Plex - I really want to like it.. but just can't...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wartnig, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. wartnig macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #1
    I use my mac mini as a HTPC - mainly using FrontRow..
    I really want to use Plex.. but just never seem to understand how to get all the media organised... I really want to take time to get my media sorted.. but Plex just doesnt seem to make this easy....
    I must have installed and deinstalled the software about 8 times over the last couple of months...
    I am going to give it another go tonight...

    Is it just me or do others find Plex awkward to setup..? Im pretty confident in computers and setting/sorting 'stuff' out.. but Plex to me just doesnt make it easy...

    I see some of the screenshots of people using Plex and with all their media sorted and it looks AMAZING!! But mine just looks pants lol...i have cover art for films which i dont even own!!

    Anyway.. just wantd to know if other people have shared my frustration but have eventually got round to setting it up and never looking back...

    Rant over... sorry... :confused:
     
  2. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #2
    Biggest problem with Plex for me is that it doesn't understand Metadata tags for videos.. and instead it does directory / filename scraping. All my files are meticulously tagged, but Plex just ignores that. I don't know why they can't fix it, but I don't use Plex for that reason.
     
  3. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #3
    Yeah they really really need to put in Meta-tags support, that is the reason I stopped using it, way too tedious to organize your media.
     
  4. freepeacesweet macrumors member

    freepeacesweet

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Cayman Islands
    #4
    If your data is set-up the way PLEX wants to read it then it's fine.

    You should have one folder say 'Movies'

    each film filename should be as follows: Name of film (year)

    e.g. Drag me to hell (2009)

    I also have one folder named 'TV'

    Each TV show filename should be as follows : name of show season number episode number

    e.g. Shameless S01E01

    Add the folders as sources in Plex. Next higlight the source in plex and hold down menu i think for a few seconds. a menu will appear and select set content as whatever is in the folder and select the scraper you wish to use.
    Once set hold down menu on the source again and this time select scan for new contenet and then off you go.

    After a few hours depending on the number of files PLEX should have scraped all info and added it to your library.

    If your files are in sub folders under the main one you need to also select scan recursivly
     
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5
    Plex is the easiest solution for building a library of adhoc content I've ever seen.

    Plex uses IMDB for movie data and theTVDB for TV shows... simply name your folders to match and Plex will do the rest.
     
  6. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #6
    It may work for random ad-hoc content, but it doesn't work for my movie collection. I already have all of my movies fully tagged, including high-quality artwork and full movie data. I do not want to be forced into some file naming scheme and have Plex display movie data inconsistent with my own tagging.

    I find Plex approach to cataloging to be behind the times, and inferior to iTunes, Apple TV and dare I say it FrontRow.
     
  7. freepeacesweet macrumors member

    freepeacesweet

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Location:
    Cayman Islands
    #7
    Once i set PLEX up with the folders it just checks everytime i add something new on startup and adds it to the library.

    The wife finds it a breeze to use. She can look for what's new, what genre or what actor. Failing that she just flicks through the DVD covers and synopsis.

    It manages our 3TB library very well with minimum effort on my part. Name the file then drag and drop it dosen't get any easier.
     
  8. JLandis macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    #8
    What kind of storage/backup solution do you use for that amount of media?

    I agree. Name your files correctly and Plex will do the work. Movie Title (year) is a standard naming convention and if you can re-name your files IMDB scrapes are useful including rating information.

    The one thing to point out that might make plex more understandable is that, to get movies into your Movies and TV Shows folders you have to add your media as Library Sources. Movies and TV Shows folders are populated by feeding off your added sources. You add these sources in the Videos selection. In Video's add source. I have two sources, a folder on my Drobo that contains all my movies named Movies and another folder named TV Shows. When adding sources you need to do one more step which is Set Content. In the top of the add source dialog select IMDB Movies if your source is movies and IMDB TV or similar if the source is tv shows. If you set the content right then it will scrape the database and populate all of your content into the respective folders with full movie information, cover art, IMDB ratings, etc. Do not forget to turn on Fan Art in the settings area. It will put fan art in the background of a movie selected. Nice touch.

    From there Plex is all about costomizing the software to look the way you want your HTPC to look like. Do this through Skins and Costomize settings inside plex. Much information can be found on Plex Forums @ plexapp.com. Plex is awesome, just put some time into it. It took me a week spending time in the evenings tweaking everything.
     
  9. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    #9
    been using Plex since March, love it a lot. My wife finds it very easy to use which is a huge plus. I finally canceled our cable TV because we only ever use Plex with the Hulu and Netflix plugin.

    Have you looked at the Plex videos under the Help section? Make a movie folder, put some movies in there and add it as a source.
     
  10. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #10
    Plex works pretty well for movies and tv shows that are encoded into something else, but not very well for movies and tv shows that are ripped straight to video_ts folders; the file naming convention totally breaks for dvd's that have multiple movies or for tv show discs with multiple episodes. Plex says that they are working on a completely new library system that will be much better, but they have been saying that for a while and I'm tired of waiting. The library autoplay of video_ts folders is also completely broken in both Plex and XBMC; again, the new library is supposed to fix these things, but when is that? Actually Plex 0.8.3 was supposed to fix the video_ts audo-play feature - has this happened does anybody know?
     
  11. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #11
    Yeah, that's been brought up in the XBMC scraping & tagging forums (Plex is a fork of XBMC) and basically you get a deaf ear. The metatagging you speak of is specific to iTunes and you won't find too much iTunes love up in the XBMC world. Their idea is to build the tags through their built-in mySQL db and .nfo files (XML files) and then XBMC/Plex will display this.

    I personally tag my movies first with MetaX and then will scrape them within XBMC. I too would love it if XBMC would natively read the metatags because MetaX can be a pain to work with sometimes. And as others have said, putting a year next to the movie will help the scraper find the movie a little more consistent. Another tip, for the moment, the best source for movies is IMDB, mainly because it's the only one which can find media flags. TMDB will in the future do this, and hopefully will replace IMDB, and be much cleaner than some of the crud IMDB throws out.

    Lastly, there's some external tools out there for helping with tagging for XBMC, but they're mainly for PC. There is a big effort underway to bring out a cross-platform be-all media tagger called Universal Media Manager (UMM) which hopefully will be out soon. Once you figure out the quirks of adding sources, scraping & tagging you'll be digging your setup!
     
  12. boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #12
    I agree 100%. I think that a media browser such as Plex or Front Row should act more lik a full-screen approach to iTunes, letting the user organize media in iTunes and view it thta way always. I think it's really annoying that Plex forces you to tag your media the way *it* wants. Plex advertises it's flexibility yet you can't even choose which descriptions your movies get, heh. For those of us with years worth of carefully tagged media it's not a good solution.

    I just really wish there were a decent fullscreen media browser that incorporated iTunes tagging like FrontRow, but that also incorporated other media like Plex. One app that gracefully handles iTunes, Hulu Desktop, Eyetv and Pandora would be awesome. I've been looking but havent found it...
     
  13. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #13
    MP4/metatagging is not specific to iTunes. There are a number of 3rd-party tools that can read and write MP4 meta tags - Subler, MetaX, Lostify, etc. Pretty much any component of Apple media ecosystem can understand MP4 tags..

    The fact that Plex which is supposed to be the leading 10-foot media frontend on a Mac resorts to filename / IMDB scrapping is very disappointing. I have Mini and two Apple TV's in different rooms of my house, and I want my Mini/Plex system to display the same movie data as my Apple TVs. I won't use Plex until they start supporting proper cataloging based on tags.
     
  14. TuckBodi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #14
    Yup, I know that..

    Does Plex have their own scraper now? In the past they used the one from XBMC, where you can try and complain, but they like their system of tagging. Now if Plex breaks free and does their own scraper and better yet, uses MP4 metatags, now that'd be sweet!

    You make it sound like MP4 tagging is a standard? Maybe you can point me in that direction because if it is, then that may be some reasoning to give to the XBMC devs to incorporate this into their tagging.
     
  15. warrenpeace macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto
    #15
    Can it ignore a file?

    Is there any way to have PLEX ignore a folder? For example, I have a folder with a movie.avi, year in title, works fine, but also have a folder within that folder of some extras from the dvd (interview, trailer) and PLEX keeps adding it to my Library with a title that isn't even in the ballpark of what the movie is. I tried naming it similar to the movie, but then it just adds three copies of the movie. Could I enter a character in the title, maybe '_trailer.mov' and have it ignore the file? I don't want to move this stuff somewhere else. Also, wherever I've named the folder of this additional content 'Extras', it adds the Ricky Gervais show, even though I've told PLEX the content is Movie and not TV.

    I am 80% there with PLEX and love what it can do, but the scraping drives me nuts. I find it never updates when I add files, even though I set it too. And keeps re-adding things I've deleted. Can't it do both? Lookups on IMDB if there isn't meta-data there? Would be nice to 'Get Info' on a file and paste the URL to the film on IMDB into the spotlight field, for example. I followed the video tutorial and renamed files as the IMDB search results lists them, but it's not liking the (2008:I) in the titles and still having issues with those movies.
     
  16. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #16
    If you have your movies organized in their own folders all within a movies folder such as this...

    > Movies
    > > Transformers (2007)
    > > Year One (2009)

    If you then get Plex to scrape "Movies" using folder titles as the lookup for IMDB, it doesn't care what's actually in the folders... it simply builds the library based on the file structure above. I have tons of movies like this with sample folders in each movie folder and it completely ignores them.

    Also to remove a movie, first delete the file structure in Finder and then remove it from the library using the context menu in Plex.

    For movies in IMDB with (2008/I) simply use (2008-I) and it will work fine.

    Finally, Plex only scrapes your folders when it starts not continuously. With my Harmony remote, I have it start Plex automatically when I go to my media center activity and shut Plex down when I leave the activity so it's always scraping my new additions every time I turn it on.
     

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