Media Server - What to use?

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lsemmens
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Media Server - What to use?

Post by lsemmens » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:34 am

I currently have my home network set up as peer to peer with approx 6 computers. Most of our movies reside on one or two boxes. Currently, two computers are predominately used for watching those movies, netflix or catch up TV. Netflix and Catchup are handled by Firefox and bookmarks (using the Speed Dial extension) The movies are just accessed via Nemo.

Is there any advantage to using the likes of Kodi or Mythbuntu? Would it make it easier for those unfamiliar with blowsers/file managers? I may try it on one machine to see how it goes, but I am looking for some "encouragement" and experience first. What do you people use? Pros? Cons? Can they be used aas an OS in their own right, or are they only another program (i.e. another software layer)
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by smurphos » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:52 am

I've had a Plex server running for years, originally on Windows and then later on a dedicated Linux machine.

For me it's advantages are....

1) Good support for - SmartTV, Chromecast, Roku etc - for watching the content on an actual TV.
2) ON PC, access is via a nice GUI based browser.
3) Mobile player apps for phone/tablets can also act as remote control for PC/TV based apps.
4) PVR capabilities (requires compatible tuner).
5) Makes it easy to set up a external access - stream your content when out and about, on vacation etc.
6) Also supports streaming Music Libraries, Photo Collections etc as-well as Video.

https://www.plex.tv/

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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by lsemmens » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:05 am

Thanks Smurphos, will investigate further.
Good support for - SmartTV, Chromecast, Roku etc - for watching the content on an actual TV. - does this mean that it talks to these devices or Runs on them?
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by Faust » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:22 am

Raspberry Pi is ideal for making a Plex server .
Low power consumption and rock-solid stability ..... what's not to like ?

https://thepi.io/how-to-set-up-a-raspbe ... ex-server/
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by smurphos » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:32 am

lsemmens wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:05 am
Thanks Smurphos, will investigate further.
Good support for - SmartTV, Chromecast, Roku etc - for watching the content on an actual TV. - does this mean that it talks to these devices or Runs on them?
Thet all have Plex player apps that the server can talk too. See https://www.plex.tv/en-gb/apps-devices/ for details.

If you've got a SmartTV see here for models with a Plex app available - https://support.plex.tv/articles/204080 ... supported/

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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by lsemmens » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:36 am

Thanks again, mate, I was planing to spend a quiet evening setting up plex on my media server. In preparation I dismantled it from the bookshelf under the TV to tidy up a few loose bits (see piccie, you'll get the idea.) and to unplug the numerous drives in the system so I cannot accidentally overwrite something important. That was the plan. Instead I find that the CPU heatsink is loose, no biggie, I'll clean it up and re-fit it. Cant find heatsink compound! Nearest shop is 3/4 hour away and about to close! Aaargh! Then I discover that I cannot re-fit it because one of the tags on the frame has broken, so.... new heatsink too! I'll go for a drive in the morning and might even consider a SSD for the OS drive.ImageImage
What those piccies don't show is the optical drive and the numerous USB drives also attached to the machine. The heatsink has been removed from the mobo, too.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by lsemmens » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:52 am

It's back up and running with a nice new CPU cooler (with pretty blue light that no one will ever see) and a new 2Tb drive. Was going to go SSD for boot, but decided that I could pension off four or five smaller drives instead. Now I'm copying stuff across and in the process of setting up a nice new version of Mint (19) on a separate drive. Not too sure about Kodi, had a bit of a look at it and am yet to find an advantage.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by phd21 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:33 am

HI lsemmens,

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

There are many good posts on this topic of media servers available in this forum.

If all you want is a simple media server that uses very little computer resources, I recommend "UMS (Ultimate Media Server)" or "PS3 Media Server" where all you have to do is add a firewall rule for port 5003 to allow incoming, add the folders with your multimedia stuff (videos, music, pics) that you want to share, and that's it, any DLNA/UPnP enabled devices will be able to access them (smart TV's and smart Blu-Ray DVD players, TV sticks, smartphones, game consoles, etc... Computers can also access the content using browsers or DLNA/UPnP clients.

For more fully-featured home theater experience using "Plex", Kodi (xbmc), etc... are great choices...

Hope this helps ...
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by lsemmens » Sat Jul 14, 2018 11:17 pm

Thanks PHD.

Maybe I was not clear enough in my intent. I've had a play with Kodi and find that It does not seem to play well with a mouse. I thought I'd try and load a few movies/TV shows into it, but it seems to swear at me because it does not recognise the filenaming conventions that I have used and want's to log on to IMDB or some other place for metadata access which I DON'T want.

I can't seem to find Plex in Software Manager or is it an add on to Kodi. If an add on, how to get it?
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by smurphos » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:02 am

Plex is a standalone server - nothing to do with Kodi except that they share a common ancestor in the original pre Kodi XMBC.

If you don't like Kodi's file naming conventions or metadata functions you won't like Plex either....

Have a read first- https://support.plex.tv/articles/catego ... ia-server/

If you do want to try it it's installed via deb - https://www.plex.tv/en-gb/media-server-downloads/

Once installed if you want to automate updates - the server software is frequently updated with feature release, bug and the occasional security fix you can - https://github.com/mrworf/plexupdate

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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by lsemmens » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:14 am

Does it work with just a mouse? I'm trying to make life as easy as possible for SWMBO. She's familiar enough with navigating around nemo now, and can find her way around Netflix but that is about it.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by smurphos » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:56 am

Yep the Web interface for using from a PC is completely point and click....

Image

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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by phd21 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:57 am

HI lsemmens,

Plex is not in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM), but it is easy to install.

Good info "smurphos", what is the web address for accessing the web interface, and did you have to add a firewall rule for incoming, if so what port(s)?

As I stated before, if all you want is to stream multimedia content then UMS or PS3 Media servers would be a great choice. If you want other features that a "home theater" package provides, then use Kodi, Plex, etc... I have smart Blu-Ray DVD player that automatically recognizes UMS or PS3 Media server with all my multimedia content and I can just use the players remote control to navigate the folders and files. You can also access their content from computers on the local network using a browser and their web interface address. Smartphones, tablets, etc... can also add a UPnP/DLNA application for their app stores to access the content.

I would also recommend installing "ffmpeg" v3.x which is in the Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM) of Linux Mint 19 and available using a PPA for previous Linux Mint versions.

As for your naming conventions for your multimedia files, it would help to provide some examples. There are a few superb renaming applications if you need to use them like Krename, pyrenamer, Gwenrename, etc... that can easily and quickly rename files.


For installing the Plex Server, click the link Media Server Downloads link below, select Linux, for distribution select Ubuntu 14.04 or newer 64-bit or 32-bit depending upon your hardware, restart afterward.

Read This...
How to Setup Plex Media Server on Linux and Connect It to Your Amazon Fire TV Stick
https://dotlayer.com/how-to-setup-plex- ... -tv-stick/

Media Server Downloads | Plex Media Server for Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD and More
https://www.plex.tv/media-server-downloads/

Plex Home Theater Client for Linux Mint 18.x and 19.x
64-bit
https://launchpad.net/~plexapp/+archive ... _amd64.deb

32-bit
https://launchpad.net/~plexapp/+archive ... 1_i386.deb



FYI: Ultimate Smart Home Media Server with Docker and Ubuntu 18.04 - Basic
https://www.smarthomebeginner.com/docke ... 018-basic/


Hope this helps ...
Last edited by phd21 on Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by smurphos » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:32 am

phd21 wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:57 am
Good info "smurphos", what is the web address for accessing the web interface, and did you have to add a firewall rule for incoming, if so what port(s)?
The server can be accessed over a LAN via - http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:32400/web/index.html# with xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx being the local IP of the server.

If you chose to allow access over the internet so you can stream away from home or share the server with friends/family who don't live with you it's - https://app.plex.tv/desktop

The latter option is off by default.

No UFW rules needed on devices accessing the server. The Server itself needs to allow access in on port 32400 (can be restricted to LAN if external access is not required). If external access is required a router port -forward to the server will also probably be needed.

I do have external access enabled...this is the UFW status on the server. I'm a bit lazy so I allow in on any port locally as I administer the server via SSH and access it's file storage via SFTP

Code: Select all

steve@mint-toshiba ~ $ sudo ufw status
[sudo] password for steve: 
Status: active

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
32400                      ALLOW       Anywhere                  
Anywhere                   ALLOW       192.168.1.0/24            
32400 (v6)                 ALLOW       Anywhere (v

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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by lsemmens » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:37 am

A lot to take in, thank you gentlefolk. I did note in this thread here that there were issues with network shares? Is this something I need worry about, given that i have a home network that consists of 5 PCs all running Mint. Most of my content resides on one machine, but NOT the machine I am attempting to "simplify".

As to my naming conventions Most are just the name of the movie, no issue, but some of my series, eg. Star Trek Each iteration is stored in a folder called after the iteration (DS9, OS, Enterprise etc.) Each folder contains sub folders corresponding to the Season number, Each Episode then is Listed by Number and episode name. Other shows are sorted after the fashion S01E01Episode Name.ext.

Your screenshot smurphos explains a lot more. Looking at it on a TV (which is my intent) The menu at the top, and the left were cut off, so I did not see them. I've had a play with different resolutions both in nVidia and the TV to resolve it but cannot seem to convince Kodi that fullscreen means just that and NO MORE.

Am I reading your links correctly, phd21? In that I must set up a Plex media server for my content, and also set up a client on other machines that wish to access that content? I was hoping to make it easier. It just seems to add another layer of complexity to the mix.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by phd21 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:44 am

HI lsemmens

You are welcome from all of us that replied...
lsemmens wrote:A lot to take in, thank you gentlefolk. I did note in this thread here that there were issues with network shares? Is this something I need worry about, given that i have a home network that consists of 5 PCs all running Mint. Most of my content resides on one machine, but NOT the machine I am attempting to "simplify".
You are setting up a media server, so although it is not hard to do it does take a little effort. My ancient underpowered computer hardware cannot run Kodi. Just like you did with Kodi, install various media servers like Plex and or UMS and try them for yourself. You do not need the Plex Client on the other computers accessing your Plex media server if you use the media server's web interface from a browser. But you can also install and use the Plex client if you want to.

The easiest to install and setup are UMS and PS3 Media Server IMHO; you can have a media server up and running in 5 minutes or less.
phd21-For installing UMS Ultimate Media Server wrote: Step 1: Install required dependencies using command below or from Software Manager or Synaptic Package Manager (SPM)

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install mediainfo mediainfo-gui openjdk-8-jre wget
Step 2: Click link below to Download the UMS self-contained archive file "UMS-7.1.0.tgz"
https://www.fosshub.com/Universal-Media ... -7.1.0.tgz

Step 3: Using your file manager, right-click the "UMS-7.1.0.tgz" file and select extract here which creates a "ums-7.1.0" folder. I recommend moving the folder to your home folder or into an "apps" folder underneath your home folder.

Step 4: Right-click the Desktop and select "Create a new Launcher", enter in a name of "UMS", click the browse button to the right of the command box and browse to that folder and the startup file "UMS.sh", for comments enter in media server or leave blank, click Ok (if asked to add to your menu, say yes). Their icon "logo.png" in under their "web" subfolder.

Step 5: add a firewall rule in your firewall application which is in your menus or System Settings for the default port which is 5001 which you can change if you want in the General Configuration tab. If you use a VPN network connection like I do, then you will want to specify the computer running UMS local IP address (usually something like 192.168.1.xxx) in the UMS General Configuration Tab "Force IP of server" box, click restart server button on top.

Just click the new desktop shortcut launcher icon to start UMS, when UMS is first run:
- it will ask for language and defaults to English pick one and click select,
- Should UMS start Minimized say No,
- Which best describes your Internet: wired (normal), wired 100 (fast), or wireless - pick one for the computer the UMS server is running on.
- Should UMS hide its advanced options - I always say no to this,
- then it asks to choose a default media folder and I always pick Videos and you can add more later.

- That's it and it comes right up...

If for whatever reason UMS does not come up run the command below and make Java 8 the default.

Code: Select all

sudo update-alternatives --config java
And, if you want you can also install Oracle's Java using the link below.
How To Install Java with `apt` on Ubuntu 18.04 | DigitalOcean
https://www.digitalocean.com/community/ ... untu-18-04

Code: Select all

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java

Code: Select all

sudo apt update

Code: Select all

sudo apt install oracle-java8-installer
.
Previous post: cast to tv - Linux Mint Forums
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=218796&hilit=ultimate+media+server
lsemmens wrote:As to my naming conventions Most are just the name of the movie, no issue, but some of my series, eg. Star Trek Each iteration is stored in a folder called after the iteration (DS9, OS, Enterprise etc.) Each folder contains sub folders corresponding to the Season number, Each Episode then is Listed by Number and episode name. Other shows are sorted after the fashion S01E01Episode Name.ext.
There is nothing in your naming convention that you described that would be a problem.
lsemmens wrote:Am I reading your links correctly, phd21? In that I must set up a Plex media server for my content, and also set up a client on other machines that wish to access that content? I was hoping to make it easier. It just seems to add another layer of complexity to the mix.
For security reasons, you should have your Linux and or other computer firewalls enabled. Media servers and the computers that access them usually need your permission to allow access to the media server's files which is done by simply adding a firewall rule to allow incoming from the media server's IP address and the port number. All the computers and other devices on your local area network (lan) have an IP address that usually starts with "192.168.xxx.xxx" or something like that, including your media server, and usually there is a port number as well which you add to all your computers firewalls to allow incoming and outgoing traffic. This only needs to be done once unless the media server's IP address changes. On the computer that I use for a media server with UMS, I only had to add a firewall rule for port 5001 both protocols TCP UDP and in both directions (incoming and outgoing (default)) for any other device or computer to access the media server's content. Obviously, you have to tell the media server's software which folders you want to share over the network, some software may automatically add the typical folders like Videos, Music, Pictures, etc... To find out your media server's local IP address (or any computer's local IP address) you can type "ifconfig" from a console terminal prompt and look for your connection's information (wired or wireless) and the line "inet addr:192.168.1.100", or use your network manager system tray icon and click the local ISP connection for detailed information.

Tip 1: If you use the media server's web interface for computers accessing your media server, you can make a browser bookmark to that web address for easy quick access to your media server. For UMS the web address is the server IP address colon and the port number 9001, example: http://192.168.1.100:9001/

Tip 2: Some media servers like UMS and PS3 Media server have problems with folders of the same name. For example, if you have multiple "Videos" folders and or sub-folders, then rename them or they could get confused and only show the first one it comes across (videos-tv, videos-music, videos-movies, videos2, videos3, etc...) I have an external USB drive with multimedia content and I renamed its Videos folder to "videos-usb-wd-blue" (western digital USB passport drive that is blue, the other one I have is "videos-usb-wd-grey").

Tip 3: If you use a VPN network connection either from the desktop or your hardware router, then add the media server's local area network (local) IP address to their setup. In UMS that is under the General Tab, "Force IP of the Server" box. Restart the media server after making configuration changes.

Note for KDE users, do not start UMS or PS3 Media server minimized and do not close it, just minimize it to the taskbar if you want its window out of the way...

Hope this helps ...
.
gufw1.jpg
Linux Firewall (gufw) - add a simple firewall rule
.
gufw2.jpg
Linux Firewall (gufw) - add an advanced firewall rule.
- If you want to add the media server's IP address and the port number
.
UMS_NavigationShared_Tab1.jpg
UMS Navigation Shared Tab - where you add the folders of your multimedia.
Last edited by phd21 on Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:14 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by phd21 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:33 pm

HI lsemmens and Anyone Else Interested,

FYI: I updated my last reply to include 5 quick and simple steps for installing and configuring the Universal Media Server (UMS) which should only take a few minutes and should work on any edition of Linux Mint.

If you click the Web Interface button on top of the UMS screen, it will open your default browser to its web interface with the web address any other computers can bookmark and use to access the multimedia files from this server. You just click the UMS logo, then click or double-click the folders to see and or play the multimedia content. The other computers may also have to add a firewall rule for the media server IP address and port once to allow access from then on.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by lsemmens » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:01 pm

Thank you for all your valuable advice. I am going to have to spend a little while wading through it all to make sense. I appreciate your time, and help.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by phd21 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:05 pm

HI lsemmens and Anyone Else Interested,

You are welcome from all of us that replied...

Okay, I found some time to install and try "Plex Home Theater" in Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon.

I used the article on "How to setup Plex Media Server on Linux" from the link I provided before.

Simple to install using their Linux deb file from the links already provided and when you click "Plex Media Manager" from your menu it will automatically bring up your browser and go to the web server's configuration menu
http://localhost:32400/web/index.html#

You have to sign in to the Plex website with your Plex login or create one, there are a lot of options.

Some observations. Since I am new to using Plex, it could be something I am overlooking.

- Plex has many plugins and channels to enhance the Home Theater experience which UMS and other basic media servers did not have, although you can add more to UMS. Some of which would require using a VPN network connection to overcome "geo-restrictions" which is normal to access streaming content from outside the country you are in.

- I could not easily file browse to folders that are not in my Home folder for some reason, like external USB drives, to add to the "library" categories? I wanted to add only videos to the "Movies" library category from my Videos folder in my Home folder and also from the Videos folder from my USB drive, but I could not access the USB drive's folder only the whole drive (partition) and its content did not show up even though the drive is mounted, and I told it to rescan all the content?

- I could not get the Plex DLNA option to work so that any DLNA/UPnP devices and or computers using just DLNA/UPnP could access the media content like I could easily do with UMS.

- My smart Samsung Blu-Ray DVD player did have a Plex Application that works well with the Plex Server as you would expect after getting a verification code to enter.

- The Plex Server can easily be accessed using a browser to view and or play your media content. Might still have to add firewall rules for all computers for the media server IP address and port 32400 (normal).

- The Plex Home Theater client for Linux would not install in Linux Mint 19 (Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic), "libboost-system1.58.0" dependency error although a newer version of libbost-system is installed? Not sure it is necessary because everyone can use the web interface.

Hope this helps...
Last edited by phd21 on Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Media Server - What to use?

Post by smurphos » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:59 pm

phd21 wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:05 pm
- I could not easily file browse to folders that are not in my Home folder for some reason, like external USB drives, to add to the "library" categories? I wanted to add only videos to the "Movies" library category from my Videos folder in my Home folder and also from the Videos folder from my USB drive, but I could not access the USB drive's folder only the whole drive (partition) and its content did not show up even though the drive is mounted, and I told it to rescan all the content?
Re permissions - the installation of the server creates a new user - plex. Permissions on media need to be such that user plex has at least read access to them. The simplest way is to use 755(folders) and 644(files) across the board, but there are other options such as adding user plex to your group etc...

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