msg will be in regards to your PHP configuration. It will show something in regards to this:


You can change these settings on “/etc/php5/apache2/php.ini”. Open:

$ sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

Press Ctrl+W to find value and change it to the value indicated on the web-based install page. Ctrl+x to save.

If you are not sure about the “Create Database” field on step 6, just simply use drop and recreate (if it’s a new database).

Don’t forget to delete the install file after you are done. Access the web page (computer address/Jinzora folder) in case you don’t know what the file is and Jinzora will remember you.

Installation is done. Now we can tweak a bit of the options from the main Jinzora page.

Go to the Jinzora page and logon using your admin password. Click on Admin Tools button (looks like a hammer and a screw driver), go to System Tools => Settings Manager => Main Settings => Playlist and add the value “xspf” to “embedded_player”.

Another important thing to add (in my opinion) is album art. Admin Tools => Meta Data => Retrieve Meta Data.

You can also add lyrics by going to Admin Tools => Meta Data => Retrieve Lyrics.

You should now be set. Open a port on your router/firewall or just listen from anywhere on your LAN.


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