Feb 232014
 

Introduction

Thecus

As you’ll no doubt recall from my earlier 2012 article, I have a NAS in my home office.  It is a Thecus N5200XXX 5-bay Network Attached Storage device, and it sits on my home gigabit network.

The Thecus features an OS which accommodates pluggable “modules”, one of which is a licensed copy of Twonky Media Server. 

twonky

Twonky is a DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compliant media server which broadcasts (via UPnP) to media receivers on your local network.  The server has device profiles for a range of media receivers, and is pretty easy to configure.

N5200XXX 
N5200XXX

Configuring Twonky

The majority of functionality Twonky exposes is fine out-of-the-box, but there might be some cases where you’d want to modify or augment functionality.  In my case, I wanted to change the way Twonky displays Pictures and Videos when viewing by date (to sort by most recent, and by Day instead of Year./Month).

To make changes you’ll need to hand edit the various Twonky configuration files – a warning up front – if you aren’t confident in messing with configuration files, this might not be a step you want to entertain. 

Accessing Twonky configuration

As would be no surprise to many network gurus, the Thecus module files aren’t directly accessible via a Samba or NFS mount.  This means you’ll need to employ a different approach – namely secure shell (SSH) – in order to get at the Twonky configuration files.

Here’s an easy to follow guide on configuring and using the Thecus SSH module, or see below

  1. Install and start HiSSH module on your Thecus NAS
  2. Activate the HiSSH module (by default it is configured to use your admin account’s password)
  3. Use an SSH client to connect to the NAS (using user: root)

Personally, I disabled the SSH module after I was finished accessing the NAS.

Free SSH Clients for Windows

If you are running a version of Microsoft Windows, these SSH clients are worth a look:

For this article, I’ll be using winSCP as it has a nice Explorer-style User Interface and allows the use of interaction with your clipboard for copy/cut and paste operations.

Accessing the Twonky Configuration

Once you’ve authenticated, you’ll find the main module files under the path:
/raid0/data/module/Twonkymedia

Warning!  Before you attempt to make any changes to any module files, I highly recommend making backup copies of any files or folders you want to modify.

In my case, I wanted to edit the device configuration for all devices, so I navigated to the following path:
/raid0/data/module/Twonkymedia/twonky/X86/resources/views

image
Click on the image for a closer look

Opening the view-definitions.xml file, it was a simple matter of replacing the “bydate” container configuration under the video container configuration, with this:

<container name='bydate' id='video/date' sortcriteria='-dc:title' 
           createClass='object.item.videoItem.movie' class='object.container'> <container buildon='dc:date[1:10]' sortcriteria='+dc:title'
           createClass='object.item.videoItem.movie' class='object.container'/> </container>

I made a similar change for the Pictures container object.  Once saved, the Twonky module needed to be disabled and enabled again.

Useful Links

http://community.twonky.com/twonky/topics/twonkymedia_dis_order_my_music_tracks
http://community.twonky.com/twonky/topics/combined_year_month_day_nav_tree

Feb 122013
 

To some an ‘Agile’ project means delivering value to a client or business more frequently than with other methodologies.  This can be achieved, with the right people, the right sponsorship within the right organisation which is open to the concept. Other times, trying to run a successful Agile project will look a lot more like [...]

Jan 192013
 
New Equipment: Rega RP1

Time for a little “off topic” content. Just after Christmas last year, I ponied up the cash to purchase a new turntable.  The new equipment – made in England – is the Rega RP-1 and includes the RP-1 performance pack factory fitted, and I bought the “cool grey” finish.  Because my Sony Muteki amplifier doesn’t [...]

Nov 122012
 
Far Cry 3 Experience

I’m always a huge fan of the immersive gameplay experience, and the folks at Ubisoft are very, very good at it.  Ubisoft are the name behind some of the most successful game franchises in recent memory, from Assassin’s Creed, Driver, Far Cry to the Tom Clancy series (Rainbow Six/Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon). It’s been [...]

Nov 092012
 
A Brief History of My Headphones

As good technical people may tell you, a decent set of headphones can be the difference between a productive day and a really productive day behind the keyboard.  Being able to zone into the task at hand is made so much easier by an immersive sound, and excellent acoustics. Over the past decade and a [...]