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I want to turn my Pi into a wireless media streaming device. e.g. I will have it in my house with some movies and songs on it and I will turn it on and connect to it using my Wifi on phone.

I have come to the conclusion that there are two potential solutions to my problem:

  1. Turn your Pi into a Wifi Router so that people connect to the network

  2. Run a web-server which serves browser/apps the files they need from the Pi's base.

For the second option I have located many online resources on how to accomplish the setup. However, if I have a server on the device, will it be accessible from connected devices? Which webserver would you suggest for this?

For people familiar with Piratebox:

Is the PirateBox ROM suitable for customizing according to my requirements? For instance am I able to employ access control on the files being hosted. (I don't want my siblings to have access to all files being hosted)

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  • If you have a reasonable understanding of javascript i would be glad to help you with option 2. Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 3:17

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Your best bet would be to go with DLNA, it's a standard for streaming video and audio from a local server. Google "Raspberry Pi DLNA server" and you'll have your choice of tutorials. On the device side, you just need DLNA client apps (again, iTunes/Google Play search for "DLNA client" will get you what you need). It's worth noting that on Windows, Media Player has this functionality built-in.

An alternative may be Plex, which has an official app for phones so you may have a better experience than with DLNA. If you go down this route, I'd recommend at least a Pi 2, a friend of mine tried this with an older Pi and it was not powerful enough to stream content in full detail.

Both DLNA and Plex will have authentication methods so you can deny access to whomever you choose (for whatever reason).

One final note - since both these protocols operate over a local network, there's no need to connect to the Pi directly. If possible, I'd recommend connecting the Pi to your router/network via Ethernet (for the best bandwidth) and then using your router/WiFi access point to stream from the Pi.

Alternatively use the Pi as an access point, connect it to your router and set up bridging or connection sharing, so that your devices can still access the internet.

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