Streaming MP3s to your phone wherever you are using BubbleUPnP and MinimServer

In the Streaming MP3s to your phone using MinimServer post I showed you how to clean up your MP3 files, convert FLAC into MP3 and install media server. That’s all you need in order to enjoy the music at home. Next we’ll improve our setup in order to enjoy our music while on the go.

BubbleUPnP Server

BubbleUPnP Server is software that allows us to use our Media Server from anywhere. It is not Media Server itself but provides new services such as:

  • Make various media formats not natively supported by Chromecast playable with transcoding. Works in tandem with Android BubbleUPnP.
  • Secure Internet access to your UPnP/DLNA Media Servers content with Android BubbleUPnP and foobar2000.
  • Stream and download your music, video, photos with your Android device from a mobile or Wi-Fi connection with optional transcoding to reduce bandwidth.

Configuration

BubbleUPnP Server home page contains good instructions on how to configure BubbleUPnP Server so I’m not going to rewrite them. Instead I’m going to show you how easy it is and that there aren’t that many settings you need to change.

After you have installed BubbleUPnP Server launch your browser and go to http://localhost:58050 where you find the Web UI.

BubbleUPnP Server Status Page

The Status page shows you the public IP address, ports and whether the server is accessible from the Internet (we’ll get into that soon).

In the Network and Security page you can change the host name and login credentials (you use them when connecting from your mobile device). I recommend using dynamic DNS service (e.g. Dyn DNS) so that you don’t have to change the address in the client when your server public IP changes. Finally remember to tick Allow to access the server from the Internet.

In the Media Servers page you can see all the media servers BubbleUPnP Server has detected automatically.

BubbleUPnP Media Servers Page

All you need to do is tick the Make this Media Server available in BubbleUPnP option.

Firewall

In order to access your music anywhere you need to change your router settings and forward ports 58050 and 58051 to the machine where BubbleUPnP Server is running. In my case I’m changing DD-WRT settings: Browse to router ip address - Setup - NAT/QoS - Port Forwarding.

Forwarding Ports to BubbleUPnP Server

Even if you are using HTTPS (which you should) from the mobile device you need to forward also the HTTP port. After you have forwarded the ports you should go back to the Status page in BubbleUPnP Server and click the Internet Connectivity Test just to make sure your server is accessible from the Internet.

BubbleUPnP Client

When you are listening music at home you can use any client that supports UPnP/DLNA. But in order to listen music while on the go you need to use BubbleUPnP UPnP/DLNA client. I’m not 100% sure if the free version is all you need. It has some limitations so I paid few euros for the license to get rid of those and remove the ads.

First you should turn off your Wi-Fi just to make sure you are using mobile data connection when connecting to BubbleUPnP Server. This way the connection is exactly the same you would have when you are on the go.

Open the BubbleUPnP app and go to Settings - Networks and settings. To configure connection to your server tap Unset which gives you the following screen.

Server Settings

Replace the myserver.com with your server address. If you are using IP address you have to update this setting when your own IP (the public IP of the machine where BubbleUPnP Server is running) changes. I’m using my own domain so I don’t have to worry about that. Remember to use port 58051 for HTTPS.

Don’t forget to set the username/password. They must be same you configured for BubbleUPnP Server (Network and Security page in the Web UI). Use the TEST button to make sure connection works as expected.

Once you have successfully configured your server you are ready to browse, search and play some music.

Enjoy your musing while on the go!

Conclusion

Back in the day I used to run my own Red Hat server with custom iptables scripts for firewall and NAT (no there were no cheap routers with such features). As I started this project I was mentally prepared to do something similar in terms of difficulty. To my surprise most of the configuration was automatic with very little manual work.

Hopefully you found this article useful and are able to enjoy your music wherever you are!