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Films Media Player/Catalogue for Films?

Discussion in 'General' started by Darkwisdom, 4 Nov 2016.

  1. Darkwisdom

    Darkwisdom Level 99 Retro Nerd

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    Basically, me and the wife are getting irritated with the kids' ecclectic DVDs and we wanted some sort of Media Player with a piece of software to catalogue the films, preferably with the ability to put the film's cover on. I'm thinking Plex or something like that, but I'm not sure of the best solution.

    Is getting a NAS and putting Plex on it with all their stuff the best option? I'm not completely sure when it comes to media stuff. I've got a few External Drives, as well as a PS3 and PS4, both with Plex on them. Will an External drive work with Plex well?
     
  2. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    Plex will do what you want, plus you can apply your own categories, makes sorting children titles from the general collection much easier. Is it the best, I don't know, it certainly is easier than some of the other options to set up.

    I am currently in the process of transferring my DVD/Blu-ray collection to my NAS (custom built using free NAS). I have iTunes and Plex set to access the library. I have to manually add the metadata and art work to each file for iTunes but Plex trys to automatically download the information.

    If you do want to run Plex off a commercial NAS make sure you review, Plex's compatibility pages.

    I have run in to one bug with Plex, when I hit approximately 50 titles, the artwork occasional does not load.
     
  3. Byron C

    Byron C Probably isn't Hitler, but definitely a muppet

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    Plex or Kodi get my vote. The one that's best for you depends on your setup: Plex is great if you have multiple devices around the house (or even away from the house) which will share the same media library; Kodi is a great choice for a single device, but without some quite complex configuration on each client it's quite difficult to maintain a synchronised media library across multiple devices.

    If you have a box that can act as a server, or a NAS (pending compatibility checks, as Dr. Coin points out), then use Plex; otherwise, chuck a low power HTPC - or a Raspberry Pi with OpenELEC/OSMC/etc - under the TV and use Kodi.

    Personally I have a Gen8 MicroServer running Plex (as well as a bunch of other services); I find it really handy since pretty much all the devices in my house have Plex apps - phones, Roku, tablets, etc. I've shared my library with my brother's Plex.tv account so my parents can watch content from my Plex libraries on their Roku 20 miles away.
     
  4. goldstar0011

    goldstar0011 Well-Known Member

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    +1 Plex

    I have it serving multiple devices like consoles, phones and Firesticks

    Works great
     
  5. Broadwater06

    Broadwater06 Member

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    There's another option - JRiver. You don't need to get a NAS box. You can use the DLNA through the programme and it has the functions for pretty much everything. Can have Gizmo app and use that from your phone. The programme is not free though.
     
  6. Byron C

    Byron C Probably isn't Hitler, but definitely a muppet

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    Plex supports DLNA and it's free; Kodi supports DLNA and it's free.

    :thumb:
     
  7. Broadwater06

    Broadwater06 Member

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    That's true. But so much you can do on JRiver though. I don't know if you tried it before but it's a great programme but again like I said it's not free.
     
  8. Byron C

    Byron C Probably isn't Hitler, but definitely a muppet

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    I think you're missing my point here: Kodi and Plex have a hell of a lot of features and don't cost a penny :D
     
  9. Broadwater06

    Broadwater06 Member

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    Oh I did get your point, I understood they're free and good too. I was doing a crap job. :D I came across JRiver when I was looking for a programme for my DAC, I came across FooBar, and then I tried JRiver and been on it since.
     
  10. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Another one for Plex, and PlexPass as well.

    Gives you all of the niceties for centralised catalogue/metadata management and extensive platform support.

    Adds the ability to do remote streaming, offline device syncing, new features first, plex cloud, gives you all clients for free, accounts and parental controls and all sorts of other things I now find I can't live without.
     
  11. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    I'd also go Plex, been using it for some time to distribute throughout the house and access when out and about.
     
  12. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

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    Another vote for Plex with Plex Pass (only a couple of quid a month). I've got the server running unRAID and Plex Media Server, with Plex Home Theater running on a Fire TV for watching in the living room, and Plex Media Player running on a Raspberry Pi 3 in the cinema room.

    Easy to set up, easy to manage, works on a wide range of devices.
     
  13. Darkwisdom

    Darkwisdom Level 99 Retro Nerd

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    Looks like Plex it is. If I put freenas on a Cheap PC to use as a server for Plex, will stuff like Metadata work? Information, cover images, stuff like that?
     
  14. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    Take the time to set up the folders correctly at the outset and it will pay dividends in the long run.
     
  15. Byron C

    Byron C Probably isn't Hitler, but definitely a muppet

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    This. A proper naming structure that the scrapers can easily read and understand will make your life so much easier.
     
  16. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Intrigued.

    I dump all of my BDs into a single folder and simply name them <title>.mkv and find perhaps one in twenty needs a release date appending for Plex to pick it up automagically.

    Is there more I should be doing, or something I'm missing out on by being a bit lazy?
     
  17. Kernel

    Kernel Likes cheese

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    +1 Plex
     
  18. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    I have this, and it works great. The scrapers don't always get things right, with films they work well though, with TV-shows....not so.
    Of course it doesn't help that I'm probably using it wrong.

    I have the kids and adult movies in seperate folders, and it doesn't really take well to that.
    I just use the "files" to scroll through and ignore all of the library functions :D

    Oh, a downside of Kodi is that the metadata (art, descriptions etc.) aren't synced over multiple devices, each device has it's own.
     
  19. Byron C

    Byron C Probably isn't Hitler, but definitely a muppet

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    Usually for movies you want a folder per file and both the folder and all files it contains should have the same name (obviously different files will have different extensions). The folder/file name should contain the full name of the film (putting "The" at the end, like "Hobbit, The", seems to be a matter of preference) and the year. I used to just dump everything in one big folder, and I only really changed it when it incorrectly picked up the 2000 version of Gone in 60 Seconds as the original 1974 version of Gone in 60 Seconds.

    Some good advice over on the Kodi wiki - Kodi scrapers seem to be a lot more tolerant than others I've used like Plex.

    Yeah and that's a real pain the neck when you're watching a TV series on multiple devices and you rely on the Watched/Unwatched flags. That's why I eventually switched to Plex: the server does all that hard work for me and just sends the client a video/audio stream.
     
  20. Dr. Coin

    Dr. Coin Active Member

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    Just to highjack this thread a little, what have people used for converting their media libraries and what are the pros and cons?
    I currently using HandBrake to rip and transcode disks followed by Subler to apply the meta data (only necessary for iTunes unfotuantly Plex appears to ignore embedded metadata).
    HandBrake
    Pro:
    • free
    • will handle DVDs and some Blu-ray
    • encoding presets
    • batch jobs (useful for TV and if you have multiple optical drives)
    • Can include chapters and titles
    Con:
    • Some Blue-rays the output video has blocky video artifacts similar to watching satellite TV on a cloudy day (I have yet to determine the cause or fix).
    • Auto cropping sometimes fails and have to manually trim off the black bars
    • Notably with Blu-rays it can be a problem to determine correct title, especial if grabbing an extra.
    • The first step of analyzing the a disk takes over 5 minutes for Blu-rays

    Subler
    Pro:
    • free
    • Can search online databases for meta data and artwork.
    • Can include chapters if I forgot to with Handbrake
    Con:
    • Mac OS exclusive
    • Despite having been written to embed subtitles, will remove existing embedded subtitles.
     

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