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Overview

4u2Stream acts like a remote control for DLNA / UPnP devices on your home network, like a UPnP or DLNA enabled tv or music system.
You get a full overview of the different sources of DLNA media that you have available on your local network, can browse through them and create a playlist of items you want to hear or view.
Media sources can be as varied as files you keep on a NAS (Networked Attached Storage), a PC, Last.fm or Tivo.
You also get an overview of the different renderers on your network that you can use to play media and you can direct your media to each of them independently.
Renderers come in different forms, like a DLNA-enabled TV, multi-channel audio receiver, clock radio, picture frame, Blu-ray player, PS3, etc.
4u2Stream is also a local renderer, meaning you can play music and watch pictures and videos from your different media sources right on your computer with 4u2Stream.
4u2Stream was created following its design goals to offer simple and quick control and a robust UPnP implementation. It has incorporated lots of feedback from its users over the years and is still evolving to incorporate the latest insights.

Installation

The easiest way to install 4u2Stream is to go to the installation page and follow the instructions there.
This will use the installation files directly from the web and install 4u2Stream on your computer.
Alternatively, you can first download the installation package (a zip file), unzip the package and perform the installation from your computer.
The advantage of the second method is that you can retain the installation package for later use and you will not be dependent on the web site if you ever need to install 4u2Stream again.
You will need a basic understanding of zip files and how to start the setup program from windows explorer to use this second method.

During the installation process, you will receive a warning message from Windows telling you that the source cannot be verified. You can ignore this message and go ahead with installation if you are sure that you obtained the installation file form this web site.
For increased confidence you can install the Groenhartnet CA root certificate in your webbrowser. You can get this certificate from the download page. After you installed this certificate you should not get the warning message any more, which confirms that you downloaded the original program from this site.

When setup has finalized, 4u2Stream will start up. When installing on Windows Vista or 7, you will receive the request to allow 4u2Stream to open the Windows firewall. You should allow this for correct operation of 4u2Stream.

Finally, you will see the opening screen of 4u2Stream. In this opening screen, you will see version information and the 4u2Stream logo in the Thumbnail area.
If you want to use Last.fm, you have to click the link in the Thumbnail area to start the installation of Last.fm support. After Last.fm support is installed, you will see the Last.fm entry appear in the list of media sources.

Licensing

Right after installation, all devices (media source or renderer) appear gray with the exception of Last.fm (when installed) and the local server and renderer [computer name].
The gray devices serve to confirm that 4u2Stream sees all these UPnP compatible devices on your local network.
But before you can use a device, it needs to be licensed.

Trial license

Click on one of the gray devices. You will see a yellow bar with several links in it. Click on "Obtain trial license...".
Your web browser will be launched and go to the 4u2StreamStore, where you can obtain both paid permanent and free trial licenses.
Follow the instructions on the web page. The next page shows you which trial licenses you have obtained. With the button at the bottom of that page you transfer the licenses to 4u2Stream. You get a confirmation message when that has been done. Now you can close your browser.
The devices that you obtained the trial license for will now appear in black print, show an icon and are ready to use. The selected media source will show the first (top-level) browse result.
The number of times that you can obtain a trial license is currently limited to 1 time per device. A trial license expires at midnight of the day that you obtained it.

Permanent license

Right-click on a device (media source or renderer) and select "Buy Licenses...". You will be taken to the 4u2StreamStore.
Select the devices for which you want to buy a permanent license and click the button "Add to cart".
You will be taken to the PayPal site. Here you can make your payment either by credit card, bank transfer (only available in certain countries) or from a PayPal account (you don't need to get an account if you pay by credit card).
Traffic to and from the PayPal sites is completely secure (https). Your financial data stays with PayPal and is not communicated to 4u2Stream / Groenhartnet. We only receive the message that you have paid for certain device licenses.
PayPal redirects back to the 4u2StreamStore where you get your license keys. You can transfer them in the same way as with the trial licenses.
A few moments later you will also receive an email with your license keys and instructions how to use them. You can use this email to store the keys for later use.
You are allowed to use the license keys on as many computers with 4u2Stream as you like.

Quickly play a song

  1. Select a media source from the list
  2. Click your way down through the music browse results until you find the song you want to play. Usually this song is in a list of other songs (e.g. album, genre). Click on the song you want to play.
  3. Click the Play button in the Transport Button area. You will hear the song from your computer.

Play on a UPnP or DLNA media renderer

Follow the procedure "Quickly play a song", but before you click the Play button, select the UPnP or DLNA renderer from the list of Media Renderers.
You will hear music, watch a video or photo's on your external renderer, like a Compact Music system, Multichannel Receiver or TV.
Note: the Play button is only enabled if the selected renderer is capable of playing the media item (song, photo or video) that you have selected.
If the Play button is not enabled, either the renderer is not capable of rendering the type of media (like a Compact Music system cannot play a video), or the renderer is not capable of playing this specific file type (like not being able to play an MKV file on a TV, while that same TV might be able to play a .WMV file).

More about browsing

While you browse (click your way down through folders in the browsing structure of your media source), the folder that you click appears in the list of Browsed Folders.
This enables you to quickly go back up to any folder level that you have already passed. That is useful if you made a mistake and went down the wrong folder, or just want to visit more folders, like more albums of the same artist.
The list of Browsed Folders will also contain any playlists that you have been editing (see below).
The list of Browsed Folders is erased when you go to a different media source, with the exception of playlists.
Items in fthe Browse result appear in the order that they are supplied by the media source, with two exceptions:
  • When the Shuffle button is depressed, item order is randomized.
  • Items from a music album are always sorted according to the track number.
When the list of browse results is long, it can be handy to use the Search box on top. Type in a few letters of a word you are looking for, and the list will only show browse results that contain those letters. Note that browsing will continue while you type in your search term.

Playlist

Default playlist

When you follow the procedure "Quickly play a song", you start off with an active playlist that is a copy of the browse result of that moment.
Media items (like music songs) will be played in order down from the first song that you selected. That is the natural way if you want to listen to an album.
The header line on top shows the playlist title (like title of an album or a custom playlist).

Editing a playlist

You can re-order the items in a playlist by dragging and dropping the items in the playlist.
Once you start re-ordering a playlist, it will appear as an entry in the list of browsed folders with a name like Playlist - Renderer, and the playlist title will change accordingly.
Delete an item in a playlist by double-clicking it, either in the playlist or in the browse results.
You will notice that items in the browse results that are not in the playlist are grayed out. Double-click such a grayed-out item and it will be inserted at the bottom of the playlist.
You can also drag an item from the browse list to insert it in any position of the playlist. If that item is a container (contains more items itself), then those items are inserted in the playlist (unless those items are containers themselves).
You can select multiple items in the browse list by holding down the SHIFT or CTRL key while selecting them, and then drag all the selected items at the same time.
You can go to a different browse folder or even different media source to insert items from there into your playlist.

Recycle items

The list of browsed folders always contains as its first folder the Recycle folder.
In the Recycle folder you find back the items that you removed from a playlist.
Click on the Recycle folder to display these items as a browse result and you can re-insert them into your playlist.
You can drag items from the playlist to the recycle folder to remove them from the playlist.

Building your playlist

You can also build up your playlist item by item starting from an empty one.
Click the Stop button to clear all items from the current playlist.
Now browse to the folders that contain the items you want to put in your playlist and drag each item over into the playlist.
You can select multiple items and drag them all over at once, and even drag a container to insert all the items in that container.
Click on the item in the active playlist (not the browse results!) where you want to start playing, and click on Play.
You can continue to add to and rearrange your playlist while it is playing.

Playing a playlist on another renderer

You build a playlist while a particular renderer is selected. The playlist belongs to this renderer. Other renderers may be playing different playlists in the meantime.
If you select a different renderer, you will see the playlist for that renderer. If you did not built a playlist for that renderer yet, it will be empty.
The list of browsed folders should contain an entry labeled: Playlist - <renderer on which it was created>.
Simply drag and drop this playlist onto another renderer that you want to play this playlist.

Finding back your playlist after you press Stop

If you press Stop, the current playlist is erased. If you did any editing to obtain this playlist, the list of browsed folders contains the entry: Playlist - <renderer name>, that you can use to recover the playlist.
If you did not do any editing, your playlist is still equal to the browse result and you can recover it from there.

See the origin of a playlist item

Right-click on an item in a playlist. This will select the server and folder where this item comes from. Handy if you want to add more items from the same folder but forgot which folder that was.

Renaming a playlist

Initially a playlist receives a name like: Playlist - <renderer on which it was created>. To rename the playlist simply click on the playlist again when it is already selected. Now type in the new name and hit Return.
You can also edit the title of the active playlist in the header (see "active playlist & title" in the above diagram).

Storing a playlist

On the top of the list of media sources (left side), you find the entry [computer name]. This is the local server. It contains an item Playlists. Under this item you can store your playlists.
When you have just created a playlist, you find it back in the list of browsed folders and its name appears in red, which is to signify it is not saved. When you would close 4u2Stream at this stage, that playlist would be lost.
Right-click on the playlist and select Save (or simply press Ctrl-S), to save that playlist under the Playlists item mentioned above. The playlist name now is green to signify it has been saved.
You can find the playlist back in the local server under Playlists.
Another way to save a playlist is to drag / drop it onto the Playlists item.

Deleting a playlist

Right-click on a playlist in the list of browsed folders and select Delete (or simply press the Delete key). The playlist is removed from the list of browsed folders. If this was a saved playlist, it is no longer saved. You can find the playlist back under the Recycle folder, from where it can be recovered and even saved again.
Another way to delete a playlist is to drag / drop it onto the Recycle folder.

Last.fm

4u2Stream can play songs from last.fm on DLNA / UPnP media renderers, and the local renderer of your computer. You need to have an account at last.fm and in many countries you need a paid subscription.
Since not all users are interested in this functionality, it is an optional install (at no extra cost). You can install last.fm from the initial screen of 4u2Stream right after start-up. Look for the link called Install Last.fm.
Once installed, last.fm wil be shown as a media server each time you use 4u2Stream.
Click on this entry and you will be asked to enter your username and password for your last.fm account. You only need to do this the first time that you use Last.fm. If you want to log on to Last.fm with a different user account, right-click on Last.fm and select Logoff to return to the screen where you can enter your user name and password.
Subsequently you will be able to browse to the various playlists that last.fm offers (they are called radio stations).
Since last.fm does not allow you to play their playlists in a changed order, drag and drop of last.fm items is disabled in 4u2Stream.

Device information

Right-click on a device (server or renderer). You will see a pop-up menu; click on Properties... This will show UPnP related information about the device.

Changing the display name of a device

From the above mentioned Properties overview, you can edit the name that is displayed for this device.
The default value of this is {0}. This is shorthand for the Friendly Name of the device. You can click on several of the information items displayed to insert one quickly as the display name. Look for the tooltips and try it.

Updates

Updates to 4u2Stream will appear from time to time. Updates are found and installed automatically. You will see messages telling you that a download is in progress when this happens. When the new version starts, you will have to give permission to open the firewall, as happens during the initial install. Sometimes your licenses are not automatically transferred to the new version. In that case you should use the licenses from the email that you received when you bought the licenses.
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