Plex/Kodi - Advantages?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by elfy, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. elfy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #1
    With Plex available for Apple TV and apparently an official Kodi app on the way, I thought I'd ask, what are the advantages to using one of them compared to the built in interface using home sharing from my iTunes library? Can you search by actor with either of them?
     
  2. benjitek macrumors 6502a

    benjitek

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    #2
    They both have their fans, so I think it depends on what you're looking for. If you want plug 'n play, it would probably be Plex. If you like tinkering, tweaking and side-loading -- and the resulting added customization options, you'd probably prefer Kodi.

    Kodi may have more powerful search options than Plex, but that's not saying much. There's no search in Plex television libraries by actor, only for title, genre, year and content rating. For Plex movie libraries, there's more -- it's the same plus: decade, director, starring actor (only), country, MPAA rating, and resolution.
     
  3. mcdj macrumors 604

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    Specifically to the Plex/Kodi vs iTunes question, if you have only iTunes purchased DRM videos, then iTunes is the only way to go. If you have mkvs or other formats which would require transcoding for use with iTunes, Plex/Kodi will play pretty much anything you throw at them, no mandatory transcoding required (these apps transcode on the fly if needed, but you don't have to wait for the transcode to add them to your library like you would with iTunes.)
     
  4. thisismyusername macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    #4
    This is all in regards to Plex vs iTunes. I don't have as much experience with Kodi so I won't speak to it other than that it also has a lot of advantages over iTunes.
    • Much better interface, especially for large collections, compared to the simple, long list that Apple provides. Honestly, Apple's interface is worse than what was available on HTPCs 10 years ago when I first got into them.
    • Can play virtually any type of media file so no need to convert things to an Apple/iTunes friendly format ahead of time. Plex will transcode for you if your client isn't capable of directly playing the content.
    • The Plex server can run on lots of different platforms whereas you need to have a Mac or Windows PC (or a VM) for iTunes. This can be a big plus for people who run NAS's or Linux/FreeBSD servers.
    • You can play your content on a much wider range of devices, like non-Apple clients.
    • Not storing your content in iTunes makes it easier to switch to non-Apple solutions in the future if you ever want to.
    • Plex makes it easy to access your content remotely. To be honest, I've never done this in an iTunes setup so I can't speak intelligently as to whether or not Plex is better than iTunes in this aspect.
    • Plex will fetch metadata for you whereas with iTunes you're going to be using a 3rd party program to do that for content you've ripped yourself.
    For me, there's no question that Plex (and Kodi most likely) is a better solution. The only thing iTunes has over Plex, IMO, is the ability to play iTunes-purchased content but I don't care about that.
     
  5. elfy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #5
    Thanks guys. At the moment my ripped movies in my iTunes library are classified as tv shows as it's the easiest way to include DVD extras (listed as episodes). I'm not seeing an easy way to use my library as it is with Plex, without a lot of folder structure rearrangement. And if I do that it messes them up in iTunes. Don't really want to do that before I definitely know I want to migrate it all completely from iTunes.
     
  6. elfy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #6
    An update for anyone who cares. I decided to copy a few movies to a new location in order to try out Plex. I'm sold. It looks like it does what I want in terms of how to browse and search for content. I like the way it deals with DVD extras (wish it could do the same for TV series' but I'll worry about them later) and I like the automatic download of metadata. Saves me messing around with iFlicks.

    All in all, looks pretty awesome.
     
  7. cduff macrumors member

    cduff

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    #7
    What method do you use to access the extras? I put mine in a separate folder and named them Extras, but I wish there was a better way to do it.
     
  8. elfy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    #8
    All files for each movie in the same folder. Main movie file just has the movie title as its name. Other files are named with one of the following added to the end of the file name (including the hyphen):

    -behindthescenes
    -deleted
    -featurette
    -interview
    -scene
    -short
    -trailer

    Found some good info here https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/200220677-Local-Media-Assets-Movies
     
  9. David58117 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    #9
    I've never used Plex, but have used Kodi for years (well, XBMC (Kodi is the new name change)).

    Assuming Kodi on the Apple TV 4 is the same as on mac/windows - where Kodi comes alive is with repositories.

    Basically - if you have a collection of movies you ripped and want to stream - I think you might as well skip Kodi.

    However, if you want to see all of those movies, plus many, many, many more, including all HBO/showtime/tv shows etc, - Kodi and some repositories are what you want.
     
  10. cduff macrumors member

    cduff

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2015
    #10
    Thanks!
     

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