Turn Plex into the heart of your media consumption setup.

Dec 17

If there is one thing I love, then it’s performing acts of Blasphemy 🙂 Strickly technological blasphemy of course. The kind that makes operating system makers, virtual shopkeepers and DRM overlords grasp the few stray hairs on their balding heads and cry out “Blasphemy” into the digital night. To be frank : I love it to make tech do things it wasn’t supposed to.

With our Mac Mini as a central mediahub in our house, it holds all the movies and TV shows that I love to watch, and hidden deeply behind the magical fairy dust that is the Itunes library, lie hidden all my songs. Locked away in a proprietary cloud of pixy poo. 

Around the house we have several devices lying around depicting both the Cupertinian Apple, The green android goblin or boast a bold penguin. The owners of these devices have long ago banished the television from its monopolistical rule of the entertainment empire. These masters would like to consume any content, anywhere on any device. Wether this be Android, IOS, Linux or even Windows .. They would like to watch and listen to anything, anywhere .. and if possible, pickup on one device where they left of on the other.

I have done a podcast about these shenanigans once before (Remember KC0057 : Cross platform Streaming ) where I used a combination of XBMC and DLNA to get things where I wanted them to go. However technology is always on the move and there is always something better on the horizon.

Today I have been playing around with Plex. A central media hub that takes all of the content you have at your disposal (Audio or video) and “streams” that towards any connected device in the house. (Tablets, Phones and embedded devices) Aside from being the red-light district for your home media with the “plex server” It also offers a great front end to “consume” that media on whatever desktop (or media center pc) you are using.  If you ever feel the urge to crawl out from under your desk and enter the big airy meeting room with the high ceiling (Referred by some as “outside”) Plex even lets you connect back home so you can continue to enjoy whatever you have been watching before you were forced out of your house. 

So far I”ve enjoyed flawless transcoding and streaming of some of my favorite TV shows and ‘backed up’ movies to both my Tablets (Android and IOS) and am currently enjoying some music streamed from my itunes library .. on my Android tablet. Can you spell Blasphemy ? No ? thats ok .. you can just SCREAM it ! :p

The Plex server app is ‘Slider friendly’ and available for Windows, Linux, OSX and some “embedded NAS” devices. The clients will put you back a couple of bucks (about 5 or 10 depending of what you choose) on your mobile device .. but the quality and convenience is totally worth it.

In a couple of words. Download and install the Plex server, run the configuration wizzard ( Click yes yes yes and point it towards your media) Put the mobile apps on your portable devices and let them auto discover your Plex server .. Run to the bathroom and don’t come out until you have watched the entire series of Friends .. from your tablet or smartphone.

Never mind the family members who command the black monolith downstairs to consume whatever dribble they like to watch .. Get Plex and turn any device into your personal media station.

Links : PLEX. 

So have YOU played with plex ? Share your experiences or questions in the comments.

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2 comments

  1. greggsbrain

    I’ve been a Plex user off and on for a couple of years, and I got back into it recently as our household has become more platform agnostic. One thing that has improved my viewing experience is to disable “transcoding on the fly” in the Plex Media Server settings. Playback has become much smoother with that adjustment.

    • knightwise

      Thanx for that tip ! I’ve been enjoying Plex very much and am thinking of trying out the internet streaming thing too. Have you dabbled with it yet ?

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