PLEX

Should I buy a NAS or repurpose an old iMac with Plex?

WD 8TB My Cloud EX4100

Episode 1647

Brian from Pittsburgh, PA

Brian recently bought a MacBook Air. He wants to know if he can repurpose his old Mac as a server to run Plex. Leo says that Brian's old dual-core iMac isn't super fast, but you can run Plex on an Atom processor, so it'll work on that iMac, but it may struggle with 4K. In that case, getting a dedicated NAS, like Synology, would be a better option. You'd also have a lot more storage space. It'll also sit and a closet out of the way. You'll also have to fit drives into it. So that'll be an extra cost.

Why can't I access my files on my Plex Media Server?

Plex

Episode 1637

Joey from Dundas, Ontario

Joey is having issues with his Plex media server (Plex is a sponsor of TWiT). He can see his media files on the Synology NAS, but he can't access the files at all. Leo says you may have to turn on a sharing file system like SMB. Stop and restart your file server software to be sure it's properly running. Ports may also need to be opened in your router. Check your firewall log to see if those ports are being blocked.

Can I Use a Mac Mini as a Media Server?

 Mac Mini

Episode 1628

Mini Cooper Mike from Spokane, WA

Mike bought a used 2012 Mac Mini that he wants to turn into a media server. Will he be able to manage it locally, or does he have to do window sharing? Leo says that a Mac is kinda expensive for a media server, but it will do the job great with Apple's macOS Server software, which is $20 from the app store. He can also use PLEX for free. If he wants to access from the internet, he'll need to set up port forwarding. But if it's just from the network, it'll work as is. But there's a heat issue, so Leo says that he can use external hard drives to bring the heat down.

Can I stream TV to all my TVs at once?

Episode 1566

Nate from Illinois

Nate has cut the cord, and he has a killer media server with the HD Home Run. But he wants to find a way to broadcast the stream to all his TVs in his house at the same time. Leo says it's called MultiCast, or Party Mode. PLEX may be able to do it. They've been working on it for quite some time. Here's info from the PLEX Forums - There's an open BETA that started last year. So it's likely ready to go. Search for MULTIPLEX. Then it's a question if your router and network can support it.

How can I rip my CDs and put them on a media server?

Synology NAS

Episode 1488

Walt from Irvine, CA

Walt has a few hundred CDs and he'd like to rip them, put them on a music server, and then donate them. Leo recommends ripping in a lossless version called FLAC. FLAC is a great because if one needs to re-burn to a CD, they can. If using iTunes, he should use Apple's own lossless codec. Using a Mac that stays on all the time would work, but Leo recommends using a Network Attached Storage device and have that run as the music server. It can also do double duty backing up the network. Leo recommends the Synology brand.