Windows Home Server 2011 app for your Windows Phone 7

Ever since the original Windows Home Server hit the market back in 2007 it has had a strong following. In addition to being the central filestore for your household, it allows remote logins from the internet (if enabled) and even backs up all of the computers in your household.

The latest version, WHS 2011, was released earlier this year and although many saw it as a downgrade due to the removal of Drive Extender, Microsoft is continuing to add new functionality that is unavailable with the original version. This week they provided a release candidate for a Windows Phone 7 application that allows you to not only stream media from the server but also allows you to manage the server from your phone.

The application allows for easy streaming of unprotected MP3s (including album artwork) directly from the server. JPG and PNG files can be displayed on the phone and saved for later viewing in the built-in Picture Hub. Video can also be streamed but while they can all be discovered, there is a limited set of codecs supported for actual playback. In addition to media playback, the tool also has a Live Tile that can display the health of your network, how much storage is remaining on your WHS, as well as the name of the server you’re receiving the information from.

Despite the promise of functionality, it looks like many users are having difficulty getting the new application to work properly on their phone. While the tool has yet to be officially released, most people would expect that a release candidate should be able to work relatively smoothly. Since WHS appears to be an important product for Microsoft, we would expect the tool to improve with time.

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17 Comments

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burhan9k said,
Question: can i run a web server on windows home server??

Atleast in the first version you can. Actually IIS is used for remote websites and VisualSVN Server uses Apacheā€¦

When will Microsoft come up with an equivalent to Apple's Airplay? Streaming from the server to a 802.11n Wi-Fi base station with output to powered speakers.

KingCrimson said,
When will Microsoft come up with an equivalent to Apple's Airplay? Streaming from the server to a 802.11n Wi-Fi base station with output to powered speakers.

actually, they have introduced "Play to" function in Windows 7 that allows streaming media to supported remote device/player. and Windows media player can act as compatible device.

KingCrimson said,
When will Microsoft come up with an equivalent to Apple's Airplay? Streaming from the server to a 802.11n Wi-Fi base station with output to powered speakers.

It already exists and has for quite some time. It's called UPnP or DLNA. If someone builds a compatible device, you can do it. I'm sure there are compatible devices, too.

mrp04 said,

It already exists and has for quite some time. It's called UPnP or DLNA. If someone builds a compatible device, you can do it. I'm sure there are compatible devices, too.

I have a WDTV Live which is DNLA supported so I could use WMP with the "Play To" option but instead I just access my system via shared folders through the WDTV Live. On the flipside though I can stream media from my WP7 LG Optimus 7 with their Play to DNLA app right to the WDTV Live without a hitch, pretty sweet.

One thing I need to find is a good priced DNLA reciever so I can setup some 5.1 streaming music etc. I just wish MS would add the Play to feature to the Zune software since that's what I use for music now.

mrp04 said,

It already exists and has for quite some time. It's called UPnP or DLNA. If someone builds a compatible device, you can do it. I'm sure there are compatible devices, too.

DLNA is an agreed upon implementation of uPnP and some additional specifications.

And, I don't believe this is like Apple's airplay one bit, as it is a community supported standard, not something MS created to work with MS products.

panzereagle said,
Should read DE replacement, ie DriveBender

Thanks, I've been following the reports on wegotserved and this and Drivepool seem to be the front runners. Biggest problem I have is finding drivers for my Gigabyte motherboard, they only have W7 drivers which may be a problem. Not really looking forward to doing another build.

DE is about to hit RC status and is almost ready to go as a beta product. Being using it on WHS11 for 3 months no issues. I just wish WHS had MC7 integrated so I can drop a machine of my lan.

panzereagle said,
DE is about to hit RC status and is almost ready to go as a beta product. Being using it on WHS11 for 3 months no issues. I just wish WHS had MC7 integrated so I can drop a machine of my lan.

Which of the 3 are you testing?

panzereagle said,
DE is about to hit RC status and is almost ready to go as a beta product. Being using it on WHS11 for 3 months no issues. I just wish WHS had MC7 integrated so I can drop a machine of my lan.

I installed XBMC on my WHS and installed the windows MCE remote using the driver hack.. works great.. Its now my home media centre,and works flawlessly...

rev23dev said,
Installed it yesterday. Working good. Honestly, the only reason I'm keeping WHS2011 vs rolling back to WHS v1.

How good is the WP7 app, what's your experience been with streaming media? I still have a v1 WHS as I am waiting for the DE replacements to come out of beta and be thoroughly tested.

efjay said,

How good is the WP7 app, what's your experience been with streaming media? I still have a v1 WHS as I am waiting for the DE replacements to come out of beta and be thoroughly tested.

The app itself is cool. Looks good. Streaming music is great. Videos, as the article mentions, has limited codecs. Haven't found one that has worked.

I miss DE, and like I said, this is the only attraction at the moment. The WHS2011 dashboard feels clunky overall and is just not great. A step backwards in my opinion.

rev23dev said,

The app itself is cool. Looks good. Streaming music is great. Videos, as the article mentions, has limited codecs. Haven't found one that has worked.

I miss DE, and like I said, this is the only attraction at the moment. The WHS2011 dashboard feels clunky overall and is just not great. A step backwards in my opinion.

Thanks. I have mostly mp4's and wmv video files so I hope those work for me. Does the app link to the music hub or have its own player? Thinking of playlist support and whether its reliant on the upcoming update for that.

efjay said,

Thanks. I have mostly mp4's and wmv video files so I hope those work for me. Does the app link to the music hub or have its own player? Thinking of playlist support and whether its reliant on the upcoming update for that.

It has its own player. Looks like music hub though. But controls don't show up on the volume popup thing for instance.