After I became a Novell ECNE and CNI, back in the 80’s or early 90’s, I promised myself that I wouldn’t have a network in my house.  Now, my office has a 24 port switch and 9 computer systems (including two Macintoshes) and I’ve networked two buildings here on the property. Oh how things have changed.

I’ve had a Windows server here for a very long time – it has 6TB of storage and I use it to backup all of my other systems (I backup my primary Macintosh computer to an AirPort in a different building). I also sync all of my iTunes music (a lot of it and ALL legal) to it, then stream it from the server to my SonosSonos box (I LOVE SONOS!!!) connected to my office stereo.

I recently upgraded the home stereo and have really enjoyed RadioIO, Pandora and other music services playing on the stereo. What I miss though is access to my music library. Sometimes you simply want to hear everything you have from a particular artist or listen to a particular CD, and the services my stereo can access don’t support that. I’m waiting for Sonos to add support for Spotify.

The new stereo can stream music from a media server, but my Windows Server 2008 box doesn’t include one and I couldn’t figure out how to add it to the server. I downloaded the Wild Media Server, but it wouldn’t let the receiver connect to it no matter what I did and the answer I got from the Wild folks was a recommendation that I not use their software. Crikey!

I was thinking of upgrading my server to the latest Microsoft Small Business Server, but instead was reading Robert X. Cringely’sRobert X. Cringely’s column about cloud computing and the ClearOSClearOS.. I thought I’d install that OS on one of my boxes and see if I can use it as a replacement for my Windows server.

Right now I only have Sonos boxes in my workshop and my office. If I can get the media server working, I can finally listen to all of my music in the house. Wish me luck!

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