This page will take you walk you through all the steps to start playing media with the StreamToMe player. If you have trouble, please make sure you've followed all steps before proceeding to the Troubleshooting topics on the Support page.
You can download the StreamToMe player to your iOS device or Mac from the iOS App Store or the Mac App Store.
If you have not done this then it is the first essential step. Simply click the link to the relevant App Store to do this now.
Before you can use the StreamToMe player, you must download and install the SereToMe server to the Mac or Windows PC where your media is stored. It is not possible to use the StreamToMe player until the ServeToMe server is installed, running and available to the StreamToMe player.
for Mac or Windows
Please note that the ServeToMe server is not available on the Mac App Store. You must download the ServeToMe server directly from our website (the product on the Mac App Store is the StreamToMe player and will not perform the required server functionality).
On Windows, the ServeToMe program will start automatically at the end of the installation process. On the Mac, you should open the Applications folder and launch ServeToMe or locate ServeToMe in the Launchpad (Mac OS X 10.7 or newer) and launch it from there.
When ServeToMe is running, there will be an icon in right of the Mac menubar or right of the Windows notification area (aka System Tray in the taskbar).
Left-click on the icon (Mac) or right-click on the icon (Windows) to display the ServeToMe menu which you can use to display the ServeToMe window or start/stop the server.
If you see a message about Bonjour missing while running ServeToMe on Windows, we strongly recommend that you install Bonjour for Windows. While not required for ServeToMe, it can make a number of networking features significantly simpler.
When ServeToMe starts for the first time, it will show the ServeToMe window.
On first startup, the status line at the top of the window will briefly show the message: "Updating font cache, please wait...". This message may remain for approximately 1-2 minutes after which time the server will start.
After the font caching is complete, ServeToMe will start the server and if all goes well, should show a "Server status: Running" message.
There are three "Server Settings" in the ServeToMe window: "Video quality", "Require password" and "Port (0 for automatic)".
The "Video quality" allows you to limit CPU usage when ServeToMe needs to live-convert video. The default quality is 480p which should work on most CPUs from the last 5 years or more but if you have a faster or slower CPU, you might want to adjust this value to get better quality or reduce the CPU burden on your server computer.
The "Require password" allows you to password protect your server. Since ServeToMe is a read-only server, unwanted guests cannot change anything on your computer but if you wish to keep your privacy, you may want to set a password for the server.
Most of the time, you will not need to change the "Port (0 for automatic)" value. However, if you have multiple computers on your local network running ServeToMe, only one can be reached from outside your local network on a given port. Use this value to force additional computers to use different ports from the default 9969 port. An example is that you can set your different computers to run on ports 9969, 9979, 9989 so they don't all conflict while trying to use the same 9969 default port number.
Port numbers are part of internet addresses. You might not see them in normal web addresses because the standard web port 80 is omitted from web addresses. For example, this website is actually http://projectswithlove.com:80 (where 80 is the port number) but if you leave the ":80" part out of the address, it is included automatically (in fact it is normally hidden if you try to include it). ServeToMe uses 9969 by default — a number chosen to avoid conflicts with other common services.
By default, ServeToMe will also attempt to locate your iTunes Library. If it could not locate your iTunes Library in the default location, you may see an "iTunes Library sharing disabled" message on startup. You can use the "Change Library XML..." button to select the location of your iTunes Library to share with ServeToMe. You can also use the checkbox to disable or enable sharing of your iTunes Library at any time.
On the Mac, ServeToMe will also attempt to locate your iPhoto Library (this feature does not appear on Windows since iPhoto is not available for Windows). As with iTunes Library sharing, you can use the "Change iPhoto Library..." button to select the location of your iPhoto Library to share with ServeToMe. You can also use the checkbox to disable or enable sharing of your iPhoto Library at any time.
By default, ServeToMe will attempt to locate the default Movies/Videos folder for your account and add it to the list of Shared Folders. It may also add the Music or Photos folders for your account. If your media is stored in different locations, then use the "+" button underneath the list of Shared Folders to add the locations where your media is stored.
While the StreamToMe player can connect from a 3G network or from a non-local WiFi network, it is strongly recommended that you try to connect to your server for the first time when both your ServeToMe server and StreamToMe player are running on the same WiFi network. Networking is a complicated subject when servers are involved and every network device between the server and player can make a connection harder, so it's best to perform the initial connection in the simplest possible manner.
The ServeToMe window on your server should be showing "Server status: running". Now you're ready to launch the StreamToMe player.
The StreamToMe "Servers" screen will appear. Assuming you've followed all the steps so far, your computer's name should automatically appear in StreamToMe under the "Local servers" section.
If your computer's name does not immediately appear, you should try pressing the "Refresh" button in the top right corner as sometimes it can simply take a few seconds.
If your computer's name does not appear automatically, then please take a look at the suggested steps on our Troubleshooting: Local Connections page.
Simply tap your computer's name to connect. The "Shared Folders" list on the server should appear, along with "iTunes playlists" and "iPhoto albums" below that. If you see a connection error, including "Connection timeout" or "Server not running" errors instead of seeing these listings, then please refer to the Troubleshooting: Local Connections page.
The first screen you see on your server is the "Shared Folders" screen. The list of folders from your "Shared Folders" list in ServeToMe on your computer will appear here. Simply tap any folder to browse the contents. Tap on any subfolders to browse their contents.
Scroll below your "Shared Folders" at the top level to see "iTunes Playlists". At the top of the "iTunes Playlists" section is "Browse Music" and "Browse Videos". These sections will let you search your entire iTunes collection by metadata (artist, title, show, episode, etc) and will let you find files that do not appear in any of your actual playlists. Alternately you can select any of your playlist to browse and play their contents directly.
Your "iPhoto Albums" appear after the "Shared Folders and "iTunes Playlists" and operate in a similar manner to the "iTunes Playlists". You can choose to either by search by event and faces metadata through the "Browse photos" option or you can simply select and browse your iPhoto albums directly.
The toolbar at the bottom of the folder view contains a button that will display the current view's "Sort Options". This will let you sort the current view by name or date. When browsing folders, the "Sort Options" also contains options to "Flatten the current view". This is very useful when viewing music or other files which may be categorized into a tree of subfolders but which you'd like to unify and play as though they were all one collection — select one of the "flatten" options and all files from all subfolders will appear as though they were placed together at the top level of the current folder.
When you tap any file in StreamToMe, it will show a brief loading message and then play. Loading times can vary from less than a second to about 20 seconds depending on the network and any live-conversion the server may need to perform.
By default, the fullscreen player will appear. You can use the controls to seek within the file, skip to the next or previous file, skip back 30 seconds, select an AirPlay device (Apple TV or AirPlay enabled speakers).
You can also use the button at the right of the fullscreen controls to switch between the fullscreen and embedded players. By default, the embedded player may be hidden. Use the "Show Player" button in the toolbar to show the embedded player if you can't see it.
Tap the embedded player itself to show or hide the playback controls over it and use the fullscreen toggle button to switch back to fullscreen.
The iPad and iPhone offer the same functionality for fullscreen, embedded, portrait or landscape playback. But the iPad offers far more screen real estate in the embedded player.
And in portrait orientation...
When the embedded player is visible, newly selected files will start in the embedded player instead of fullscreen. Hide the embedded player again to have newly selected files start fullscreen.
By default, StreamToMe will start playing the next file in the current file's folder/view/playlist when the current file reaches its end. You can control this behavior from the "play mode" control in the left of the toolbar. The left segment is the "Single" mode and when selected will make StreamToMe stop playback when a file ends. The middle segment is the "Continuous" mode and will continue playing the next file (in order) until the current folder/view/playlist is complete. The right segment is the "Random" mode and will continue playing files in a random order from the current folder/view/playlist indefinitely.
Every file that appears in the StreamToMe player will have a small button at the right of its row. This button allows you to access the "Track Settings" for the file.
From the "Track Settings" you can control bitrate, transcoding options (aka live-conversion options), player interface, additional volume boost or reduction, audio track selection, subtitle track selection, subtitle scaling, right-to-left subtitles, subtitle encodings and whether album artwork is displayed fullscreen while playing music files.
Changes to the settings will not apply to any currently playing file. You must restart the file to apply changes (you can tap the file's row at the top of the "Track Settings" screen to do this).
By default, any changes you make in the "Track Settings" apply only to the current file. If you want to make a setting the new default, you should use the "Save to global settings..." button at the bottom of the "Track Settings" screen.
When you press "Save to global settings..." select all the options that you'd like to save to the global settings and then press "Save".
StreamToMe and ServeToMe both have many features that are not discussed on this page. If you're interested in learning more, you might want to look on our support page for Hidden Settings to learn about some of the many settings and features in StreamToMe and ServeToMe that are not necessarily obvious at first glance.
We also discuss a number of other stream and quality options for handling difficult or unusual situation on some of our troubleshooting pages, including Troubleshooting: Quality Issues and Troubleshooting: Known Issues, so if you're having difficult with a particular file or file type be sure to check those pages for information on settings which may help.