Transforming NAS into Music Cloud

For a long while, I have been using my QNAP 419+ NAS (Network-attached Storage) to store all my media, including my mp3 songs ripped from my CD,  photos and home videos. The good thing about storing them in NAS is I do not need to worry about replicating and synchronising these media files  into devices where I want the media to be played in.  My NAS runs a Universal Plug and Play (UPNP) server (powered by TwonkyMedia), so any “UPNP capable” device (mobile phones, tablets, TV, etc) can just stream musics, videos or photos wirelessly from the NAS.

Music over Cloud

If there is any shortcoming of such set up, it’s that the media content can only be accessible within the home network. (There’s also a encoding challenge, but that’ll not be discussed here) I don’t think it is a big problem for photos and videos, as I would usually share them via my Picasa Album  (for Photos) and YouTube (for Videos) if I want my family and friends to view them. However, for more than 2000 of music tracks that I have (in my NAS), I would not be able to access once I am in office, or on the road. For a long while, I have to make a copy of my mp3 library in my phone’s storage, until I recently discover that there’s a solution to overcome this shortcoming, thanks to the developer of Bubble UPNP.

Apart from downloading the Android App (from here), I need to install and run a Java-based software in my NAS. The prerequisite of this is therefore a Java Runtime executable available in my NAS. For a long while, this is the biggest stumbling block, as there is little support for ARM5 platform for Java, and I begin to regret not getting the x86-based 439 NAS. But it appears that Oracle has started the support for ARM5 platform, and here’s how I installed Bubble UPNP software in my NAS

  1. Download Java SE for embedded from here. You need to fill up the feedback form from Oracle though.
  2. Place the downloaded file (ejre-7-fcs-b147-linux-arm-sflt-headless-27_jun_2011.tar.gz) in the NAS’s /share/Public directory
  3. Download the JRE 1.7.0 package for QNAP from here
  4. Install the QPKG (QNAP Package) via the QPKG centre, accessible from the NAS administrator panel.
  5. Download Bubble UPNP server from here and follow the installation/execution instruction from here.

Viola, with a quick configuration on both the server (accessible via browser) and the Android client, I can now start accessing my mp3 over the internet, any time, anywhere!