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Monday, 20 March 2017

Introduction to UPnP AV using MinimServer

In the Introduction to UPnP I explained that there are three components to UPnP AV, the media server, media controller (better known as control point) and media renderer. The metadata displayed in the control point is defined by what is provided to it by the media server rather than the control point itself. A control point cannot display data that the media server doesn't provide it with, although poor control points can limit the data displayed further.

I also said 
We think MinimServer is by far the most flexible media server, offering a significantly more powerful approach to metadata then the others that let you harness all that metadata added by SongKong and Jaikoz, and we will explain how to do just that in a series of blog posts in the near future. 


So in this post I going to explain the advantage of using MinimServer, in a nutshell MinimServer lets you serve up any metadata to your control point in the way you want. In contrast other servers tend to restrict to the standard Pop/Rock conventions of Artist/Album/Track/Genre/Year.

MinimServer was developed with Classical Music in mind, but there is nothing in the design that limits its use to Classical Music it is just that Classical Music simply better demonstrated the problems with other uPNP AV servers.

Jaikoz and SongKong have always provided one of the most comprehensive metadata coverage of any tagging application. But one frustration is that players such as iTunes, Winamp and MediaMonkey do not support many of the fields that are supported by Jaikoz and SongKong, the only way to make this data visible to users within these applications is using the data as part of the filename, and hope they will eventually improve their metadata field support.

But with MinimServer this data can be served to the customers control point, we just have to configure MinimServer correctly. So we can index songs by fields such as performers, groups, movements, orchestras, engineers, conductors, record labels. We can make use of the sort fields we have for not just artists and composers but other roles such as conductors and producers

In fact MinimServer has many configurable aspects, but lets start with the basics, in the next post we show a vanilla MinimServer installation and compare with another popular media server.

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