I'd like to get some kind of media center PC hooked to my TV (32" 720p). Here is what I'm currently thinking and why:

Neuros Link: Form factor of the case is wife-approved, wireless keyboard w/built in track ball, based on Ubuntu (my fav), wide codec support, great integration of web TV/video, available optical bay - all for $300

It looks like I could get a blue ray drive from newegg for $90 and get it working on Ubuntu - the native OS of Neuros.

So for about $400 I could potentially have a solid web TV/Video portal AND a blue ray player (admittedly un-polished, but that should only improve with time).

Here's the question:

I'd also like to use this system to play music and videos from a LAN network share. What are the best applications for this? Note- All my music is mp3, and I currently have almost 0 video files. I want to rip my current DVD's to digital files but am unsure of the best application to do this as well as the best digital file type.