I have been using FileZilla FTP server for years so it came quite naturally to also build my TV / HTPC infrastructure around its file services.
Some of the benefits of using FTP for serving files
* low system impact
* own permission system seperated from windows security system
* use of file service groups
* use of virtual directories (mounting all-over-the-place-folders to one virtual directory)
* bandwith and session mangement, scheduled
* easy to add on TLS encryption for secure access from the internet
I have already provided a short guide for implementing TLS encryption with FileZilla here: http://nachtrab.de/2012/11/06/filezilla-ftp-server-with-implicit-tls-encryption-on-a-adsl-line-with-dynamic-ips
This guide will only point to the necessary steps to set up:
* file service group
* virtual directories
instead of using single users I strongly suggest to always set up groups, and then add users, because you can easily add additional users with the same permission set. I have three groups: admin, ftp-users, tv-users
* create base directory for virtual dirs, for example c:/filezilla. It is empty and just a mounting point!
* start filezilla server interface
* select edit, groups
* select add, chosose a group name, I will use ‘ftp-testgroup’ from now on
* goto shared folders, add, choose c:/filezilla, leave the right at: Files (Read) and Dirs (List+Subdirs)
* add the first dir with content by clicking add, choose directory, ok. (For example I use ‘p:/tv-series’)
* select the directories line, and doubleclick in the free space beyond “Aliases”, enter c:/filezilla/tv-series. This will mount the folder p:/tv-series as c:/filezilla/tv-series
* add more folders in the same way, till you have your group ready, close the group settings
* select edit, users, add, choose a username, choose its group membership ftp-testgroup, click OK
* select password and set it!
* choose no folders, those come from the group membership.
To use FTP as source in XBMC choose FTP, enter name or IP of the FileZilla server, the username and password you created, that’s it!