REAL basics for a new user

I set up OSMC on my Pi about 6 months ago and so far I still struggling to figure out how to take full advantage of this system.

So let’s start with the basics. I can listen and play content directly from the Pi using a monitor, mouse and keyboard. But what I had in mind when I started this project was to be able play content from this media server on any one of the Windows 10 pc’s in our house and on the same network. So far I have not figured out how to do that. Do I need special players on the PC’s?

Am I mistaken? Is OSMC not a server which makes content available to other devices? Thanks…RDK

You can do that, in fact my OSMC has just started showing up My Windows 10. There are different ways to do this depending on exactly what you want but probably the easiest is to:
Settings>Services>UPnP/DLNA and check the top two boxes, these should be ‘Enable UPnP support’ and ‘Share my libraries’

It certainly can do that, but that’s not its primary function - first and foremost OSMC is designed to support Kodi, which is a video player/client rather than a server.

Either follow @jb2cool advice or install Samba Server from MyOSMC App Store.
Generally it is a question if you mainly want to have a file playback or you want to make use of the Library function.

https://kodi.wiki/view/Main_Page

How do you want your movies to show up?

Like files? (In which case install the SMB Server like @fzinken mentioned)
Like an indexed movie list (In which case enable UPnP/DLNA)

Many thanks for all of your responses. Maybe my misunderstanding relates to “Media Server” and I was expecting (or thinking) “Streaming Media Server”. File sharing via SAMBA is something I do with all of my other Pi’s, that is basically file downloading, not streaming (as I understand it).

I’m looking for a system to stream files from a server device when requested by a client device. I guess OSMC is not that type of server? Thanks…RDK

If I double-click on any of my films whether it’s by SMB or UPnP/DLNA the file will play on my computer, this is being streamed over my LAN as the file resides on my Vero 4K. I don’t really understand what else you want it to do.

If you have a library setup in Kodi and you enable UPnP server as explained above then any UPnP player should pick it up whether this be a smart TV, Kodi on a PC (with the RPi added as a UPnP source), or directly though Windows 10 file manager. If you have tried doing it in Windows and you are seeing the whole file transfer before playing then you need a different player (Win10 Movies & TV app seems to work okay).

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OK folks. I give it a try again, but it seemed to me that the files were being downloaded before being played. A streamed file should start playing immediately, where a downloaded file won’t start until it is fully on the client. More later as I repeat my experiments…RDK

If we’re talking about a full bit-rate remux of a 1080p blu ray movie, downloading it completely via ethernet from a Pi 3B+ would take 10-15 minutes. Does it take 10 minutes to start playing?

If you directly open it from Windows Explorer via UPnP connection it will act like that in some (most?) players. I would guess that is just how MS implemented it to allow even non-UPnP aware players to work. You wind up with a situation that the stock default player (Movies & TV) will play it immediately but if you use VLC to directly open it the whole file transfers first. If you open VLC and open the UPnP source from playlists, which is how that app expects you to do it, then the file starts streaming right away.

With head down and hat in hand I like to apologize for my misunderstanding of how this system works. It is functioning exactly as you said and doing what I wanted. Last weekend I transferred several large video files to the USB memory stick on that Pi and then viewed them from two different Windows 10 PC’s. All worked fine. Thanks for your patience.

I did encounter one problem when transferring large files (greater that 1GB) from my Windows PC directly to the USB stick using SAMBA. In that case I had to transfer them, also via SAMBA, to my home directory on the Pi and then from the Pi’s command line move them to the USB. Any ideas about this?..RDK

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How is your USB formatted?
I think people have reported an issue currently with large files between Samba and exFAT

I formatted it on Windows 10 as FAT and OSMC command line “cat /ect/fstab” it as vfat.

I was a bit surprised that OSMC command line did not recognize “lsusb” command?

Thanks…RDK

VFAT could be one of the problematic filesystems

Nothing to be suprized, it doesn’t make sense to install all those tools by default.
sudo apt-get install usbutils will provide it.

Thanks for the info. It all makes good sense. For now I will stick with vfat as there will be several members of my family using the OSMC share and, for now, I don’t want to get tangled up in the security/permissions associated with ext4.

For big files, I use my workaround or mount the USB stick on a Windows PC for the transfer.

Thanks again…RDK

I got my new 64 GB USB3 memory stick yesterday. I tried to format it, but vfat is not an option, only ext4 and NTFS. I suppose that now access to this drive on OSMC/SAMBA will be limited by the disk ownership credentials? As I stated above I’d like to allow other members of the family to add content. Ideas?..Rob

Giving access via the network? Should be not a permission issue.

OSMC on my Pi did NOT like the 64GB USB exfat memory stick!!! Sustem crashed during a bootup.

Both my original 16 GB vfat and the new 64 GB exfat USB sticks were directly connected into the Pi. Removed the 64 GB stick and it rebooted cleanly. Is there something special I need to do to use this USA stick on my OSMC Pi?..RDK