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PLEX and XBMC Peaceful Coexistence?


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#1 Windza

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 05:08 AM

Hi All,

I'm a recent user of Plex Media Server for Windows and Plex for iOS and long time user of XBMC for the same devices and had a query about sharing/synchronising information between the two... let me explain.

Having been with XBMC for some time, I have a rather extensive library (~6TB of content) centralised in mySQL for all devices... this works exceptionally well on my Windows boxes but less so on iOS (I have an iPad, iPad2 and iPhone4) which is slow, finicky and simply not yet implemented adequately for iOS.
Playback using PLEX on the other hand works wonderfully on iOS but not at all on Windows (unless I utilise pleXBMC which seems a little redundant to me).

My frustration is primarily with the "Watched" flagging on video content (and to a lesser degree the "Resume from" functionality) which is well established for my XBMC library but completely absent from PLEX.

What I'd really love to do is have this information synchronised between PLEX and XBMC so that there's some parity between iOS and Windows. From what I understand of pleXBMC, it reads purely from the PLEX Media Server and I'd be required to re-establish this information with PLEX (a considerable task I would think?)

I've searched high and low and either I'm completely clueless or the question hasn't been asked, so I'm posting it here...

Is there any way to sync "Watched" flags and "Resume From" information between PLEX Media Server and XBMC?

Any help is appreciated...

Thx... Windza

#2 hippojay

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:41 AM

Not 100% sure I understand:

* you have your media in XBMC library
* you use Plex Media Server for iOS playback
* you want resume watched in XBMC to be reflected in Plex Media Server
* you want resume watched in Plex iOS to be reflected back into XBMC

PleXBMC does indeed read only from PMS (although it writes back watched and resume information), and you would need to migrate your media from XBMC to Plex. Export to .nfo and a plex import with "local media assets" might do this quickly.


What you probably need is someone to write a plugin for plex media server to read the library from XBMC (basically pleXBMC in reverse). Then you could have your library in XBMC only and have plex read it back for iOS. XBMC does provide an httpapi which can adjust the watched/resume, although this is being replaced with a JSON interface which doesnt yet provide this.

I've kicked around the idea, but it means getting to grips with the Plex plugin framework - which I haven't got the time for yet. Perhaps someone else will step in.
Turn XBMC into a Plex Client:
PleXBMC - Play Plex media through XBMC
PleXBMC Helper - Integrate Official/Unoffical Plex remote control apps into PleXBMC
PleXBMC Repository - Install all addons from one place
PleXBMC on the Raspberry Pi

Modded Skins:
QuartzV3/4 for PleXBMC - Integrate PleXBMC into home menus

#3 Windza

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 11:26 AM

Not 100% sure I understand:

* you have your media in XBMC library
* you use Plex Media Server for iOS playback
* you want resume watched in XBMC to be reflected in Plex Media Server
* you want resume watched in Plex iOS to be reflected back into XBMC

PleXBMC does indeed read only from PMS (although it writes back watched and resume information), and you would need to migrate your media from XBMC to Plex. Export to .nfo and a plex import with "local media assets" might do this quickly.


What you probably need is someone to write a plugin for plex media server to read the library from XBMC (basically pleXBMC in reverse). Then you could have your library in XBMC only and have plex read it back for iOS. XBMC does provide an httpapi which can adjust the watched/resume, although this is being replaced with a JSON interface which doesnt yet provide this.

I've kicked around the idea, but it means getting to grips with the Plex plugin framework - which I haven't got the time for yet. Perhaps someone else will step in.


hippojay, you do understand 100%...

I was actually hopeful that Plex would have an option to utilise the same mySQL DB (as XBMC) but I'm guessing that Plex deviated before the mySQL feature was introduced in XBMC and hasn't been implemented?

You mention "Export to .nfo and a plex import with "local media assets" might do this quickly" - are you implying that the watched flags would be transferred in this instance or just how to migrate the media to Plex?

Thanks for info...

#4 hippojay

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 11:38 AM

I was actually hopeful that Plex would have an option to utilise the same mySQL DB (as XBMC) but I'm guessing that Plex deviated before the mySQL feature was introduced in XBMC and hasn't been implemented?


No, plex have developed a different way of storing the library that is completely different to XBMC. So no way to utilise the XBMC structure directly. This is why a plugin would be needed to translate XBMC to PMS.

You mention "Export to .nfo and a plex import with "local media assets" might do this quickly" - are you implying that the watched flags would be transferred in this instance or just how to migrate the media to Plex?


Hmm, I don't think that watched and resume is transferred over. Sorry.
Turn XBMC into a Plex Client:
PleXBMC - Play Plex media through XBMC
PleXBMC Helper - Integrate Official/Unoffical Plex remote control apps into PleXBMC
PleXBMC Repository - Install all addons from one place
PleXBMC on the Raspberry Pi

Modded Skins:
QuartzV3/4 for PleXBMC - Integrate PleXBMC into home menus

#5 Windza

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 11:44 AM

No problems...

If there was an easy way to transfer the "watched" flags to Plex I'd consider using PleXBMC on the Windows client and effectively maintaining only the Plex library - I know XBMC stores this in the mySQL DB, is it readily accessible in the Plex library such that an SQL script could be adapted to insert these values (I'm not sure what DB software Plex is using)?

#6 hippojay

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 12:09 PM

You could write a script to sync these up I suppose:

* When XBMC finished playing, write the resume/watched status to PLEX (simple HTTP GET on a URL + args)
* Periodically sync up XBMC with Plex status by getting the metadata XML from PMS (again a single web page which holds the data - you would need to parse though)
Turn XBMC into a Plex Client:
PleXBMC - Play Plex media through XBMC
PleXBMC Helper - Integrate Official/Unoffical Plex remote control apps into PleXBMC
PleXBMC Repository - Install all addons from one place
PleXBMC on the Raspberry Pi

Modded Skins:
QuartzV3/4 for PleXBMC - Integrate PleXBMC into home menus

#7 catello

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:22 PM

hi,
I have the same problem of you Windza. so if you found or will find a solution to your problem please tell me :)

thank

#8 Windza

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:58 PM

Hi catello,
I'm sorry to tell you I never explored this any further; the primary reason I was doing this was because PMC was not available on Windows at the time and I was more familiar with XBMC. Thankfully, PMC was finally developed for Windows and I was able to run exclusively with Plex.
I've gotta say I miss the flexibility and functionality of XBMC but Plex has been far more dependable and a little more polished.
Cheers,
Windza

hi,
I have the same problem of you Windza. so if you found or will find a solution to your problem please tell me :)

thank



#9 mongjohn

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 05:50 PM

Sorry for bumping an old thread, but I'm struggling with this also; been using XBMC for a long time and still think it's the best solution for media on the LAN, but PMS combined with iOS and Android more than holds its own! Only problem is having to maintain two separate libraries.
If Plex and XBMC were able to sync watched statuses, all would be perfect!

If XBMC was able to generate a text file everytime the status of an item in the library was changed, Plex could read this file and set the items in its library correspondingly and vice versa.

For example, if I watch an episode of House, XBMC could generate a line like:
House S02E03 [watched/unwatched/timestamp]
I can't code, but would it be all that hard for PMS to read this line and translate it into something that's present in the PMS library?

This is a really simple, not very pretty solution - but would it work? ;)




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