MG-35 and OS X

I finally did it! It took me a while, but I finally got my MG-35 working with my iMac. I just did a quick scan back through my ‘computer’ posts and it turns out I never posted about this particular toy that I bought. Well the MediaGate MG-35 is a product that will stream music / pictures / video to your TV from a computer on your network. Here is a link to the product page on the company’s website that makes it. I picked it up from PC Cyber here in Stittsville a while ago (probably 7 or 8 months ago) and paid something like $200 for it. You can get it now for $170 I think. But I digress…

When I first got the thing, it said that it worked with Windows machines as well as Macs. The instruction book that came with the thing was brutal – some really bad translation from Korean I suppose. A quick search of the interweb didn’t really turn up anything helpful either. I did find a site, Otherworld Computing, that sells the things and they had a handy video showing how they got it working with a mac, but sadly, after contacting their tech support – they refused to help me out since I didn’t buy from them. Note to self – NEVER buy anything from Otherworld Computing.

Well since I had a windows box in the basement which wasn’t doing much, I have been using it to host my movies so that I can stream them to my TV using the MG-35. It was a bit of a PITA since I had to copy the movies from my mac to the windows box first, but it worked. Off and on I searched around seeing if I could figure out how to get the thing working with my mac so I could eliminate the windows box and save myself some time. I learned a bit about samba in the process. And tonight – I got the MG-35 working with my iMac! Sweet!

Turns out OS X is running version 3 of samba so I searched for ‘samba 3 anonymous share’ on google. The first link that showed up was the one that got me going. Many thanks to Michel. Here is the short form:

  • edit the /etc/smb.conf file
  • under [global] add ‘map to guest = bad user’

Then for each share you want to create for the MG-35, add it into the smb.conf file and use the options in the following example:

[Share]
comment = Share
browseable = yes
path = /Users/haggaret/Movies
public = yes
writable = no
guest ok = yes

Then enable Windows Sharing on the mac (system pref / sharing) and you should be good to go.

Oh yeah, one last thing you need to do is to make sure that the directory you’ve listed under path has permissions set to read and execute for everyone, I just used 755 for the above share and it worked great. I tried just read permissions, but that didn’t seem to work. Oh and for the actual movie files, I only used read permissions for everyone.

You could use the same principle to share your music / pictures I suppose, but I only ever use the MG-35 to watch movies / downloaded TV shows so…

Hopefully this helps out somebody out there who was having the same troubles I was.

27 comments to MG-35 and OS X

  • Antonio

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for your post. I just got an MG-35 and have had no luck with getting it to talk to my Mac through the network (USB seems to work OK).

    Have you had any luck having your MAC see your MG-35 as a network drive?? I would love to send the movies from my MAC to the MG-35 so that the computer does not always has to be on. I am doing this now via USB.

    But anything is better than nothing. I will try your solution tonight.

    Once again thanks

    Best regards

    Antonio

  • Antonio,

    The MG-35 does not support what you are trying to do. I agree, it would be sweet, but it’s not setup to work that way – at least as far as I know. If by chance I’m completely wrong and you do manage to get it working that way, please post back here with how you managed it.

    Thanks
    Kevin

  • Antonio

    Hi Kevin,

    From what I understand there is an OSX driver from XIMETA. This is the company that makes the NDAS technology to make it a network drive. I have downloaded it but I have not had much luck yet.

    I enter the WRITE KEY and the ID but it will not mount the drive. I need a little more time with it.

    If you want to play with it the driver can be found here:

    http://www.ximeta.com/web/support/download/mac_osx/index.php

    It is not exactly a driver for the MG-35 but it is supposed to work.

    Hope this help.

    I am right know trying your solution. I will post back as soon as I get it to work.

    Best regards

    Antonio

  • Antonio

    Hi Kevin,

    Your solution worked as promised butin my case it is not practical because my old G4 PowerMAC only has a regular 802.11b Airport card so I might considering switching it for a 802.11G version.

    I am getting a new MACBOOK with has a newer wireless card built in and I will first try with that machine and see if it makes a diference.

    The sharing works and I can stream the video from the MAC to the MG-35 but every few minute I get a delay and stuttering. This is not the MG-35 fault but the network’s fault.

    I still would like to find another solution so that I can copy the files through the network into the 250 GB Hard Drive in my MG-35

    I will keep you posted if I have any luck

    Best regards

    Antonio

  • Anonymous

    Hi Kevin,

    I got my new MACBOOK and enough time to play around with it.

    I downloaded the driver I mentioned above (Tiger version) and installed it according to the instructions.

    It works great.

    Best regards

    Antonio

  • Great to hear Antonio, although it wont affect me at all, I don’t even have a HD in my MG-35. :)

    My next mission is to see if there is a firmware upgrade for the MG-35 which will enable it to play movies encoded with Apple’s H-264 codec…

  • John

    I have formatted my mediagate mg-35 according to the manual on a XP machine. I selected NTFS file system.

    When I connect it to my mac via USB it shows up on my desktop, but I cannot drag and drop files to it. The permissions show that I can only read.
    I am only interested in putting video files onto the device and then connecting to the TV to watch them. I didn’t really want to stream the content over.

    Where did I go wrong?

  • John – your problem is that you formatted the drive with NTFS which is a windows only file system. While OS X can read from NTFS formatted drives, it cannot write to them. You could try re-formatting the drive as FAT and you should be able to read / write with both OS X and Windows.

  • Anonymous

    Hi,

    I have a MacBook OS X version 10.4.11 and i just receive my Medigate MG-35 digital multimedia player. Since they do not format the drive for MAc, i selected “NONE: I will do it myself!” under the hard drive format service. However i cannot do it and i need your help. My computer cannot detect the MG-35 and i see no icon on my computer when i connect the MG-35 to my computer. when i emailed them back they said “When you plug in the MediaGate into the USB port it should automatically detect on the MAC” but it does not. When i connect the unit to my computer there was a message that said “The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer” and the options were: “initialize”, “ignore”, and “eject” and i picked “initialize” and the “disk utility” box opened up however i was not able to do anything and there was an information box at the end of the page which noted that “S.M.A.R.T. status: not supported” and “Partition Scheme: unformatted”

    I really appreciate your help,

    Thank you,

  • As I mentioned above – I don’t use a harddrive in my MG-35, but if you want to do that, it should be pretty straight forward. Do what you did before, plug the thing into your Mac using the USB cable and then open Disk Utility like you did before. On the left, click on the drive you want to format, then on the right you should see a bunch of options, something like First Aid, Erase, Partition, RAID, Restore. Click on Erase and then select FAT as the filesystem type. That will format the drive for you and then you should be able to mount it and copy your data onto it.

    Hope that helps.

  • Anonymous

    I formatted the drive as you said and tried to copy one of my dvds into it and when i connect the unit to my TV, menu screen appeared and i selected the movie option but it said “there are no movie files” and the menu screen disappeared suddenly. How can i copy my DVDs to the unit? Do i have to download anything for that? And when i plug the unit back to the TV, the menu screen never showed up again. What did i do wrong? Thanks again.

  • When you copied the DVD onto the drive – what format did you use? I believe the MG-35 supports DVD files in the ISO format. You’ll need to rip your DVD to an ISO file and then copy that over to the HDD in the MG-35. I personally don’t do this, so I’m not sure what application you would use to rip the DVDs to ISOs, but you could check out something like Mac The Ripper (free – but not sure if this will do it) or Xilisoft DVD Copy for Mac – I just found this one doing a quick google search so you may be able to find a free alternative if you look a little harder.

    Hope that helps.

  • Anonymous

    Hi again,

    i searched the interned and downloaded MACtheRIPPER and i was able to save my DVDs with the format that Mediagate supports. I also saved couple of MP3s and Photos with JPEG format. however when i connect MediaGate 35 to my TV and select “Movies” it says “no files are found” and the same thing applies to “music” and “Photos” too. I emailed tech support but they did not respond yet. I think if you can help me to solve this problem too, it will be my last question. Thank you for your time. it is greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  • As I’ve mentioned in past comments, I don’t have a HDD in my MG-35 (I stream all my video to the device) so I can’t really help you out. In theory, if you’ve got everything in the correct format then it should work. If it doesn’t, I’m not sure what to tell you. Hopefully you’ll hear back from tech support with some suggestions. Good luck.

  • Alex

    Does this still apply to Leopard?

    I just received a MG-350 and so far I have been unable to stream wirelessly. It didn’t seem to get along AirPort’s DHCP so I manually gave it an IP, so the “Wireless” section became available, but it says there is no device connected. Leopard problem? I heard there are many Samba bugs in 10.5. I edited smb.conf the way you described and thousands of workarounds I found googling but I can’t still stream.

    Any help would be extremly appreciated.

  • I’ll have to give it a try. I haven’t used my MG-35 in a while now, and I don’t think I’ve tried it under Leopard yet. I’ll see if I can try it out tonight and let you know.

    Update: I just tried it and it works like a charm. One thing I did notice was that under System Prefs -> Sharing, you need to enable ‘File Sharing’ and then click on Options and make sure ‘Share files and folders using SMB’ is enabled. If you follow the directions in the post above and then make sure you have SMB enabled as I just mentioned, it should work for you.

    One difference though – you mentioned that you are connecting wirelessly to the MG-35 (actually you called it a MG-350, wasn’t sure if that was a typo or not) but I’ve got it plugged into my network with a physical cable. I wouldn’t think there should be any difference, but the fact that it wasn’t able to pick up an address from your airport’s DHCP server is a little troubling.

    Anyways, let me know how it goes.

  • Alex

    Hey, thanks for your help.

    I worried about the IP at first too, but seeing that manually giving it one enables the “Wireless” section means it’s connected. I think I’ve messed up the /etc/smb.conf and /var/db/smb.conf files because now not even the PC in my network can access the files, so it’s understandable that the MG can’t either. Could you send me these files?

    Thanks!

  • Alex

    Just realized that /var/db/smb.conf is in /var, so it is automatically generated, here is what it says:

    [global]
    security = USER

    (…)

    [homes]
    comment = User Home Directories
    browseable = no
    read only = no
    create mode = 0750
    guest ok = no
    com.apple: show admin all volumes = yes

    [global]

    With those settings the MG can’t access the files, but I don’t know where to change this settings (file is automatically generated everytime I restart SAMBA).

  • Alex

    Sorry about the many messages, but I am trying everything I can.

    Right now, I am sharing a single folder (not in my home directory, just in case) which can be accessed from the PC in my network. I tried to connect the iMac directly to the MediaGate via Ethernet and, while “LAN” was there, I could not access the folder. So I can’t see where the problem is…

    Thanks for reading my written frustation. :-)

  • Alex

    It seems that the problem is that the guest account cannot access the folder (in the PC), the MG uses guest too. It seems therefore that I need to enable guest access without password. Do you have an idea of how to do this?

    Thanks (and sorry for almost spamming your blog).

  • Alex – I suggest you start from scratch. If you look in the /etc directory – there should be a ‘default’ copy of the smb.conf file. I would suggest starting from scratch with that. Here is what I would do:

    - turn off file sharing (System Prefs -> Sharing)
    - edit /etc/smb.conf
    - make changes noted above

    under [global] add ‘map to guest = bad user’

    Add the following:
    [Share]
    comment = Share
    browseable = yes
    path = path to shared folder
    public = yes
    writable = no
    guest ok = yes

    - make sure the folder has read and execute permission for everyone
    - turn file sharing back on (System Prefs -> Sharing)

    That should do it. Works like a charm for me. Let me know…

  • Alex

    Thanks, I started over (things were getting messy)

    When editing the file as you said, I can see the folder from the PC but not from the guest account, which is the one that MG is using.

  • Alex

    Some more research and I finally did it. My smb.conf is completely new but it is working.

    Thank you very much for your help! :-)

  • Ray

    I recently updated to OSX 10.5.4 and now my MG-35 does not properly see my share drives/folders. When trying to see the directory listing from the MG-35 I am getting garbage in the file name and date fields on the MG-35 screen. I looked at the SAMBA log and there seems to be an issue with connecting.

    After lots of research I think that the version of SAMBA in 10.5.4 has a bug and needs to be either updated or downgraded.

    Does anyone know how to “easily” upgrade SAMBA on 10.5?

    Help

  • emule

    Hi,

    i looked for Errors with MG-35 and founded you. But you helped me with my questions. Nice Blog! Thx

  • Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for the tips. I am running 10.4 on my iMac and trying to steam to my MG-35. I modified my smb.conf and activated windows sharing as you suggest. At first my MG-35 would not connect using its static IP. However, turning DHCP on allowed it to see my imac.

    The problem is that when I follow the links on my MG-35, i.e. “computer name” -> “share”, nothing is visible below “share”. The date and time marker on the blank files selected is just binary gobbledigook.

    I have checked the permissions in Movies and of the files themselves and they are OK.

    Any troubleshooting tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks, Jon.

  • Jon – I upgraded from 10.4 to 10.5 a long time ago, and even before doing that, I switched from streaming from my mac to streaming from the linux box in my basement so I’m not sure how much help I’ll be.

    Your problem definitely sounds familiar – I’m pretty sure I had that same issue at one point, but I was able to fix it. Can’t really remember what I did though. As you said, it sounds like it may be related to permissions – I’d recheck the permissions on the folders themselves (as well as the files inside) – make sure they are readable by everyone, and then I’d re-check the smb.conf file to make sure the settings in that are correct. After that, I’d stop and restart windows sharing and see if that works.

    BTW – sharing in 10.5 is a bit easier to manage. I haven’t actually tried to get the MG-35 to connect to my mac that is running 10.5, but I think it would be easy. Perhaps I’ll try that tonight.

    WRT your comment about the MG-35 not connecting when using static IP, I’ve seen the same thing. It used to be that I’d start it up, ‘click’ on the Network side and it wouldn’t see any computers in my network and would go back to the main screen. I’d then just try again, and it would work the second time. I’ve since changed to DHCP and haven’t noticed the same thing happening. The box is definitely a bit flaky but generally speaking, it does the trick.

    I had a chance to try out an Apple TV a while back, and using that, combined with Boxee, it’s a much nicer solution. I just ordered an Apple TV yesterday so I’m looking forward to relegating the MG-35 to either the basement or my bedroom. :)

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