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PlexBMC (XBMC Add-on to connect to Plex Media Server)

botmatrixbotmatrix Posts: 38Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

PlexBMC
 
PlexBMC is a collection of addons which integrates an XBMC frontend with a Plex Media Server backend. The project was started by the developer hippojay, and continued by pecinko, wickning1, and magnesium.

 

Requirements

  • XBMC Frodo or Gotham. (Gotham preferred.)
  • Plex Media Server (recent version)
  • (For PleXBMC Helper) HTTP Server enabled in XBMC (Settings > Services > Webserver > Allow control of XBMC via HTTP)

Installation

 

If you had PleXBMC installed previously, you should completely uninstall it (and the repo, if you had it) and restart XBMC before setting it up this way! All future updates will come about in the following manner.

 

PlexBMC can be installed in one of two ways: via the repository or manually.

 

Repository (recommended)

  1. Download the PlexBMC add-on repository from here:
    http://hippojay.github.io/repository.plexbmc.addons/download/repository.plexbmc.addons/repository.plexbmc.addons-3.0.0.zip
  2. Install this into XBMC (System > Add-ons > Install from zip file).
  3. Go to Add-ons > Get Add-ons > PlexBMC Add-ons for XBMC
  4. PlexBMC is a set of two add-ons.
    1. PlexBMC provides the main access to content. Enable it in Video, Music, or Picture (you only need to enable in one location). (This is required.)
    2. PlexBMC Helper allows you to control XBMC from a Plex remote (such as on mobile device or the web). Essentially it causes PlexBMC to appear just like a Plex Home Theater instance. Also required for "Now Playing" support. (This is optional, but highly recommended.)
  5. Once the add-ons are enabled, you can update to new releases simply by updating your add-ons within XBMC.

Manual

 

Releases of PleXBMC and PleXBMC Helper are available on github, at these links:

Download the zip of the version you'd like to install, and "install from zip file" in XBMC. Installation this way won't allow for automatic updates.

 

Skins

 

PleXBMC can work with any skin. It will appear as a video add-on in your skin menu. However, we recommend using a PleXBMC compatible skin for complete integration. Currently the best supported PleXBMC-enabled skin is Amber. This can be installed from the standard xbmc.org repository. Once installed, select "Go PLEX" from the Home Screen (scroll to Settings, select "Go PLEX").

 

Debugging

 

If you encounter problems with PleXBMC, please help us help you by doing the following.

  1. Go to Settings > System > Debugging, and tick the "Enable debug logging" setting.
  2. Go to PleXBMC settings, and tick "Enable debug output to log."
  3. Restart XBMC
  4. Reproduce the steps you took to cause the crash/error.
  5. Submit the log file in one of the following ways:
    1. Follow the steps at http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Log_file/Easy and post the link in a forum message.
    2. Manually find the debug log file at the location specified in http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Log_file/Advanced#Location, and paste it at xbmclogs.com, then give us the link.
    3. Manually find the debug log file and attach it to a post here. (Least preferred option).
    4. PLEASE DO NOT copy and paste the log file to a post. That just makes the thread impossible to read. If you are tech savvy and can isolate the bug and post the dozen or so lines of interest, you can paste it directly inside of a code block, but it's best to just upload everything.
  6. Help solve the bug! If you are knowledgable of Python/XBMC Add-ons, feel free to try and fix the bugs! Fork the add-on repositories at the github links above and start coding!
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Comments

  • botmatrixbotmatrix Posts: 38Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2014

    Features/Configuration

    How to setup a multi-user environment

    1. Make a profile for each user in xbmc: settings/profiles e.g. Adults and Kids. Enable login screen.
      Plexbmc will show ALL library sections initially. To separate it we do:
    2. Log on as Adults. Go to skin settings, plexbmc. We get a list of all available sections. Disable those you don't want to see in your Adults profile.
    3. Log on as Kids. Repeat what we done in step 2 but, obviously, hide adult content instead. We can also disable add ons or whatever else we find unsuitable for Kids profile. Or we can make shortcuts for Kids add ons in their profile while having separate set of add ons in Adult profile.
    4. Optionally, enable a PIN lock for the adult profile.
  • smacrae1970smacrae1970 Posts: 432Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    This thread is like a spring clean my wife enjoys the most  :D

  • richlnrichln Posts: 38Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Magnesium, thanks for taking up the mantle and continuing this fine project.  If you have the time, can you look into fixing the bug that shows the generic plex icon instead of album cover while playing music?  Thanks!

  • OmegaRed1723OmegaRed1723 Posts: 315Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Thanks to magnesium and wickning1 for picking up the PleXBMC mantle. It looks like the project is in good hands.
  • DFergATLDFergATL Posts: 56Members
    edited April 2014

    New to this plugin on XBMC.  I have the latest installed 3.4.5.  After installing it, I am using the Arora skin - FYI, I clicked on the plugin and got "Could not connect to remote server"  I go into Add-On Settings and have tried the auto discovery and manually entering ipaddress/port.  But I still can't connect.  I downloaded the Plex Home Theater, just to test, and they can find the server just fine.  I have even turned off the firewall, temporally, on the plex server but still can't get plexbmc to connect.  I have the feeling it must be something simple as PHT does work and I don't see a lot of posts about people not being able to get it to work.  Can I get any suggestions on what to look for now??

    David

  • romanroman Posts: 27Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Looking forward to having everything relevant under one repo and happy to see you guys moving the project forward!

    I removed my previous installs (3.4.3 I believe) and having issues:

    - I see Movies / TV / etc, but I cannot get my listings from each - script error

    - Deck doesn't work for each category

    Can you add info on the original post on how to submit bugs and how to get the debug info?  Maybe you should use Github for issues instead of the forum??

  • Crystalgipsy01Crystalgipsy01 Posts: 55Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I used the latest version of the plexbmc add on with Openelec 3.95.4 and then plexbmc started to fail. I then downgraded to Openelec 3.95.2 and still had the same issue. I only got it working after completely uninstalling all versions of plexbmc and the helper and reinstalling just 3.4.3 and the latest helper. .May try again with latest Openelec and uninstall and reinstall both plugins and see if it works. Don't wont not to update to final release build when its available.

  • Crystalgipsy01Crystalgipsy01 Posts: 55Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2014
    DFergATL wrote on April 18 2014, 2:04 PM: »

    New to this plugin on XBMC.  I have the latest installed 3.4.5.  After installing it, I am using the Arora skin - FYI, I clicked on the plugin and got "Could not connect to remote server"  I go into Add-On Settings and have tried the auto discovery and manually entering ipaddress/port.  But I still can't connect.  I downloaded the Plex Home Theater, just to test, and they can find the server just fine.  I have even turned off the firewall, temporally, on the plex server but still can't get plexbmc to connect.  I have the feeling it must be something simple as PHT does work and I don't see a lot of posts about people not being able to get it to work.  Can I get any suggestions on what to look for now??

    David

    I had issues with auto discovery too. I found that this and the helper don't work that well when you have authentication required on local network switched on in server settings on pms. Try turning it off and see if it helps. It's a pain thougj  if you want the device to be set for a certain user though if your using multiple accounts as I think this is needed. I got round that though be configuring PLEXBMC menus to hide all adult content and just show my kids stuff and I use my phone/tablet to push adult content to my HTPC.

  • pecinkopecinko Posts: 1,011Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    CrystalGipsy wrote on April 18 2014, 5:01 PM: »

    I had issues with auto discovery too. I found that this and the helper don't work that well when you have authentication required on local network switched on in server settings on pms. Try turning it off and see if it helps. It's a pain thougj  if you want the device to be set for a certain user though if your using multiple accounts as I think this is needed. I got round that though be configuring PLEXBMC menus to hide all adult content and just show my kids stuff and I use my phone/tablet to push adult content to my HTPC.

    I have posted this several times but it looks like it is not as obvious as I have thought. So, here's quick HOW TO for multiuser environment in plexbmc:

    1. Make a profile for each user in xbmc: settings/profiles e.g. Adults and Kids. Enable login screen.

    Plexbmc will show ALL library sections initially. To separate it we do:

    2. Log on as Adults. Go to skin settings, plexbmc. We get a list of all available sections. Disable those you don't want to see in your Adults profile.

    3. Log on as Kids. Repeat what we done in step 2 but, obviously, hide adult content instead. We can also disable add ons or whatever else we find unsuitable for Kids profile. Or we can make shortcuts for Kids add ons in their profile while having separate set of add ons in Adult profile.

    Optionally, enable PIN lock for Adults profile.

  • Crystalgipsy01Crystalgipsy01 Posts: 55Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    I never had much luck before with xbmc profiles. But then that was before I move to pms. So never occured to me to use them for this.

    Thanks.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk
  • hipnetichipnetic Posts: 87Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Help please.  I got an Amazon Fire TV to play around with.  I successfully side-loaded the latest Gotham release of XBMC (as well as SPMC, which is Frodo-based, just in case).  Now I'm a bit stuck as I'm not sure how to install PleXBMC.  How would I transfer the zip files over to the FireTV?  I think I've dealt with this sort of thing before (using OpenElec or my ATV) via FTP, but I've forgotten how I did that, so I'm doing some Googling now, but figured I'd post a request for help, just in case.

  • botmatrixbotmatrix Posts: 38Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    hipnetic wrote on April 18 2014, 8:25 PM: »

    Help please.  I got an Amazon Fire TV to play around with.  I successfully side-loaded the latest Gotham release of XBMC (as well as SPMC, which is Frodo-based, just in case).  Now I'm a bit stuck as I'm not sure how to install PleXBMC.  How would I transfer the zip files over to the FireTV?  I think I've dealt with this sort of thing before (using OpenElec or my ATV) via FTP, but I've forgotten how I did that, so I'm doing some Googling now, but figured I'd post a request for help, just in case.

     Check here: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Amazon_Fire_TV . I think you need to install adb on your computer, and use that to transfer (as they do the usersettings folder). Just transfer to somewhere you can access through XBMC and install the zip that way.
     

    pecinko wrote on April 18 2014, 6:33 PM: »

    I have posted this several times but it looks like it is not as obvious as I have thought. So, here's quick HOW TO for multiuser environment in plexbmc:
     
    1. Make a profile for each user in xbmc: settings/profiles e.g. Adults and Kids. Enable login screen.
     
    Plexbmc will show ALL library sections initially. To separate it we do:
     
    2. Log on as Adults. Go to skin settings, plexbmc. We get a list of all available sections. Disable those you don't want to see in your Adults profile.
    3. Log on as Kids. Repeat what we done in step 2 but, obviously, hide adult content instead. We can also disable add ons or whatever else we find unsuitable for Kids profile. Or we can make shortcuts for Kids add ons in their profile while having separate set of add ons in Adult profile.
     
    Optionally, enable PIN lock for Adults profile.

     
    I'll add this to the initial post.
     

    roman wrote on April 18 2014, 4:18 PM: »

    Looking forward to having everything relevant under one repo and happy to see you guys moving the project forward!
     
    I removed my previous installs (3.4.3 I believe) and having issues:
     
    - I see Movies / TV / etc, but I cannot get my listings from each - script error
    - Deck doesn't work for each category
     
    Can you add info on the original post on how to submit bugs and how to get the debug info?  Maybe you should use Github for issues instead of the forum??

     
    I'd love to use the issue tracker with github (would make things so much easier) but I didn't want to force people to make a github account just to submit bugs. Are you a developer there?

    Check the first post in a few minutes, I'll add debugging info.
     

    richln wrote on April 18 2014, 11:48 AM: »

    Magnesium, thanks for taking up the mantle and continuing this fine project.  If you have the time, can you look into fixing the bug that shows the generic plex icon instead of album cover while playing music?  Thanks!


    I'll add it to the TODO list but the folks who have script errors have more pressing concerns :)

  • dlanordlanor Posts: 2,202Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2014
    hipnetic wrote on April 18 2014, 8:25 PM: »

    Help please.  I got an Amazon Fire TV to play around with.  I successfully side-loaded the latest Gotham release of XBMC (as well as SPMC, which is Frodo-based, just in case).  Now I'm a bit stuck as I'm not sure how to install PleXBMC.  How would I transfer the zip files over to the FireTV?  I think I've dealt with this sort of thing before (using OpenElec or my ATV) via FTP, but I've forgotten how I did that, so I'm doing some Googling now, but figured I'd post a request for help, just in case.


    I haven't yet had access to a Fire TV unit to test this on, but I assume it should work very similar to all the other Android units on which I have installed XBMC with PlexBMC addons and Plex-oriented skins (just another addon type). In all cases I simply store the ZIP files in a shared folder of my PC, and then use the SMB support of XBMC to access that folder over my LAN. I can then install addons directly over LAN without first having to download them to the Android device.

    And for generic sideloading on all these Android units I've used the "ES File Manager/Explorer", though in a few cases I've first had to use some other file manager or app installer, for cases where the native appstore of the unit does not contain ES File Manager. (Eg: On the OUYA I first had to use other stuff to sideload an old version of "ES File Manager", as the new ones are not OUYA compatible). This way I can also install sideloaded apps over LAN, from app backup folders on one of my PCs.

    Best regards: dlanor
  • hipnetichipnetic Posts: 87Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    magnesium wrote on April 18 2014, 8:44 PM: »

     Check here: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Amazon_Fire_TV . I think you need to install adb on your computer, and use that to transfer (as they do the usersettings folder). Just transfer to somewhere you can access through XBMC and install the zip that way.

    Thanks, yeah, I was just about to reply here to say that I got it sorted out.  As that wiki indicated, there is an adb "push" command that you can use to transfer files over to it.  I'm thinking that there's probably a way to FTP over as well, but I couldn't get that figured out yet.  I don't want to clutter this thread with those sorts of questions, though.

    FWIW, I got the basics working, and if anyone is interested, the Fire TV (running the latest XBMC Gotham nightly w/PleXBMC) was able to play my high-bitrate (Blu-ray rip) MKV h.264 file and, more surprisingly, 720p and 1080p MPEG-2 HDTV .WTV (Windows Media Center) recordings.  No transcoding required.  I am doing my testing with a TV in my bedroom which is just stereo, so I haven't tested out 5.1 audio yet (FWIW, I don't rip the HD audio tracks, so that's not a need of mine).

    I haven't tried VC-1 video yet, but would expect that to possibly give it some trouble.  Fortunately, that encoding method seems to be pretty rare.  The main downside for me is the lack of 24Hz support, which could be a bit of a deal-killer for me, at least for my main viewing room which is equipped with a front-projector and huge screen.

  • hipnetichipnetic Posts: 87Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2014

    dianor, thanks for the additional tips!

    So what's the status of the Quartz skin and Gotham?  It looks like it no longer has built-in support for Plex.  Through the use of Favorites, I can replicate a lot that the "Plex" mode of the older version of this skin offered.

  • brandondhbrandondh Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    I keep getting "cannot connect to network server" error. I tried both the auto and manual server search and niether work. I use Plex Home Theater and Plex on my android phone and fire tv with no problems. Any ideas why plexbmc doesn't see my server?

  • DFergATLDFergATL Posts: 56Members
    CrystalGipsy wrote on April 18 2014, 5:01 PM: »

    I had issues with auto discovery too. I found that this and the helper don't work that well when you have authentication required on local network switched on in server settings on pms. Try turning it off and see if it helps. It's a pain thougj  if you want the device to be set for a certain user though if your using multiple accounts as I think this is needed. I got round that though be configuring PLEXBMC menus to hide all adult content and just show my kids stuff and I use my phone/tablet to push adult content to my HTPC.

    Well that option is off but i still can't get plexbmc to connect.  Any other ideas?  Or should I just use the XBMC only and skip Plex Server?

  • Crystalgipsy01Crystalgipsy01 Posts: 55Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2014

    I can only suggest setting, server discovery to manual and enter ip address and port (check your ports open), enter MYPLEX username and password. Also I made sure I had all the upnp services and web services running on xbmc, not sure if these make a difference to the server login or not though. Make sure your running latest PMS.

  • brandondhbrandondh Posts: 15Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2014
    CrystalGipsy wrote on April 18 2014, 11:20 PM: »

    I can only suggest setting, server discovery to manual and enter ip address and port (check your ports open), enter MYPLEX username and password. Also I made sure I had all the upnp services and web services running on xbmc, not sure if these make a difference to the server login or not though. Make sure your running latest PMS.

    I did all this and it still doesnt work. I set the ip to 127.0.0.1 which is what the url bar show the ip is when i open pms. Odd thing is that when I choose to add a file and choose upnp I can point it to the pms and it sees the files and allows me to play them. So basically I can use  pms set up as a upnp directory for files, but not the plexbmc app with the same server.

  • dlanordlanor Posts: 2,202Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited April 2014
    hipnetic wrote on April 18 2014, 9:43 PM: »

    dianor, thanks for the additional tips!
     
    So what's the status of the Quartz skin and Gotham?  It looks like it no longer has built-in support for Plex.  Through the use of Favorites, I can replicate a lot that the "Plex" mode of the older version of this skin offered.


    There was a version of Quartz which was adapted for an old version of PlexBMC, but that skin has not been updated for current PlexBMC versions.

    The only skin well adapted for the current versions of PlexBMC is the 'Amber' skin by pecinko.
    That skin allows you to switch between classic XBMC mode and Plex mode, using simple menu commands ("Go Plex"/"Go XBMC").
    In Plex mode this Amber skin transforms XBMC+PlexBMC into a full-fledged Plex client.

    Best regards: dlanor
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