Roku Firefly

Downloads - Firefly

Roku is pleased to announce the availability of the new Firefly Media Server. This Open Source server by Ron Pedde works seamlessly with SoundBridge & SoundBridge radio and provides many advantages over other media servers. The Firefly Media Server supports the new Roku Server Protocol (RSP) and offers a richer experience than currently available with standard servers:

  • Firefly is the fastest performing standalone music server on the market today.
  • Firefly is free!
  • Firefly is simple to set up - just point it at the folder containing your music!
  • Firefly imports the iTunes music library structure, so iTunes users will see all their playlists (even Smart Playlists!) available when using Firefly - even when iTunes is not running.
  • Firefly runs in the background, out of the way, and can be configured to start automatically.
  • There is a system tray icon (Windows) or Preference Pane and menu bar Status Item (Mac) to allow for quick and easy configuration.
  • Firefly supports many audio formats - MP3, AAC, and WMA. FLAC and OggVorbis are supported on Windows, and Apple Lossless is supported on the Mac.
  • Firefly runs on Windows, Mac and Linux; and it is open source software which allows for community participation.

The SoundBridge line will continue to offer customers a choice by aggressively supporting existing server protocols such as UPnP AV, Rhapsody, etc.


This software release is "Version 1.0 ".

If you use a firewall under Windows, you will need to make a firewall exception for the program "firefly.exe". If you use the Windows XP SP2 built-in firewall, the Firefly setup program will attempt to make the exception automatically. For other firewalls, consult your documentation. For more information on exceptions with the Windows XP SP2 firewall, click here.

If you use a firewall on the Mac, you will need to set Firefly to use a manually-assigned port (see the User's Guide), then open that port in your firewall. In addition, configure the Mac's firewall to allow iTunes sharing (this opens the correct ports for Bonjour server discovery).

While Firefly will work with all Roku SoundBridge software, we recommend that you run 2.5.173 or later. To check your software version and to upgrade, use your SoundBridge remote to go to Change Library or Configuration->System Configuration->Software Version and Updates. Follow the on screen instructions to check for newer software and to upgrade. If you are running a version prior to 2.5 (eg 2.4.4 or 2.3.44), you may need to sign up for the latest 2.5 software. See here for more information and to sign up. To discuss the 2.5 software or the Firefly server, visit the Roku Forums.

Issue (For iTunes/Firefly users only)

In certain situations, users will see garbled text on SoundBridge on-screen display, when they try to play song files with Asian language text (eg: Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese. Japanese etc )

This issue happens when ID3 tags (see below for description) are entered by certain applications that do not support Unicode (eg: Windows Explorer). In such situation, Firefly will display garbled text.

An ID3 tag is a data container within an MP3 audio file stored in a prescribed format. This data commonly contains the Artist name, Song title, Year and Genre of the current audio file. While there are legacy and future standards for ID3 tags, the most popular version implemented today is ID3 version 2.3.

Solution (For iTunes/Firefly users)

  • Use iTunes to convert the ID3 tags using the following steps:
    • Import songs into iTunes
    • Select the ones that needs to be converted
    • Right Click, Convert ID3 Tags
    • Choose any ID3 version higher than v2.2
  • Alternatively, use an application that writes the ID3 tags in a compliant manner.

Installation Instructions (Windows)

  1. Download and install Bonjour for Windows. This is required before installing the Firefly Media Server. [ Bonjour for Windows ]
  2. Download the Windows Installer for Firefly Media Server from the link below.
  3. Once the download is complete, locate the saved file and run it.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. When asked to specify the directory that contains your music, the default is usually ok. However if you have your music stored in a different directory, you should change it. If you are an iTunes user, make sure the directory specified (or a subdirectory) contains your iTunes library file.

Installation Instructions (Mac OS)

  1. Download the Disk Image below.
  2. Double-click on the downloaded disk image to mount the image.
  3. Open the "Read Me First!" file and follow the installation instructions given.


Download the Firefly Media Server (Version 1.0) for Windows (4.4 MB)
Download the Firefly Media Server Users' Guide for Windows (247 KB)
Download the Firefly Media Server (Version 1.0) for Mac OS 10.3 and 10.4 (1.8 MB)
Download the Firefly Media Server Users' Guide for Mac OS X (249 KB)

Post-Installation [Windows]

  1. Upon installation, the Firefly Media Server will run immediately.
  2. The first action it will perform is to scan the folder specified during setup for supported music formats. This can take several minutes depending on how much music you have. While scanning you may notice your computer's hard disk being accessed quite often. This is normal. See the note below about periodic re-scanning of music library to recognize changes.
  3. Once the scan is complete, the server will make itself known on your home network and should appear as "Firefly Media Server" on your Roku or Pinnacle SoundBridge.
  4. If you wish to view or modify your configuration, you may do so by double-clicking the Firefly System Tray Icon.
  5. If you wish to stop or start the server, you can do so in the 'Server' tab in the configuration program.

Post-Installation [Mac OS]

  1. When you have followed the instructions in the "Read Me First!" file, the System Preferences application should be open, with the Firefly pane visible.
  2. Review the default settings, and then click the "Start Firefly" button. Note that the initial scan of the library may take several minutes. (See note below about periodic re-scanning of music library to recognize changes.)
  3. Once the scan has completed, the status in the System Preferences pane will be updated to reflect that the server is running. At this point, the server should also be visible on your network to your SoundBridge devices.
  4. You may close System Preferences after starting the server. The server will continue to run in the background.
  5. If you wish to view or modify your configuration, or start or stop the server, you may do so by returning to the Firefly preferences pane in System Preferences.

Recognizing Changes Made to Your Music Library

The Firefly Media Server will periodically re-scan your shared music library in order to detect any changes you have made (such as adding tracks or playlists). This happens every 5-10 minutes, depending upon the platform and server version, and by default only happens if a client is connected. The default setting for the re-scan interval should work well for users who make occasional changes to their music libraries. Just be aware that fresh changes to the library may take a few minutes to appear on clients connected to the server, and that changes made when no clients are connected may not appear until a few minutes after a client connects. If you want to adjust the interval, you may do so from Firefly's advanced configuration web page. Or, you may want to stop and then re-start the server if you have made changes that you want to see as soon as possible.