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Thoughts on Running Plex on a Raspberry Pi 4

This is just a play post to do a few things.
One, I am now testing categories for the blog.
So that the tech folk can subscribe only to the tech rss feed if need be.
Second, I need to get into the swing of writing things again.
It’s only been close to a month of not writing, but I already feel rusty 😂

I have been watching a lot of Netflix and other online streaming media last year. Well lot is relative. Definitely not as many as the books.
But what I realise, is that I just spend my time endlessly browsing through what I want to watch rather than, you know, actually watching something.
I also realise that most of my watching is mostly stuff I already watched. I want my old Holmes, or Yes Minister, or Suchet’s Poirot.
Stuff I already have, offline.
But not easily accessible, since it lies on an external hard disk, which I need to plugin to my desktop and then watch.

Then I realised that my trusty little Raspberry Pi was always there, in the corner, running away silently, currently serving as a repository for podcast episodes.
I also had an external thunderbolt ssd, that I could no longer plug into my Mac, because my Mac is dead (sob)
The LaCie did however also have a USB interface too.

Lightbulb moment!

I formatted my external disk on the desktop with the ext4 filesystem, copied all the stuff that I always watch or have running in the background and connected it to my Pi.

Then went to the Plex site and got the armf distribution.
Copied it over to the Pi and installed it with a dpkg -i.
There are better ways to do it. Check the webz if you need better directions and handholding.

Decided that I did not need a Plex account to do what I needed.
Which basically was just reading a folder full of videos, presenting them and playing them.

The web interface is beautiful and functional.
It keeps pushing you to get a Plex account, which you might want … or not.
Added my folders as video sources and then after a few minutes, they showed right up.

I downloaded the Plex apps (on the iPhone and the iPad) and paid for the option to stream files and play them.

And that was that.

It works beautifully, if it is just a couple of devices.
More than that, and it struggles.
But most importantly, Plex handled darn near every video format, I had.

And so, every evening for the past week has been bliss, with an hour, solving crimes Poirot and his “littel gray sells” as I go off to bed.


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