I was hoping to have my XBox also store all my media (personal pix, mp3s, TV shows, etc.), and if I needed them on other computers I could stream them off there. Having the XBox be the main repository allows me to take my laptop away somewhere without taking all the media away from the house. Right now all the media is either on a laptop, or one of two external drives (annoying... long story).
Part of this has to do with the fact that I have a history of problems with samba and XP-Home (going from a Linux box). In the past I ended up opening the whole shared folder to guest-style access, which I wasn't comfortable with (especially if I physically took the laptop away from my home network).
At the moment I think I may make a spare linux box the holder of all media, and I can just point the Xbox at that. If samba to the Xbox was easy I would put my big harddrive in there, which would also afford me loads of space to "backup" games to the harddrive.
To backup games now I'll have to make sure I have enough space for the game on the local X-box drive, copy the game files, then ftp the files off the XBox for burning.
It must seem more complicated than it has to be. I just can't decide on the setup I like the most. Part of the problem is that all my media has to come through the laptop (and in some cases through USB to the laptop), which is typically connected to my home network through wireless, which is not going to be good for streaming video. I do have a linux box I can add to the equation, but I was hoping to keep it separate for some Asterisk stuff I'm doing (I just recently recovered from having everything on the same Linux machine only to have it burn out, leaving all my files tough to reach for a few weeks).
Alright, now I'm rambling. I think the samba to Linux box is my best bet.
Thanks for the tips, btw.