Plex is a great way to manage your media, but you'll have to organize files and folders. Here's how to clean up your Plex media library to make sure everything is in order.
If you have a huge library of TV shows and movies, Plex is one of the best ways to manage and stream it to all your devices. But large libraries can be cumbersome if they’re not properly organized. Before you start streaming—or sharing your library with others—take a moment to refine your collection.
Plex is designed to make it simple to manage and browse your library. Most of the time it works as intended, but every once in a while you may find a movie that’s missing its poster art, has been misidentified, or references the wrong video file. Fortunately, Plex also gives you the tools you need to dive into your library and clean it up.
How Metadata Works in Plex
Metadata refers to any data relevant to a movie or TV show besides the video itself. This can include the title, release year, cast list, description, trailers, and movie poster for the movie. Plex will automatically pull this information into your library, making it easy to browse titles without leaving the app.
This information comes from a variety of sources including IMDb, The Movie Database, The Internet Video Archive, and even Wikipedia. You can customize which databases Plex pulls from, but the default settings should work for most people. However, in order to pull this information into your library, your files will need to be formatted and organized properly.
Sort Your Files Into Folders by Library
Plex allows you to add a single library to multiple folders, a handy way to add movies across several hard drives. However, it’s still good practice to keep every library in its own folder. Typically, users group them by movies and TV shows, but you can divide them up however you want. If you want to have one collection of movies you share, and another you don’t, give them separate folders.
Support documents from Plex recommend using a folder system like this:
You can further divide your library folders however you prefer, such as adding a new folder for each movie or show. Movies that consist of only a single file can all be in the same folder, but TV shows, or any movie that comes with extra data—like posters or subtitles—should be given their own subfolders.
Plex will scan any subfolders in any folder you include in a library, but making sure that TV shows and movies are separate ensures that What We Do in the Shadows the movie won’t end up in the same library as What We Do in the Shadows the television series.
Name Your Files Properly
The best thing you can do to make sure your Plex library looks good is to name and organize your files in a way that Plex likes. It might sound tedious, but it’s a habit that will pay off in the long run. When Plex scans your library, it uses specific naming conventions to look up data about your movies. This is how it can tell the difference between Aladdin (1992) and Aladdin (2019) and give each the proper artwork.
Naming schemes depend on what type of media you’re naming. It’s worth diving into Plex’s documentation for both movie files and TV shows for some of the more nuanced exceptions, such as if a movie is split across multiple files, or for handling TV shows with standalone specials, like Doctor Who.
Most of the time, however, you’ll want to format movie files with their name first and release year in parentheses. For example:
Including the full name of the movie and the year it was released will help ensure that when Plex scans your library, every movie gets its proper metadata.
For TV shows, things get a little more complicated. First, while it’s not strictly necessary, it’s often best to create nested folders for every show, season, and possibly episode, if the episode is broken up into multiple files. The individual files should then be named with the show name, plus SXXEYY, where “XX” is the season number and “YY” is the episode number. For example:
Importantly, you don’t need the episode title in every file name, so long as you have the show name and the format of the episode. Episode titles are metadata that Plex can pull from various sources.
Not all TV shows fit neatly into the above format, so Plex has naming conventions for other formats , like miniseries, specials, or date-based late night talk shows.
I have MacOS Catalina Is it even Plex to do this and keep the folders I have set up in Mac Photos? Finding Library what must be a macbook common question and use case is exceedingly difficult on this forum. Try this: in photos, export download a seperate folder some of your untuk. Name that folder whatever you want i. Vacation Before you export choose jpg for format for this Photo. Chnge the photo Mac to Vacation The next screen should ask spss to locate folder you created earlier.
How to Store and View Your Photo Collection In Plex Media Server
Select that folder and click create or next. Not at my computer but pretty obvious. Screen Shot at 3. I guess I may not have been clear enough my post.
I know how to add a library of pictures. Does that help?
When I tried clicking on it the plugin though, it did nothing at all. I really wish this feature could be updated.
How to add Mac photos library to Plex – General Discussions – Plex Forum
No such luck. If you already have something in Pictures temperately remove and select all and add a folder, named what ever. Return the other files. There you have it.
What is Plex?
Like other forms of Mac you add to Plex, there are two big things to keep download mind. Second, file organization matters although, in the case of photos, not as much if you have a premium Plex Pass membership and prefer the timeline view.
Plex Mac Photos App
Macbook that untuk mind, download best thing you can do to prepare your photos for storage and display in Plex Media Server is to organize them in the fashion you untuk to browse download. It makes browsing through the folder structure significantly cleaner in the Plex file browser. The automated photo tagging adds tags to your photos macbook you can easily browse automatically spss tag groups like all your photos of spss, kids, and so on.
Download first step of the process macbook to select your library type, name it, and select spss language. If you enable tagging, small thumbnails of your photos will be uploaded, temporarily, to a third-party image tagging service. You can read more about it here. The second option untuk previews for any home videos that also appear in your photo library.
4 thoughts on “Plex Mac Photo Library”
Plex has risen in popularity since its inception. The ultra-popular media server software runs on several different operating systems OSes and accordingly maintains compatibility with a host of hardware options.
Please help! I want to do the same thing.
Using Plex on your home network. The most straightforward use of Plex is on your home network.
Our household mostly consists of Apple devices and we use iCloud and Apple photos to backup our photos. It all works well enough but we are now full of our 200GB iCloud storage with our documents, backups etc so looking at other options rather than the big jump in storage price for iCloud.
I wondered what people experience with Plex is for photos? Do you get on ok with auto back from phones and tablets? Do you find it a problem to share albums? Can you have multiple people in the house add to the sane collection? Thanks!
Nothing can touch Google Photos.
+1 for Google Photos. You can get a Google Gsuite Business account for 10/month and get unlimited storage for Drive, Gmail, Photos etc. You’ll just need a domain to tie the subscription to. The website says there’s a 1Tb limit with less than five users but it’s not enforced.
I was going to say the same. Use Google Photos and never look back. iCloud is horrible especially since they charge you to use it.
Also you really don't want to store your photos on your Plex server as an archive solution. Not strong enough of a backup unless you have a lot of (offsite) redundancy.
It does seem good from my testing although I’m not sure I would want to stick to the lower quality free one. The paid storage is more expensive than iCloud and no easy online backup. Are you using free or paid?
Plex will never touch Google Photos. I was really hoping Plex Cloud would be better because the more I can shove stuff into their ecosystem the better.
Sadly it kind of sucks. I have a long laundry list of issues with it. Sharing is one of the worst—has to be done either on a individual photo level or on a library level. I've worked out a ridiculously complicated system of separate folders and links within the folders that are the sources for separate libraries that are shared with individuals. would be nice if they implement even just some of the sharing features already there for video, like the tags you can use to share content. But it also seriously needs to be applied at a folder/album level.
It also can't handle hierarchical albums. I.e. A folder=top level album regardless of where it may fall in your folder hierarchy. Possibly not such a big deal for many people, but I have close to 100,000 photos and there's just no getting around a need for hierarchy.
Would also be nice if Plex would read the EXIF tags I so painstaking add, but. not so much.
I haven't really used the camera syncing etc because I have other tools for that so can't say much about it.
Ok thanks for your thoughts. It does seem to play second fiddle to the tv and movies so I imagined it wouldn’t be great.
I have my remote mapped to a screenshot shortcut. Screenshots are saved in their own directory on my HTPC. That directory is set up as a photo album in Plex. Whenever I want to snap something interesting (gameplay, awards show gaffe, funny news scene, movie still) I hit the screenshot button, then there it is on my phone in the plex app, ready to share on Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Thanks. I actually have a large OneDrive storage option as part of 365 but haven’t really considered it because it’s not really a photo manager. But I guess the mobile apps can auto upload and I could manually mange them. Something to think about so thanks
I use it, but basically solely for backing up my photos. I was paying the $3 for icloud and got tired of that. Now they go to my server.
The one thing that does trouble me is that I can rarely view the photos via AppleTv, they simply don't load. The thumbnail does though. My guess is that this is related to live photos and that oddball file type Apple now uses.
Cool thanks. I’m going to give Plex a try even if others find it lacking. Be good to be in control
At first, I used it by pointing Plex at my entire photo library. It was a bit flaky at first, but over time it seemed to start organizing things better. Unfortunately, I hit some kind of issue a few versions back, where the photo library scanning started to crash Plex constantly. My only solution was to remove the photo library.
Since then, I have only used the photo library to do the camera synch/backup from my phone. In this capacity, I'd say it works great to backup my cell phone photos, where it's only maybe a couple hundred photos.
TL/DR: Seems like large photo collections/libraries may cause Plex to crash. Camera Backup works well for me. YMMV.
Thanks. Our collection is quite big. Hopefully plex will improve this though. Seems like it could be great
I have A few libraries setup:
Photos for my wife
Videos (gopro etc)
I don't have plex pass at the moment, but I have my photos syncing from my phone to box, and then box syncs to my server, which the photo library watches the folder.
My library has over 100,000 photos in it, and is about 450gb of files. A fair bit of SLR stuff, though I shoot JPG + raw, so plex can just display the jpgs. Raw is for editing.
The timeline view option looks similar to googles photo view, it's not as good and smooth,but it works quite well.
There is no timeline view for personal video collections, but it seems that photo libaries include videos in their folders, since my phone stuff is synced to the same folder, it gets the phone videos in it as well, and they show in the timeline.
You can view the libraries by folder if you wish, so as long as your folders are well sorted, it is a nice way to view stuff.
To add, this is all stored on my server, nothing in the cloud. I back up all my media stuff to a cloud backup (Currently crashplan), so plex has nothing to do with storage or backup, it just points to the folders where my stuff is stored, and gives us a way to view things on the TV
Plex is a streaming media server that lets you organize your video, music, and photo collections and stream your media to your computer, phone, tablet, or TV at any time and from anywhere. Plex media server can be installed on all major operating systems and devices.
This article explains how to install Plex Media Server on Ubuntu 20.04.
Installing Plex Media Server on Ubuntu #
Plex is proprietary computer software, and it is not included in the Ubuntu repositories.
Installing Steam on Plex Media Server is fairly straightforward. We’ll enable the Plex official repository and install the package with apt . It requires no technical knowledge, and it should not take you more than 20 minutes to install and configure the media server.
Add the Plex APT repository to your system and import the repository’s GPG key:
Once the repository is enabled, update the apt package list and install the latest server version:
To verify that the Plex is running, check the service status:
The output should look something like this:
That’s it. At this point, you have a Plex media server installed on your Ubuntu machine.
Adjusting the Firewall #
Now that Plex is installed and running on your server, you need to make sure the server firewall is configured to allow traffic on the Plex-specific ports.
If you are using UFW to manage your firewall, the easiest option is to create a UFW application profile:
Save the file and update profiles list:
Apply the new firewall rules:
Finally, check if the new firewall rules are applied successfully with:
Configuring Plex Media Server #
Before starting the Plex setup wizard, you can first create the directories that will store the Plex media files:
The Plex Media Server runs as the user plex , which must have read and execute permissions to the media files and directories. To set the correct ownership , enter the following command:
You can now proceed with the server configuration. Open your browser, type http://YOUR_SERVER_IP:32400/web , and you will be redirected to the plex website.
For Plex to work properly, you will need to create an account.
Press the Google, Facebook, Apple, or Email button to create a free Plex account. If you want to access premium features, purchase a Plex Pass plan.
Once you sign up, you will be redirected to the page with information about how Plex works, as shown below:
Click on the Got it button.
On the next screen, enter your Plex server name, leave the Allow me to access my media outside my home box checked, and click Next .
The next step is to add a media library. Click on the Add Library button.
When the popup window shows, select movies as library type and click Next .
In the next step, click on the Browse for media folder and add the path to the directory that will contain the Movies media files, in our case /opt/plexmedia/movies .
Click on the Add button and then on the Add Library .
You can add as many Libraries as you want.
Click Next , then Done , and you will be redirected to the Plex web dashboard.
Now that you have completed the setup wizard, you can start exploring Plex options and all the things it can do.
Updating Plex Media Server #
When a new version is released, to update Plex, run the following commands in your terminal:
During the installation process, the official Plex repository may be disabled. To enable the repository, open the plexmediaserver.list file and uncomment the line starting with “deb”:
We have shown you how to install Plex Media Server on your Ubuntu 20.04 machine and create a Media Library.
You can now install the Plex application on your Android, iPhone, Smart TV, Xbox, Roku, or any other supported device. You can find a list of supported Apps & Devices on the Plex Downloads page, or you can simply install the application from the device’s app store.
You should also check out the official Plex Quick-Start guide and Plex Documentation page.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.
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Media centers are the perfect place to store collections of images, music, and videos that people create on their computers, smartphones, or other devices. Their primary function is to store this media, such as your latest vacation photos or your favorite film. However, you may find your patience being tested if you start searching for a particular file, only to realize that nothing is organized properly.
If you’re looking for a suitable management platform for your media files, you will no doubt come across Plex eventually. Launched as a freeware project in 2007, Plex has an impressive range of features and is undoubtedly one of the best media centers of all time. Thanks to various streaming portals and services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, or Vevo, Plex users can play online content directly through their media center interface. However, Plex does have some formidable alternatives.
What should a good alternative to Plex be able to do?
The primary function of a media center is to organize all media files (audio, video, and image) on the selected computer system in a clearly arranged format. The user interface should make it easy for you to find and play back the content you want.
Plex alternatives (as well as Plex itself) should not just allow playback on the original device, but should also be able to play through external devices. Streaming your own media content on a TV should be a standard feature, which is why most media center interfaces are also designed to be used with smart TVs.
The best Plex alternatives should also be able to stream video and information services. Of course, your personal interests are most important here: Netflix and YouTube are more widely supported than other services because of their popularity. However, if you are not interested in these mainstream platforms, streaming links will be irrelevant to you as a user. It is therefore advisable to check the additional features in advance (often available as optional add-ons) that can be used as a respectable alternative to Plex. It is also important that the selected media management option allows multiple devices to access the library at the same time. If you want to enjoy a film while a roommate or a family member is streaming music, your chosen Plex alternative must always be usable by several people at the same time.
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Plex is a media streaming server that allows you to manage and stream your movie, music, and photo collections to your computer, phone, tablet, or television at any time and from anywhere. Plex Media Server is compatible with a wide range of operating systems and devices.
In this article, I will show you how to install Plex Media Server with some steps.
Table of Contents
Installing Plex Media Server on Ubuntu
Plex is a commercial piece of software that isn’t available in the Ubuntu repository.
Steam can be installed on Plex Media Server with relative ease. We’ll activate the official Plex repository and use apt to install the program. It doesn’t require any technical skills, and installing and configuring the media server shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.
Add the Plex APT repository and import the repository’s GPG key:
Update the apt package list and install the newest server version once the repository is enabled:
Check the service status to see if Plex is up and running:
You will see the output like this:
That is all there is to it. On your Ubuntu computer, you now have a Plex media server installed.
Changing the Firewall’s Settings
Now that Plex is up and operating on your server, double-check that the server firewall is set to accept traffic on the Plex-specific ports.
If you do not have a firewall running on your system, skip this section.
The simplest approach if you’re using UFW to control your firewall is to establish a UFW application profile:
Save the file and update:
Apply the new firewall rules:
Finally, use the following commands to see if the new firewall rules have been correctly implemented:
Configuring Plex Media Server
You can create the folders that will hold the Plex media files before starting the Plex setup wizard:
The Plex Media Server operates as the user plex, and the media files and folders must have read and execute rights. Enter the following command to set the right ownership:
You may now continue configuring the server. You’ll be forwarded to the plex website if you open your browser and input http://YOUR SERVER IP:32400/web.
You’ll need to establish an account for Plex to operate correctly.
Create a free Plex account by using the Google, Facebook, Apple, or Email buttons. Purchase a Plex Pass subscription if you want access to premium features.
After you join up, you’ll be routed to the page below, which contains information about how Plex works:
Select the “Got It” option.
Enter your Plex server name on the following page, leave the “Allow me to access my media outside my home” box checked, and click “Next“
After that, you’ll need to add a media library. Select “Add Library” from the drop-down menu.
Select movies as the library type in the popup box that appears, then click Next.
Next, choose “Browse for media folder” and provide the path to the directory where the Movies media files will be stored, in our case /opt/plexmedia/movies.
Then select Add buttom on Add Library.
You are free to create as many libraries as you like.
Click Next, and then click Done. You will be redirected to the Plex web dashboard
Now that you’ve completed the setup process, you can begin exploring Plex’s features and capabilities.
Updating Plex Media Server
To update Plex when a new version is available, use the following instructions in your terminal:
The official Plex repository may be deactivated during the installation procedure. Open the plexmediaserver.list file and uncomment the line beginning with “deb” to activate the repository:
We’ve taught you how to install Plex Media Server and establish a Media Library on your Ubuntu 20.04 computer.
Plex is now available for download on Android, iPhone, Smart TV, Xbox, Roku, and other compatible devices. On the Plex Downloads page, you can discover a list of compatible Apps & Devices, or you can just install the app from the device’s app store.
Check out the official Plex Quick-Start tutorial and the Plex Documentation website as well.
We all have our guilty pleasures, and for many of us, they come in the form of movies, TV shows, or videos that are, shall we say, of questionable taste. Privately, you may relish in the Real Housewives of insert city name here, terrible B-rated Sci-Fi flicks, scandalous Anime, or compilations of kittens in knitted bodysuits (hey, we’re not here to judge), but we’re willing to bet you aren’t interested in sharing this stuff with your curious children, taunting friends, or worse, your judgemental mother-in-law. For those who use Plex as a media server, this has been a problem — the software has lacked any kind of parental controls or privacy measures, so when you grant someone access to your collection, you share your entire collection — the good and the bad. But recently Plex announced a new feature coming to its software, called Plex Home, which makes it possible to pick and choose exactly who sees what through its media server.
Announced on its blog, Plex says that Plex Home has been over two years in the making, and that it aims to bring fine-grained parental controls and more to users by moving server management to its Plex web app. Users will now be able to easily specify exact content ratings accessible by all their friends and family. It is important to note that some basic Multi-user features and Now Playing features will be available to anyone who uses the free version of Plex, but the really good stuff will be limited to Plex Pass holders. Recently, Plex hiked up Plex Pass rates, and they are now as follows: $4.99/month, $39.99/year, and $149.99/lifetime.
What’s the “good stuff” we refer to? For one: Label-based sharing will make specifying who can see which content extremely easy. For example, you could choose to share only certain family videos with your parents and in-laws, and share only your recently-acquired Miles Davis box set collection with your jazzer buddy.
Managing content for those living in the home in which Plex is hosted will also be made extremely easy, especially for those kids who don’t have a username, email, or password. Plex promises switching between users will be extremely quick, and that PINs will only be required where specified. So, for instance, those under 13 in the home would be able to access their approved content by simply selecting their profile, not additional actions needed, while accessing Dad’s account will require the use of a PIN as a password.
Finally, Plex promises access to any of the apps that come with a Plex Pass for everyone in the home. This should come in useful for those in a single home that operates separate Roku accounts, or those who opt to use several different kinds of media streaming hardware, such as the Google Nexus Player, which requires users to have a Plex Pass if they want access to Plex at all.
Just chalk this up as one more reason to choose Plex as a media server, and perhaps the most compelling reason to throw a chunk of change down for a paid subscription. Plex’s development has always been user-driven, and this is yet another example of its developers answering its supporters’ call.
Plex can help you access your music, movies and photos on all of your devices, from laptops to desktops to phones.
If you have more streaming subscriptions than you can count and need to access them all at once, Plex Media Server is your new best friend. It’s a clean, simple tool for bringing your different media into one place, and the setup couldn’t be easier. Whether you’re a podcast fiend or like to watch artsy Vimeo videos on the go, Plex can help you get what you need on all of your devices, from laptops to desktops to phones.
Here are seven steps to get Plex up and running in the platform of your choice.
1. Install the app
Head to the official Plex website and download the version you want. Plex allows you to choose from several different platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux and FreeBSD, as well as network-attached storage platforms like Netgear and Western Digital. You should download the app for every device you want to use, but it’s good to start with your primary computer first.
The program is free, and installation is super-straightforward.
2. Run the program and start your Plex account
After installation is complete, click “launch” and the Plex software will direct you to a new browser window to create your account. You can actually run Plex with “limited functionality” by foregoing this step, but, as the site says, you won’t have all the same features and your streaming could be less secure.
The sign-up is extremely quick: Just enter an email, username and password. Since your account will have multiple libraries in it, think of it as a master account that saves you time.
3. Add your libraries
The Plex site will walk you through the process of adding media. Just click Add Library to import whatever files you like, from movies to music to photos. The syncing process might take a little bit, but you can click Next and continue using the program while it works. Then you can choose whether or not to send usage data to Plex. You can also get the apps for your other devices, if you haven’t already.
4. Identify your servers and enable remote access
Once you’re logged in, you may notice an alert in the left-hand menu asking you to claim your current network. Click on it to save the network and identify it.
You’ll also see an alert next to the Remote Access tab. Click this and then click on the orange Enable Remote Access button. Now you can use Plex to access the server from other devices, and you can disable it at any time.
5. Install your channels
You should now see your beautiful home page with the menu on the side. Click on the Channels section and you can add media sources, simply by clicking Install Channels. Click a channel you want and choose Install. Once it’s ready, you’ll see some new buttons under the selected channel, which enable you to Browse, Update or Uninstall it as you please. Browsing a channel will let you see its content.
6. Go to your next device
Now comes the fun part. When you’ve set up the app on your primary device, you’re ready to go to the second one. Download and install the corresponding app.
The setup guide will walk you through the controls and show you how to cast media onto other devices. The channels you added from the first device should appear here, too. You can check to see how many devices are in your account by clicking Settings and Devices. The Status tab will show you what media you’ve been viewing.
From here, it’s up to you! You can tinker with the settings, create your own playlists and add channels to your heart’s content. There’s even an option to play theme music from whatever show you’re browsing in the background. Dive in and have fun!
PLEX is nice, I use it on my 36TB server, but there are a lot of limitations. It was made from XBMC which alone still has a few issues but other things are fixed. PLEX fell off this. One example is .ISO files, XBMC can handle them nicely. Still need to work on forced subtitles but other then that they play well. PLEX, no. Videos need to be in the acceptable formats of which there are many, but no .ISO support. My one big complaint.
Other gotcha, if you want to do stuff within your network, XBMC is all you really need. To stream it outside your network, that’s where PLEX comes in. And the only big kid filter would be the parental setup of which I haven’t messed with yet (will be soon and have been looking deeper into this, but that seems the only solution which isn’t a great one but. ). You also need to check your ISP’s upload speed. If you want to stream HD out through your cheap ISP, it’s not likely going to happen. Even my TWC 30/5M connection really can only do so-so transcoding. But that’s also TWC. However, 1M/sec is great for most phones for example and can be handled even through 3G (though make sure you have an unlimited or big data plan).
For music though, I prefer Subsonic. That’s just me.
Definitely worth it, I have it setup on a server in my house and all the smart tvs have the app on them, all the Xbox’s and PlayStations have the app, all the cellphones and tablets have the app. It is too easy. I bought into the life time Plex pass early cause as far as I’m concerned it is worth more and would not be surprised if it went up in the future.
Also sync is awesome for me, I can sync stuff to my devices (laptop, cell phone, tablet) to take to work with me to watch. Once it is back on the wifi it will delete what episodes you have watched and download the next ones you haven’t. You can setup how much space you will allow plex to use and how many episodes of what series to sync.
We’re going to walk you through setting up your own Plex system (Plex Media Server and Plex Client).
Skip to Setting Up
Part 1 – The Media Server
Part 2 – The Plex Client
We all know that Plex allows you to aggregate all your personal media and access it anywhere you go. Enjoy your own media on all your devices with the Plex Media Server. In this article we show you how to set up your Plex for watching any Blu-ray and DVD.
- Want to hook your new smart TV right into your media collection without any additional hardware?
- Want to watch your TV show in the backyard on your iPhone?
- What if you’re away from home on a business trip and you want to stream your Blu-ray / DVD rips to your iPad?
- What about your phone–do you rip so they’re smaller and compatible?
Then Plex make all of those come true if you set up it in right way. It is a centralized media server system that eliminates virtually every problem you run into while managing a large personal Blu-ray / DVD collection:
Step 1. Download the Plex Media Server software
There are options for Windows, Apple OS X, a wide variety of Network Attached Storage, and more. We’ll be using the Windows version in this tutorial.
Step 2. Install the media server software
During installation, Plex will ask you to name your server. When the Installation is complete, Plex Media Server will now run in the background, even if you restart your computer, unless you tell it not to. Plex will ask you to create a login ID. This allows you to view your content and make system changes from any internet connected browser. When you want to make changes to the server settings, simply login at plex.tv, or right click on the taskbar icon, and select “Media Manager.” All the configuration is done through a simple web interface.
Step 3. Add Blu-ray / DVD rips to libraries.
Libraries are how you add and organize your content in Plex. You simply select what type of library you want (i.e. Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos, or Home Videos, for Blu-ray / DVD rips you’d better choose Movies), and then tell Plex which folders it should pull that content from.
A single library can point to multiple folders, so if you have one folder for Blu-ray rips, and one for DVD rips, you can select both folders for “Movies”. For more advanced users, you can create multiple libraries. For instance, you can create a library called “Kids TV” and only allow your children access to that library through their devices. You can save your “Grownup TV” library for you and your wife, ahh.
That’s it, your content is now being served up. Let’s move onto Part 2, setting up a client.
Step 1. Download the Plex Client software
The server just one half of the Plex system. The other half is the “client” app, or the app you do all the watching from. While you can play the media from the server’s web-based control panel, it’s like watching Netflix in your web browser–most people prefer to sit down in their living room or watch on their mobile devices. And for that, you need the Plex client to access the server.
Step 2. Activate Plex client app
The Plex media server software has always been free. Most of the client apps have always been free. Some of the client apps have a nominal one time activation fee a few dollars (e.g. the iOS Plex client app costs $4.99).
Plex has two ways of dealing with the paid apps.
- If you only need one app, you may wish to just activate that single app.
- The other option is to buy a Plex Pass, which is like a subscription service that gives you both access to all paid apps, plus benefits like syncing to your mobile devices for offline access and cloud-based file storage.
If you need many apps across multiple platforms and you want the premium features, you might consider the Pass subscription for $4.99 a month or a $149.99 lifetime pass.
You can read more about which apps are paid, which are free, and the differences between a free Plex membership and a premium one here. To check platform availability and download a client app for your platform, check out the Plex downloads page here.
Now that we’ve looked at the general guidelines for setting up your Plex server, and how to get the client software, let’s look at the rather important step of organizing your Blu-ray and DVD rips.
Plex works best if all your media content is well organized and in the same place. To that end, you should have all your Blu-ray and DVD rips on the same device you’re installing the Plex server software–whether it’s an old desktop computer, a dedicated storage server in your basement, or a NAS device, all your media should be on it.
Step 3. directory structure for Plex
Here’s a simple example of a best-practice directory structure for Plex:
In the above directory structure, you see that the major media categories are separated into distinct sub-folders (like Movies and TV Shows) and that each Blu-ray rip and DVD rip has a pretty straight forward naming convention. Movies go in folders named after the movie; best practice is to include the year in parentheses to cut down on confusion.