Streaming Audio and Video to Galaxy Tab 7.7 from Ubuntu

I got a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 last week. It has 16GB of internal storage space, plus a MicroSD slot that officially supports up to 32GB (but there are reports that 64GB works as well). Despite having 40GB+ of storage space, it is desirable to be able to stream content from a PC to the tablet. In my case, I have Ubuntu Linux on a PC at home with all my photos, movies and music. How to stream them over my WiFi network to the tablet?

The answer for me at the moment is using DLNA, specifically minidlna as a server on my PC and the Allshare Android app, which comes installed on the tablet, as a client.

On Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS, minidlna is in the repositories. The Ubuntu documentation explains how to install and setup, which I repeat in short form here. To install:

$ sudo apt-get install minidlna

Edit the config file /etc/minidlna.conf. The only two things I changed were the media directories and the friendly name, e.g.:


Restart and re-load the database:

$ sudo service minidlna restart
$ sudo service minidlna force-reload

Now open AllShare in the tablet and after a few seconds you should see your PCs minidlna server listed. Browse into the folders (if you have a lot of media it may take a long time to load the file list on the first occasion) and click on the video, song or picture to play or view.

What if the video or music will not play? This is the biggest limitation of AllShare: it only supports playback of certain formats. What formats? I don't have a definite list, but my brief experience is as follows.

Some more testing is in order, but it seems photos and music will be ok for most people, while support for videos will cover most cases (perhaps after some transcoding - see my notes on converting MKV to MP4 in Ubuntu).