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  • FIRST POST
    • Rev
    • By Rev 12th Jun 17, 2:19 PM
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    Rev
    Plex server advice.
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 17, 2:19 PM
    Plex server advice. 12th Jun 17 at 2:19 PM
    Hope someone can give me some advice. I have an old laptop I've just replaced with a chromebook, it's a HP DM1, so was great for basic browsing etc but the trackpad buttons failed and I fancied trying a chromebook. It seems a shame to just bin the laptop so I'm wondering if I could turn it into a plex server.

    Surely if a raspberry pi can be a plex server then this can. I don't need it to sream 1080 or 4K. I onlt have a 42" TV and it's just me using it not a house full of people so it doesn't need to stream several things at once.

    I know it wont be powerful enough to transcode anything but I can optimize stuff on the desktop and transfer it to an external drive attached to the laptop.

    I've never used linux before but am a quick learner and happy to give it a go. Currently googling openelec to see what that's about and if that would work.

    Anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Rev; 12-06-2017 at 2:25 PM.
    Sigless
Page 1
    • S0litaire
    • By S0litaire 12th Jun 17, 3:24 PM
    • 3,323 Posts
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    S0litaire
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 3:24 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 3:24 PM
    Plex is easy to set up.
    Just install your favorite OS (Windows or Linux variety)
    go here
    https://www.plex.tv/downloads/
    Select "Plex Media Server" then choose your OS.
    Download it and install.

    once installed open a browser to:
    http://localhost:32400/
    Run through the instructions to set up folders to scan for media.

    You then just need a way of showing the content on your TV via Chrome Stick or Amazon TV stick.

    If you want to use the Laptop top display the media then Kodi would be a better software to use, as it's a media server and media player.
    Get it here and install :
    https://kodi.tv/download
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
    • Rev
    • By Rev 12th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
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    Rev
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 3:36 PM
    Sorry. I should have said I was looking for something a bit more lightweight than Windows.

    The laptop is old and really struggled with Windows 10. So I was looking for an OS that was more streamlined with less bloat.


    I have a roku 3 connected to the TV so will be using that.
    Sigless
    • S0litaire
    • By S0litaire 12th Jun 17, 4:01 PM
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    S0litaire
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 4:01 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 4:01 PM
    All you really need is any basic Linux install.

    If you know your way around linux then install any "server" version. (That won't have a desktop by default, just command line).

    Otherwise something like Linux Mint

    Once installed Plug the laptop into the network (lot less hassle and more reliable that dealing with wifi).

    Then download the version of Plex Media Server for your version of Linux (on another device and copy it over using USB)

    If you go with a Linux with a desktop then just browse to plex.tv and download the version and install it

    Then install.

    Then go to http://<laptops-ip-address>:32400/ (or http://localhost:324000 if using a install with a desktop)
    and proceed as directed.
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
    • Rev
    • By Rev 12th Jun 17, 4:02 PM
    • 2,991 Posts
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    Rev
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 4:02 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 4:02 PM
    Thanks, will give that a go now.
    Sigless
    • justaquestion
    • By justaquestion 12th Jun 17, 7:59 PM
    • 413 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    justaquestion
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:59 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 7:59 PM
    And don't forget you can side load Plex onto a NOW tv Box (well the old ones anyway) and stream movies pics music to any tv in house Now tv box is connected to.


    Ah just noticed you have three Roku, great stuff.
    • Rev
    • By Rev 13th Jun 17, 12:29 AM
    • 2,991 Posts
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    Rev
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:29 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 17, 12:29 AM
    Okay, installed linux mint. Got plex up and running spent a few hours moving all my media to an external drive to hook up to the laptop and plex wont read the drive.

    Its there, I can manually go into it and play the files. The drive itself shows up in plex media but it wont let me select a folder on the drive so I can't seperate stuff into Movies/TV/Music etc.

    I selected the entire drive and it says no files found.

    Never used linux before, totally stuck here.
    Sigless
    • SandLake
    • By SandLake 13th Jun 17, 9:36 AM
    • 478 Posts
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    SandLake
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:36 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 17, 9:36 AM
    I came at this from a different angle, I wanted a Media Server but I went along a different route. Synology NAS drives can act as a Plex Media Server (via an official plugin) and it turns out that their proprietary operating system is open source, available as Xpenology and runs on 'normal' hardware. The operating system is a bit difficult to upgrade but apart from that I found it quite easy.
    Last edited by SandLake; 13-06-2017 at 9:37 AM. Reason: typo
    • psychic teabag
    • By psychic teabag 13th Jun 17, 10:24 AM
    • 2,608 Posts
    • 1,537 Thanks
    psychic teabag
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:24 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 17, 10:24 AM
    Okay, installed linux mint. Got plex up and running spent a few hours moving all my media to an external drive to hook up to the laptop and plex wont read the drive.

    Its there, I can manually go into it and play the files. The drive itself shows up in plex media but it wont let me select a folder on the drive so I can't seperate stuff into Movies/TV/Music etc.

    I selected the entire drive and it says no files found.

    Never used linux before, totally stuck here.
    Originally posted by Rev
    Sorry, I don't know plex, so can't help with that. Just to clarify : when you say "it's there..." do you mean you can see and play the media from within linux, but just can't persuade plex to see it ? Could it be a permissions thing - daemons on linux typically run in their own user account, and would have different permissions from when you are exploring as yourself. (What filesystem did you use on the external drive ?)

    Could try an experiment and put some media onto a flash drive and see if plex sees that.
    • S0litaire
    • By S0litaire 13th Jun 17, 11:19 AM
    • 3,323 Posts
    • 2,104 Thanks
    S0litaire
    Okay, installed linux mint. Got plex up and running spent a few hours moving all my media to an external drive to hook up to the laptop and plex wont read the drive.

    Its there, I can manually go into it and play the files. The drive itself shows up in plex media but it wont let me select a folder on the drive so I can't seperate stuff into Movies/TV/Music etc.

    I selected the entire drive and it says no files found.

    Never used linux before, totally stuck here.
    Originally posted by Rev
    Linux Mint (most Debian version do this) puts external drives under " /media/<username>/<Drive label>"

    So in Plex When you add a folder go to "Add Library" then select the type of media "e.g. Films" then click next.

    Click "Browse for Media Folder"
    On the left of the window you should see at the top a house icon names "PLEX"
    Then below that their should be a Folder icon + "/" Click this.

    Then on the right hand side, scroll down till you see the "media" folder and click on it.

    Now on the right you should see your user name. click on it.

    You should now see the "disk label" or a long string of text. That is your external drive. Click on it

    Then select the folder with the movies.

    Click Add.
    That should be you.

    *tip*
    in "Advanced" untick "Enable video preview thumbnails" ( it takes a long time and a lot of disk space to generate these files for every video on your drive)
    Last edited by S0litaire; 13-06-2017 at 11:23 AM.
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
    • Rev
    • By Rev 13th Jun 17, 1:07 PM
    • 2,991 Posts
    • 2,713 Thanks
    Rev
    Sorry, I don't know plex, so can't help with that. Just to clarify : when you say "it's there..." do you mean you can see and play the media from within linux, but just can't persuade plex to see it ? Could it be a permissions thing - daemons on linux typically run in their own user account, and would have different permissions from when you are exploring as yourself. (What filesystem did you use on the external drive ?)

    Could try an experiment and put some media onto a flash drive and see if plex sees that.
    Originally posted by psychic teabag
    It was the permissions, took me a while to figure out how to give plex permission to see the drive etc.


    Linux Mint (most Debian version do this) puts external drives under " /media/<username>/<Drive label>"

    So in Plex When you add a folder go to "Add Library" then select the type of media "e.g. Films" then click next.

    Click "Browse for Media Folder"
    On the left of the window you should see at the top a house icon names "PLEX"
    Then below that their should be a Folder icon + "/" Click this.

    Then on the right hand side, scroll down till you see the "media" folder and click on it.

    Now on the right you should see your user name. click on it.

    You should now see the "disk label" or a long string of text. That is your external drive. Click on it

    Then select the folder with the movies.

    Click Add.
    That should be you.

    *tip*
    in "Advanced" untick "Enable video preview thumbnails" ( it takes a long time and a lot of disk space to generate these files for every video on your drive)
    Originally posted by S0litaire
    It would see the drive but wouldn't let me go into the drive and select the correct folder etc.

    I need to find the best video settings not to convert stuff to limit transcoding as the laptop is just not powerful enough for that.

    All seemed to be working okay last night but now it's saying unavailable.
    Sigless
    • Rev
    • By Rev 13th Jun 17, 4:22 PM
    • 2,991 Posts
    • 2,713 Thanks
    Rev
    I never thought to roll back to Windows 7.

    Which version would you recommend?


    I'm finding Linux a bit of a faf to be honest. Everything seems to take an age.
    Sigless
    • toshi
    • By toshi 13th Jun 17, 6:20 PM
    • 102 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    toshi
    You need to get used to Linux world Linux uses less memory and better resource management than Windows, especially true for older hardware.

    How old your computer is ? Which CPU you have got ?
    https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201774043-What-kind-of-CPU-do-I-need-for-my-Server-

    Which LinuxMint do you use ? If you may prefer MATE to Cinnamon as MATE is less demanding, if your computer is not powerful.

    I used to play Kodi with LinuxMint mate, it was fun. I don’t use Plex. I use a NAS's build in DNLA server and stream music only. (I know I am lazy but works fine)

    Receiving streaming to mobile phone, then divert (via bluetooth 4) into bluetooth receiver, connecting to aux jack (headphone) at an old HiFi. You can use your (old spare) mobile phone as a remote controller. You can do a lot of fun stuff.

    Happy streaming
    • Rev
    • By Rev 13th Jun 17, 8:22 PM
    • 2,991 Posts
    • 2,713 Thanks
    Rev
    You need to get used to Linux world Linux uses less memory and better resource management than Windows, especially true for older hardware.

    How old your computer is ? Which CPU you have got ?
    https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201774043-What-kind-of-CPU-do-I-need-for-my-Server-

    Which LinuxMint do you use ? If you may prefer MATE to Cinnamon as MATE is less demanding, if your computer is not powerful.

    I used to play Kodi with LinuxMint mate, it was fun. I don’t use Plex. I use a NAS's build in DNLA server and stream music only. (I know I am lazy but works fine)

    Receiving streaming to mobile phone, then divert (via bluetooth 4) into bluetooth receiver, connecting to aux jack (headphone) at an old HiFi. You can use your (old spare) mobile phone as a remote controller. You can do a lot of fun stuff.

    Happy streaming
    Originally posted by toshi
    To be honest windows is very clearly much more resource hungry but it has the pro of being much simpler.

    It took me over two hours last night to figure out why plex wouldn't see the hard drive. That's not particularly user friendly. Especially to someone completely new to linux.

    But, I can't argue that for old hardware it's much better.

    Not decided if I'll keep it yet, the plex server isn't seeing all the media, some episodes are missing, I've used filebot to rename them and they show up fine if I install plex server on my desktop and point it to the same external drive.
    Sigless
    • toshi
    • By toshi 13th Jun 17, 10:33 PM
    • 102 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    toshi

    It took me over two hours last night to figure out why plex wouldn't see the hard drive. That's not particularly user friendly. Especially to someone completely new to linux.

    Not decided if I'll keep it yet, the plex server isn't seeing all the media, some episodes are missing, I've used filebot to rename them and they show up fine if I install plex server on my desktop and point it to the same external drive.
    Originally posted by Rev
    Rev, you have done remarkably well, I think.

    It seems that two issues may be involved.

    1) accessing to your external media.

    /media/(user_name)/(device_name)

    I believe that you have done this. This is Linux specific stuff, No C: drive unlike windows.

    2) Missing file


    When you browse your external hard disk with LinuxMint file manager, can you see the all file names? (I think YES)

    Then it seems that this is Plex specific issue ? not Linux OS itself.

    How about this ?
    https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/198461/missing-files

    I have a similar problem with music streaming, I encounter duplication of song names or missing songs. it seems that DLNA server doesn't care about file names, it checks tags information. You may find the way to access your file name instead, or you may change the tag.

    Sorry I would be completely wrong, as i am purely talking about MP3 tag issue when scanning music files. But I would assume DLNA server may act in a same manner ?

    You may want to investigate Plex forum (as well as LinuxMint forum, which is very user/beginner friendly)

    Hope you will sort it out very soon
    Last edited by toshi; 13-06-2017 at 10:41 PM. Reason: minor correction
    • Rev
    • By Rev 13th Jun 17, 11:25 PM
    • 2,991 Posts
    • 2,713 Thanks
    Rev
    That is weird, usually Plex only gets confused by layout of file name or because a series has several versions in different countries.

    For it to work on one OS and not another is unusual, probably a question for the plex forums.

    It will do you no hard to get your head around Linux, you can always partition disk, reducing size of Linux and creating primary partition for Win7, then in Win7 use EasyBCD to make it dual boot.

    That way if you ever get a problem with Linux you just reboot and load Win7 and update libraries to get going quickly.
    Originally posted by DavidP24
    It's Doctor Who episodes. Specifically the specials. It wont see them at all, well it sees one but has it listed as an episode from series 7 when it's the 50th anniversary special.

    It wont see the others at all but on my desktop it sees them fine. I've used filebot to triple check the names etc.

    Rev, you have done remarkably well, I think.

    It seems that two issues may be involved.

    1) accessing to your external media.

    /media/(user_name)/(device_name)

    I believe that you have done this. This is Linux specific stuff, No C: drive unlike windows.

    2) Missing file


    When you browse your external hard disk with LinuxMint file manager, can you see the all file names? (I think YES)

    Then it seems that this is Plex specific issue ? not Linux OS itself.

    How about this ?
    https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/198461/missing-files

    I have a similar problem with music streaming, I encounter duplication of song names or missing songs. it seems that DLNA server doesn't care about file names, it checks tags information. You may find the way to access your file name instead, or you may change the tag.

    Sorry I would be completely wrong, as i am purely talking about MP3 tag issue when scanning music files. But I would assume DLNA server may act in a same manner ?

    You may want to investigate Plex forum (as well as LinuxMint forum, which is very user/beginner friendly)

    Hope you will sort it out very soon
    Originally posted by toshi
    It was getting my head around the fact that as far as linux is concerned I don't own the external drive until I tell it otherwise so I can't use things like plex to access it until I tell it I can.

    Yes I can see the files when I browse the hard drive and it's just those episodes.
    Last edited by Rev; 13-06-2017 at 11:31 PM.
    Sigless
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 14th Jun 17, 2:49 PM
    • 980 Posts
    • 679 Thanks
    rtho782
    Plex Server is light weight, the issue comes if you're expecting it to transcode.

    RPI3 for example is not man enough for transcoding.
    Last edited by rtho782; 14-06-2017 at 10:43 PM.
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    • S0litaire
    • By S0litaire 14th Jun 17, 3:15 PM
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    S0litaire
    To get "Specials" to be shown (they don't usually fit in the "S##.E##" format Plex likes and expects.)

    You usually have to manually add into the name the series number and use the episode counter of 00 (double zero)

    Example:
    in the case of The Doctor Who 50th Christmas special, you would have to add in "S07.E00".

    Plex should now spot it and label it correctly for the Christmas episode.

    You will find things might need manual tweaking to get things to show properly.

    I.E for trilogies or multipart movies/mini-series you might have to make sure the titles are identical and then add in "Part1", "Part2" etc...
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
    • Rev
    • By Rev 14th Jun 17, 11:36 PM
    • 2,991 Posts
    • 2,713 Thanks
    Rev
    To get "Specials" to be shown (they don't usually fit in the "S##.E##" format Plex likes and expects.)

    You usually have to manually add into the name the series number and use the episode counter of 00 (double zero)

    Example:
    in the case of The Doctor Who 50th Christmas special, you would have to add in "S07.E00".

    Plex should now spot it and label it correctly for the Christmas episode.

    You will find things might need manual tweaking to get things to show properly.

    I.E for trilogies or multipart movies/mini-series you might have to make sure the titles are identical and then add in "Part1", "Part2" etc...
    Originally posted by S0litaire
    Figured it out in the end. For some reason filebot had listed changed the name of one episode (The christmas invasion) , literally one episode. Soon as I figured that out and corrected it they all showed up fine.

    Okay, next question, how can I access the external drive attached to the laptop from my windows 10 desktop in another room?

    Can't figure out how to share it, I have 'shared' it in linux and it shows up on my windows machine but the folders are empty and don't match the actual folders on the drive.

    I want to be able to transfer things via network from the desktop to the laptop external drive.
    Sigless
    • rtho782
    • By rtho782 15th Jun 17, 8:35 AM
    • 980 Posts
    • 679 Thanks
    rtho782
    Plex is even better when linked with Sonarr for TV shows and Couchpotato for films. These actually name files correctly so they are picked up better.
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