Plex Media Server 2016

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by TheKrs1, May 4, 2016.

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  1. TheKrs1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #1
    Hi There,

    I've got a mid-2011 Mac Mini that has been my Plex Media Server for 5 years now. It's been bulletproof up until now. Recently I've had some issues where I think the hardware is dying. (For example the IR hardware stops responding. When this occurs if I try to stop and then start the service again I have a full crash). Also, my Drobo has been consistently disconnecting as of the last few days. (Now, I'm thinking this might be the Drobo. I have a Thunderbolt to USB3 adapter that it was plugged into. Thinking that was the cause I plugged directly into USB2 and the issue is still occuring. The other potential issue could be the USB cord.)

    So, it's about time for a new server. It looks like the existing Mini is about to be refreshed and wouldn't be fantastic for Plex. (I can currently handle 4+ HD streams). I also haven't heard any recent rumors about a potential refresh. Anyone hear anything?

    Thanks,
    Krs1
     
  2. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    #2
    Yeah, unfortunately, Apple has been concentrating mostly on the iPhone and on new stuff (the Watch, the upcoming Apple Car). The Mac has been left on the back burner (and the gas has been turned way down on it), so there's been an absolute minimum of hardware and software updates. Given where Apple makes its money today, this makes sense right now, but I fear it does not bode well for the future. Personally, I doubt there even will be a Mini refresh this year; if they're going to put any effort into the Mac line in the short term, it'll be in the iMac and the laptops, which Apple sees as their core Mac products...
     
  3. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Location:
    Illinois
    #3
    I wouldn't be so negative, as the Mini uses a laptop processor and Apple just refreshed the processors in some laptops, so it is still possible for Apple to refresh the Mini this year.
     
  4. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    I run plex on top on a linux box without any issues. I bought an affordable case and put several drives.. I have around 12TB of available space, all in the same machine. Backed-up to external 3x 4TB drives.

    less expensive, upgradable and very low maintenance.
     
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #5
    I run plex on a qnap but I'm sure you don't want to spend ££££ on a qnap.

    Cheaper option would be an Intel nuc running Ubuntu. I wouldn't bother running Windows as it sucks resources for no benefit.

    Once Ubuntu is set up make it auto login, set a manual ip and set the bios to boot after power failure and a few quick options need to be enabled for file sharing and con then you can run headless.
     
  6. TheKrs1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #6
    I could probably go down this path, but I'm way more familiar with OS X and don't feel like jumping platforms right now.
     
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #7
    Do you want to use the machine?
     
  8. TheKrs1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #8
    Sorry, I don't follow? What I meant was, I'm not super keen on switching to Ubuntu or Windows or any other platform at this time. I'm very comfortable running Plex on OS X, but my hardware is the current issue.
     
  9. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #9
    What I mean is will it be used as just a server or will you just used for plex.

    At the end of the day the plex interface is the same regardless of what os is in the background. The reason I would recommend Ubuntu is its lightweight so you could run a core i3 vs a Windows machine on a core i5 and get relatively the same performance.
     
  10. TheKrs1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    #10
    I get you now. Well, I run PMS and Plex Media Player to view content on that device. I'm also running Sonarr, Couch Potato, Transmission and PlexRequests. I'm not sure I've got enough knowledge to transfer all that info over to an OS that I've never used and don't quite understand. (Just barely playing with Terminal now).
     
  11. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #11
    Ok I understand that.

    Do you have a usb stick? If you hope over to Ubuntu's website you can download a usb boot version to try on an existing machine. It's very lightweight and easy to use. It has an App Store for apps and is great for media servers. If it wasn't for my qnap I would be running Ubuntu as I've done several hms setups using it.
     
  12. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    it's very not that bad.. I also have transmission installed (managed through the web interface). I also have Plexconnect (for appletv playback) and I have a small utility that published my network printer as an 'airplay compatible one'.

    installing plex is a one line operation..

    you can also manage your linux box via simpler tool like webmin which provides a web administration interface. You can create users, manage disk and more.
     
  13. TheKrs1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #13
    Ok, you have me interested. Any suggestions on a build? Looking in the ~$1000 range.
     
  14. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    Jul 24, 2009
    #14
    Google Intel nuc. Add ram and ssd and your rocking.
     
  15. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    I would suggest something inspired by these builds (budget atx or mini deluxe): you should be below 1000$ for sure..

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/buyersguide/april/2016

    and if you don't like the linux experience, you can always hack yourself a hackintosh. You could try the hackintosh first then linux after! :)

    the gigabyte boards requires nothing special, once you have a booting media it's straight forward.

    if you require Linux guidance for the other tools, I can assist you.
     
  16. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2008
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.A.
    #16

    Before giving up, try reseting both the PRAM and the SMC.
    Then boot to the Recovery partition, go into Disk Utility and run First Aid on your internal drives and partitions.

    Also, make sure your Mini is not in an environment that could cause it to overheat.

    These Macs are supposed to last forever.
     
  17. archer75 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #18
    The Nvidia shield media player can also function as a plex server. Plus a plex client. They say it can handle 4 simultaneous streams. It's a pretty cheap option.
     
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #19
    The "new" Plex really has a lot of problems and has become quite bloated.
     
  19. archer75 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #20
    Mine is flawless and always has been. What problems are you referring to?
     
  20. nkawal macrumors regular

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    Jan 12, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    I'm beginning to think the same. What would be the most stable version of PMS for OSX?
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #22
    I'm having lots of streaming issues and skipping of music tracks and the interface is much worse especially with Plex media player. Plex home theater was much better and I'm trying to keep it going despite it being deprecated more than a year ago. Plex used to be this wonderful MAC software. Now the guys in charge have screwed that up because they think they can make a ton of money off of it.

    Go take a look at the Plex forums. It's just thread after thread after thread of problems people are having. And there is absolutely NO SUPPORT from the Plex team. They simply rely on people submitting bug reports and there is no comment from the Plex team as to why they have all these problems. It just totally sucks because it one reigned supreme. Now it's crapware as far as I'm concerned. Unfortunately, I'm too invested in it to switch to anything else at this point.
     
  22. archer75, Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017

    archer75 macrumors 65816

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    Oregon
    #23
    Well forums are for complaining. You only go there when something is wrong. It's not a good indication of a widespread issue. I think the interface is better now honestly. I had PMT on an old HTPC but had to upgrade recently. I did briefly purchase and use a mac mini to use as a plex server but it was way too underpowered for that task and I returned it. Prior to that I used a 2011 imac with the intel i7 2600 and it worked fine.
    There's so many variables when running plex it can be hard to nail down any one issue. I think a persons network is one of the biggest. And what they are running PMS on. Most people are just using under powered hardware.
    I'm running PMS on a PC now but I use many clients such as roku, apple tv, nvidia shield and so on. The interface is the same across most of them though it's a little different on the apple tv. Either way it all runs really well.
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #24
    Most threads are about how to do certain things and most complaints are about bugs in new software. Plex is not new - I've been using it since it's inception in 2009. The complaints now in the Plex forums are far more numerous than ever and are about things that have been broken with the new release that worked fine before, and there is no help from the Plex team and absolutely no admission from them that there's anything wrong. Look at the Plex Cloud debacle.

    My mini is a 2012 quad core i7 with a 1.7 TB fusion drive so it's not underpowered. Plus it worked perfectly fine before this new "upgrade".
     
  24. archer75, Mar 15, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017

    archer75 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #25
    Which i7 do you have? And what are you trying to play that is giving you issue? Just because it's an i7 doesn't mean you can run 5 streams through it.
    Which update are you referring to? You mention it like it's a big update buy my PMS gets updates just about every week. I'm not aware of any major updates. No issues on my end.
    Perhaps an update changed some default settings and that's the issue? Is your network wireless or wired? What's the bitrate set to in PMS and PMP?

    If you're referring to plex media player on a client what could be happening, which is what I ran in to, it supports more formats so when those play the server no longer transcodes. However the client isn't powerful enough to handle those formats so it stutters. I don't know if that's the case here. Just throwing it out there.
    If you haven't already you can try forcing transcoding from the client side and see if that helps.
     

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