Howto Install Freecom Musicpal in Ubuntu Feisty

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Freecom just brought a brand new product to the Dutch market called the "Musicpal". On the box it says it's supported for Windows and Mac, although its software is based on Linux Kernel. Stubborn and Windows/Mac hater as I am, I decided to buy this nice product convinced of managing to make it work somehow in Ubuntu (Linux geek as I am!). Two days later I managed to make it work! Still not perfect, but enough not to bring my Musicpal back to the store. Therefor I thought it would be nice to write the beginning of a good tutorial.

Technical information

To run the Freecom Musicpal, you need the delivered software which is, how awkwardly, not linux approved. But what is in this software? Nothing more than a fancy mediaserver. This mediaserver, serves musicfiles from your computer to the Musicpal in the network.
Musicpal's mediaserver works with UPnP, a kind of networkprotocol for datatraffic mostly audio and videofiles. XBOX-Mediacenter and Mythtv are just two examples of programmes with build-in mediaservers based upon the UPnP protocol. The software delivered with the Musicpal is a UPnP-based mediaserver program.

UPnP mediaserver for linux

Are there any UPnP mediaservers for linux? Yes there are:

  • GeexBox
  • PyMedS
  • MediaTomb
  • TwonkyMedia (non-free)
  • GMediaserver

First I tried GMediaserver which is in the ubuntu feisty repositories. But I couldn't work it out to work with Musicpal, therefore the rest of this tutorial will be based upon the next program I tried: MediaTomb.

Mediatomb installation

This program is free and quite simple to use. Although it is not GUI based, still it is easy, even for a noob like me! Just follow the next steps and you'll have your own mediaserver:

  1. Go to the webpage of MediaTomb by clicking on this link
  2. Here you can find plenty of information on this program. But we're going to install it so...
  3. Go back to your computer and open a terminal window
  4. Copy paste this line wget -O- -q | sudo apt-key add -
  5. Press enter, something like OK must appear
  6. Close the terminal window and open synaptic
  7. Open packetsources in the main menu
  8. Open the third party sources tab
  9. Press Add
  10. Copy paste this line: deb feisty main and press add source, then close the packet sources menu
  11. Press the button that says reload sources (or something like that)
  12. Now search for Mediatomb and install it

Mediatomb start up

This is the part where i'm new as well, and in the future we could improve ourselves. This is how I managed to make things work:

  1. Open a terminal window
  2. Type mediatomb (mediatomb will set itself up)
  3. Type mediatomb -- add /home/username/music (type in the path where your music is stored, this is only my example)
  4. Now mediatomb will easily add all your musicfiles to the network

Connect with Musicpal to Mediatomb

Go to you're beloved Musicpal and gently press the buttons to reach the menu that says: "Media Server". If you click on it, you'll find Mediatomb in the next menu, and if you'll click on that, you'll find all your mediafiles that you want your sweet Musicpal to be playing.

Hope you beginners can use this tutorial, and hope that the more advanced linux users can add there knowledge to this start up!

Kind regards,

Merlijn Schoots

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3 Responses

  1. Francis says:

    The title is rather misleading.
    This article is not about how to install Freecom MusicPal in Ubuntu Feisty but about how to install Mediatomb in Ubuntu, quite different and with all respect with a limited interest.
    I wish you explained what you did to port Freecom MusicPal in Ubuntu.

  2. slawko says:

    thanks for this article. Thanks to it I was able to setup the mediatomb and it works perfectly with my MusicPal…

    Anyway, do you know any resources on “hacking” this great radio? Since it has some linux on board maybe it’s possible to play arround? :o)

    So far I determined that it has two ports open: 80 (http-based management console) and 9000 (????).


  3. jim says:


    i used gmediastreamer. it was fairly straightforward to set up. you need a couple of upnp libs. you might need to make symbolic links from the shared libraries to /lib as i did, if you get ‘file not found’ error messages… ie:

    ln -s /usr/local/lib/** /lib

    should work!


    @slawko, you can get a telnet port open on the musicpal…. err, i think you browse to yr_musicpal/admin/cgi-bin/debug.cgi

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