Discovering Plex

On the theme of getting organized, I explore the use of Plex to organize the media I have, along with one use case of webhooks.

So it’s been a while. I’ve been up to a few things lately.

Continuing on with the theme of “getting organized”, I finally set up Plex at home. It’s a media server for everything you have, you can check it out on https://plex.tv. Basically, you install the server application on your server, associate it with your Plex account, and add your media to it. Plex does all the media transcoding on the server-side, so you can watch your content on a thin client, like a Chromecast, a browser, heck, even your phone. It’s pretty neat. I have my coworker, Jackson, to thank for that, as he introduced me to it late last year, but I only got to it recently.

The Plex home screen on the desktop.

I had it originally set up on my storage PC, but the CPU was so bad that it was having a hard time transcoding on the fly. Honestly, it was a stretch, since it was a Core 2 Duo I picked up back from my university a few years back when they were tossing them out. Anyways, I ended up setting it up on my main server, and it works. Hurray for a fast local network (1 Gbps is fast enough for me for now, and I think I said the same thing when I first got 100Mbps Ethernet).

If you want, you can also pay to get a “Plex Pass” and get some neat premium features. The ones I like are (1) the ability to share your library with friends and (2) webhooks. I’m able to share my library with my coworker, and he can see mine. Webhooks are nice, too. For my anime, I like to use Taiga to update my website with the latest anime I’m watching. With webhooks, I can achieve the same thing. I had to make a few little tweaks to my pre-existing script for it to work.

With that said, I bought the lifetime pass for $159.99 CAD. Was it worth? I think so. For me, being able to Cast to my Chromecast is really sweet. I don’t have to turn on my media PC to do it, and it’s pretty fast (~5 seconds to start streaming). My old set up was to VPN back into my house and use VLC or MPC to play it, but that would require streaming my entire media file across the VPN connection, which would be slow at times. That, plus being able to watch on my phone is nice.

As for the webhook script modification I mentioned above, it was on my server for a while, but I finally got around to cleaning up the existing one, merging it with the MAL updater one I had before. The cleaned up version is on GitHub, and you can see it here. The script before was atrocious, but now it looks better. At least it’s taking a step in the right direction, I guess. Still need to add automated tests for these in the future.

Anyways, that’s all I have for now. Until next time!

~Lui

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Injabie3
A random person that loves Japanese Pop Culture, specifically Japanese Anime and Music. =D