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nullPointer
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by nullPointer Mon Apr 23, 2018 2:24 pm

noiseredux wrote:Thank you guys. Ok something I should have asked. Is it unreasonable to expect the Plex server PC to still be useable as a PC? Meaning can I still use this to browse internet etc even while something is streaming from it in another room?

And regarding "always on", I'd most likely shut it down while we are asleep. Would that pose any problem? Outside of 24/7 convenience is there a reason it needs to be on all the time?

Regarding whether the PC is still usable as a PC, I think the practical answer is that in most cases it should be just fine. If the server was in the midst of transcoding video (which is a bit of a special use case), you might see a performance dip depending on your hardware.

Back in the days of PS3 Media Server I would just turn on the server whenever I wanted to stream something from it. Plex is very much the same in that regard, and turning it off/on shouldn't cause any issues beyond the additional step required. The 'always on' bit is purely a matter of convenience.

Edit:
If you transitioned to a NAS setup, I'd contend that the NAS probably should be left on, although that might be just me. A NAS is sort of purpose-built to be just left on though, IMO.
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noiseredux
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by noiseredux Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:51 am

Ok so can I basically just make a fake NAS, meaning take an older desktop, shove some HDDs in it and load it up w FreeNAS? Ideally I want to use extra shit I have around and not spend money.

Once that's set up, I can add things to it remotely right? Like I could rip media on another PC and have it save to the fakeNAS since it's networked?

Would it be insane to have the fakeNAS wireless? If I go this route then I'd like the ugly extra desktop out of sight if possible. But is this unreasonable?
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by bmoc Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:19 am

noiseredux wrote:Ok so can I basically just make a fake NAS, meaning take an older desktop, shove some HDDs in it and load it up w FreeNAS? Ideally I want to use extra shit I have around and not spend money.

Yup.

noiseredux wrote:Once that's set up, I can add things to it remotely right? Like I could rip media on another PC and have it save to the fakeNAS since it's networked?

Yeah you should be able to setup your FreeNAS server as a network drive on a different PC.

noiseredux wrote:Would it be insane to have the fakeNAS wireless? If I go this route then I'd like the ugly extra desktop out of sight if possible. But is this unreasonable?

Probably fine as long as you are running 802.11n or 802.11ac Wifi.
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by noiseredux Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:32 pm

Alternate scenario: if I just filled up an external HDD plugged into a laptop could this technically work as the server? Is this a stupid option?

Follow up: what should I expect to get out of storage space? How many 2 hour movies should I expect to fit per 500gb as a rough example?
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by stickem Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:50 pm

Your first question is how mine is set up. I do have a paid/cracked plex app on my phone I can remotely stream from. Everything else is in house and that's all I want.

If you only want 720p, they range 2 to 3 gigs, so between 200-250 give or take.
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by bmoc Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:56 pm

noiseredux wrote:Alternate scenario: if I just filled up an external HDD plugged into a laptop could this technically work as the server? Is this a stupid option?

That should work though I prefer to have redundant hard drives setup in a RAID 1 array or better. Ripping movies takes a long damn time. While I still have all the DVDs on hand I really care about, it would take many hours to rip them again.

noiseredux wrote:Follow up: what should I expect to get out of storage space? How many 2 hour movies should I expect to fit per 500gb as a rough example?

That will entirely depend on how you rip the movies. File type, resolution, and bit rate are the major players here. I think stuff I record with PlayOn comes in at around 1GB per hour in HD. DVDs at 480p should be less than that if you are ripping to MP4s.
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stickem
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by stickem Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:00 pm

Dam I forgot all about legit rips. Those are larger than pirating.
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Anapan
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by Anapan Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:19 am

It's a pain for cartoons because you have to argue with the nerds on what the order of the old episodes aired. My complaints made it to archive. You're reliant on TVDB. Anime is better, you can choose between several servers if you install an update server module.
Get used to using TheRenamer and for Anime, FileBot
These programs will convert your collection to standard. If you do not conform to their standard the server will make a mess of your files in it's presentation.
Also, I have a server, PM me if you're a long time member - I got the best high speed fiber optic and find it wasteful to leave it's incredibly high speed ability dormant.

Edit:
if the files are encoded as H/X264 the intel I7 CPU my computer runs has no problem when serving 4-7 people.
I'm upgrading in the next month because my CPU has trouble re-encoding X265/HEVC videos. When turning to full quality X264, it shows occasional spikes to 100% CPU usage. Nothing that affects my usage of my computer, but be aware, I'm upgrading because of that and my attempts at Windows 10 virtualization in order to emulate the Xbox 360 using my video card's Vulkan ability. I will need to upgrade to a new video card.

I tried using my Nvidia Shield and my other side-computers with good Nvidia CUDA ETC Graphics card decoding of videos and found that they had troubles with the new formats. It took a genuine Intel 8-core I7 CPU to decode and send out the best quality rips.

I don't use PLEX often, but I really do appreciate that all my favorite handheld gaming machines, my in-dash 7" touch-screen Raspberry Car-Puter running Plex-Os, my Phone, My laptop and my TV dongles make it so I can play all my favorite content in under a minute.
I used to have to run 4G signal booster, but now that's rare. The future is awesome!

edit2: I would never put non-fully-tagged music files into PLEX. Having seen what it does to video files, I can imagine it will destroy your oldschool MP3 collection to a horrible pile of not-available-for-play unsigned unknown collection.

My brother and I have resigned ourselves to re-downloading our entire short-list from Spotify or Pandora, using the latest clients. Again, PM if you wanna know what we use right-now they change every other month...
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marurun
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by marurun Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:29 am

If your music collection is still mostly in CD form and is not yet ripped to MP3, I suggest Exact Audio Copy, which is free and queries FreeDB for CD info. If you download the latest LAME MP3 encoder and point EAC to it it can rip and encode in one swoop.
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nullPointer
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Re: Looking into Plex ...what all do I need to know?

by nullPointer Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:41 am

marurun wrote:If your music collection is still mostly in CD form and is not yet ripped to MP3, I suggest Exact Audio Copy, which is free and queries FreeDB for CD info. If you download the latest LAME MP3 encoder and point EAC to it it can rip and encode in one swoop.

This is solid advice. Furthermore EAC also does a great job at ripping to FLAC, so if you have the hard drive space available, this might be a good opportunity to rip your CDs (or at least your favorite albums) to lossless format. Slightly divergent from your goal of setting up Plex, but if you're ripping CDs anyway it would be a worthwhile consideration (IMO).
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