Getting Started

Select 'Getting Started...' from the 'Help' menu to display this page

Kenbushi Media Server


Kenbushi makes it easy to convert an existing computer into a powerful dedicated media server. Most users install Kenbushi on the computer, place it near a TV and sound system (for easy video and audio connection), and then use a wireless keyboard and mouse to remotely control the playback of music and movies.

Of course, you can also use Kenbushi as a desktop media management system, organizing and playing your media whilst performing other computer tasks such as word processing or web browsing.

If you have an older computer, consider purchasing an inexpensive video card with composite video output and built-in MPEG4 decoding (this will give you a very high quality picture without overloading the computer processor). Also, building your media library with movies in MPEG4 format (ie. .mp4 or .m4v movie files) is highly recommended - they provide the highest quality at the smallest size, and play beautifully on video cards with built-in MPEG4 decoding. Your local computer store should be able to provide you with help on which card to purchase, and video cards of this type are usually available for around USD30.

Setting Up
To setup Kenbushi, you need to:
  1. Ensure you have the latest version of Quicktime installed (ie. v7.2 or higher). Quicktime is used for playback of music and some movie types.
  2. Tell Kenbushi which folders on your computer contain your movies, music and TV shows - these are called 'Media-Aware' folders.
  3. Start the 'Kenbushi Setup Wizard', so it will scan all media in 'Media-Aware' folders into the library and get cover artwork from
  4. Optionally activate and use the full-screen media control system called KenbushiTV, which works similarly to 'Apple TV'.
To make Kenbushi aware that a particular folder on your computer is a 'Media-Aware' folder, add that folder to the listbox on the Shared Folders panel on the main window (see Figure 1 below) and check it's Media-Aware checkbox (on the left side of the listbox). Folders can be dragged and dropped directly from the desktop.

Windows Users:
Generally users add the 'My Music' and 'My Videos' folders to the listbox on the
Shared Folders panel (these folders can be found in your 'My Documents' folder). This will also include your iTunes music in the media scanned into the Kenbushi media library.

MacOS X Users:
Generally users add your 'Music' and 'Movies' folders to the listbox on the Shared Folders panel (these folders can be found in your 'Home' folder). This will also include your iTunes music in the media scanned into the Kenbushi media library.

Figure 1. The Shared Folders panel

After adding all your media folders, press the Media Folder Scan button (the blue circular arrow) and Kenbushi will scan through all 'Media-Aware' folders and extract various details about each media item, including 'Meta information' (such as artist, album name, etc.) and technical information (such as audio sampling rate, codec, etc). It will also set up your albums, movies, etc. with cover artwork, movie actor lists, etc. The cover artwork and other information will then be displayed when selecting albums or movies for playback, when browsing your media library, to provide ways to search in your media library for movies by actor, MPAA rating, etc, etc.

Your Kenbushi media library is now ready for use!! Simply select the Play Media tab to access the media in your media library.

If you wish to go into KenbushiTV mode (a full-screen media control mode similar to 'Apple TV'), press 'Shift-Tab' or select 'Full-Screen Media Control' from the 'Windows' menu
. When in full-screen media control mode (see Figure 2 below), pressing 'Shift-Tab' will return you to the main window on the desktop. When in full-screen media control mode, help information describing the function of each keyboard key can be found at the bottom of the main menu on the Start Page. Some additional help information is displayed in yellow (in the screenshot below, the help information says, "Use the arrow keys to navigate menus...") - the information displayed depends on what is selected by the colored selection rectangle. Green arrows show when you can move the selection rectangle left or right using the left and right arrow keys.

Figure 2. The Start Page on the Media Control Screen

A wireless keyboard provides a superb way to remotely control media playback on your Kenbushi media server - it is inexpensive, available from any computer store, easily replaceable, won't get lost, and offers a depth and ease of control which simply doesn't exist with hand-held remote controls. Of course, any wired keyboard is also good, and you may already have one of these.

The keys used for playback control are clustered together to make it easy to locate them, even in a darkened viewing room. The arrow keys form the center of the control key cluster, and are used for navigating the full-screen media control interface, selecting media for playback, and playback control. See Figure 3 below.

Figure 3. The keyboard keys used for media control

The 'Shift' and 'Ctrl' keys need to be held down for some of the control operations, but all of the most used functions require only a single keypress eg. volume up and down, skip backwards or forwards by 10 seconds, mute, etc. Some controls are only valid when using the VLC media player to play media, such as changing the picture aspect ratio, and adjusting audio and video
synchronization (some movies suffer from a lack of synchronization between the audio and video streams, and setting an audio advance or audio delay can alleviate this issue).

All the keyboard combinations available when playing media through the media control screen are shown below in Table 1. For easy access, you will find these controls listed in the Help menu at the bottom of the Home Page (see Figure 3 above).

Key Function
Play selected media item
Ctrl-Return, Esc* Stop
Spacebar Pause / Continue
Up arrow
Volume up
Down arrow
Volume down
Left arrow
Back 10 seconds
Ctrl-Left arrow
Back 1 minute
Right arrow Forward 10 seconds
Ctrl-Right arrow
Forward 1 minute
Toggle mute
Page Down
Show playback position
Shift-Right arrow
Next media item
Shift-Left arrow
Previous media item
Take screenshot
Shift-Tab Toggle full-screen media control
Page up
Change aspect ratio (VLC only)
Ctrl-Up arrow
Increase audio delay (VLC only)
Ctrl-Down arrow
Decrease audio delay (VLC only)

Table 1. Full-screen media control keys

* When playing media with VLC on MacOS X, the Stop function is activated only with the 'Ctrl-Return' key ('Esc' cannot be set to quit VLC on MacOS X, due to a problem in VLC). When playing media with VLC on Windows, the Stop function is activated only with the 'Esc' key. When playing media with Quicktime, either key can be used.

Further Information
Please read Kenbushi Media Center for further information about searching for media, setting up playlists, playing media, full-screen media control, etc.

File Transfers


The Kenbushi application must be running on all computers you wish to share files between. It only uses Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) for it's operations, so you don't need other protocols such as NETBEUI, AppleTalk, etc. to successfully share files.

In addition, you don't need file sharing enabled on your computer, nor do you use the Network Neighborhood, My Network Places, the Chooser, or any other networking functions built into your operating system to use Kenbushi.

Setting Up
Select the Preferences panel and enter a Sharing Password to ensure only authorized users (ie. those people who know your password) can access your shared files and folders. Then choose the Shared Folders panel and add all the files and folders on your computer you wish to share.

If you wish to share files with your friends over the Internet, select Internet (Internet Workgroup) from the Workgroup Setup Method popup menu on the Preferences panel. Then enter the Workgroup Name you and your friends have chosen to use, and press the Join button. Your friends' computers should appear in the Connect to popup menu on the Transfer Files panel within a few seconds.

The fastest way to set up a LAN workgroup (eg. a simple home network) is to select Auto-Discovery from the Workgroup Setup Method popup menu on the Preferences panel. All computers on the LAN should then be discovered quickly and automatically. No further setup is required.

When you launch Kenbushi, you should see other computers running Kenbushi listed in the Connect to popup menu on the Transfer Files panel after a few seconds. They will also be shown in the Remote User Connection List listbox on the Network panel, and you can see their IP address, their computer name and what they are doing.

Select a computer from the Connect to popup menu to view it's shared files and folders. You may need to enter a Sharing Password to gain access to files on this computer (once entered, the password will be stored and automatically used for subsequent operations).

When you have the remote file list displayed, simply double-click a file in this list (or highlight it and press the Download button - the left-pointing arrow) to begin transferring it to your computer. The file will be stored in the folder displayed in the Local File List listbox. You can also highlight a range of files and/or folders in the remote file list and press the Download button to get them all.

To upload files to a remote computer, the remote computer must be set up with a shared folder which has been set to 'Writeable'. You can then navigate into this folder via the Remote File List listbox, select files in the Local File List listbox and press the Upload button to upload the files to it.

The Sync button works similarly to the Upload button, except that it transfers (uploads and downloads) files so that the contents of the selected folder is synchronized with the equivalent remote folder on the Remote File List. If the remote folder doesn't exist, it is automatically created. Synchronization means: any files not at both locations will be transferred, so that they exist at both locations; any updated files will be transferred, overwriting the old ones (if they exist).

Dynamic help text (based on which button, textbox, etc. you have the cursor over) is displayed at the bottom left side of most panels.

If you get a message saying that a computer is unreachable, try again. Sometimes network packets get lost (especially in congested networks) and simply trying again can result in success.

A file shown in the Local File List or Remote File List with an '*' in front of it's size value is a Macintosh file with a resource fork. When transferring these types of files to another Macintosh, all file information will be transferred correctly. However, when transferring these types of files to a PC, only the data fork will be transferred (thus, the file may be corrupted) unless you check the Transfer MacOS Resource Forks checkbox in the Preferences panel.

If a control is disabled, the dynamic help text associated with it will be displayed in red. Normally, it is displayed in black.

Further Information
Please read the section on Detailed Operation for further information.