RT Cunningham


How I Stream Media from My Linux Mint Laptop to My Android Phone

stream media linux androidThere are multiple ways to stream media from Linux to Android but I’m only going to mention one. Once I discovered this particular method, my second attempt, I didn’t want to look for anything else. My first attempt followed this tutorial: How To Stream Audio From Your Linux PC To Android

That first attempt worked, but I wouldn’t recommend using that method unless you want to treat your Android phone like a headset. You have no control over the audio on the Android side of the equation. The second method is the way to go.

A Linux DLNA Server to Stream Media

I don’t have a lot of luck when I’m looking for specific applications. Most of what I found when I searched was way more than what I needed. Some of my searches turned up articles from more than a couple of years ago, and they weren’t of much help. I turned to the Linux Mint software manager and it showed me two DLNA server applications, Rygel and MiniDLNA. I tried to install and run Rygel, but I couldn’t get it to work.

I checked the SourceForge files for MiniDLNA and it hasn’t been updated since August 2017. I took a chance and installed it. When it was done installing, I launched it from the software manager, which started it up as a service. I had to go to /etc/minidlna.conf and change the media directories and then restart the service.

I entered my LAN IP address (which starts with “192.168.”) and “:8200” for the port in my web browser and it showed me the MiniDLNA status. Reloading it showed me it was updating the number of files in the three categories of media.

Knowing that I couldn’t connect to it from the outside without entering some firewall rules (yes, I use the Linux firewall), I brought up the firewall application from the system settings. Luckily for me, there was a preconfigured rule set for MiniDLNA.

Android DLNA Applications to Consume Media

After searching the Google Play Store and reading various articles, I discovered VLC is a DLNA-capable application. VLC is the application I already use on my Linux Mint laptop computer, as well as my Android phone, for watching videos. I knew it was capable of being used for music, but I didn’t know about the DLNA feature.

I experimented with other music applications, but I ultimately returned to VLC. It doesn’t display ads or interrupt me with ads and it doesn’t force me to buy anything to keep using it.

Streaming Media Instead of Copying Files

Until yesterday, the way I listened to music and watched videos (other than streaming video services) on my Android phone was by copying files from my Linux Mint laptop computer. I had issues in the past, which also included faulty USB cables. Even though I’m not having issues now, I don’t like going through the motions.

Once I set up MiniDLNA and used VLC to stream some music, I was impressed by the simplicity of it all. The DLNA standard has been around since 2003 but I didn’t know anything about it until I started researching ways to stream media.

There are limitations, of course. This only works over Wi-Fi and my phone has to be within range. It probably wouldn’t work for an outdoor party in the Philippines, for example, unless the Wi-Fi signal can reach that far. I have an alternative, which is an MP3 player.

One of the reasons MP3 players aren’t as popular as they once were is because the interface is limited. It’s much easier to use a cell phone, but a cell phone has the disadvantage of running out of juice way faster.

Same Day Update

I started experiencing odd behavior from MiniDLNA, so I replaced it with Gerbera, the successor to the media server called “MediaTomb”.

Photo Attribution: Simon at Pixabay

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By RT Cunningham
January 16, 2020
Entertainment and Recreation, Linux, Technology