I'm currently running a FC7 (1Ghz, 1/2GB memory, dated peripherals) system that has served us pretty well in the past. I'm trying to move this system into a headless server position - I already have samba up and running fine (though I'm still working on getting my wife's new Macbook to play nice with it). Unfortunately, for work reasons, we both have had to get 'mainstream' laptops (I have convertible tablet PC with MS Vista, and she has her Macbook Pro for graphics).
What my current goal is, is to set up a headless bi-directional media server on the FC machine. I currently have firefly (mt-daap) set up and running - which is great for single-direction serving up of music, and plugs seamlessly into iTunes on both OS's. This isn't quite ideal, though.
First problem: a limitation in iTunes (?) doesn't let us add the music from the server to her iPod. Is there a different client application that would allow this from a daap music server? Is another type of server necessary that would have similar convenience?
Second problem: the server is uni-directional. We can't just rip music to the collection via the server itself (which would have been convenient). Is there a better server to use? Should I just use ripping software locally installed on the client machine with the destination as the network file share with the music files, and have firefly rescan every now and then? Combined with this is the uni-directional problem of playlists - we want to be able to create and modify playlists from the client machines. Is there a way around this (though that may be involved in the answer to the third question)
Third problem: We currently have the linux box hooked up to a sound system, and enjoy the convenience of playing music through that. I've been using rhythmbox, which doesn't seem to have a remote control interface (which I'd need, as I'm trying to turn the box into a headless system) [ other than the bluetooth option that only works on smartphones - not our dumb phones]. What is a good remote-controllable music player - that uses a similar browsing interface (iTunes-like, with browsing ability by artist, genre & album)?
Thanks in advance. I know there are a lot of questions here - feel free to address just one or two if you want.