How to Setup Plex Media Server â€“ Step by Step Guide.
I am one of those who rip the DVDs and BluRays I bought. It helps me store them better, organize them the way I want, and watch them whenever I want on any device of my choice. But as good as it sounds, this method has its problems. One is that every time I have to manually copy the media to the devices I want to watch.
As you might guess, this is not possible in all situations, especially when using small devices such as smartphones. There are many reasons for this, such as lack of storage space, playback quality, etc. And it also goes against the goal of better organizing your media such as music, movies and photos.
So, to keep things simple, it’s best to have a central location for all your media, including your TV, and let your devices talk to each other. It will help you better organize and stream your media to any device, anytime.
If you’re interested, you can do all of this by simply installing and configuring the Plex Media Server application on your system. Here’s how to do it.
Related: How to Stream Videos from Mac to iPad over Wi-Fi
What is Plex Media Server?
As you can tell by the name, Plex Media Server lets you store all your media on one device and access it from any device. The traditional manual procedure is quite tedious, even for professional users. The good thing about Plex is that you can install it on almost any modern device like Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, PlayStation, Xbox, etc. devices without having to copy files back and forth.
Plus, Plex can also automatically add metadata like movie trailers, album covers, artist names, and more to better organize your media.
Related: How to Use USB Drive on Android and iOS
Is Plex free?
Plex is offered in both free and paid versions. Plex Media Server is free, and all non-mobile and public apps are free, including those for game consoles, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and more. While mobile apps are free to use, they are limited in functionality. That is, the playback time of music and movies is limited to one minute, and photos are watermarked.
That being said, you can unlock this simply by paying a one-time fee (about $ 5 for my Android device). What is worth the price.
Plex Media Server setup
Installation and use
Installing and using Plex is pretty straightforward.
The first thing you need to do is decide which device you want to use as a server. Obviously, the device needs to be powerful enough as the Plex server will transcode media on the fly. So, the more devices you connect to a Plex server, the more powerful it should be. In this case, I’m making my primary Windows 10 computer a server. All my other devices will connect to it to access media.
To get started, download Plex Media Server from the official website and install it like any other Windows software.
After installation, reboot your system and run the application. To get started, you need to sign up for a Plex account. So, click on the “Register” option to continue.
Now fill in all the fields as indicated in the application and click the “Register” button.
After registration, you will be taken to a welcome screen. Click the “Got it” button to continue.
Now you need to add your media folders like movies and music to the Plex library. To do this, click the “Add Library” button.
Here select the type of library, name the library, select the language and click the “Next” button. Since I want to create a movie library, I selected the movie type library and named it “movies”.
Now if you watch movies in different languages â€‹â€‹or want to differentiate your personal videos from other videos, save them in separate folders and create separate libraries. For example, since I watch films in four different languages â€‹â€‹(Telugu, Hindi, Tamil and English), I have already organized my films in four different folders and created four different libraries.
Here in that window, click the Browse Media Folder button.
Now browse your file system and select your movies folder.
When you are done with your selection, click the Add Library button in the main window.
After completing the above steps, you will be taken back to the “Server Configuration” window. Just follow the same procedure to add other libraries such as music and photos. When everything is done, click the Next button.
You will now be prompted to download Plex apps to other devices. Click the Get Plex Apps button to download the appropriate apps for all your devices. Click the Finish button to close the wizard.
The above action will take you to the home screen where you will see all your media. Since this is your first use, Plex will automatically download the album art and other metadata from the web. This may take some time depending on your internet speed.
You have finished setting up your Plex server. To watch your media on other devices, all you have to do is download the Plex apps and install them. For example, I downloaded the Plex Android app from an Android device.
For streaming media, all you have to do is log into your Plex account by clicking on the “Login” option. Related: Stream Videos from Computer to Android Easily [Video]
Once you are logged in, you will see all your media and are ready to stream. However, as I said earlier, in order to stream media through the Plex mobile apps, you must either be a premium member or pay a one-time fee for that particular app.
Of course, this is the easiest way to use Plex, and there is a lot more you can do. So, once you get the hang of it, just play around with the settings to get the most out of the app.
Hope this post helped you set up your Plex media server. Leave a comment below, share your thoughts and experiences on using Plex to stream media across all your devices.
See also: How to access files on your computer from anywhere with TeamViewer