Comparing Emby Media Server to Plex Media Server


Hi folks this is Lance from RunTime
recruitment today’s topic is media servers I’m just
going to talk to you a little bit about my experiences with open source media
servers as you know in this day and age most people are moving away from their
own personal collection of media content that’s movies TV shows and music because
nowadays that’s so readily available and pretty much at zero cost services like
Spotify SoundCloud Apple music Google Music and so on our Amazon Prime all of
these particular I guess s services are providing you with a huge amount of
selection almost at zero price so it’s a very enticing option over trying to keep
your own content I I also have moved on to media streaming services as well like
Spotify and SoundCloud for my music Apple TV and so on however there are
times when perhaps you do want to keep your own collection so what options do
you have now there’s a lot of companies out there hardware companies that make
sonís comes to mind for music and I’m sure there’s lots of other companies
that provide these services but these these devices are really for audiophiles
people are really connoisseurs of music but for your average Joe Bloggs perhaps
you don’t need that level of sophistication perhaps you just need to
have some content stored locally and you have the ability to stream that there
are some amazing open source projects out there that provide media services
very cheaply and to particular ones come to mind for me if you are going to be
interacting with some software I mean from my perspective I’d really seek out
software that has a nice interface has been well engineered its robust these
are some of the criteria that I I used to assess anything pretty much in life
but also it’s a software that you’re going to be using particularly something
like a a server which perhaps is going to be
running all the time and and so you want it to be robust a lot of these
open-source bits of software our media servers are actually built on top of
Linux distribution so they’re pretty rock solid reliable I’ve settled on a
server called Plex and I’ve been running this on my Mac OS
Mac Mini my Mac Mini is my entertainment center a powers pretty much all of my
devices it delivers content across many devices and it does a fantastic job and
I have a small collection of movies and TV shows and and a little bit of music
that I do actually have a local so Plex it’d be fantastic and really enjoyed
it’s got great interface I can actually access my content and it’s very good I
mean look it’s it’s basically got some of my content really indexed it’s got a
really good navigation on the left hand side disco music movies play lists etc
settings web shows it’s fantastic it really is got a great piece of software
it’s free primarily I mean you have to pay for some premium services or premium
functionality that it has in here it’s primarily a fantastic piece of kit and
it runs local so yeah it’s fantastic I love it the only time when you have to
pay for it is if you want to run your content if you are looking at content on
a mobile device like a smartphone then you have to you’d have to buy an app and
four Plex is very cheap it’s a one-off purchase I then things around I’m not
sure when ten bucks or something very very cheap and that will allow you to
get indefinite access to your personal content I was just going around and I
came across something else and another fantastic media center open source again
called MV MV is actually very similar to Plex but it has few little features
which I’m very impressed with and very much like one one of the features is
it’s completely local you don’t need an internet connection you know my media
mixed with mixed content which is video primarily it shows and movies here and
in my music here and you know you can set up playlists and you can add more
content and segregate that content depending on what type of content it is
can search for content very easily you can type in what you want and it will
show you based on the word if it appears in the title of the content and then
there will access the music etc you can see all of that and the people and so on
so it’s very fast as you saw there very quick one of the things I like about MB
over Plex is the speed the speed hidden air
is much faster I don’t know why but it just is a lot faster it actually
accesses content a lot faster it will actually render that content a lot
faster to your device as well and that’s one of its key attributes that I think
are a little bit ahead of Plex plexus fantastic get me wrong and it’s been
around a lot longer than Envy but I think Plex probably has a lot more
functionality and a lot more perhaps complexity in the software which perhaps
slows down a little bit where MB is is really lean and mean and response is
fantastic now what I also like about MB and you call you can see also this thing
is well that comes up very similar to what plex has so you got plex on this
side it comes up like this you know with we can access all the other
functionality of the app and then MB also has this and you can make it go
away if you want she allows you to manage the server from within this so
let’s go to the main server and in here it actually gives you the status the
server what port it’s on what IP address is on and you can specify users on here
if you want to actually add a user you can add a user very very easily
and you can specify where the library is so you can add more
you’re content as you want and the type of media that you want to have here as
you can see it different tasks you can have audio books TV shows games you know
whatever you want primarily so that’s really really really easy one of the
things which I really like about MB over Plex is the encoding it really does a
fantastic job of encoding the content on the fly but you can specify you know
depending on your connection to the server local to you depending on if it’s
over a 10 megabit connection or 100 megabit connection or a gigabit
connection or a 10 gigabit connection whatever it is you can specify what the
encoding is going to be like and what you want I’ve just said to odo because
it will figure it out by itself but you can as you specified that to actually
improve the rendering time so if we were to say very fast or ultra fast we could
just do that and then say the content and that what that will do is that will
actually make sure that the content is delivered very quickly to reduce any
kind of lag or any kind of drop frames that you might be experienced when you
view the content the other feature which I really like which I haven’t seen in
place maybe it’s there but maybe I haven’t been able to find it is this
cinema mode which I really found amazing because really at the end of the day
it’s a server and you’re not gonna really be interested in looking at all
the bells and whistles of a server what you’re really interested in is how well
does the server serve the content I drop frames and how does it render the
content how does it render the content of the sense in the sense does it
display the content in a really high-quality way obviously it’s going to
depend on what the file size that you have for a particular movie that you
have but I’m assuming that you’ve got a relatively large file size 2 or 3
gigabytes you need a player that’s going to play that content
really really well served that content at the highest level and that’s what
this thing does it actually has his cinema mode which really enriches the
content pops the colors it pops the contrast and really gives you a really
nice clean image which you can which is really enjoyable to watch so I really
like that and the speed of it is well it’s pretty amazing it also offers you
this facility where you know if you if you go and sign up for the open
subtitles which is which is a which is a free service basically and it allows you
to then download subtitles automatically once you actually add new content to
your directory we’re gonna index and scan that content for automatic download
the subtitles and add those to that particular content so when you’re
watching it you have the option to watch to have the subtitles as well while
you’re viewing it which is really fantastic and still having to download
in the old days I would actually have to download the subtitle to Adam to the
directory and run something like VLC viewer and until the VLC viewer where
the subtitles were and then it would add them to the movie which is a really long
and laborious way of doing things but this is automatic which is fantastic
this is just telling you where your contents being recently viewed and you
can see being viewed on my TV and my browser and even my iPhone it also
allows you the option to upload your photographs or your phone if you want
you know from your mode advice I haven’t set this up I don’t really use it at the
moment but that it’s really quite good if you have a smartphone where you don’t
have a lot of local storage and you want to basically clear it out so you can
take more pictures and more video so you can actually upload all that straight
away when you when you come in it will automatic
from that you can tell it where the path is for the camera as well state a custom
upload path basically where you want content to be stored because as we store
somewhere in your server there is a couple of other features like live TV
i’d only use this though there’s a you know there are these services that you
can actually have to allow you to you know take TV source content and have
this within this application same applies to DVR there’s the DVR
functionality which is built-in but i think this is actually a premium
subscription so you got to pay for this this is an additional functionality
which makes your server really act like a DVR and allows you to schedule
programming and be able to download content and be able to play it at
certain times and of course we have the advanced feature expert level which
allows you to change things you know which are particular to the server
things like ports where the server would be access and so on and also to allow it
to have a remote access so if you want if you click this you can actually have
you can access the server remotely over the internet if you punch a few holes in
your router and love you know basically using port mapping you can actually pump
through that firewall and be able to access the server and be able to play
your content on your server on your remote device because if you’re abroad
or something if you’re out of the country or if you’re somebody you know
and you want to be bored and you want to basically you know consume some content
you can do that using this very powerful there’s some logs here which you know if
you not really important nice people but you know it does have that if you want
it for debugging purposes notifications as well if you want notifications or
certain events which are happening the server things like schedule tasks vania
restarts etc plug fania all of those sorts of things these are
self-explanatory really but they’re there if you want to play around with it
it has quite a big library or plugins as well and you can see I’ve loaded some of
them if you push catalog it will let you go
the Internet panic will actually show you these which are available for the
server and you can see this is for Windows this is just for the general
server and these are basically plugins that makes the the server perform in a
different way or it actually allows you to pull content from external external
sources I haven’t really played around with this a lot but you know I probably
will do in the future I’ve just recently installed this and I’m playing around
they are very impressed with it – I share my experiences with anybody just
in case other people are looking for something similar and perhaps could take
benefit from my experience a port mapper scheduled tasks now this is something
that you can also use so one of the things that happens is because it’s a
Linux distribution it probably has some chrome jobs running in the background
which can basically be scheduled to do different things within the server
things like scanning your library thumbnail extraction on the internet and
so on so these things can be can be changed if you want so this is also for
syncing content again and for converting media so this says it runs every two
hours it said once every two hours this once every five hours and you can change
that if you wanted to within the server this is the media this is the metadata
manager this is basically metadata for your content which is used within the
server and also useful for researching content or when you’re searching if you
click this button for searching that’s kind of them Alexis the metadata which
is stored there so that’s one of the other things I want
to share with you is that that even though MB offers you the option to view
your content on your Apple TV or other devices like that and if you want to
view it on your mobile device there is an app that you got to download and you
can you saw that but you got to pay for it but I found a little workaround for
that and that workaround is that you can actually view that content if you wanted
to by just going to the server putting the IP address and the port
number and accessing the server you can set up the users on it
and they can just log in and then you can view your content within your
browser because it’s html5 compatible you can view your your content within
the browser so that’s a little workaround so really
it’s basically 100% free it’s a free basically service and I love it I think
it’s fantastic and I’m going to be using it probably more than Plex I’m probably
going to switch from Plex to MB so hopefully that was useful to you guys
enjoy and and if you’re if you’re an engineer because we specialize in
placing engineers embedded engineers and software engineers if you’re embedded
engineer or a software engineer that’s embedded firmware or hardware design or
engineering and if you’re a software engineer running any kind of software
primarily C and C++ that’s primarily our focus but reach out to me reach out of
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give us a shout and maybe we can help you out so have yourself a fantastic day
and enjoy

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