I have started on a journey to centralize all my digital assets in a central computer (a.k.a server) in my house. The server will have all my digital photographs, music & video. The easiest of the three is to move my photos from my desktop to this server. The current plan is to stream audio to the music systems in the house, and use Xbox 360 Media Extender to stream video (DVDs) to the TVs in the house. I am considering using Windows Home Server for the central server. Though I planned it a long time back only today have I finally started it, will keep you posted on how it goes.
The time-consuming and manual process is to convert all my old audio cassettes into Audio files (MP3, WMA) and to convert all the DVD/CDs into Video files (WMV, MPEG-4). This is the reason I was lazy to actually kick-start the process.
In this effort to have a fully digital archive, I bought Slim devices Squeezebox from Amazon to stream audio to music systems a few months back. Only today I focussed and got it working. The device was extremely easy to configure both Wired and Wireless. The tough part was getting the SlimServer installed on the Windows PC and having the firewall opened correctly. These two articles were very useful: How to set up in Vista [slimdevices.custhelp.com p_faqid=6026] & Firewall Settings in Window [slimdevices.custhelp.com p_faqid=5956]. When I finally got the device working, I was surprised to see it showing Tamil (Unicode) characters. It didn’t come correctly (as I guess it doesn’t have full Indic Rendering support) but it showed Tamil Glyphs and we could guess the rest.