Turn Plex into the heart of your media consumption setup.

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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Get some great wallpapers for the upcoming Star Trek movie.

When I was pimping out my iPad’s lockscreen yesterday and posting the pictures to the internet, I got a question from one of my followers WHERE I got that specific wallpaper. The site in question has had the privilege of my frequent visitations because its such a great source for Star Trek related wallpapers. Ricky “Madmann” Walace has, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best websites out there when it comes to wallpapers from “J.J. Abrams – reinvented” Star Trek universe. (even better then the official Star Trek Website) Ricky has great wallpapers, meshes and pictures for Star Trek lovers to gawk at. 

So adorn your wallpapers with his latest exploits as he has just posted some awesome pictures of the USS Enterprise rising from the waters of the San Francisco bay and our favorite starship in orbit. All in the spirit of the upcoming second Star Trek movie that will be hitting the theaters May 17th next year.

Should the world end on December 21st and humanity will become vaguely absent from the movies premiere .. we will always have the Madmanns awesome wallpapers. 

For those of you painfully oblivious about what we are talking about .. here is the trailer.

 

LINKS 

The Mad Shipyards

The official Star Trek movie site.

 What is your favorite wallpaper on the Madman’s Shipyard ? Share it below in our comments section.

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12 minutes of Awesome Dutch Scifi

A Dutch short scifi movie featured in Amsterdam about a boy and a girl. Are you asleep yet ? Sounds unimpressive .. doesn’t it. However the folks from “Tears of Steel” turned it into 12 minutes of awesomeness. Lets call it a passionate lovescene between Ridley Scott in Bladerunner, Minority report and The Matrix.  Just watch .. just … watch ….

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A fanfic movie for Star Wars day.

Yes, I know i’m a day late for my mandatory Star Wars post for the annual Star Wars day ( May the Fourth) but I was too busy blowing up planets and force choking my enemies. And a dude needs to take his Jedi Cloak to the dry cleaners once a year too you know.  So sit back and enjoy this amazing piece of fan fiction cobbled together by some amateur Jedi’s and Sith lords. Its surprisingly well made .. and I like the bad guy a lot. He’s Evil !

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Beamdown to Root-Ville.

alden biesenThe one downside in having a 256 megabyte memory-card in ones digital camera, is that it takes some time to fill up. So even at 2 mega-pixel per pop.. One still does get the “ow I forgot I had that picture” syndrome from time to time. Like last years holiday pictures still snuggled up nicely in the forgotten movie-roll on in the kitchen drawer.Holiday pictures are actually a nice analogy when it comes to the picture below. Although the “beam-down to Rootland” only lasted one afternoon… It did feel like a little bit of a holiday. A holiday in my own home town of Rijkhoven. A rustle with the bustle back home at the annual scottish festival on the castle of Alden Biesen. It was a glorious day, the first weekend of September of 2006 was like a warm summer patio where the last warmth of august refused to depart.

And then we went down south. So me and the missy went back down south to have our “wee bit” of annual Scottish atmosphere.  This being the first big bad beam-in since we “kinda secretly” got married we where anxious to get some “shifty” remarks from the townies. So we walked around the castle, not running into anyone we actually knew and just savoring the whole spectacle. But after an hour or two we had probably seen what there was to see and headed back home.But as we walked up the street, we passed one of the local pubs and suddenly heard our names called out. .. Well , not ‘our names’ but something along the line of “ Well well .. the townies !! ‘

Before I go on , let me explain what the big picture is here. I was born in a small town , I was born in this little town, and have moved away to the city of Hasselt two years ago. To some people of “Rural Rijkhoven” Hasselt is to Rijkhoven , what new York is to Alabama. That is in fact the perfect analogy. To anyone who has EVER seen the movie..    I’m no Reese Witherspoone , but I came close , story-line and everything. On with the story.“Well well .. the Townsies” we heard and froze in our tracks. Afraid for some comment where we where to be asked if “Rural Rijkhoven was not to small for our High Hasselt Taste” .. But what came next was a pleasant surprise “ Hey .. Come on .. have a seat ! “ So a few minutes later we where sitting together with some wonderful locals , old friends. Stefan, Gerry , Dirk and his wife .. Peace by peace these people are the strong fragrant colors in the painting of the town itself. People who make up the atmosphere.. Who with their wonderful personality .. make the town into what it still is today. “ We”re goin down to the Castle , Want to come along ? “ they offered us.

Back down. We of course did not say no and found ourselves amid the same surroundings we had left an hour ago .. but now surrounded by the warmth of the people of my home town . We drank, we talked , we laughed , we told tall tales of days gone by and reminisced on “how the town used to be” It was my own personal “sweet home Alabama” and I loved it. It felt like we got hugged by ancient arms, shook of the digital lifestyle and tasted the ale of how things used to be. Perhaps the   small town is no longer what it used to be. A lot of new people have moved in and the warm soul of the little town is getting watered down by the anonymity of the new arrivals. So when the “old ones” , who spiced the salad of the taste how things used to be , now get together .. we remember how great things used to be. It was a picture perfect moment, Nyana, my lovely wife together with my dear old friend Stefan ( Fellow Dj in the DYSC DJ squad for eight years) and the legendary “ Wild Gerry”

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The rise of user generated content.

Nothing on YOUR tube .. what about YOU-Tube.
 
 There is nothing on TV, I hear it over and over again.  Somehow mainstream tv entertainment  is indeed turning into brainless putty these days. Endless reruns of sitcoms, shamelessly repeated head-to-tale make the viewer believe that he either needs a lobotomy .. or has just had one. Recent trends in commercial television include hopeless star searches like Idol, X-Factor and what have you, where we zoom in on the rise (or attempts to rise) of countless wannabee pop stars who claim their 15 minutes of fame and are upsett to find out nobody even remembers them in the next series. But somehow that is not even enough. After a hard days work we come home and try to relax in front of the television but instead of this mindless crap we get fed OTHER peoples misery in a never ending string of reality series about the most idiotic subjects. There are the Ego driven ones (Osbournes, the Pfaffs etc), The location driven ones (Airport, life at the Zoo) and the Subject driven ones ( The Nanny etc). What strikes me in all of this is that besides other peoples misery, we get to see content that is actually made by people like you and me. Of course its edited down for maximum-drama-factor (sorry , was that entertainment-value perhaps) but the core is the same.

User generated content.

The great thing about the internet though is that it is the great equaliser. If we are replacing professional actors with ordinary people anyway, if we are replacing drama-plays with real life anyway. Why the heck don't we replace cameramen, producers, and broadcasters by normal people. That is to me the next step. While the masses are slowly making the transfer from linear entertainment to time-shifted (tivo-style)  couch lounging (where they watch what they want , when they want) the early adopters are already bathing in the dawn of the new day in entertainment : User generated content. Lets take a site like You-tube where people can produce their own movies ( with stuff as simple as digital photo camera ) and put it on line for everyone to watch. No money-making producer, no add-riddled schedule.. Just plain old home-brew entertainment. Ok , so 80 percent on YOU-Tube is crap (now) but the 20 percent that’s left is hilarious, addictive and just plain old FUN entertainment. Its wonderful to see how creative people can be and its fantastic to see them use a medium like this. YOU-Tube is more then just the next blog-full-of-funny-video's we've all seen before countless times. Lets call You-tube an entertainment station where you decide what to watch .. and others like you decide what they want to produce.

And finally , some parody.

 The little movie below cracked me up, it shows you what people can do with the simplest equipment, time on their hands and a medium like You-tube to distribute it. Ok , I might think its great because I'm a Star Trek Fan .. but still you don't see THIS on Fox everyday.  

 

 

 

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