So you’ve gone with a QNAP NAS unit and you’ve got it all set up as Ben showed you. Maybe you’ve even got Time Machine configured. Now you want to do more with it. Maybe watch a few movies, or some TV, or share some photos. Luckily that’s all pretty easy!
Out of the box, QNAP systems are not configured for multimedia server use, but the App Center has you covered.
First, make sure you’re logged into the QNAP administration page as an administrator. With that taken care of, from the QNAP desktop, open the App Center and check the list on the left for Entertainment apps.
You’re looking for the Multimedia Station app. In my picture here I’ve already installed it, so the button says Open. The first time you see it, it will have the same Add to QTS + button that you see on the other apps in the image. That’s what you’re looking for. Click that to install the app.
Once the install is done, close out the App Center and get yourself into the Control Panel. Click open Applications on the left and go to Multimedia Management.
If you’re using a version of the QNAP software that’s comparable to what I have on my system, you ought to see something similar to the image I have above. The directions read:
To translate that for you, it means check the View Advanced Management option to specify where your media files are going to live. This will let you work with them for things like setting up a DLNA or Plex server, both topics I’ll be covering in future posts. It will also let you work with music and photos and so on.
If you don’t already have a Multimedia folder, you can add it from here.
From the Multimedia Management page of Control Panel, the folders are shown as links. Clicking them brings up QNAP’s File Station app, where you can create whatever folder structure you want to keep your media organized. This is the top level of what I use.
It’s a pretty basic setup, with movies, TV and music inside Multimedia, each of which then has folders for individual films, series, or albums, respectively. I’ll go into that in a bit more depth when I do a full writeup on setting up Plex on a QNAP NAS, since it pays to adhere to Plex’s organizational and naming conventions. (Just a side note; the @Recycle and Samples folders are default folders. Don’t get rid of @Recycle, but you can delete Samples if you wish.)
Now before we rush off and try to watch some video, there are a couple more steps. Don’t worry, we’re almost there, I swear!
Specify how you want the Media Library to scan for changes, and hit Apply. You’ll find this in the Multimedia Management tab right next to the Media Folder one we were just working in.
Finally, let’s get to some of the video fun stuff; enable the DLNA Media Server. This is the quickest and easiest way to get your QNAP streaming media to your Playstation 3/4, XBox 360/One, or other device of choice.
Check “Enable DLNA Media Server” (or optionally, you can enable the TwonkyMedia DLNA Server instead,) and that’s it!
You’ll want to look for media servers with the name specified on that last screen there. Mine is currently named with the default QNAP-MediaServ, but it’s easy enough to change if you’re so inclined.
If all has gone according to plan, you should now be up and running and ready to stream!