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Donzi
2007-11-08, 14:43
I think I'm this >< close to getting remote access of my flac files working from my home server to my work computer. There's just one last thing I seem to be missing. Here's what I have so far. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I have my router set up to forward ports 9000 and 3483. I know my outside world local IP (which isn't static, so I'll need to keep up with it when it changes) and my work IP (which is static). I don't have SSH or any other security set up yet but will do that once I get things working. I was hoping to keep it simple at first and then add complexity once the basics are working.

Anyway, I can enter http:\\local_IP:9000 into a browser at work and have access to the server so the ports are OK, right? I couldn't find any forum posts or FAQs that mentioned the need to change any other server settings.

My player of choice is Winamp 5.5 since it installs without admin privileges on my corporate pc. I tried softsqueeze but had issues - the mouse pointer would disappear when I moused over the player rendering it unusable. Might be a java issue but I can't update java due to lack of admin privileges.

I tried Winamp with both an mp3 file and a flac file and it plays properly through the pc. The flac files play fine off the server locally with my SB3.

My problem comes in trying to play the stream from the server. I entered http://local_IP:9000/stream.mp3 into the "open URL" dialog box accessed from the Winamp File menu. Is that the right place to enter it?

I can remotely queue up a flac file on the server. What next? Do I hit play on the right side of the server window? The play button seems greyed out and 'Now stopped on 1 of 1' is displayed. BTW I'm using the fishbone skin. I can see my work IP address in the box on the right side of the server window. It doesn't give any indication that it's actually playing anything though. Any special trick to get it to play remotely?

Do I have to hit play on Winamp also or will it stream automatically? It tries connecting but then times out.

I don't have LAME installed because I want to stream the lossless flac files. Is that a problem? Is it safe to assume that since I can control my server remotely I should be able to receive the streamed music and that my ports/firewall/etc are not a problem?

What am I missing?

Thanks, Don

andyg
2007-11-08, 14:45
stream.mp3 is mp3, so you need LAME installed. You have to hit play on both Winamp and the web UI.

andyg
2007-11-08, 14:46
I forgot to add, if you want to stream FLAC you should use Softsqueeze.

Donzi
2007-11-08, 14:55
Really? Doh! Thanks for the info - I assumed it mean't streaming in general and it was up to the player to decode whatever the stream was. So softsqueeze is the only thing that can be used to stream flac?

Trying softsqueeze again...

For some reason the mouse point disappears when I mouse over the player though and I can't tell what buttons I'm hitting. I managed to find the preferences and entered my local_IP (just xx.xx.xx.xx and not xx.xx.xx.xx:9000, right?) Now it been on 'Please wait. Connecting to Slim Server.' for a while.

At least when the prefence dialog box is open I can see the mouse pointer. :)

andyg
2007-11-08, 14:59
Softsqueeze will need to be able to connect to your server on both ports 3483 and 9000.

jeffmeh
2007-11-08, 16:56
Also bear in mind that you will be using much more bandwidth to stream FLAC than MP3, and your ISP may limit your upload bandwidth.

Donzi
2007-11-08, 17:56
Good points!

I have both ports open in my router and it seems pretty clear than 9000 is open at work since I can get to my server with http:\\local_IP:9000 but I'm not so sure about 3483. Is there any program or command line utility that I can run at work to confirm if a port is open? In any case Softsqueeze still isn't working. Back to the drawing board tomorrow.

I hadn't considered my upload speed. My cable upload is a measly 384 kb/s so I guess I better stick with mp3 for now. I installed the latest Lame encoder and everything seems to be working but the proof will be if it works remotely tomorrow.

I'm still going to try to troubleshoot Softsqueeze too.

Thanks for your help.

JJZolx
2007-11-08, 19:19
I hadn't considered my upload speed. My cable upload is a measly 384 kb/s so I guess I better stick with mp3 for now. I installed the latest Lame encoder and everything seems to be working but the proof will be if it works remotely tomorrow.

You'll also need to find a bitrate that the cable connection can support. I'd be amazed if it can do 320 kbps mp3. I have Comcast cable with 768 kbps upload speed and even it couldn't handle streaming much above 192 kbps reliably. Go to player setting for your work connection Audio > Bitrate Limit and fiddle with the streaming rate until it's reliable. To increase the audio quality, set the LAME quality level higher than the default 9 if your server can handle it. I think I used 1 or 2 and my P4 3.0Ghz server had no problems.

Squid
2007-11-09, 08:08
I have both ports open in my router and it seems pretty clear than 9000 is open at work since I can get to my server with http:\\local_IP:9000 but I'm not so sure about 3483. Is there any program or command line utility that I can run at work to confirm if a port is open? In any case Softsqueeze still isn't working. Back to the drawing board tomorrow.


I think you would be better off using SSH. (Edit: I just noticed you first want to try without, but as you will read below, chances are it may in fact not work without SSH but it is almost certain to work with SSH).
First of all there's simply the security issue. If you open ports 9000 and 3483 on your router, anyone on the Internet could connect to your SlimServer. I know you can enable a userid/password for the SlimServer, but these will be sent unencrypted over the Internet and a hacker could still get in sooner or later. Also, if there are vulnerabilities in the code of SlimServer (which is almost a certainty), a hacker could exploit those as well. SSH uses strong encryption and authentication making it much harder for a hacker to gain access to your SlimServer (and ultimately your entire home network).
Second reason is just practical. As you already discover, chances are that connections to port 9000 or whatever exotic port number just don't make it to your home PC. The reason may be your employer but could also be your ISP. SSH on the other hand is a widespread and standardized protocol and most if not all employers and ISP just allow this port.
What you then do is:
* At your home PC you will need to have an SSH server/daemon running.
* you setup an SSH connection from your work pc to your home PC. You however setup that connection such that it tunnels ports 9000 and 3483 through the connection.
* then instead of pointing your browser, your winamp, etc... to your home PC address, you point it to 'localhost'. These connections will work because the SSH on your work PC will accept them and then forward any data it receives through the SSH connection to your home PC. All SS related traffic will thus be encrypted and go over the SSH connection which won't be blocked by neither your employer nor your ISP (because basically they don't even see the data nor destination ports).
* an extra advantage is that you can point your webbrowser and winamp always to localhost, even if your assigned IP address at home has changed. The only thing that would then change is the address that your SSH should connect to.

Detailed instructions of the above are a bit beyond the scope of my post though ;). I'm pretty sure there are tutorials available online.





For some reason the mouse point disappears when I mouse over the player though and I can't tell what buttons I'm hitting.


There's an option in Softsqueeze called Touchscreen mode (under the Skin menu) which would cause what you describe. So you may want to check that the option is turned off.

Donzi
2007-11-09, 10:25
Thanks for all the detailed information but I think I'm SOL. Squid, SSH certainly sounds like the way to go both for security and for port issues but I think my companies security might trump it. I ran a port check (https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 and http://www.whatsmyip.org/ports/) and all ports are blocked (or stealth per grc). I'm sure it's some form of security that's beyond my knowledge but my outside IP address as seen by these sites is different from the IP address I see when I run ipconfig. Anyway, even port 22 for SSH isn't opened so I guess I'm out of luck.

What I still don't understand is how I can see and control my server despite the security measures. Isn't that port 80? Port 80 shows as blocked too but I can still control the server. I recall reading about a trick with router port forwarding to port 80, or something like that. I guess I'll have to see if that works...

At least my wife is enjoying this. Her work is less secure and the mp3 streaming to winamp is working fine for her. :)

Mark Lanctot
2007-11-09, 12:32
Port 80 is HTTP, web pages. If you can see web pages then GRC is wrong about port 80 being blocked (this wouldn't be the first time, although your work may be doing adaptive blocking, it senses a port scan from GRC and blacklists GRC's IP address).

So you can always see your SlimServer web page as long as you can see other web pages.

I'm not sure but I thought Hamachi tunneled control through port 80?