Solving The Problem Of Media Streaming From High Capacity Hard Drives

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Sheepskin & Trilby
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:02 am

Solving The Problem Of Media Streaming From High Capacity Hard Drives

Post by Sheepskin & Trilby » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:06 am

Unless You have an Audi you are stuck with using a USB pen drive or an SD card, not really an issue until you remember that a 10 year old Audi will happily accommodate all of the files in a 500Gbit drive and a Kodiaq will just look miserable, with a frowny face emoji letting you know that there are just too many files to read.

Kodiaq owners will, when they are finally fed up with hearing the same two SD cards over and over have to stop the car, take a long walk across the middle of the car to the other side pres the correct button on the passenger storage box, no not that one its full of heated gloves. Now all you have to do is eject the SD cards and put in two new ones which you have labelled with the drives contents, oh too small, tough luck.

I already hear you saying that there's a USB socket right next to the driver, I can use that ! True, except it will only make the set of files available to the people at the front of the car, with the 'control' screen. So everybody occupying the seven seats of the car has to listen to what the people in 'control' select, from the limited files available,32GBit appears to be it as far as capacity goes. Also the USB socket has your dash-cam plugged into it, and you don't want to unplug it because you might miss the Tele-tube money shot that could earn you thousands of pounds, if only Skoda gave me a 'recorder' option with all the cameras fitted to the car.

Use the phone Luke. How many phones do you own with a 500Gbit media drive. Stream it from the internet. Right, find the media source and continually fiddle until you find something you want to listen to, then keep a signal that's capable of streaming, not very practical.

Even if you don't have a dash-cam your pen-drive still has a restricted number of files that the Kodiaq can read. Just unplug it and put in another. Not so, because the 'infotainment' system is a virtual computer you have to 'eject' the drive first, unless you want to destroy the drive, and we have all done that. This means a slightly shorter trek to the 'media' button on the 'infotainment' system, going into settings, scrolling and then pressing eject, where you hope it is the drive and not the passenger seat that is removed. By the time you have done all of this, you will have taken your eyes of the road for so long you will probably have crashed the car, so you claim the insurance and buy an Audi. It's a solution, but not the best solution.

A practical solution !

A simpler way to read high capacity drives in your car. But, if you are not technically minded don't bother reading beyond here, find an 8 year old that can translate for you.

The issue centres around the number of files that the computer can read and point to and then index, it will take a time to index a large number of files and will eventually display them, but if you try to play one it will show, 'no content available'. a bitter disappointment. The solution is to bring another computer to the party, but one that will work with the car.

This 'buddy' computer arrives in the form of a wi-fi router, with a USB socket, because those clever people in Germany though it may be a good idea to have 2.4GHz WiFi in the car??? However finding a useable router is not as easy as you might imagine.

The obvious choice is a Toshiba DWW100. Plug your dive in at one end and a 5Volt supply in the USB port at the other end then just find the signal by using WiFi 'search' in the settings and select WiFi as the media source. No, you can't have that its an 'open' source and so not secure. Dump the Toshiba and find something that is WAP-2, that's password protected in simple terms. And this where the difficulty lies. Most small portable WiFi routers with USB, like the Verbatum MediaShare Wireless, appear ideal. Lots of similar things are available on auction sites; but they all appear to have one problem, they are designed for phones and need an 'app' to access the files, and you can't put a phone access app on your 'infotainment' system. And, because of the complications involved, you are you likly to want to use it. You need something relatively simple with clear simple access.

The solution is simple, but slightly bulky, use a home media router. The problem is that you need to run it from 13.8Volts and they do not all work with your car. A point to remember is that routers that run from 19Volts are likly to be able to run in your car as the reduced voltage is only likly to reduce the signal level transmitted by the router. Ability to do the job, the faster they work the better say 450MBit, this will means it is likly to stand a chance of quickly cataloguing your files. You should be able to plug in a USB connector and at least one if not two hard drives. A good unit will allow up to 2Tbit on each socket.

A good but aging router, say 5 years old, should be capable of being ready to use within three minutes of power-up. You will need to power up each time because you will have to unplug it from the utility socket each time you leave the car as the sockets remain on and you are likly to want to drive away without recharging the battery.

Once you have selected your router and before you have installed it into the car, you will need to enable the WiFi, give it an SSID ( a name) that the 'infotanment' system can find and importantly a password and if you are so minded set uer permissions. Then connect your fully loaded hard drive via the usb port, it will spend a time flashing at you, that's it indexing with the router. Providing you do not change the port it is plugged into or the content, this should not happen again, but if you do add more content, or remove content, the drive will need to re-index and that is best done at home, rather than flatten you car battery.

Not all USB drives will work. I have found that many high capacity solid state drives are a real pain. Sure they take a very low current and have no moving parts, but often they are password protected or are incredibly slow, or just to not work with media streaming. You can buy good quality 1Tbit mechanical drives for about £40 and they work well, use them.

Clear simple indexing make the drive easier to use. Music is listed by decade, plays separated from talking books and comedy and then by title alphanumeric. You can find your own solution.

Advantages, more than one user can log in to the router so all 7 people in the car can listen, and probably watch their own media that they have asked you to load. If you drive a lot at night then you never need to wonder what to listen to again only select from a vast choice in your media bank. Forget flaky SD cards and USB pen drives, one media source and a virtually unlimited audio selection. 1Tbit is a lot of audio, more than you will listen to over a couple of years, even if you drive a lot.

I have this system up and running in the car, happy to take sensible polite questions !

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Re: Solving The Problem Of Media Streaming From High Capacity Hard Drives

Post by Vaclav^2 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:31 am

Good it works for you, to me it seems over engineered for a problem that doesn't really exist in the first place.

Child 1 - Got her iPhone and listens to Spotify all the time with sometimes a bit of Apple Music
Child 2 - More into her independent music productions and utilises Sound Cloud all the time on her iPhone, and a bit of Apple Music.
Wife - Primarily Apple Music again with auto generated play list that refresh and update.
Myself - LBC Radio combined with Dad Rock from Apple Music and Spotify.

Our phones, 32Gb, 128Gb, 64Gb and 256Gb...Plenty for our personal choice to be refresh and the latest versions to be downloaded locally to the device automatically.

Don't know where you live but even on my most recent travels in Russia, Armenia and Turkey I was able to access all my stuff from the cloud. Let alone when I'm in the UK...I'd say solutions that you engineered there was something that was done about 10 years ago, had it linked to headrest and ceiling mounted screens as well. And when parked in the garage I used rsync to synchronise with my home media server.

Updated mobile technology and cloud services make it all redundant unless you can't get the internet, but you have to be pretty remote :) In my opinion naturally.

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Location: Maidenhead

Re: Solving The Problem Of Media Streaming From High Capacity Hard Drives

Post by stevekhart » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:32 am

In the UK mobile data is expensive £/Gb so for video streaming on the move local media is preferable. Usually the kids will download their media prior to a long journey onto their tablets, but failing that I have a small Plex server running from a "WD My Passport 1Tb". Occassionally they forget and I'm left without data on the car SIM!
Kodiaq Edition 2.0 TDI 150 4x4 DSG 7 Str Petrol Blue, black leather, tow assist, heated rear seats, canton

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