VortexBox, an operating system based on Fedora that turns any computer into a music server or jukebox, has just reached version 2.3 and is now available for download.
If by any chance you have an old PC gathering dust and hasn't been used in years, then you might find that VortexBox is the perfect tool for you to turn that PC into a media server with a ton of features.
“Once VortexBox has been loaded on an unused PC, it will automatically rip CDs to FLAC and MP3 files, ID3 tag the files , and download the cover art. Vortexbox will then serve the files to network media players such as Logitech Squeezebox, Sonos, or Linn. The music files can also be streamed to a Windows or Mac OSX system,” notes the developer of VortexBox.
Most of the features implemented in VortexBox are not even available in commercial-grade solutions. For example, you can convert an old PC to a CD ripper, jukebox, or NAS solution in only 15 minutes, all files are tagged from online music databases (if you have an Internet connection), the cover art is automatically downloaded, it's possible to share files to SMB (Microsoft) file shares, and the Squeezebox Server is refreshed after every CD is ripped.
VortexBox 2.3 also comes with full support for a number of important protocols like DAAP (Automatically shares all MP3s for streaming to iTunes and Roku Soundbridge), NFS (Linux boxes and almost anything else), DLNA (play music and video DLNA enabled players, like a SmartTV, PLEX Mediaserver for video, audio, and picture streaming, Sonos, and much more.
The developers of VortexBox usually take their time and the period between releases seems to have increased for the latest versions. The good news is that the next build is here and comes bearing gifts.
“There have been small incremental updates but not a big release. VortexBox 2.3 is finally ready! Thanks to the work of our community the release has a huge number of features and updates. Although the interface looks the same, most of the features are in the underlying technology,” also said the VortexBox developer.
The latest version of VortexBox is actually quite a big update, if we take a closer look at the changelog. For example, the SqueezeBox Server has been upgraded to version 7.8.0, the distribution is now based on Fedora 20, Squeezelite is used as the default player, full DSD support has been added, and the latest PlexMedia Server has been implemented.