About a year ago I bought myself a psp off of the local auction website TradeMe, New Zealand’s answer to eBay, and have since used it mostly for listening to music and not a lot else. Sure I’ve used it for gaming, and struggled with using it for the internet, and just recently I’ve started watching videos (though due to the hassle of converting them not many), but music has been its main use. I own a 2gb memory stick duo for my PSP, but still seem to be endlessly copying music on and off from my computer, thinking “there must be a better way”.

And it was about half way through last year that I discovered this great program called TVersity. Designed for streaming music and video from a windows machine to external devices, I have slowly watched it grow to be able to support the XBox 360, Playstation 3, PSP, as well as some wifi cell phones and other computers through a web interface. Now what makes this program stand out to me was that it would add my music to rss feeds, that it generates on the fly from album, artist or genre, that i can save to my PSP rss feeds list, and stream music, which has been great to listen to my music around the house across the wireless network without having to transfer it on first. You can also download from the web interface to the PSP if you wanted to do that as well.

One of it’s other great features, and it is the combination of this and the streaming web interface that make it so great, is that it can stream video, and convert it to streaming formats on the fly. No more converting all your videos into various formats on your computer, having 3 copies of everything and having to spend days creating them. Now I can watch my favourite episode of Stargate or The Simpsons from my TV through my 360 without having to spend time transferring, encoding and copying.

As of writing this, TVersity is in version, and only supports windows. Here is where i come unstuck a bit. About 2 months ago i installed Ubuntu on my machine, creating a weird Ubuntu-vista hybrid that has slowly become more and more Ubuntu oriented (except for those awesome games that unfortunately only work well on windows, :p ) and of course I have had to boot into windows to do my media streaming, or else I have to use my laptop, samba file sharing and some very interestingly wired networking to get it to go. This seemed like more trouble then it was worth, but still figured it was easier then copying files all the time, and i was using my windows laptop as a wifi access point linking everything together wired to my media pc server box anyway.

Well, as it would turn out, I’m not the only one who has has trouble finding TVersity, loving it, but only running a UNIX-based OS. So after half an hour searching the forums on TVersity’s website, i found a post going back over a year asking for a Linux port, and the general opinion was that it would happen as soon as version 1.0 has been released. We’ll we sure are getting closer to that. The other interesting thing i found was that the general public has found ways to get it working for them on Linux, even if only temporary and with some features disabled. The first of these was to run it under WINE, a windows emulation program for Linux. This worked for most things, except for the real-time encoding of the streamed media. I don’t know about anyone else, but that is one of the most useful things that TVersity has to offer, so that solution is worse then just booting windows. The second solution seems to be to run VMWare, and virtually boot windows inside Linux, and run the server that way. It still seems to be a long winded way to get the job done, but I’m pretty keen to try it out and see how it goes. I have been meaning to play around with virtual machine software anyway, this might be an excuse to get it done sooner.

Another thing that has got me excited about using TVersity again is that the latest firmware update for the PSP has added divx codec support, and allowing streaming videos through rss just like the music, instead of having to download the videos before watching them. That is something I’m really looking forward to playing around with, especially if i can get TVersity to convert and stream to the PSP nicely and can leave my movies and tv shows sitting raw and full quality on my computer for sharing purposes to other computers, tv’s etc.

I guess I’ll have to write a follow-up post about my media streaming progress, if i get around to doing any more to it any time soon.