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Which OS is best for Plex


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#1 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:10 AM

I really want to love Plex --- discovered it last week (via the App Store Genius section on my iPad) and have been playing around with it with the possibility of it replacing my iTunes servers.

First I tried the Linux server, which worked but I was having problems seeing all my content on my iPad. Via the chat system, someone indicated that the Linux version was not as current so then I uninstalled that version and installed the Windows version on a Windows VM inside my linux box.

That version seemed to work a little better but it seems to be having trouble picking up all my media content. For example, last night I copied a couple of small .mov files into a folder that already had one other .mov in it. No matter how often I tried to refresh, the plex server would not make the other two movies show up.

Now, after looking around and doing some more reading, it appears that this server was initially developed under OS X. I'm open to getting a Mac Mini to run Plex. Is the OS X version significantly more reliable than the Windows and Linux versions?

#2 jcastera

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:13 PM

Hi,

I dom't have any experience running Plex on any other OS than OSX. My experience on OSX has been very good, using a Mac Mini, highly recommend that setup

#3 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:46 PM

Have you seen issues with movies not showing up after a refresh?

Hi,

I dom't have any experience running Plex on any other OS than OSX. My experience on OSX has been very good, using a Mac Mini, highly recommend that setup



#4 Murderous Moppet

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 03:55 PM

I dont know if os x is better than other platforms (tho the linux server is quite new and a bit unstable i hear). As far as I know there is feature parity as far as plex, but many people choose mac because the mac mini is small and looks good in the living room. it also has an IR port so you can use a harmony remote or apple remote without having to get extra hardware.

IMO its probably not worth getting a new machine for. the linux server is being worked on and will be on par with the other platforms in due time. just be patient and the issues will be resolved.

the client OTOH i believe does have some os x only features. I *think* GPU accelerated video decoding is one of those things.

Bear in mind you are asking in the mac forum so responses may be a bit bias.

#5 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:05 PM

Well, having tried the Linux and Windows versions and seeing issues, Mac was my last hope.
I'm not interested in the client side as I'd rather use roku box with plex channel (that last was what actually got me excited) but it's not clear to me how solid is the whole thing. I'd like to get rid of all my old Apple TV boxes and stop having to run iTunes somewhere to feed them.
I understand the new Apple TVs have roku support (and so presumably can run Plex channel)

#6 plk

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:34 PM

I would first make sure your files are named in a way that Plex recognizes. It won't help to change platforms if your files won't be recognized anyway.

http://wiki.plexapp....MS_Naming_Guide

I use a mac mini and I'm very happy with it, but if you want to run the PMS on windows or linux, it should work. You might want to post in the linux or windows part of the forums about what's going wrong. I'm sure it's possible to get it working.

#7 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 04:40 PM

Actually, that naming stuff is my biggest problem --- I don't really care (for now) about it going off and doing analyis, etc. I'd like to just throw a bunch of appropriately named movies in folders and have them accessible. As far as I can tell, that seems to work just fine for some stuff, but not for others --- hence my sense that the environment is still unreliable.

#8 plk

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:06 PM

You may get lucky with a few files here and there if you don't name them correctly, but in order to get your media to show up, you need to separate tv shows from movies (they have separate scanners, so they need to be in different folders) and tv shows should generally be in the format of Name - season and episode number.file extension. Like this: Game of Thrones - S01E01.mkv. Movies should have their name and year. You might get some media to show up without this information, but it won't work consistently. That's why so many of us have set up systems to automatically sort and rename our files.

#9 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:13 PM

I understand that and I think it's one of the things that should be changed sooner rather than later. The naming scheme should be optional, not enforced. If I have a folders with movies in them, Plex should be able to just show those folders (say) and list the movies by filename (say) without any more effort. Renaming to be able to find descriptions and all the other meta stuff is nice but it should be optional. The convention may be fine if you're starting fresh but it's terrible if you already have years of movies and shows on your system.


For example, I already have everything named for iTunes server (thousands of files including movies, tv shows and music). I can't rename anything there as it will cause iTunes to fail to find them and until I can be sure Plex will work properly I cannot remove iTunes otherwise there will be a family crisis :-)

#10 Trudge

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:18 PM

I understand that and I think it's one of the things that should be changed sooner rather than later. The naming scheme should be optional, not enforced. If I have a folders with movies in them, Plex should be able to just show those folders (say) and list the movies by filename (say) without any more effort. Renaming to be able to find descriptions and all the other meta stuff is nice but it should be optional. The convention may be fine if you're starting fresh but it's terrible if you already have years of movies and shows on your system.


For example, I already have everything named for iTunes server (thousands of files including movies, tv shows and music). I can't rename anything there as it will cause iTunes to fail to find them and until I can be sure Plex will work properly I cannot remove iTunes otherwise there will be a family crisis :-)

It is optional now, define your section as a personal media section and use the "by folder" filter in the clients and you can browse by file name.

http://wiki.plexapp....MS_ScannerAgent
Primary PMS: Ubuntu 13.10, i7-4771, 16GB Ram, Samsung 840 Pro 512GB
Media Storage: 2 x ReadyNas Pro Business 18TB mounted by NFS to Plex Server
Desktop Clients: 1 x Windows 7 27", 1 x 15.4 Retina MBP, 2 x17" MBP, 1 x 13" MB, 1 x13" MBA
Mobile Clients: 2 x iPhone 5s, 3 x iPhone 5, 3 x iPhone 4s, 3 x iPhone 4, 2 x iPad 3, 2 x iPad 2
Airplay & PlexConnect Targets: 4 x ATV3

#11 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:20 PM

Incidentally, the scheme they want is pretty horrible. For example if the top level folder of a TV show is called FOO, there should not be any need to prefix every single show with "FOO -"....it can be inferred from the parent. Similarly, if you have to put SxxExx in the file name, then the parent shouldn't have to be called Season xx, again it's redundant. So either just have Exx in the filename or else don't require the file to be in a parent folder called Sxx.

There's also problems if you have one-off special TV shows which don't have episodes nor seasons.

By all means have some mechanisms to make it easier to collect meta information like descriptions and so forth, but this should be optional, not required.

Now I grant you I've only spent a little while with this system but unless I'm missing something really deep, redundant info is never a good idea unless one is going to do error recover. There's a reason one tries to normalize data in a SQL database, for example!

#12 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:23 PM

Ah---now that's interesting, I will give this a shot.

Thanks,
D

It is optional now, define your section as a personal media section and use the "by folder" filter in the clients and you can browse by file name.

http://wiki.plexapp....MS_ScannerAgent



#13 plk

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:23 PM

You can choose to use the "home movies" scanner if you don't want Plex to compare your files to the tv and movies databases. You just won't get metadata for anything. Or you could experiment and rename some of your data. I'm not sure why iTunes would have problems recognizing files named according to Plex naming conventions. They're pretty standard, as far as I know.

There's also problems if you have one-off special TV shows which don't have episodes nor seasons.

Those should go in the Movies section. Thetvdb doesn't list those as tv shows, but they will show up correctly as movies.

Also, you don't really need show, season and episode folders. All you need is the correct file name. The folders are really there for your convenience when browsing manually. If you want all your tv files in one folder, they will show up fine as long as the actual file is named correctly.

#14 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:32 PM

It's not a question of iTunes not recognizing files ---- it's that iTunes is already populated with the movies and shows and descriptions. If I have to change the underlying file names, iTunes won't be able to find them any more and I'll have to repopulate --- which is a lot of work. It seems to me that the Plex people are assuming that users are coming from zero rather than coming from different mature environment.

By the way, I'm not sure where one is supposed to select that "home movies" scanner. If you look at the attached image, at the point where I select a folder and then click advanced, the three fields in Advanced do not respond to mouse clicks.



You can choose to use the "home movies" scanner if you don't want Plex to compare your files to the tv and movies databases. You just won't get metadata for anything. Or you could experiment and rename some of your data. I'm not sure why iTunes would have problems recognizing files named according to Plex naming conventions. They're pretty standard, as far as I know.


Those should go in the Movies section. Thetvdb doesn't list those as tv shows, but they will show up correctly as movies.

Attached Files



#15 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:34 PM

OK --- that makes more sense.

Also, you don't really need show, season and episode folders. All you need is the correct file name. The folders are really there for your convenience when browsing manually. If you want all your tv files in one folder, they will show up fine as long as the actual file is named correctly.


By the way, thanks so much for taking the time to respond, I do appreciate it.

#16 plk

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:39 PM

I might have gotten the home movies name wrong, or it's been reorganized. It looks like what you would need to do is go under Primary Metadata Agent and select Personal Media.

Hope it works for you!

#17 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:42 PM

I think there must be something more fundamentally wrong with my installation ---- now it won't even let me add a section anymore.

So I guess I need to try the Mac option

#18 plk

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:50 PM

You should be able to add as many new sections as you want, wherever you want on your hard drive. If you're using the PMS through the browser interface, maybe your browser needs to be restarted. You might also need to make sure you have something selected for the media scanner, metadata, and language before it will add the section.

#19 dhjdhj

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:58 PM

Well, I just installed the Mac version on my desktop Mac to check it out and it blows the windows and linux versions out of the water. So I guess i'll go with the MacMini approach

#20 Trudge

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:21 PM

Incidentally, the scheme they want is pretty horrible. For example if the top level folder of a TV show is called FOO, there should not be any need to prefix every single show with "FOO -"....it can be inferred from the parent. Similarly, if you have to put SxxExx in the file name, then the parent shouldn't have to be called Season xx, again it's redundant. So either just have Exx in the filename or else don't require the file to be in a parent folder called Sxx.

There's also problems if you have one-off special TV shows which don't have episodes nor seasons.

By all means have some mechanisms to make it easier to collect meta information like descriptions and so forth, but this should be optional, not required.

Now I grant you I've only spent a little while with this system but unless I'm missing something really deep, redundant info is never a good idea unless one is going to do error recover. There's a reason one tries to normalize data in a SQL database, for example!

It matches against thetvdb.com and imdb.com, so it kinda needs to be "what they have done" and have made accessible via their interfaces - this is also why there is separate TV and Movie agents, as the data is sourced from 2 different sites in 2 different formats. Specials are Season 0, and one off eps generally have a S0XE0Y defined on thetvdb.com to match against. The scanner/agent is a lot smarter and more forgiving than what is mentioned in the guide, but the guide is the "naming it like this and it should work 100% of the time" guide. When matching strings against strings the more defined you can make them the better result you will end up with and the description strings post the S0XE0Y in the naming are optional.
Primary PMS: Ubuntu 13.10, i7-4771, 16GB Ram, Samsung 840 Pro 512GB
Media Storage: 2 x ReadyNas Pro Business 18TB mounted by NFS to Plex Server
Desktop Clients: 1 x Windows 7 27", 1 x 15.4 Retina MBP, 2 x17" MBP, 1 x 13" MB, 1 x13" MBA
Mobile Clients: 2 x iPhone 5s, 3 x iPhone 5, 3 x iPhone 4s, 3 x iPhone 4, 2 x iPad 3, 2 x iPad 2
Airplay & PlexConnect Targets: 4 x ATV3




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