Plex media server is a software package you can download from the internet and setup on one of your computers to host, save and stream your media files, music, video and pictures to other devices on your network or over the internet.
Plex can be run from a Windows, Mac or lInux computer and NAS devices and can be streamed via a web browser to another computer or used with an App to your tablet or smart phone.
As well as being able to stream any of your media to pretty much any device the real benefit is keeping all your media in a centralised location which looks the same all the time.
How to Setup Plex
Installing Plex is relatively easy.
If you have a Windows computer it is just a matter of downloading the setup file form the Plex server, double clicking on it and following the setup prompts.
If you have a Mac it is even easier, simply download the setup file and drag it into your Application directory and your done.
There are many different flavours of Linux, some 250 and odd and I have only done this on a Ubuntu Server. The command in terminal is, “sudo apt–get install plexmediaserver”.
Pointing Plex to your Media Files to share
Now that you have Plex Media Server setup on your computer or another over the network iot is time to tell it to share the media files you want to.
Once you have your media collection organised, a good practice is to separate videos, music an pictures into different corresponding directories on order, then its time to tell Plex where they are.
In your web browser, type in your Plex Server computers IP address, or (127.0.0.1), or click on your Plex Icons created during the install and you will see your Plex setup.
Where you can see Movies for example, you follow to your mouse to the right where there is a settings icons and click on that. There you will have the option to select your movies directory to share with all your movies in it.
Once you have selected your movies directory click refresh so it lets your Plex server now there are new files to index and you are done.
Do the same for pictures and music and don’t forget to configure your firewall accordingly so it wont block you trying to access these files from another computer over the network.
Accessing Plex from another computer or device
Now you have Plex media server setup on another computer and it is referencing your media files we did in the above step, it is time to access and watch them from another device or computer, laptop, phone, Ipad or tablet etc.
All you have to do is go to your web browser on another computer and type in the IP address of your server (where Plex is setup) followed by “:32400/web/index.html”. Here is an example for my Plex server at address 10.1.1.2. I would type http://10.1.1.2::32400/web/index.html in my web browser and see all my media files I told Plex to share.
This can also be done on a tablet or phone. The easier way to do this is download the Plex app which in most cases finds your Plex server automatically.