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Playing videos from Windows/Smb share on Android device

Linux/Unix, Android, 353 words   English (AU) Bookmark and Share
HTC Desire

There’s not much information about how to do this and while a number of file managers do give access to Windows/Samba network shares, they only allow you to edit open files leaving the application the responsibility of retrieving the file via smb protocol, which usually does not work very well. One such file manager application that I found able to do this is Astro File Manager although you’ll need to also install the SMB module from Market. Both the file manager and the smb module are free (ad supported) which is great. You wont beable to open a video file with this though because the stock video player does not know how to handle smb.

The other option is to copy them to your device if you have plenty of storage.

...

However, I discovered this neat little combo that worked for me but it involves rooting your phone and installing cifsmanager and RockPlayer. Essentially, cifsmanager mounts the smb share which other applications like media players can access them as local folders. This of course means you’ll need a fast connection like mounting a share over WiFi. You can technically do it over 3G but it’s going to be slow as hell since it is wont be a real video stream.

The requirements,

  • 1. Root your phone, in order to install the samba kernel module. Most of the custom roms like cyanogen or LeeDroid come with samba module.

  • 2. You’ll probably need to be on Android 2.2 Froyo because I think cifsmanager only works on Froyo and above. You can find cifsmanager on Market or use the following qr code.

    cifsmanager
  • 3. Install a file manager like Astro from Market (qrcode below) although the file manager does not need samba support for this setup to work.

    Astro
  • 4. Install a media player like Rock Player from Market which supports a whole load of codecs, I wish someone would port vlc player over soon.

That’s it, if you fire up cifsmanager and mount your samba share, tapping on the mounted share will open your file manager and tapping on the file will open up the video with your choice of media player.

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12 comments

Comment from: TheSkeptik [Visitor] Email
TheSkeptikOMG! Thank you, man!
It is working perfectly.

Nexus One, Cyanogen 6.1

THX!
18/12/10 @ 19:21
Comment from: Neelesh [Visitor] Email
NeeleshHi! Excellent tip! I could not manage to mount my SMB shares via cifs. I guess I dont have the correct cifs.ko file for my Samsung Galaxy Mini GT-S5570. I did root it using SuperOneClickv1.6.5-ShortFuse. and was able to get superuser rights for Filexpert and SAMBA share. I could access the SMB share in Filexpert but not mount it thru the SMB plugin. Till date I cannot mount a SMB share. Can you help? Can you help me with the .ko file Ineed for my android?

Also, as a workaround, I installed dolphinHD browser and when I click on a file in Filexpert from my SMB share, It gives me the option to open using Dolphin browser. And after Dolphin browser tries to open the file, it gives me the option to open using rockplayer/Doubletwist or the defalut player! :) SO I can play (thoguh indirectly) a file on SMB share. Can u help me mount my SMBs?
04/03/11 @ 14:42
Comment from: Neelesh [Visitor] Email
NeeleshBTW, we share similar interests. Wii hacking, Android. I guess u're a frets on fire fan too? :)
04/03/11 @ 14:43
Comment from: Brinley Ang [Member] Email
Brinley Ang@Neelesh Easiest way is to flash a custom rom, I'm currently using CyanogenMod and it comes with the cifs module. Otherwise there is alot of people who have packaged the cifs module on xda-developers, and you'll need to flash it in with clockwork or something similar. Nah I don't play frets on fire since I have a complete set of Rockband peripherals.
05/03/11 @ 12:27
Comment from: Neelesh [Visitor] Email
NeeleshThanks! U should try Firetaps on android. Works with all FoFix songs. CyanogenMod is not available for my GTS-5570. Is there any other option? I guess my phone is rooted as I can use su but I do need the CIFS functionality. I'd be glad if I get that without rooting though! :)Any ideas about the cisf.ko file I need for my device? I tried googling but no cigar.
05/03/11 @ 21:09
Comment from: Brinley Ang [Member] Email
Brinley AngSearch xda-developers, there is a bunch of cifs.ko available there for various flavours of android, you'll need to transfer it to your phone and load it either with a terminal or cifsmanager.
06/03/11 @ 15:43
Comment from: maizein [Visitor]
maizeinThe media player app on archos android devices is awesome! It plays pretty much any movie format. Not only that, it finds movies on any folder on my network, including my DNS-323 (NAS), and streams them w/o any problems.

I wish my Galaxy S could do the same!

I have one of those Archos 32 but the screen broke and I can no longer use it. But hopefully we'll eventually have Archos media player app on every Androidphone
05/05/11 @ 06:19
Comment from: moshul [Visitor]
moshulI have Galaxy S, Android 2.3.3. The combination is File Expert with SMB (Samba) share that is free and Vplayer which is not. Over a WIFI connection I was able to stream from File Expert file manager through Vplayer a video file from my Synology NAS. I have mounted the NAS shares, then tap on file and choosed from other options that are displayed Vplayer icon. This is it.
18/09/11 @ 22:44
Comment from: Zeke [Visitor]
ZekeMuch easier way to do this. I'm running Gingerbread on Galaxy Ace and all I needed was ES File Manager and RockPlayer Lite. Both are free and ES has good SMB share support built in without having to mess with kernel modules or addons for ASTRO. Simply find the file in ES and when loaded ES will push it across to RockPlayer.

The processor in my phone won't decode MKV H.264 at full speed and pure VOB files from DVD are too big to stream over the WiFi, but a lot of stuff I have plays incredibly well.
08/10/11 @ 14:10
Comment from: ttguy [Visitor]
ttguyI found the ES file explorer to work great. It auto discovers your samba shares. And I could stream video from this. I have UPnPlay from bebofreak installed too. So this may have helped with the play back.
01/01/12 @ 02:56
Comment from: Ivan [Visitor] Email
IvanCheck out Dice Player on Android market!
It has built-in SMB support!
First of all, you don't need to root your phone,
and second - the application knows that it's a network stream, not a local file, and works with it in right way - uses buffers, for example.
23/03/12 @ 19:15
Comment from: rj [Visitor]
rjI second Dice Player, great!
27/02/13 @ 01:25

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Brinley Ang

Brinley Ang is a sysadmin, web dev, coder, geek boy, jedi knight fragger, caffine addict, deaf meloncholic and rockstar wannabe. Listens to the sex pistols and a wide assortment of heavy metal.

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