Sunday, 10 July 2011

Go away WMP Library- ahhh!

I use Windows Media Player (WMP) 12 as my main app to play music.  I've dabbled with various other media players such as Songbird and WinAmp but always found myself going back to the good old trusty WMP.

WinAmp even includes an app for Android (and iPhone as well) that allows you to control what music sync's with your phone over the wireless.  In my experience it worked quite well and was quite stable even though it was in beta at the time. 

But for outright simplicity I find WMP easiest to use.  For more advanced work with my music I use Virtual DJ, this provides all the stat's you could ever ask for.

Back to the point of my blog, WMP12 was giving me serious hassle trying to remove libraries that I'd removed.  I restarted the machine, added, removed again, restarted and so on.  All the songs from the libraries would simply not go away.

In the end I found a quick fix that re-builds your libraries (note if you have huge libraries like myself rebuilding may take time):

  1. Open WMP12
  2. Right click Library in the menu top left
  3. Choose Tools> Advance> and click Restore Media Library
  4. WMP12 will now close.
  5. Open WMP12 and the all media libraries will be rebuilt.
  6. And most importantly, if you deleted libraries the data associated with these will be gone :)
Simple solution to the problem thankfully.

Now back to the music.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Watchguard VPN using a Public Dynamic IP

So you have a small office with maybe only one to five users.  You want to connect this office with the corporate VPN but don't want to/ can't t pay the excess costs for public internet static IPs for your router and firewall (in my case a Watchguard XTM 2 Series).

Note one of the main reasons for multiple IPs in a situation such as the above is for connection reliability and to increase security slightly eg the internet facing router has a public static IP and the firewall will have it's own public static IP as well.

The solution for this is helped by a well known website (others are available).  You register an account and add these account details to the Watchguard in the DynDNS section.  From this point you will now be able to contact the device using the domain name you setup even when the ISP changes your public IP address (the Watchguard will send the update to DynDNS.

The WAN/ internet port on the Watchguard firewall will need configured with an IP address on the same subnet as a LAN port of the router.

A switch can then be connected to a trusted port on the firewall. Devices such as computers and laptops connect to the switch for their networking needs.

All other ports on the router and firewall should be disabled for security purposes.