Plex is a personal media server that helps you organize your videos, music and photos in a media library and then allows you to stream it over the network or Internet to smart TVs, streaming boxes and mobile devices. It is available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
It offers a front end called Plex Home Theater that allows the user to manage and play video, photos, music, and podcasts from a local or remote computer running Plex Media Server.
Installing Plex Media Server
You will first have to go to the Plex download page and get the appropriate installer for your system, at the moment Plex offers install packages for Ubuntu, Fedora and CentOS Linux distributions. After you have downloaded the installer you can double click on it to let the Ubuntu Application Center install or if this is a headless server that you are connected to over ssh you can use dpkg like this to install it:
# dpkg -i plexmediaserver_0.9.9.14.531-7eef8c6_amd64.deb
After this your Plex Media Server should be running and be ready to use.
You can now access Plex web interface using your favorite web browser by using the address http://server.local.ip.address:32400/web into the address bar (e.g "http://192.168.1.9:32400/web")
Adding a media library
The first step will be to add a library by using the "+" sign on the left side menu, the following menu will pop-up:
You will have a few options to pick from:
- Movies - For Movie files like DVD rips
- TV Shows - For TV Show files
- Music - for your music collection files
- Photos - for your photo gallery
- Home Videos - for video files from your personal collection
It is important to select the aproapiate library fromat because depeding on this Plex will extract informatiuon about your media from the internet. It can extract trailers and subtitles for movies, images and information for TV Shows, meta data for music and a lot more.
Next type a name for this library and pick the language you wish the information to be shown in.
Finally you will have to select the folder where the media is located, you can do this by using the Add folder button. Take note that if you access the server remotely the media folder must obviously be on the remote server and not the local computer.
You will have to wait a few minutes for the files to be scanned and the media information to be downloaded and added from the Internet. After that you will start seeing images of your media that you can click on to access the file and the information.
As you can see the files are presented in a rich format of information, you can use the play button from the left side to play the movie.
Plex offers a great way to organize the media on your Home server and have it available in a modern way on all your devices. It offers support and applications for Android, IOs and Windows phones and tablets, Chromecast, Samsung, Google and Rock smart TVs, or other devices such as your Xbox. It will give you easy access to your media from all the devices in your home.