Streamline with a Jinzora media server

By   |  September 27, 2007

All good geeks have access to a spare server. And in most cases that server, whether it is a hosted server, a spare one at work or home or a friend’s, is probably underutilised. Put that spare capacity to work with Jinzora and access your media files over the Internet, no matter where you are.

We all have gigabytes of music files that we lug around with us on disks, hard drives or personal players. Now you can streamline your life with a streaming media server that runs through any browser and can be as accessible as you want it to be over the Internet with Jinzora. So next time you’re travelling and just have to hear that song you can, even if you don’t have a copy with you. Or if you just want to share your awe-inspiring music collection with office colleagues.

Installing Jinzora is easy, if you know your way around a browser and have a passing knowledge of databases. But even without the latter you should have no hassles.

You will, however, need to have the Apache webserver, PHP and MySQL running on your server. Chances are you already have all that is required, but in case not, follow the instructions on UbuntuGuide.org if you’re running Ubuntu Linux, these instructions for a source install or find the appropriate RPM files or source files for your Linux distribution. If you’re running Mac OSX try Mamp for an all-in-one tool to install Apache, MySQL and PHP. On Windows You could use Wamp for the same purpose. Make sure you have a database root password and username and that you remember them.

For this install I’ll assume you’re running Linux but if not, the installation for other platforms is almost identical.

Once you have your server running it is time to install Jinzora. You can download a copy here.

Download the .tar.gz or .zip file and decompress it in your webserver root directory (typically /var/www/):

tar -zxvf jz275.tar.gz

You could jump straight to configuring Jinzora at this point but it is a good idea to run the configure.sh script first. Running it sets up the directories for your coming install (configuring permissions etc). Which you could do manually but running the configure.sh script is quicker and easier. You will need to run this as root or as the user that owns the webserver directory:

sudo sh configure.sh

Now your’re ready to install. Open up your browser and point it to http://localhost/jinzora2/ This is the home directory of your new server and it will prompt you to answer a number of questions before the install.

These steps are pretty much self-explanatory with just the following couple of issues to look out for:

– Make sure that in step six you select “true” to the option to “create database”. This will create the necessary database and tables for your Jinzora server.
– Remember the username and password you enter at this stage (of course).
– Depending on your setup you may need to alter the permissions on the directories housing your media files. (Read this tutorial if you’re not comfortable with changing directory ownerships and permissions.)

As soon as you have completed the steps you’re, almost, ready to go. Just one last thing: Delete the install directory before you run Jinzora for the first time to prevent security issues.

Now pointing at http://localhost/jinzora2/ will prompt you for a username and password (if you set it to ask for one) and you’re ready to play.

One bug that does appear to affect some users (it did me) was a problem with the default style of the player. On first login Jinzora threw up a style error. This is relatively easy to fix using this tip from the Jinzora help forum:

In the backend/backend.php file find this line:

if (!includeable_file($skin,"style")) {

and put these lines just before that one:

$skin="slick";
return;

That should fix it if you do suffer this problem.

The default Jinzora interface is not the most attractive or intuitive but with various styles can be customised to your needs.

Of course the standard disclaimers apply: If you’re making your server available on the Internet get yourself a decent firewall. Sharing other people’s music without permission is generally frowned upon and is likely to attract unwanted attention. Other than that, have fun.

Via LifeHacker.

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