Setup your own network attached storage.
Everything old is new again! But smaller.
Getting Kodi/DLNA to work with the Roku was a non-starter, and, amazingly, the following morning Jenny asked me how to get podcasts on the Roku. This is, seriously, a massive gap in the Roku landscape. Sure, Spotify and a few others have their podcast option tucked away in the corner of their flagship app, but there is no “This is THE podcast player” for Roku. I think this is a missed opportunity.
But, after looking around, I found a guy saying the same thing, but that his #1 choice for this simple task is the 500# gorilla called Plex. Yes, that same Plex. And you know what? It addresses the Kodi/MLNA issue, too.
So I set about following this HOWTO to get Plex Server running on the Pi that is currently running Kodi. This quickly brought me to the realization that this should really be done with NFS shares, rather than SMB, as SMB is less efficient. When dealing with these little devices, small saves are big gains. And this is why this blog post is about NFS, and not Plex!
I tried following the same site’s NFS client setup, but something wasn’t working. I eventually found this guy’s page and his client directions worked a treat. Between the two, I eventually had the shares mounted and started populating the Plex database.
If you follow that flow, Pi #2, at right, mounts the shares from the external hard drive connected to Pi #1, at left. When the Roku wants to access the Plex server, which is Pi #2, it is really pulling the file from the Pi #1. Pi #1 does not seem to mind the added extra stress of passing the file to Pi #2. Pi #2 is doing the grunt work of transcoding and database management. Pretty cool! I tested it out earlier with a small video that I keep on hand and it played with not a single hiccup.
And, I added a bunch of podcasts, with Jenny present, so that she could see how it works on the Roku. She doesn’t love Raspberry Pis as much as I do.