How can I make my Mac be a DLNA server and/or client?


13 Answers 13


There are several choices based on the fact that any UPnP server should also be DLNA compliant:

The bold ones are directly mentioned to be DLNA servers.

  • Eyeconnect works with eyetv recordings only (to my understanding) Feb 23, 2013 at 0:15
  • 1
    Few more miniDLNA, Universal Media Server
    – est
    Jan 3, 2014 at 3:33
  • TvMobili is now $45 with a free trial
    – Rich
    Sep 3, 2016 at 1:37
  • The minidlna server can be installed with HomeBrew. As a client you can listen music and videos from VLC player Sep 7, 2023 at 20:11

I've had this same frustrating hunt for ages, tried and found all of them to have serious issues either with usability or actual functionality. Most sadly arent even worth trying. But then last week I found a poster who recommended Plex media server and its so good I'm trying to find the post and poster to thank him.

Plex server is totally free but you can pay for mobile clients. I have an iMac and MacBook Pro both running Mountain Lion, and the iMac now serves my xbox, wdtv live and archos 7 faultlessly. This may sound set up but save yourself the pain and effort and try Plex first.

Plex takes a while to run through a big, say 3tb collection but it genuinely has been the most painless and reliable of all I've tried and the searchable options are far more varied and sensible than those for others. Don't want to name names but I've pretty much tried them all. The only thing I can't comment on is transcoding; I assume their clients manage this. From my perspective, I needed something to access my library, rather than rely on hardware specific transcoding. If you need this its a mixed bag regarding codec support, and I found the issues with other servers made the solution less viable. Connect360 was not bad for xbox, they also do a PS version, but for straight media serving, Plex no question.

  • "The only thing I can't comment on is transcoding; I assume their clients manage this."
    – Will E.
    Aug 15, 2013 at 14:49
  • (Sorry, I meant to add this note but missed the edit timeout.) The desktop clients will transcode on their own, but mobile clients make the Plex server do the transcoding for them. So if you run Plex Server on a "real computer" (i.e., on your Mac, but not on a NAS), this shouldn't be a problem. Section 1.2 of thi page of the Plex Wiki talks a lot about transcoding, and might be worth a look even if you will run Plex on an actual computer: [wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/FAQ:_Plex_Media_Server_and_NAS]
    – Will E.
    Aug 15, 2013 at 14:54
  • In 2020 plex is user hostile in its design and is no longer a recommended low cost option
    – Warren P
    Jan 24, 2021 at 22:29
  • I just gave it a try, and within 3 minutes everything was set up!!! Works like a charm Nov 15, 2022 at 19:03

Serviio is a free DLNA server, with a Mac version.



I've been using the PS3 media server.

  • +1 I use this too, but it sucks ... a lot of media simply wont work, or works badly. My AirVideo iPad/iPhone app can encode high def VLC files perfectly! Aug 30, 2010 at 1:14
  • PS used on a Mac? Dec 13, 2014 at 18:27

There are some free as well as pay for options:

http://mediatomb.cc/ (FREE)

http://www.wildmediaserver.com/ ($40)


I've been using Plex for a few months and its awesome - found it far superior to PS3MS. Get SABnzbD and SickBeard running as well.




Plex has recently added DNLA support, and is an excellent option.

  • Please addd a link to Plex, so that the OP can find the correct software.
    – daviesgeek
    Aug 14, 2012 at 17:35
  • Doesn't work without a paid subscription though Jan 11, 2017 at 14:45

Specify Machine...

eMac PPC 10.5.8 -

Serving :

TvMobili-Leopard-universal.dmg works as does Twonky 5.1.x for serving. XBMC seems to work but not thoroughly tested

Client :

Plex- - This operates but I've not had any luck getting it to see my servers.... Apparently there is a way to get plex to see twonky but I cant figure it

Probably the best bet on a PPC is to get a distro of Ubuntu and go from there.... then all we need is a decent client on our $200 Tablet with HDMI to flatscreen.

Otherwise you can get DAAP clients for cross platform music streaming from OSX boxes....

Really it depends on what you mean by makeing a "Mac" into a media server/client.... If you have multiple apple machines, then far and away the best thing is iTunes (I stick to version 9), get vine server and chicken of the vnc.... and bVNC for your android... job done, no brainer

  • Answer is informative, but I won't upvote until it's written a little more clearly. I.e. "Here's a DLNA setup that worked for me. My equipment is:...." Keep in mind that new/inexperienced users may be reading your answer months or years from now.
    – gosmond
    Feb 22, 2013 at 20:57

Vuze is a free torrent client that includes DMS and transcoding. It's okay — to be fair, the DMS is still in beta, but works very well (though I can't pause video with it)


Playback is my favorite DLNA Server for MAC OS X, but I just found out that they closed business and are no longer supporting any of their software as of March 2014. I'm using Plex right now as the best of the two others that I've tried; Plex and XBMC (KODI). I just have problems with Plex not understanding my naming convention for TV show episodes. They get out of order and the program reads 4,14,114 as the number 4 for episode numbers. I previously spent a lot of time naming them how they make sense to me. I do enjoy the artwork that Plex brings up for certain titles.

Playback didn't try to re-order or rename anything. It just reflected exactly what the folder contents were in alphabetical order. It also had it's own security settings such as only allowing certain devices to connect to the server by ip address. When viewed through the PS3 it displayed album art or a snapshot from that episode.


MediaLink from NullRiver is a relatively inexpensive option ($20). It was extremely easy to setup -- it installs as a preference pane plug-in, there are four things to configure and a 'Start' button. Best of all, you can try it for free for 30 minutes; I purchased it after about 4.5 minutes. There's also an App-store version that is a straight-up application.

Caveats: I don't know if the pref-pane option will still work if/when I upgrade to El Capitan with its new security enhancements (no reason to think it won't, but you never know). Also, the last software was two years ago (2013), as of this writing. But it works and was easy to setup.


Elmedia Player

Elmedia Player is a Mac video player that offers advanced streaming options. It can handle any conceivable media format. Files can be streamed to Chromecast, AirPlay, Roku and DLNA devices. No additional codecs are required for it to work.


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