What Is Plex Media Server?
If you have the large media library, including High definition movies, videos lectures, MP3 and photos and you want to access all media from all of your devices then Plex Media server can help you sync it with all of your devices.
Plex has what’s called Plex Media server. A server can be installed on any computer or laptop. It’s available for Linux too. On the other side to get media on other devices such as Mobile, Smart TVs, XBox, PlayStation, etc. you can install Plex Media Client that syncs all the shared media.
It’s simple to get, install and start syncing your media across your devices. Just download the Plex Media Server for your specific Linux distribution and install it. Plex Media Server is available for Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS and all other Linux distributions based on these major Linux. So if you’re using Kubuntu like me, then don’t worry, download Plex Media Server for Ubuntu and it’ll work perfectly.
How Plex Works?
Plex Supported Formats, Direct Play, Direct Stream And Transcoding
You can know all about formats supported by Plex native player here at the official blog post.
But when you are all set to stream your media to the client device then there may be a case that your device player does not support the media. Then what? Plex handles it for you.
Just understand this important thing –
Our media has some important properties:
- File container (mkv, mp4, avi, etc.)
- Video codec (H.264, divx, xvid, etc.)
- Audio codec (DTS, AC-3, AAC, MP3, etc.)
- Subtitle format (SRT, VOBSUB, PGS, etc.)
When you try to sync and play the media on the synced device then your Plex app/device should support all the four properties mentioned above, namely File container, Video codec, Audio codec, and Subtitle format. If your device does not support any one of those then there might be a problem. But Plex handles all of this for you. Plex converts the files specific properties that are not supported by Plex app/device.
Plex uses three terms to define what Plex server is doing when syncing. The terms are Direct Play, Direct Stream and Transcoding.
Direct Play does not require any conversion. When a media file is directly played it means it’s 100% supported with the Plex client app/device. In this case almost no CPU usage on Plex Media Server.
Direct Stream means that the file is almost compatible but the only container is not supported. In this case, a little CPU usage is required to transcode the container for the native Plex player.
Transcoding means that audio or video or both are not supported by the native player. In this case, Plex Media Server transcodes that media file’s video or audio or both for the native player. Transcoding requires very high or extreme CPU usage on Plex Media Server.
How To Install Plex Media Server In Linux?
On the top right corner you have a search engine to search your media. On top right corner you have the account menu, settings, and status of the files that you’ve already shared with other devices.
The server by default sets the server name as the computer name. You can see my server name is LinuxAndUbuntu and this is the name will be shown on other devices. If I want I can change the server name to something else.
Below server name, you have manage section from where you can see the status of the files that you have already shared with other devices and you can manage settings.
LibrariesUnder libraries you can see the online channels. You can subscribe to any channel that you like. You can also create playlists.
How To Create Libraries And Add Media Files To The Server
How To Sync Media With Other Devices?
Syncing is the premium feature of Plex. You can check out their all plans here. It costs somewhere 149 USD for their lifetime plan, called Plex Pass.
You can now sync this media with your other devices. But you need to first create an account. Create an account here. When you have signed up you can log in from Plex Media Manager.
Now select the media server from your other device. In my case, I have shared media with my smartphone and now I will sync on my phone.
First, install Plex on your device. You can install the Plex client on all major devices.
After you have installed Plex client on your device, you can sync server shared media. Simply from the drop-down select server device and all shared media will be available.
Remember – In order to select the media server, the server should be available online.