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PLEX - Completee Noob so go easy
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Bluenose
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:37 am    Post subject: PLEX - Completee Noob so go easy Reply with quote

Hi All Mac Mini'ers

Go easy - I'm a complete Mac Noob,

Just purchased a Mac Mini 2011 - 2.7GHz i7 (upgraded the ram myself to 8GB)

The mac was bought to hook up to my TV (7 year old Pioneer plasma, but with HDMI) primarily to watched downloaded content.

I don't really want to have to use itunes - I have installed Perian (I think) to allow me to watch Divx - which works fine - I can play using QT or VLC (which I knew about from the PC)

Anyway - to get to the point - I had seen some stuff re PLEX - could someone give me an idiot's guide to exactly what I can do with it, could I use it as a "media manager" for my TV and movies?

Sorry for the ramblings - but any pointers would be gratefully accepted and appreciated

Ta
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bluenose

Plex is the ideal application to use for what you want. Just go to www.plexapp.com to download it.

Plex is now made up of two applications. These are Plex Media Server and Plex Media Centre. The server installs to the menu bar where it mostly sits in the background cataloging your media. The Media Centre is the front end player.

I have Plex on all my machines, but only the iMac has the server setup. All of the other machines use the iMac's Plex Server to grab the data.

My media is also all stored remotely on a separate NAS Drive. I have my NAS arranged with different types of media in different folders. Each of these media folders are linked to the Plex Media Server as separate Media Sources (Library Sections). I have sections such as Comedy, TV Shows, Movies etc

Here's a sample screen of a typical install.


I have my NAS arranged like this

\Media Server\Movies\
\Media Server\Comedy\
\Media Server\TV Shows\
\Media Server\TV Comedy\
\Media Server\TV Factual\

You store the media in these folders by show name or movie title etc. Typically I store TV shows in the following way
Media Server\TV\Name of Show\Season 1\Name of Show S01E10.avi Plex is then clever enough to look up the show and use the S01E10 data to find the info for Season 1 Episode 10
Movies, I just store in sub folders by the movie name.

Plex server sorts all this out for you and scrapes the show info, posters, theme tune etc from the internet. This data is then used to provide a rich user interface in the Media Centre.


The Media Centre application looks for a Plex Server on your network to find the data to display.

In Plex Media Centre the shows I showed in the screen shot above would be displayed like this.



clicking on to a show takes you to its season listings



and from there to the episode lists


From there you can play any of the episodes. Unwatched episodes are highlighted with a white dot after the title so you can quickly see which ones you have watched and which you have not.

All of the above is sorted out by pled. All you have to do is to setup the Plex Media Server is to point it at the media and then name the files in the correct way. Plex will then look it up and sort all the screens out for you. It really is a great interface and it looks superb.
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Bluenose
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:48 pm    Post subject: Thank You Reply with quote

Cypher

I took the plunge yesterday - took a bit of getting my head round, but all I can say is wow!! Well impressed with it - can quite get my head round the apps bit - but it's my first mac - so I'll get there eventually.

I was well impressed with the way it catalogues my shows - including an obscure Ozzie show!!!!

Any other tips?

Regards and thanks

Bluenose
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bluenose (Toffee ?)

I think you've probably sussed most of it already, it really is pretty simple once you get it set up.

Movies and TV need to be split up as each uses a different scraping service to collect its data so you need to tell Plex if a section of your library contains films or tv.

I also split things further so I have separate sections for things like standup DVDs which I have in Comedy, TV sitcoms etc I have in TV Comedy. Documentary's and reality type fly on walls I put in TV Factual. The rest goes in TV Shows.

You can also split things further by having collections. so in Movies I have a Harry Potter collection, a War collection, Crime etc. Similarly in TV shows I have Crime, Sci-Fi, War etc In the Screen shot above of the media manager I just created a Sample collection and drag a few shows into it.

One thing to keep an eye on is how you name new shows so it can quickly find them. I find the easiest way is to jump over to http://www.thetvdb.com/ and look up how the show is titled there first. and check out the season numbering etc.
Specials tend to classed as Season 0.

I also have Plex (Player) set up to use the Apple Remote and also the mouse which makes it easier to operate on the TV. You can also get an iPhone / iPad app for Plex which allows you to stream you media to the iOs device as well, and also allows you to use it as a remote control.
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Bluenose
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:39 am    Post subject: Thanks Again Reply with quote

Cypher

I did wonder about the iPhone app - might invest in it (although I have a programmable Harmony Remote - so it might do.

I had split the TV into series etc - the idea of genre is quite a good one.

I've been well impressed with the software - I guess the additional memory I stuck in the mini helps!!

Thanks again for the advice

(totally off topic - I updated imovie, and garage band - I now have 2 icons within launchpad - do you know if I can delete the original ones?

Toffee - no chance!!!!! A Bear - Blue half of Glasgow mate!!!!!!

Bluenoses Are Born - Not manufactured
We are chosen - we do not choose
Those who understand - need no explanation
Those who don't - don't matter!

Let others come after us - we welcome the chase!
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks Again Reply with quote

Bluenose wrote:
I had split the TV into series etc - the idea of genre is quite a good one.


I have quite a few shows in my listings so it helps to break things up. You probably don't need it until you have a large library and you can do it at any point. When you create a collection you just drag in the shows, movies you want. they can also be in multiple collections.

Plex already includes Genre's which it grabs when it looks up the shows. When you go into TV you see a listing with All shows, Unwatched etc.. this include by Collection and by Genre. As an example of how I use the collection, I don't group all of my Sci-Fi shows in to my Sci-fi collection. I can get that looking at the Genre. With collections I just add the ones I'm currently watching.

Bluenose wrote:
(totally off topic - I updated imovie, and garage band - I now have 2 icons within launchpad - do you know if I can delete the original ones?


I'm not sure on that one, I don't use LaunchPad. I would check in the Applications folder to see what you have in there and if there are two actual copies.

Quote:
Toffee - no chance!!!!! A Bear - Blue half of Glasgow mate!!!!!!


Very Happy
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svennn
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also a plex noob and need some help.

I'm trying to make my setup as "wife and in-law" friendly as I can.

What NAS will work? My UNRAID box disconnects and won't remount when the Mini sleeps. When the Mini sleeps, it won't wake with the apple remote.

In a perfect world I would hit the Plex button on my programable remote then just use the apple remote to navigate plex. The reality is that things are not that simple.

Any input on what NAS will work? As far as sleep goes, should I just set it to never sleep?

-Steve
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unblowupable5
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just so you understand, the Plex iOS app is more than just a remote. It allows you to stream your entire Plex library to your iOS device. So you can start watching a movie on your iPad, then finish up where you left off on your Mac Mini. There are several other clients as well- Android, Google TV, Samsung, etc.
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Bluenose
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:31 am    Post subject: A belated Thank You Reply with quote

Thank you all for your assistance - PLEX is now up and running, and doing everything I wanted it to - very impressed with it.

I even get the video plugins to work (with the exception of TV catchup - don't know why)

Ta Much All
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eli1
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to create a new thread so I'll post here. I too am completely new at this.

I was under the impression that you could get the same content with Plex as you would on a jailbroken Apple TV2. I assume they are 'video plug ins' I don't know if I am correct ?
Either way, if I am.. any idea where one would get these plug ins or do I need something else ?

Is there anything similar on OS X to get these shows and movies ?

I'm sorry if I'm totally off Smile
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plex is an application that can be run on Mac OS or on a jailbroken Apple TV2. The media is stored on your computer, external drive, or network drive.

Plex is merely used to catalogue it all and then present it in a very nice interface and play it.

Plex is capable of playing many different types of media which I think it also does with the help of add ons such as Perian.

The media it presents is your own, ripped DVD's, downloaded shows etc.
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eli1
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. That's what I figured...

So any apps I can use for things like IP TV and other on demand type TV shoes/movies ?
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can install various Plugins within plex to pull in media from various internet sources. BBC iPlayer (UK) YouTube, Ted etc

You do this within the Plex client via the Menu option Plex Online.

more info here
http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/PlexNine_PMS_Plugins
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Gouie
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cypher wrote:


One thing to keep an eye on is how you name new shows so it can quickly find them. I find the easiest way is to jump over to http://www.thetvdb.com/ and look up how the show is titled there first. and check out the season numbering etc.
Specials tend to classed as Season 0.


Hoping you can elaborate just a bit. I've run into problems with some of my content not being recognized. My first thought was then naming convention used. Can you tell me how you integrate TVDB's naming convention into the filename?
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are the shows your having problems with ?

Typically I do it like

Persons of Interest S01E01
House S03E12
Homeland S01E10
etc

I tend to have each show in a folder with the name of the Show, and then sub folders for each season.
So the three examples above would be arranged as follows in various folders and subfolders (shown in bold)

Media
- TV Shows
-- Homeland
--- Season 1

---- Homeland S01E10.avi
---- Homeland S01E11.avi
-- House
--- Season 3

---- House S03E01.avi
---- House S03E02.avi
---- House S03E12.avi
-- Person of Interest
--- Season 1

---- Person of Interest S01E01.avi
---- Person of Interest S01E02.avi
etc



With the file name as
Name Season Episode - e.g. Name S01E01.avi


If its a special the Season will be S00
also for double episodes do them as Name S01E01E02.avi
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