PP2, MP4, And Lots Of Problems RRS feed

  • Question

  • So, I have WHS running with PP2. Have plenty of unprotected AAC files in the music folder.

    Wanted to confirm that I could stream my AAC (MPEG4 audio) files from WHS, so I used my Denon AVR-3808CI to connect to WHS and stream some AAC files. The Denon is UPnP, PlaysForSure, and DLNA compliant. It worked great, so I know WHS is doing its part and serving up the MP4 files.

    Then I went to play the files from Windows Media Player 11 in Vista Ultimate. Sharing was already configured, so I could immedately see "User 1 on WHS" as an available source of remote media. All of the tag data was appearing correctly and I browsed to a song that I knew was AAC. The song failed to play due to a missing codec.

    Makes sense I guess that WHS isn't doing any transcoding, so I then went and downloaded the Orban AAC codec and installed it. I tried again to stream an AAC file from WHS to WMP11 and this time it said "codec acquired," paused for a moment, and then failed to play with the same missing codec message.

    Thinking that maybe I misunderstood the functionality, I decided to try to play the AAC files from within Windows Media Center. There was no way to even browse the remote server from WMC, and I soon realized that WMC only works by adding the WHS Music folder as a monitored folder in WMP11. I guess WMC can't act as a streaming client for a remote library.

    Fine enough. I let the WHS Music folder be added as a monitored folder in my library and wait for it to populate. It populates but none of the AAC songs are showing up at all. I do a little research and find that for a WMP11 library to pick up MP4 files that I need an extension to add tag support for these files. I find and download the appropriate tag support plug-in, install it, stop monitoring of the Music folder, delete my library, restart monitoring the WHS Music folder, and rebuild the library.

    This time I get all the tag information and all the AAC files in the WHS Music share show up in my local library. I try to play an AAC file from my local library within WMP11 and - guess what - IT WORKS! Cool! So now I know the Orban AAC codec is working. Just to double-check I go into Windows Media Center and, as expected, can easily play AAC files from my local library with no problems.

    Once again I try to play AAC files from the remote libary using WMP11 and I can't. I get the same problem as before. Now I think maybe the Orban codec doesn't work with remote libaries. So I search the Internet and find a few other codecs that claim to work with WMP11 to play AAC files. Either I can't get them to work or they exhibit the same issue as the Orban codec.

    One final thing I do is go to a "virgin" Vista machine that hasn't been messed around with like my machine, and I try from there. Same issues.

    So . . . after that long introduction. Am I doing something wrong? Or am I misunderstanding the functionality WHS is supposed to provide in terms of streaming MP4? If WHS is supposed to stream MP4 to any Windows Media Connect client and since WMP11 is a Windows Media Connect client, shouldn't WMP11 be able to stream AAC files from the remote libary on WHS - assuming the right codec is installed? Why should I have to add the WHS Music folder to my monitored folders? I want all the library information to stay in one place - on WHS - and be able to access that library from any client without having to build a local library at each client. Even if we assume that for Windows Media Center that it "must" use monitored folders based on however it is architected, why doesn't this work in WMP11?

    Can someone set me straight or can someone tell me if and how they have WMP11 playing AAC files from WHS PP2 "User 1" remote library (not monitored folders)?

    Thanks for any help and guidance!

    Saturday, April 4, 2009 4:49 AM