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File Serving

As I said, the WMG doesn't have an admin interface for its file or media serving features. Since it supports SMB-based networking, its shares just appear in the network browser of Windows, MacOS, Linux or other computers running OSes that support SMB. To transfer files to or from the WMG, you just mount its filesystem and deposit your media files into the appropriate directories. The WMA100 will then be able to access and display content in the formats it supports. While this sounds easy enough, I found I quickly ran into problems.

Since the WMG has some demonstration videos, music, and pictures on it, in theory, all I had to do was fire up my WMA100 and play the files. But when I turned on the WMA, the WMG was nowhere to be found.

I first double checked that both devices had valid IP addresses in the same subnet. I then did a tcpdump of the network to see if I could see anything going on. An analysis of the traffic between the two told me the WMG was using a Unix version of Samba to serve files. I also saw the same UPnP traffic I had seen when looking at the WMA, but this time noted that the traffic was directed to a multi-cast address. All interesting information, but it didn't help me diagnose why the WMG was not showing up as a server to the WMA.

To further diagnose the issue, I isolated the two devices into their own little stand-alone network, but still could not get the WMA and WMG to connect. After I finally reset the WMG to factory defaults and re-connected the WMA to it - Bingo! - the WMG finally showed as an available server to the WMA. (Figure 4).

The WMG as a server to the WMA100
Figure 4: The WMG as a server to the WMA100

After trying various combinations, I finally isolated the issue to be caused by my change in subnet. At least in my case, the WMG and the WMA were only happy streaming media when on the 192.168.1.X network. This tells me that something in the WMA or WMG (or both) is hard-coded to that subnet. So in order to really test the WMG out, I did it Viewsonic's way and made the WMG the main router in my home network and put it on the open Internet.

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