Do you own an iPod, or use iTunes heavily? Do you want an easy way to access your server’s music on iTunes much the same way that HP MediaSmart Server users can? Well, HP used the Firefly Media Server in part to accomplish what they did. And we are going to show you how to install FireFly.

Don’t forget to check the WGS Wiki for updated versions of this tutorial, and for other great tutorials!

What you will need

  • Remote Desktop Connection or Advanced Admin Console
  • Bonjour – Yes, this is in fact required.
  • Firefly Media Server – The most current version is build 1696, and does work on Windows Home Server
  • Firefly WHS Add-In – Download this to your “Add-Ins” directory on the server.

What to Do

First things first, download the installer files to your Windows Home Server, either directly to the desktop, or copying them to a network share. After you have done that, install Bonjour. Bonjour is a required component, as it is needed to properly talk to iTunes. Don’t blame me, it is how apple wrote iTunes.

After Bonjour is installed, run the setup for Firefly Media Server. First it will give a splash screen with general info. Click “Next”. Then it asks you to Agree to license agreement. Read through it, and click “I Agree” if you do agree to it. Installing to the default location is fine, so click “Next”. The next path is the default location for music. Set this to "D:\shares\Music", because the installer will not let you choose a network location. This is fine. Click “Next” and it will install the files, configure the program and start the service. Click “Next” and then “Finish”. If you have used remote desktop, you will notice a new system tray icon.

Now load up the console if you aren’t running everything from the console already, and install the Firefly WHS Add-In. Once the console has restarted, you can access the settings for Firefly in the settings page for WHS.

Done

Now you are done. There aren’t a whole lot of options for FireFly, but there is a number of plugins for it. I may cover those later, but for now, you have Firefly!

Additional Info

FireFly Media Server will index all of your files in the folder you specified. This may take a while, and it will not be available properly until it is done.

Also, when FireFly Media Server tries indexing corrupt files, it crashes. I’ve personally ran into this problem, and many others may also. So I’m going to post the method to fix it that I found on the MS WHS Forums:

  1. Once you are at the console, use notepad to edit "c:\program files\firefly media server\mt-daapd.conf"
  2. Change (or add, if it isn’t there) an option called "debuglevel" with a value of 5 in the "[general]" section.
  3. Then, delete the "songs3.db" file (in "c:\program files\firefly media server") and start the firefly server.
  4. It will crank around, indexing the music for a while. At some point it will crash. When it does, look at the log file in "c:\program files\firefly media server\firefly.log".
    Find the last song it tried to index and move it out of the way. Then start it again and repeat as necessary.

Credits

Thanks to ssart over at MS WHS forum for posting the solution, and to Ron from Firefly forums for writing the solution.