Plex is a dual-function web app, serving both as an efficient way of media management and as a player client app for access and playback. You can run Plex on low-end home servers, NAS devices or even Shield TV devices.
Plex media files can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making this feature perfect for frequent travelers.
1. Organize Your Media
Plex gives you complete control of the content stored in your home – unlike Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus or similar subscription services that store media libraries that you stream onto devices. From digitally downloaded movies and music collections, to family photos and home videos stored digitally on hard drives or shared via digital sharing apps such as sharing on Plex, all the way through to TV shows & movie marathons with friends & family – Plex can organize it all with an intuitive interface for easy access.
Plex is an automated media server that scans and indexes your file collection, retrieving all pertinent metadata and cover art for optimal organization and visual appeal. Once complete, it allows any device – smartphones, tablets, streaming players or smart TVs – to connect seamlessly.
To make the most of Plex, it’s essential that your files follow a consistent naming convention and metatag them with relevant details about title, year, quality and cast. Instead of using Plex’s user interface (UI) alone to organize or metatag your content, I suggest starting off using an automated file-system utility like macOS’s File Renamer as it will ensure your metadata survives any future rebuilds of your library without losing its integrity if folders or names change over time.
Plex’s powerful auto-fetch and display of cover art for all your media is one of its key strengths, while it can also automatically update libraries as new files or updates to existing files come in. Furthermore, users can manually edit and customize metadata by choosing preferred artwork for media files as well as manually importing any additional details not automatically retrieved by Plex.
Plex’s 2019 update brings with it a great feature – its unified interface – which enables you to organize both your own library as well as those belonging to friends and family into one view. However, to maximize this functionality it’s crucial that libraries are regularly refreshed through scanning or refreshing processes.
Plex offers various ways of organizing and managing media, including its On Deck feature which keeps track of what you’re currently watching or planning to watch soon. You can create playlists and filters, set notifications and logs as desired and invite other users who can access your media server through web apps, iOS mobile apps, Android mobile apps or connected devices such as TV.
2. Stream Your Media
Plex can make playing media files on your computer much simpler if you’re used to using software such as iTunes or Kodi; its server-side software will take care of everything for you! When media comes in different formats, Plex’s Plex Library software creates one centralized source, accessible through mobile phones or TV apps. When selecting movies, TV shows, or music files from Plex, its server automatically converts it to the best format possible for that device, through transcoding; making Plex even more effective!
Plex is easy to get up and running: register for a free account on their website and follow their quick setup guide, before adding all of your media files to a library. To create one, navigate to Libraries in the left menu, click “+,” select Movies or TV Shows library types (like Movies/TV Shows/Docs etc) then add unique library names before browsing to where your digital media files reside before selecting “Next.”
Once your media is in the Plex library, it can be enjoyed on virtually any device that supports Plex. This includes Smart TVs, Roku devices, Chromecast devices and most mobile phones and tablets that support Plex. However, for streaming to work successfully your server must always remain powered on and connected to the internet; otherwise syncing will not work and to enable mobile device access while you’re offline you must subscribe to Plex Pass premium subscription service.
Tidal provides access to an impressive library of high-quality music for streaming free, download and sync movies and TV shows for offline viewing, parental controls to limit certain libraries or files, and remote access. Once enabled on your network, friends and family members should create free Plex accounts online and share their email addresses so you can invite them via the Plex App.
3. Access Your Media Anywhere
Plex stands out from its competition by providing unique organizational and design features that set it apart. For instance, Plex automatically organizes TV shows by seasons with every episode being assigned its own title card and description; identifies actors within movies; helps find lyrics for music files; all this ensures your own library looks as professional as Netflix or Disney Plus!
One great feature of Plex is making media files accessible to anyone on your network using either its app or website, including friends who do not yet have an account – sending invitations so they can join local networks is also an option.
If you want your friends to access your Plex library outside your home, ensure “Remote Access” is enabled and functioning correctly. To do this, open your control panel and navigate to Settings > Users & Sharing; there you’ll see an option to add friends with their username or email addresses; they’ll then be able to view and play your content from their own Plex app or website.
As part of your effort to optimize Plex server’s efficiency, consider adopting a file naming convention which includes relevant details in each file name. This will allow the Plex Media Server to quickly recognize and retrieve accurate metadata about each piece in your library. You can also manually edit or customize each item’s metadata by selecting it in your library then clicking Edit; this feature can come especially handy if an album or video file doesn’t yet have an entry in its official database.
Maintaining regular library updates can enhance the Plex experience further by keeping in step with physical storage needs, and being aware of any alterations to collections or any updates within them.
4. Share Your Media
Plex Media Server makes it easy to share your media with others. You can do this either through the Plex Web App on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone or via its overflow menu on posters and pre-play screens to grant access. Alternatively you could share only certain folders or all media on your server; sharing recipients will only see what exists within their library, but not be able to change files’ names, cover arts or delete anything unless shown how in file managers on their computers.
Sharing multiple libraries with someone is easy, just add their server to your Plex MY SERVERS list and see all their libraries, each one marked off with a check box allowing you to choose whether to share all or just certain ones such as TV shows, Movies, Photos or Music.
One simple way of sharing your content is sending people a link to your library. This works great if you want to watch something with someone but they don’t own what you do!
Plex is one of the great benefits of technology because it will automatically sync all your music, movies and TV shows onto any mobile device so that you can watch them anywhere without downloading it again – plus for Plex Pro users it even does this with games and apps!
Plex provides the option to temporarily unlist libraries from its server, meaning the media won’t be deleted but simply unavailable to any Plex clients. To do this, mouse over any library on the left side of MY LIBRARY and three dots should appear – click these dots to open up a menu with “Delete Menu Items”, where they’ll become active, before finally selecting “Delete Library from Plex”.