VortexBox - open source NAS media server with Auto CD/DVD Ripper & BitTorrent Client

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agillis Offline
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Thumbs Up  VortexBox - open source NAS media server with Auto CD/DVD Ripper & BitTorrent Client
Post: #1
VortexBox is an free and open source Linux based media server distribution (operating-system) that is very easy to install, setup, and use on any computer.

If you looking at having a dedicated networked home media server to store all your media in one place VortexBox will do this for you.

There are many other free appliance like Linux distros out there, such as the XBMC Live, that are designed to be media players. However not many are designed specifically to be home media servers. So I wanted a home media server that would make it easy to rip my media and serve it up to all the different type of networked media players I have on my local network.

VortexBox acts as a NAS for storing files on your home network. VortexBox will automatically rip your Audio-CDs to FLAC and MP3 files and then serve them up to any networked media player including XBMC Media Center, Windows Media Player, Logitech Squeezebox Media players, iTunes, etc. VortexBox also has experimental support for ripping DVD-Video movies to the hard drive. The latest version of VortexBox also has a web based BitTorrent client you can install. If you have a computer or server at home that is on all the time anyway then it might well be serving and getting files from the internet.

If you have any questions or comments please respond to this post.

http://vortexbox.org

Enjoy VortexBox!
(This post was last modified: 2009-05-16 13:57 by Gamester17.)
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kizer Offline
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Post: #2
Hey congrats. So this is an OS that has a ripper built in acting as a NAS? Thats kinda cool. Build a Divx/Xvid/Iso ripper and I bet you'd get hammered on downloads. Wink

None the less I'll give it a try sometime.
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esdubu Offline
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Post: #3
Sounds cool, i'll deffo check it out. If i could make a suggestion then it would be an automatic iso ripper for dvd's with options to remove subtitles and extras etc. Don't know if this is feasible but considering your pushing towards xbmc it would be handy as it's mainly used as a video player rather than audio. Sod Kaleidiscape!! Wink
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agillis Offline
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Post: #4
Yes it's based in Fedora 10 linux. But everything is pre-configured. All you need to do is insert a CD and it will rip it to FLAC and MP3 and tag it. It also downlaods the cover art. SMB shares are already configured so you just point XBMC at it and it sees your music.

I have a semi-automatic DVD ripper for it as well. I can't get it to tell the difference between a DVD and a CD yet. So you have to stop the CD ripper and start the DVD ripper. It will rip the DVD to an ISO file and remove the menu, splash screens, extras, etc. Then it puts them in the movie share. You can also configure it to RIP to DVD5 size files but the default is DVD9.
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kizer Offline
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Post: #5
Can you disable FLAC mode? Meaning only MP3. I don't normally use FLAC and would hate to waste all the space if I don't need to.

I know you have a support forum on your own site, but figured you are here and would ask you a question or 2 and maybe get you a few more eyes here on your project.

Maybe you could setup a mode or a config file that says all media inserted treat it as CD or change the config file to all media treat it as DVD. I'd have Zero issues myself logging in and changing a switch or a config file for that luxury. Linux is such a low level resource user it would be awesome to have things like that automated.
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proudTSUalum Offline
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Question  How do I use VortexBox with XBMC for Xbox??
Post: #6
Ok guys heres the deal...I accquired an old Dell dimension from someone who gave it away on freecycle It comes with 128mb ram and I,m assuming 30GB harddrive (I havent checked the specs yet cux I dont have a keyboard for it) It will become 110Gb when I install this backup hardrive I got laying around. I wanna turn this old clunker into a media center because I cant re-sell it for squat. How do I go about it. Do I just plug the PC directly into my AT&T gateway router or do I install vortexbox first If I even need too because I,m just gonna dump files on it and access it via XBMC on my Xbox?


Also Can I still access files on the PC thats connected to the Gateway without a keyboard or mouse plugged in?

Please Help
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kizer Offline
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Post: #7
I'm assuming your running what this guy just posted earlier.
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=46088

You would install the software that Vortex gave you which basically turns your Dell into a NAS - Network Attached Storage. Basically a file server of sorts. You need to make sure it has samba running or a UPnp server and throw your files up on it and setup your xbox to look for the files.

Basically you need to set that machine up first and then go from there. Or you can install FreeNAS and do the same thing, but FreeNAS isn't advertised as a Media ripper like Vortex is.
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proudTSUalum Offline
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Post: #8
kizer Wrote:I'm assuming your running what this guy just posted earlier.
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=46088

You would install the software that Vortex gave you which basically turns your Dell into a NAS - Network Attached Storage. Basically a file server of sorts. You need to make sure it has samba running or a UPnp server and throw your files up on it and setup your xbox to look for the files.

Basically you need to set that machine up first and then go from there. Or you can install FreeNAS and do the same thing, but FreeNAS isn't advertised as a Media ripper like Vortex is.


Will it work with the computer connected to a wireless adapter and should I install adapter before installing Vortex? instead of PC being hardwired to router? So its not a huge PC tower next to my TV(messes up the Feng Shway) lol
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agillis Offline
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Post: #9
Yes there is a config file in /etc/ripit/config that configures the CD auto ripper. you can set many different params. Including what type of files are auto ripped.
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proudTSUalum Offline
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Post: #10
i,ll also post my initial question on that thread as well
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proudTSUalum Offline
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Post: #11
Ok guys heres the deal...I accquired an old Dell dimension from someone who gave it away on freecycle It comes with 128mb ram and I,m assuming 30GB harddrive (I havent checked the specs yet cux I dont have a keyboard for it) It will become 110Gb when I install this backup hardrive I got laying around. I wanna turn this old clunker into a media center because I cant re-sell it for squat. How do I go about it. Do I just plug the PC directly into my AT&T gateway router or do I install vortexbox first If I even need too because I,m just gonna dump files on it and access it via XBMC on my Xbox?


Also Can I still access files on the PC thats connected to the Gateway without a keyboard or mouse plugged in?

As well will the 128mb of ram installed be an issue in regards to streaming music and video?

Please Help
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agillis Offline
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Post: #12
128 mb or ram is a little low. Upgrade to 256 if you can. It will probability work OK with 128 thought. Just try it an see what happens. You will need a monitor and keyboard to install VortexBox then you can disconnect them once the system is running. VortexBox should be connected the the network at all times. It uses the network to get information about your media.

If you can replace the 30GB drive with the 110 GB drive. It's easier to configure VortexBox with only one drive. If you want to use a second drive you can but you will have to edit a few files at command line. I have a doc for doing this on the VortexBox site.
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proudTSUalum Offline
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Post: #13
agillis Wrote:128 mb or ram is a little low. Upgrade to 256 if you can. It will probability work OK with 128 thought. Just try it an see what happens. You will need a monitor and keyboard to install VortexBox then you can disconnect them once the system is running. VortexBox should be connected the the network at all times. It uses the network to get information about your media.

If you can replace the 30GB drive with the 110 GB drive. It's easier to configure VortexBox with only one drive. If you want to use a second drive you can but you will have to edit a few files at command line. I have a doc for doing this on the VortexBox site.

I,m somewhat of a novice is the editing something a caveman can do lol because I,m not that good with programming. I have two drives that total 110GB, 1 80GB and another 30GB. Will I need to format them before hand because I still have some movies on 1 of the drives, or will VortexBox format it already?
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kizer Offline
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Post: #14
Does Vortex come with VI or Pico installed by default or both?

Editing config files isn't to hard. Most of the time they are commented out meaning they throw a // or # in front of a line or you just have to change the location of something. The config files in Linux have come leaps and bounds above what they used to be since they are normally well commented by that author.

Heres an example of that config file he was talking about. Easy to find things and edit.
http://linuks.mine.nu/gnustep/chroot/etc/ripit/config

The reason I ask about VI or Pico because they are different command line editors. VI is very Unix like and often hard to remember what key strokes do what and Pico is very user friendly since it has the commands right on the screen and hard to screw up.
(This post was last modified: 2009-02-27 20:11 by kizer.)
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agillis Offline
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Post: #15
I would just use the 110GB drive by itself for starters. VortexBox will format the drive for you. Just boot the VortexBox CD and follow the instructions. This doc will also help.

http://vortexbox.org/documentation/vorte...all-guide/

As for editors VortexBox has both VI and pico installed by default. VI for the hard core Linux people and Pico for the Linux newbies Smile
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