Plex corrupting movie files.



I'm new to this whole Plex thing. I have been using iTunes and AppleTV, and a friend asked me about Plex so since I was needing a upgraded router anyway, I bought the Nighthawk X10. Getting Plex up and running was a piece of cake. But after a couple days, I believe the Plex scanning process is corrupting some of the movie files. Certain files, some ripped from DVD, others from blu ray, are suddenly corrupted so that the bit rate, resolution and codec are unknown. Plex and iTunes both can't play the file. One particular file, ripped from blu ray, I reripped. and 12 hours later, after one or more Plex scans, it was corrupted again. Also when bringing up the file info in iTunes, the title, director, genre and some other fields are greyed out and cannot be edited. This is not the case with uncorrupted files.

My rippeing process is: MakeMKV for blu ray, Handbrake for DVD and mkv files, using Apple TV surround sound 60 1080p setting. I use Subler to edit the metadata. For foreign language blu rays, (French only, since I speak French) I use Handbrake to add subtitles from srt files for French and English (if they're available.) Otherwise, I just let the bluray use the burned in PSG data. I use original movie poster jpg files when available. Subler is good about finding them, but occasionally I have to search and download an obscure one if Subler can't find it. There is no correlation between corrupted files and where the poster art came from, though.

The hardware config is iTunes running on a Mac mini (2013, I think) with High Sierra. One my passport 4TB drive shared off the nighthawk. I plan to add another my passport on the nighthawk and use a file copy utility to make a backup every night of the current files. iTunes is mapped to the readyshare drive. I am thinking about adding a third 4TB drive just for iTunes to use, and use that as the master, and use a file copy utility to update the main plex drive and backup drive on the router.

I didn't realize Plex had a preferred naming convention, so while my file structure adheres to MOVIES/movie name/movie name.m4v, some of the files have underscores, or don't accurately reflect the movie name, and none have the (date). So instead of A Fish Called Wanda (1988).m4v, it's A_FISH_CALLED_WANDA.m4v. I plan to fix this over the next few days.

Any guidance (short of having to rerip all 400+ movies) would be appreciated. As I said, I'm new at Plex, so are there conventions I'm not following? Are there scanning settings in Plex I should use? Should I let Plex handle the metadata?


Plex scans are a non-destructive process. Scans only intake data, Plex does not write. Any additional materials and tags applied are stored in Plex’s database, and not applied directly to the file. To date, after a year and a half, I have never had Plex alter a file in any way I could detect. You can’t even move files around in a folder structure using any part of Plex’s interface. All of that, including file names has to be done manually outside of Plex.

My advice, based on what I know is to look at any other process or program you have running. I’m not sure how running Plex directly from the router works, but perhaps there’s something in the way of depositing your files into directories that’s making a change? I assume you have a drive direct connected to the router?


I do have a drive directly connected to the router. When I first noticed this happening, I reripped one of the affect files, tested it in Plex and itunes to make sure it worked, and then the next day it was corrupted again. I’ve never had this problem with itunes; it only started when I started using Plex. I think what I’m going to try is renaming all movie folders and files to comply with Plex, fix the borked files, and keep Itunes shut down for now. Let’s see if files remain uncorrupted.


iTunes can be a destructive program, at least in the case of MP3s… You can directly edit the metadata contained within the file. I wonder if it can do the same with video files?

Maybe it’s the router itself? Perhaps something in its file scan? Pure theory… I just know Plex. Any changes Plex makes are purely superficial, existing in data layers outside of the file.


Regarding Plex modifying your data

  1. PMS does not modify your data unless you give it permission.
  2. Such permission is only associated with Deletion (when enabled) or DVR Recording


Thanks for the feedback. As I mentioned above, I’m shutting iTunes down for now. iTunes does do destructive editing of metadata, but in this case, I didn’t edit the metadata in most of the corrupted files. I suspect that while iTunes is running, it may periodically save something and this is corrupting the files. Not quite sure. About a week ago, I did move the storage drive from local on the mac to the usb port on the router, and then pointed iTunes there. That may be the link that is causing corruption. Going to ask that question in another forum.


It’s not iTunes. Files are still getting corrupted. Specifically, it’s the movie info metadata that gets corrupted. Last night I replaced all corrupted files (about 9). This morning, four new ones were corrupted. It must be the router the drive is attached to.


Well, I can tell you I started to see corrupt files on my server and it turned out to be my network switch. I replaced it (and the few files I transfer on bad hardware) and everything is good now.


I am ALSO having files CORRUPTED. I do not use iTunes for anything. I only use PLEX!!! I have only used plex about a year. I never had so many files CORRUPTED. IF plex is destroying files…we should be looking into a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!!!


That’s most unfortunate but I’m sure the EULA covers this.


What is EULA? Some kind of Plex backup program running in the background? If it “covers” it then where can I find my backup?

How does this work?


Also. Explain how a “network switch” can corrupt a file? How does that work in your universe?

I’ve been working with tech since 1991 and have NEVER heard that one. Please give details to your claims.

Inquiring tech minds would like to know…



The idea of a class action about this and also the EULA are pretty funny to me (sorry) but regardless, my files have also been going corrupt over the past few months.

I keep noticing it with Westworld Season 2 the most. It’s like an episode can only be watched for a night and then it’s unusable to everyone else after that. I keep replacing the files but it keeps happening. Updated everything but no difference.


Welp. Turns out my issue is that I had the transcode directory incorrectly set since I moved from running Plex natively to within Docker. Now all the problem shows seem to work fine.