UPnP woes

I’ve had various successes and failures with my media sharing system. I’ve got a whole network of programs set up so that I can add, remove and update my various media at home – mostly videos of course. I’ve got Samba set up so that I can share files throughout my network, and Universal Media Server set up so that I can watch videos and podcasts on various devices throughout my home. So far, everything’s worked out quite well to stream all of my movies and TV shows. All except VLC.

Since version 2.2.0, VLC has had issues with Universal Plug-and-Play streams. Either it would not find the media server, or if it did, it would have issues playing the files. Recently, VLC updated to version 2.2.4, and with it, they’ve inexplicably removed the UPnP network streaming option altogether. I haven’t found any reason as to why, exactly. There’s been no mention of the omission on their site, or in the changelogs as far as I can tell. It’s very frustrating to have to stream my videos via Samba file sharing, since I can’t use the more interesting features that media servers offer, such as live subtitles and playlists.

I do know that VideoLAN is going through a huge rewrite with their next update to 3.0, and I’ve tried out some of their nightly builds. It does seem that they are re-adding UPnP support, but in their most recent builds, it seems that even selecting that option crashes the program. So it might be some time before I can use my favorite media player to stream my shows and movies. Til then, I’ll just stream my shows either via Samba, or via the lightweight web server that Universal Media Server offers.

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