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Remote video encoding


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Ive purchased a little Creative Zen, which is great for video playback and general music making. Ive been ripping DVDs and encoding them for the Zen and its great, but I have an idea to make it easier.

For a while, Ive been close to receiving an old computer from a friend. Its so old, that hes not sure of the spec, because it cant stay on long enough to check without BSODing, or just crashing. The latest Hak5 episode about NetCat gave me an idea:

I was thinking that I could turn this old computer into a little server of sorts. Using NetCat, I could bind a video encoder to a port, and leave it on all the time. Then, I could remotely encode videos, without it starving the resources of my current computer. Maybe the videos can be stored on the old computer itself - a problem i havent yet worked out.

This is only one idea, and quite a while away from implementation, so does anyone have a better solution? As low-cost as possible, please. Student budget :(. Im a bit of a noob when it comes to Linux, only dabbling in some LiveCD loveliness, but im more than happy to get my hands dirty. :)


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No real need to use netcat, you could simple just learn how to manage everything with SSH. I would suggest using a strict command line only debian box, but it may be easier for you to use xubuntu(ubuntu with XFCE DE). Honestly, you would just need to setup a samba share on the linux box, and then find a video encoder you like. The application repository is huge on debian and every program is only an aptitude away.

It would be nice to see if it is even worth encoding on his machine. It may be so old that it could take hours to encode short segments of video.

Linux is free to download, just have to supply your own CD or flash drive.

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Thanks for the reply.

Awesome suggestion. That seems a much simpler way, thanks.

So I'd be able to access the samba share from my Windows boxes? Thatd be awesome.

Im expecting it to take a while to encode. I was hoping to simply queue up some encoding jobs and leave it running overnight. Im expecting the computer to be around 1.4Ghz single core. Maybe better, maybe worse...

I like the idea of a simple command line debian install, as ive been interested in managing a server remotely for a while, and I know that if I give it a nice GUI with Xubuntu, il be tempted to just hook up a monitor and use graphics-based programs to set her up :)


Any other suggestions?

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