For years, there was a lonely Raspberry Pi 3 gathering dust on my desk, right next to a cup of pens and a stack of Post-Its. But during a long holiday break, an idea started forming in my head: Could I actually turn this glorified paperweight into something useful? Working here at TechHive as I do, I was aware of at least one enticing way to put a Raspberry Pi Remove non-product link to work: as a media server for videos and music files. Instead, I wanted to share a few things I learned during my own experience, starting with…. For my own first project, I took the middle road, choosing to use the Linux-based Raspberry Pi which involves spending quality time with the command line in Terminal with Plex, a popular, off-the-rack, and relatively easy-to-use media server package. There are plenty of online tutorials on how to install Plex Media Server on a Raspberry Pi, and within an hour or so I had Plex up and running. Mounting an 8GB USB thumb drive I decided to start small until I knew what I was doing on the Pi turned out to be a little trickier, although I even had that licked after another 45 minutes or so. I then tossed some old MP3s and home video files on the memory stick, and before I knew it, my unused Raspberry Pi had turned into a media server. In minutes, you can simply install Plex Media Server on a Mac or Windows PC, pick some folders filled with music, videos or other media, and start streaming away.
Media streaming forms the backbone of our day-to-day lives
It’s surprisingly easy
Of all the possible media servers out there, Plex is the easiest way to house all of your shows, movies, podcasts, and music in a single, easy-to-access place. Depending on how you set up your Plex server, you can even stream your content from your home no matter where you are. The key is making sure the machine is capable of handling whatever you throw at it. A Plex server relies more on CPU than anything else. It requires a lot of processing power to transcode the video as it is streamed, and even more power if you add subtitles and other additions to the video. Plex officially recommends an Intel Core i3 or faster as the minimum processor, although faster is generally recommended. Of course, more RAM never hurts, especially if you plan to use the computer for other tasks at the same time. If this all sounds complicated, the good news is that there are numerous pre-built Plex Server hardware devices you can purchase.
Steps to Set Up a Media Server
You've probably heard about home media servers or media centers. They have many different uses, but its main responsibility is to provide media such as movies, tv shows, games, music, etc. The media server is made possible through the use of a NAS Network Attached Storage enclosure or a dedicated computer. With this type of system, you are able to watch view content on a connected television or stream it through your home network on various devices. So, how do you set up a media server for a home theater? The process for setting up a media server is not all that complicated. Here are the general steps for setting it up:.
These services are basically HTTP servers with a dedicated user interface and feature set that is meant to manage media libraries. Just add a wireless media keyboard and you can turn any PC into a home theater. And though some incorporate streaming services, these options are best suited for those who already have a strong media collection and want to enjoy it in a curated manner. So whether you want to streamline your home theater, reorganize your business media, or house a semi-legal collection of DVD-ripped movies, check out the best home media servers below. Plex is possibly the most popular media server software out there, as it offers an easy setup and a highly flexible system for managing different types of media libraries. Setting up your Plex server is a largely automated process, and getting a stream set up on the other end is usually as simple as downloading the free app for your chosen platform, be it a smart TV, web browser, XBox One, PlayStation, or Apple TV. Remote access is ready out of the box and does not require any port forwarding or additional setup. The menus were fast and easy to navigate, though I did run into some hiccups trying to browse my stupidly large music collection. If you have multiple terabytes of media content with metadata, cover art, etc.