Using Bubba as media server

After testing a lot of different media center solutions for the PC, as well as trying to convert an ASUS WL-500g Premium running OpenWRT into a media server, I realized I’d like to listen to some music and watch some movies, and not just try to get the underlying technology working.

So I bought a Bubba. Nice little box, I especially like that there is no fan and that power consumption is low. I have placed in the closet next to the wireless router and modem, so whatever little noise it makes no-one will hear it.

An important reason for choosing the Bubba was the very active and helpful community around it. I have several times been very pleasantly surprised at the speed with which Excito’s (the company behind Bubba) staff reply to questions. A bonus is that it runs pretty much a standard Debian, so there is plenty of software to play around with.

On the negative side… Well it only has 128 MB memory, which is really on the low side if you want to run a LAMP server together with some media streaming software. As I have a Squeezebox connected to the stereo, running Slimserver on the Bubba was high priority. Initial tests weren’t too successful, but the good people at Excito helped out and even put together a full Debian package with Slimserver and other needed software. The web interface to Slimserver is a bit sluggish and indexing of lot’s of mp3s isn’t lightning fast, but it works and does what you expect it to do.

As for media and other features the Bubba comes pre-configured with UPnP and DAAP, a real mail server, print server etc. Good stuff!

To sum things up, I now have a really small, energy efficient, secure, silent backup/file/media server that is running 24/7.

Oh yes, a bonus with the Bubba is that it is quite easy to set it up to automatically back up your PC (or Mac). With a 500 GB drive in the Bubba and using rsync to copy only changed files from the PC to the Bubba, backups are easy and invisible. I had a recent bad experience with some spyware that crippled the PC, and that got me thinking about good backup solutions.

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One Response to “Using Bubba as media server”

  1. Jframe Says:

    Thanks for your informative post.

    I just bought a BubbaServer 1 (80gig) on sale for $200, for the purpose of using it in connection with my squeezebox duet. I need to install slimserver, but I’m not at all familiar with Linux programming procedures, etc. Are you aware of any step by step on how to do this?

    Thanks,
    – Jordan

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