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Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Hardware Articles |

Plex: A good way to upload your videos and music

Plex: A good way to upload your videos and music

Some time ago I personally was looking for software that would allow to expand the possibilities for squalid useful but Windows protocol. And I stumbled upon Plex, a good application for those who demand a lot but not much. Those looking to manage a media library organized and not so round, could have a look.

Looking for a media server

The idea of a is very simple: a center for not only store all the multimedia content such as movies and music, making it available no matter what you use, but also responsible for forwarding it to those devices. These add up and are: television “Smart” is fashionable, phones each, tablets if anyone has one, notebooks that come and go, desktop computers, game consoles, and other Set-Top-Box. Well, almost anything with WiFi or a network cable.

DLNA is a network protocol that allows transmission of content from one place to different places – to put it simple. The problem is that the version varies from device to device, as with Windows. Although it can transmit and even control your TV to display a video (DMR), does not support subtitles, while other software they do not have the expense of DMR, or may not be very friendly show organized library.

This is when it comes Plex , a free multimedia server that is gaining considerable popularity in the middle of several things. First, you have a metadata system that allows to easily give “style” to the media you have on your device. If you have a number on your computer with just the name, plex takes care of adding the cover art, rating, actors, synopsis, and so on. If wrong, you can choose from the most closely resemble.

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You can see the shared media library in the browser (but not play).

Second, where he won over other DLNA clients, is that it conveys something like “under its own protocol as well as DLNA.” In other words, since version 9.6.1 is not necessary to have the application “Plex” stuck in the computer, television or mobile phone to view media. If your TV supports DLNA – something very common today – then you can see the Plex media indexed on the computer without installing anything, and also with other devices.

Between that and find a way to keep everything organized, we need not to get lost.

Plex seems a good option …

Plex is a good choice if we want simplicity. The server runs in the background and is available to serve media from a computer is Mac, Windows or Linux, with the latter I mean Ubuntu, Fedora / CentOS and ReadyNAS (Netgear) among others. Installs in a while later another to index multimedia content – especially if you have many files – and is available immediately for use.

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So you see the Plex Media Player, not bad.

On the other side of the equation, those who ask and reciven must be at least compatible with DLNA. Google TV and Samsung or LG TVs have the option of viewing media Plex App, an application for payment and same IOS and Android devices in addition to other equipment. As Windows 7 and includes DLNA, it is easy to read the stored media with Windows Media Player.

If you follow me, understand that Plex has very good connectivity. Moreover if we myPlex, an online account that handles the media you share on a computer on the Internet and even other users. Obviously, the requirement is to have the server (and equipment) on, something that should not be telling a toothache usually occupies 60MB memory.

.. until there is to transcode

Plex does everything well except for one thing very particular transcoding. Consider the target devices have different ways of managing the content they receive. For example, a high definition television is not the pussy to get a MKV with H.264 video and AAC audio. But camera to transmit a non-native format Plex should transcode before sending it steadily. This is when Plex does a decent job, but not better.

The problem lies rather in the format transcoding. While some formats do not have problems to communicate, such as a video in FLV to iPod Touch, other high definition media codecs rare and suffer many problems. In many personal experiences in various devices I have noticed that the transcoder Plex goes crazy and starts slow with movies that, in theory, partially supports the device. Sometimes they put something like “or transcodifico all or nothing”. Eventually the entire server resource consuming and end up with a film cutting all the time.

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Also, try moving the medium before or after it becomes very difficult on multiple devices. Sometimes the audio comes with large gap. At such times it is better to manually pre-transcoded before playing around with some other program and thus to avoid spurts.

Okay, Plex does a good job trying to transcode multiple media format that is “readable” by fate, but do not expect magic, much less when multiple devices are accessing the server simultaneously transcoded. Although the minimum adult material in high definition are “Core 2 Duo and 2GB of RAM”, the team should be more powerful than anything bought 4 years ago.

Another point are the channels of Plex, or plugins. In some devices work quite well, others less so. For example, Android and IOS channels are easily installed, and work very well, but not all. YouTube in IOS installed but refused to work, unlike what happened with Apple Movie Trailers. In a Samsung TV trailers for the movies do not play. Slvo detecting the iTunes library, Plex channels are a nice opportunity wasted, especially if the variety of channels are available and natively on the devices – What if YouTube IOS installed already? – And the rest is lost to be focused content in North America.

Do I use Plex or not?

Particularly recommend it to people who have many devices, especially (but not limited to) on the road, and is ready to leave on the server Plex to see movies or elsewhere, especially if it is through Internet through myPlex. Like it or not, Windows and other DLNA servers do a good job sending media to other devices unless you need subtitling or transcoding. In that case, there are other free options that are worth trying, such as TVersity , PS3 Media Server , MediaTomb , and so on. Expect more of Plex, by now, is a sin.

And as for transcoding, it will always be safer to pass a universal medium format out there if we have a destination that does not accept “all”. MKV may be the choice today, or a MP4 – Handbrake does the job very well – for short and long video, but it is something that should be done if you have problems with Plex. Otherwise, and if someone does not understand these tools, probably best to ask someone to do it or wait for the Blu-Ray. Much more if the server is a mono-core espadrille only works for solo play.

What media server do you use?

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