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Plex fans: why do you use Plex?

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WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
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I think people have no idea how to set up xbmc to get features that are built into plexs headless server.
I use freenas on my server, I have no idea how to set up XBMC on it. I can set up a Plex server on it in less than 5 minutes and have every device I own connect to it from anywhere in the world. I'm not sure how you cant see the value in that for some people.

Like people keep saying xbmc is only for one device which leads me to believe they don't know how to set up networked storage or use upnp server option on xbmc.
Its not just the server, its the client. Last time I tried XBMC on my phone the interface was a horrific, laggy mess that wasnt designed for something with a small screen.


I get that you like XBMC and being able to customise your interface but for me a media server is something to serve my media to all my devices wherever they are. And Plex does that very easily and efficiently. If I got really sick of Plexes UI I could just install the XBMC client (on the things that support it) I guess but the Plex one works fine for me.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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Welsh, you're not reading my full posts.
As I stated numerous times, plex is easy to set up hence why people like it. It's great for that. (posts 2, 8, 18)
When you want more though, you need xbmc usually although they work great in conjunction.

Xbmc on the phone has changed dramatically though(if you used it years ago it would such, using it on frodo was OK, Gotham is a massive improvement, haven't even tried it on Kodi since my live TV works and I don't like to screw with live tv) and is skin dependent and like I've said before, xbmc doesn't default into a best use mode like plex. You have to change the view options to make it the way you want.

I can understand completely if you launch xbmc and are greeted with an interface you hate, I already made a whole post describing how that process is a turnoff for a lot of people.

You're fixating on small portions of my posts rather than reading the Complete picture.
 
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WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
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You're fixating on small portions of my posts rather than reading the Complete picture.
Yeah but your ignoring the fact that I dont mind the Plex interface at all.

So if you can explain how to set up the XBMC server on a freenas box and have it throw content to a multitude of devices all over the world and do it significantly better than Plex I'll give it a go. Otherwise I'll stick with Plex.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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Yeah but your ignoring the fact that I dont mind the Plex interface at all.

So if you can explain how to set up the XBMC server on a freenas box and have it throw content to a multitude of devices all over the world and do it significantly better than Plex I'll give it a go. Otherwise I'll stick with Plex.
Why do you think I'm trying to convert you? I've already stated plex is for you then.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
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Why do you think I'm trying to convert you? I've already stated plex is for you then.
Thread title is "why do you use Plex?". We answer and you spend the rest of the thread trying to convince us that XBMC is better.


If you ask someone why something is better for THEM and they explain why its better for THEM its a bit off to argue that what matters to THEM is irrelevant and that other things are better for YOU.

In short, different people have different demands of their software.
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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Thread title is "why do you use Plex?". We answer and you spend the rest of the thread trying to convince us that XBMC is better.


If you ask someone why something is better for THEM and they explain why its better for THEM its a bit off to argue that what matters to THEM is irrelevant and that other things are better for YOU.

In short, different people have different demands of their software.
Yes... They do have different demands of their software. Something I've said like so many times in the thread already.
I really don't think you're fully comprehending posts.

You think I am trying to convince you xbmc is better... You're not even following the thread smitbret already said they serve 2 different purposes.....
 
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tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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It was you who was trying get to convince me that plex was superior to xbmc. Those were your words lol....
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
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Yes... They do have different demands of their software. Something I've said like so many times in the thread already.
I really don't think you're fully comprehending posts.
Thats certainly a possibility. But I'm really not trying to convince you to use anything else at all. I've just shown the places that Plex is much superior in mine and others usage.

You think I am trying to convince you xbmc is better... You're not even following the thread smitbret already said they serve 2 different purposes.....
Theres two bits of both, Plex has the better server and its preference on the front end? That seems to be the point made earlier yes?
 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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Thats certainly a possibility. But I'm really not trying to convince you to use anything else at all. I've just shown the places that Plex is much superior in mine and others usage.



Theres two bits of both, Plex has the better server and its preference on the front end? That seems to be the point made earlier yes?
You're fixated on better and not that plex does something different than xbmc.
Go read smitbret's post again you're not getting it from me clearly.
 

SolMiester

Diamond Member
Dec 19, 2004
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I believe the term better has come about because of the OP, why is it recommended?, answer = better (perhaps not for all people).
Plex is primarily a media server, to deliver to multiple devices and transcode where required.
XBMC is primarily for one device which has its own media.

While XBMC can allow access for more devices, it not for the faint hearted and DLNA/UPnP is not going to provide the same experience as a plex client.
 

ControlD

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2005
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I believe the term better has come about because of the OP, why is it recommended?, answer = better (perhaps not for all people).
Plex is primarily a media server, to deliver to multiple devices and transcode where required.
XBMC is primarily for one device which has its own media.

While XBMC can allow access for more devices, it not for the faint hearted and DLNA/UPnP is not going to provide the same experience as a plex client.
That is it exactly.

I'm sure I am not the only person out there that has ripped their media library more than once trying to come up with a good solution for everything. With Plex, I have the easiest possible solution that I can think of. Rip everything to MKV, no encoding at all. Then I can simply let Plex transcode as needed for the numerous different types of devices that my family will be watching on. We don't own a HTPC at all, but we do have Roku (2), Ipad, Android tablet, Windows tablet, etc. Plex takes the guesswork out of everything.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
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You're fixated on better and not that plex does something different than xbmc.
It's simply a better server than XBMC. If that's not important to you fair enough, it doesn't change that as the server part it's simply better.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
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It's simply a better server than XBMC. If that's not important to you fair enough, it doesn't change that as the server part it's simply better.
Of course it's better, that is its whole purpose. That is the most idiotic statement I will probably read today. It's like saying a bus is better than a dump truck because it hauls people better.
 

WelshBloke

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
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Of course it's better, that is its whole purpose. That is the most idiotic statement I will probably read today. It's like saying a bus is better than a dump truck because it hauls people better.
I was reiterating on that point I made earlier that someone disagreed with.
Thread asks why do people use Plex.

Answer; it's the better server.

Reply; no its not.

Answer; yes it is.

Reply; of course it's better, you're stupid for saying that.

 

tential

Diamond Member
May 13, 2008
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It's simply a better server than XBMC. If that's not important to you fair enough, it doesn't change that as the server part it's simply better.
We answer and you spend the rest of the thread trying to convince us that XBMC is better.
Lol... you're the one trying to convince me Plex is a better server...

Why I don't know, I already said Plex is great for mobile devices as a server. It's great for people who use roku, and other devices and need transcoding.

For me personally? I don't use Plex. It's not useful for me at all. It adds no benefit for me so why would I use it?
 
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smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
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I was reiterating on that point I made earlier that someone disagreed with.
Thread asks why do people use Plex.

Answer; it's the better server.

Reply; no its not.

Answer; yes it is.

Reply; of course it's better, you're stupid for saying that.

Who said that it wasn't a better server?

Whoever said that should eat their own foot.
 

LifeIsOnTheWire

Junior Member
Jan 20, 2014
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I think this discussion has exposed my exact suspicion (and prejudice) about Plex and its users. I hate to outright insult some peoples preferences about their media setup, but the simple answer is no, Plex is not the better server solution. Right clicking on a folder, and sharing it, is the better server.

Some people have specific needs, and Plex is a dream solution. And then there are people who didn't realize that Transcoding server software was not even necessary to do what they wanted.

You can spend as little as $50 (actually the Fire TV Stick has been sold as cheap as $25) on something that can run XBMC, and spend a few minutes playing with themes to make it just how you like it.

Whenever I help a friend setup a media streaming solution for 1 TV (assuming they don't already own something to handle the playback) these are my 2 primary suggestions:

1. Willing to spend more than $250 on a playback device:
- HTPC (NUC/Brix/MiniITX), small SSD, running Linux + XBMC
- Share (Samba) their movie folder on their desktop PC
- Point XBMC to that shared folder

If they want their content stored locally on the HTPC, I'd swap the SSD for a 1tb HDD (or do both), and host the shared folder on the HTPC itself, so they can easily dump all their movies on the HTPC, and use it like a NAS.

2. Willing to spend $100 or less on a playback device
- $50-100 Android box, with XBMC installed as an App
- Share (Samba) their movie folder on their desktop PC
- Point XBMC to that shared folder

There are lots of alternatives to make this even simpler. One friend of mine only owns a laptop and didn't want to always have it running 24hrs, so we plugged his external 2tb USB HDD into his router, and ran the shared folder from his router.

The reason I created this thread was to see if there were any reasons a few friends/workmates were running Plex clients on their computers (i figured there has to be a feature I wasn't aware of). It seems the answer is that they are lazy, or don't know XBMC can do this client-side without CPU-heavy server software.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
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the simple answer is no, Plex is not the better server solution. Right clicking on a folder, and sharing it, is the better server.
The issue is your "better server" doesn't work very well to tunnel over the internet for remote access, or play well with some mobile devices (like non-Jailbroken iOS devices).


I don't see the point of fighting. I use both. I have a Plex server running and I use XBMC/Kodi daily. The Plex server exists to serve my media to mobile devices that can't run XBMC easily, or access content away from my local network. My XBMC/Kodi boxes exist to give me the best ten foot interface to my local content possible.

Does XBMC do anything nearly as cool as Plex does for remote access? No way.

Does Plex on something like a Roku come anywhere near the awesomeness of fleshed out XBMC on a 60+ inch display? No way.


They don't really overlap for a reason. Plex was a fork of XBMC, the OSX version, and it became its own thing. I have talked directly with the people behind Plex and they are really really bright. They saw a hole in the market that no platform agnostic (aka not an Air Video) solution was targeting and went after it. Long ago they stopped trying to chase the tiger tale of videophiles who live in the XBMC community and instead have tried to make a solution that works for as many people as possible. And it is great.

As far I am concerned, Plex has no equal. It is XBMC that has competition, but not from Plex. It is from products like JRiver Media Center.
 

whoiswes

Senior member
Oct 4, 2002
850
0
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LifeIsOnTheWire, I'm going to disagree with you (and insult away, no skin off my back) - XBMC is not a better server solution than Plex. It simply cannot serve the same breadth of the clients that Plex can (and note that the client can be a Plex app, XBMC, uPNP client, etc), and, in my experience, there are zero drawbacks to running Plex on a server (as compared to XBMC)

You also don't take into account that some/most people consume media from more than 1 device. XBMC can share a library over uPNP, and you can even set up a centralized library database using MySQL, but neither of those options get you ANYTHING that Plex can't do, out of the box, with less effort.

I'm far from a Plex fanboi - in fact, I dislike their revenue and client app models. You seem to have some beef with them, so let's flip your question on it's head.

Instead of us expousing the benefits of Plex (as a server) to you, why don't you explain (since we're apparently all too dumb, according to you, to set up our servers correctly) why XBMC is the better option FOR A SERVER.

Tell me 1 thing that XBMC does that Plex doesn't that a person of average technical ability can accomplish (ie, setup a centralized MySQL database for a shared library).

I'm only being half snarky - I'm honestly curious if there is anything, because to this date, with nearly 3 years of almost daily use, I have yet to find anything that Plex Media Server does not do that has required me to fallback on the existing SMB shares or to utilize the native XBMC library functionality.

Edit: poofyhairyguy said it better than I did
 
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LifeIsOnTheWire

Junior Member
Jan 20, 2014
15
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The issue is your "better server" doesn't work very well to tunnel over the internet for remote access, or play well with some mobile devices (like non-Jailbroken iOS devices).
I whole heartedly agree


You also don't take into account that some/most people consume media from more than 1 device.
I absolutely have taken that into account. My solution was explained as being for single TV that someone has not yet bought a playback device for, and concede Plex as being better suited for multiple devices with varying amounts of file support.

Instead of us expousing the benefits of Plex (as a server) to you, why don't you explain (since we're apparently all too dumb, according to you, to set up our servers correctly) why XBMC is the better option FOR A SERVER.
Ive never used or suggested XBMC as being a server.

My setup just involves a computer sharing a folder (this is the extent of the server).

XBMC is used on the playback device. You point XBMC to your shared folder, and you can customize XBMC to dazzle and organize as much or as little as your heart desires.

You can venture into mysql as much as you like. I've never touched it.
 

LifeIsOnTheWire

Junior Member
Jan 20, 2014
15
0
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Tell me 1 thing that XBMC does that Plex doesn't that a person of average technical ability can accomplish (ie, setup a centralized MySQL database for a shared library).
It doesn't need proprietary server software, or even a computer to host the content.

It doesnt depend on paid software.

Furthermore, it doesn't even depend on XBMC as the client-side playback software. If i wanted to, i could navigate to the file and playback with VLC.
 
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IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
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Instead of us expousing the benefits of Plex (as a server) to you, why don't you explain (since we're apparently all too dumb, according to you, to set up our servers correctly) why XBMC is the better option FOR A SERVER.
FWIW, I've run all sorts of media servers (Plex, WMS, XBMC, BeyondTV with BeyondMedia, etc) and I guarantee that I have probably forgotten more about servers than most people on this forum know. I run Plex. Why?

1. The idea of manually configuring scripts, ini/config files, etc. and hacking around doesn't appeal to me any longer. I do stuff like that for a living and I don't want to deal with it at home. I want something that won't take too long to configure and works well and Plex fits the bill nicely. My home network is bigger than many small/medium business networks at this stage and hacking around with media servers is very low on my priority list since we have good options available today. Back when I built my first media server in 2002 or 2003, those options weren't there and it involved lots of scripting, hacking, and tying different software pieces together.

2. We watch videos on LOTS of devices in my house -- Rokus, iPads, Android tablets -- it is a decent experience across all platforms. My media solution has to serve non-technical folks as well as myself so it needs to be clean, decent looking, and easy to use.

3. Simply sharing a folder and clicking through it on some sort of media box isn't a good solution IMO. It's ugly, doesn't provide useful information, and doesn't work across multiple platforms. And before someone chimes in with "Well you just need to load x, y, or z software," that's what Plex is for.

If I am not mistaken, Plex was originally just a different fork in the development of XBMC and eventually removed some features while adding others.

LifeIsOnTheWire said:
Furthermore, it doesn't even depend on XBMC as the client-side playback software. If i wanted to, i could navigate to the file and playback with VLC.
YOU could, but try explaining that to a wife, kids, in-laws, guests, etc.

Admittedly, I'm not a typical user because I have a massive network at home. Plex has had issues over the years but is much improved since the early versions and is a great server.
 
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cronos

Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2001
9,380
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An argument stands between my friends and I regarding streaming media to your TV.
I'm late to this discussion, but after reading the whole silly back and forth (you should all just listen to poofyhairguy, he knows this stuff!), I looked back to the OP and reading the bolded, if the argument is really just about *that*, then the answer is:

No, I probably won't use Plex for strictly 'streaming media to a TV'. I do have Plex server running at home, but not for that.

Personally, I have both, because surprise surprise, they have different use cases. They do have the same library source (although not surprisingly they don't share markers). XBMC's are for the TVs, while at the same time I really can't imagine having to install XBMC on 8-9 or so of our household's mobile devices. That sounds like a nightmare. And yes, I did try installing several different XBMC flavor on my tablet/phone. I uninstalled them almost right away after I tried them. XBMC really isn't meant for that.
 
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smithkt

Member
Oct 29, 2007
176
1
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This has been a very interesting debate. I'm currently using XBMC, but I have considered giving Plex a try. I have one question for the Plex users.

How does Plex handle watched flags for multiple users? Last time I looked at it it did not deal with this at all. Has this been improved?
 

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