Entertainment: Asus O’play file share w/ Windows 7

A bit of a different post from the norm since this deals with IT in entertainment rather than the normal work IT, but seems to be a useful. @ Home I do not use any cable, TV or satellite description. Instead I prefer to rely on digital media centers. In fact I’ve gone through my fair share of media centers. In my experience, XBMC has by far the most appealing UI. But there are some viable alternatives if you’re not inclined to built your own hardware etc. Abroad there is a better selection of more capable media centers, but in Malta unless you pay for a VPN connection there’s no netflix or hulu, so an even simpler media center would do.

I settled for the Asus O’Play, which I purchased for under 100 euros from Scan. It does everything it says on the box: easy to setup, plays any video encoding content I throw at it, and has a decent enough UI (far below XBMC’s standard though). The only issue I had, is using the file sharing capabilities of the O’play with windows 7. Seems like the Asus disregards the username and password when connecting to the windows 7 share, which windows doesn’t like, and denies access.

Reading some forum posts, it turns out the O’Play has telnet open, and is running a basic Linux OS underneath. From that point on it was easy to manually setup the fileshare. Here’s how I did it:

1. First of all ensure you have the correct file sharing settings on windows 7. 

To allow anonymous file sharing, change the following settings:
– advanced filesharing : allow sharing without password
– registry : everyoneincludesanonymous

Otherwise, do as I did and allow filesharing using an appropriate username and password

2. Give your Asus an IP address (settings > network)

3. Telnet to this IP address. When prompted, enter a username of “root”. No password is required.

4. Enter the following commands:

cd /usr/local/etc/
vi rcS

5. Use the arrow keys to move to the very end of the file. Once there hit the “I” key to enter edit mode. Press “enter” a couple of times, and append the following to the file:

mkdir /tmp/ramfs/volumes/shared_vids

sleep 30
mount -t cifs -o username=anonymous // /tmp/ramfs/volumes/shared_vids

In the above example:

– is the IP address of your windows 7 machine, change this as necessary

– “shared_vids” is what will appear in the Asus O’player under the “Movies > Storage” section, and it is what you’d use to access your shared content. Feel free to change this. Just make sure you change the “shared_vids” in the third line to match what you choose.

– the above example assumes anonymous files sharing. I prefer using a username and password, so in the third line I actually used:

mount -t cifs -o username=username,password=password // /tmp/ramfs/volumes/shared_vids

Note the above is on a single line.

That’s it, done… the shared content should be accessible with your O’PLay under Movies > Storage > shared_vids.


Sidenote : once you go through the above, you can now transfer shred content to an external USB HDD attached to the o’play by running a command from telnet similar to:

cp –r /tmp/ramfs/volumes/shared_vids/movie.avi /tmp/ramfs/volumes/ext_HDD/

You’d need to change the above to suit your needs, if in doubt consult the man pages for “cp”

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