Easy way to stream my XBMC library over the internet?

EvilAngel

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I have my HTPC running like a charm on XBMC (in windows 7) and now I'm trying to find a way to stream my media over the web so i have access to my movies/music in my Android phone (and/or a web interface) when traveling.

Is there any program (for windows) that can stream and transcode media to different bitrates on the fly?
 

Pinski

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Best option is to stop using XBMC, and start using Plex. It'll do what you want.
 

EvilAngel

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Thanks for the reply.

I'm looking into plex right now and it looks pretty nice, but I've been using XBMC since i had an original modded Xbox years ago and now have all my addons and everything ready the way i like it.

Can plex run headless, with no interface?

Maybe i can use plex simultaneously just to be able to stream my media and use xbmc to actually view the media at home.
 

dalekphalm

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Plex has 2 components. Plex Media Server, which acts as a DLNA server, metadata collector, and other things. This allows you to stream out to your clients, and supports streaming out to the web. This is headless, and is managed via a web interface.

Then there is Plex Media Client, which is very similar in function to XBMC. In fact, Plex started as a branch-out of XBMC. The client is your front end, that normally sits on your HTPC. If your HTPC is also your server (eg: holds all your media files), then you would simply install both the server and the client to the same PC.

Finally, there are the Plex Mobile Apps. I know for sure they have apps for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7/8. Don't know about BB. The mobile apps allow you to stream over your LAN/Wifi or over the internet. When streaming to mobile devices via the internet, the server transcodes the media files on the fly to a smaller bitrate, which allows for less than ideal high speed connections to still be somewhat functional.

If you like XBMC, you'll likely like the Plex interface also, but if you really want, you can still run the XBMC client as your Media Center client instead of the Plex client on the HTPC (Both will work, just plex client will obviously work better when paired with the plex server).
 

EvilAngel

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Excellent, when i get home to my HTPC I'll get plex up and running. I'll give the Plex Media Client a try and see if i can find alternative addons to the ones I'm using in XBMC.

If i end up not liking the client, from what you wrote and from what I've been reading, it seems like i can just run the plex media server exclusively to stream to my phone over the net.

The only issue that i see with this implementation so far is that my library watched/not watched info wouldn't sync in plex/xbmc but i can live with that.

Thanks!
 

EvilAngel

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Just a follow up for people that want to do this or something like this.

I installed Plex Media Server along with my XBMC install and it does exactly what i wanted them to do, i can use XBMC at home and use Plex only to be able to stream my videos/movies/music to my phone or any PC with a browser.

I tried just switching XBMC to Plex Media Client but i prefer XBMC.

With addons for XBMC and Plex for trakt.tv i can keep my watched/not-watched status in sync between the two so everything went even better than expected.

The only thing that would make my setup better is if my upload speed at home was more than 1.5mbps, can't watch HD but this will do for now.

Thanks again everyone.
 
Last edited:

NickJames

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Yeap, same way I have it. Plex on the go and XBMC at home, I infinitely prefer XBMC's interface and addons over Plex but Plex is definitely the easiest to setup for those who just want something that works.
 

Valaire

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I found Emit to be a bit buggy. Maybe it has improved in the last six months. Also, Emit is only for Android streaming; does not provide web interface (at least it didn't).
 

SirMaster

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Emit has had a web interface before they even had iOS and Android apps. It says in big letters right on their main page, web player.
https://www.emitapp.com/play

Never found it buggy personally, been using it for well over a year.

I just find Plex unusable since I can't even get it to stream in the correct aspect ratio. It stretches all my 2.35:1 movies to 16:9 when I stream.

And also I only have 5Mbit upload and I want to stream at 720p so I can only choose the 3Mbit and 4Mbit options from Plex. That only lets me stream to 1 person at a time. With Emit I've had 3 people stream from my server at once since family and friends use it too. I have had 3 people streaming at 1.5Mbit before at 720p from Emit all at once and it worked great.

Just saying my experiencs. Unless someone knows why Plex web player stretches all my videos, and until Plex allows custom resolutions and custom bit-rates it just isn't as good IMO.
 

Valaire

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Well damn, I didn't know that. I only just started using Plex recently because I wanted one app to do everything, although Plex's music streaming sucks because there is no playlist support to speak of.
 

les_garten

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Which one of these would you recommend for streaming an "input" from my sound card.

I am using Icecast presently, but it's buggy and the volume of my stream is a little low.
 

a74martel

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You do not need Plex or any other platform.
XBMC v13 Gotham (currently alpha 9) has been working hard to enable streaming.
the following XBMC addon works great.
https://github.com/Jalle19/xbmc-video-server
If you install it in XBMC v12 it will build the "Website" so that you can remotely view your collection, but streaming and file downloading will not work until you upgrade to Gotham ;o(
Hope this helps!
 

dr.stevil

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yeah, as a former XBMC user myself, just go to Plex... you won't regret it. It's a little different although based on the same base code IIRC, but it gives you a lot more options especially if you're streaming to a bunch of different devices across multiple networks.

It doesn't seem quite as customizable as XBMC, but it more than makes up for it in other areas. For instance, you don't need a Plex front end on the computer/device you want to watch it on remotely. You can connect to a web front end and get it that way (as well as use the dedicated plex application). Also another huge plus, for me, is that all the meta-data and such is scraped/stored on the server.... so you don't need to maintain databases for each device. Huge time saver IMO
 

dr.stevil

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Well damn, I didn't know that. I only just started using Plex recently because I wanted one app to do everything, although Plex's music streaming sucks because there is no playlist support to speak of.
This is my biggest gripe about Plex... but I wasn't sure if it was a limitation or if I just didn't have it configured correctly.

I want to be able to select an album (or even a season of a TV show) and 'play all'. Right now, AFAIK, you're limited to playing them one at a time.
 

Valaire

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Yeah, Plex is not the universal swiss army knife app we all want it to be for mobile streaming. It has a good concept and decent support but the music section is completely underdeveloped right now and is missing basic features. Furthermore, if you have your files on any kind of NAS, good luck getting the regular scan to see your files properly. I have to manually run a deep scan everytime I want new media to show up so it's not fire-and-forget.
 

the snake

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has anyone ever had luck using VLC to stream over the web to a smart phone on 4G ?
 

SheHateMe

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You don't have to drop XBMC all together...but Plex is what you'll need to do what youre asking while away from home.
 

Godmachine

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Ditch XBMC and use Plex. I know , you don't want to but seriously Plex is amazing.
 

rhansen5_99

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What are you guys using to make your local ip's available over the web, like ddns or something? Maybe just the built in plex account stuff?
 

spencers

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What are you guys using to make your local ip's available over the web, like ddns or something? Maybe just the built in plex account stuff?
I use the built-in Plex stuff.
If I'm watching on my iOS devices, I use the Plex app.
If I'm wanting to watch on a computer, I log in to https://my.plexapp.com and access the web interface from there.
 

SheHateMe

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speaking of plex. I can't get it to install on my unRaid server. Its fighting me.
 

nekrosoft13

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You do not need Plex or any other platform.
XBMC v13 Gotham (currently alpha 9) has been working hard to enable streaming.
the following XBMC addon works great.
https://github.com/Jalle19/xbmc-video-server
If you install it in XBMC v12 it will build the "Website" so that you can remotely view your collection, but streaming and file downloading will not work until you upgrade to Gotham ;o(
Hope this helps!
will have to try that!!

XBMC is the best HTPC app :D
 

castun

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I also prefer XBMC for local viewing, but I still found the Plex client to be useful if you're trying to view somebody else's shared library. There's an XBMC plugin for that, but it seemed a bit buggy because it was having issues finding and listing the shared media properly. Last time I used the web interface, the progress bar wouldn't auto-hide in full screen mode for some reason even with the mouse turned off.

Furthermore, if you have your files on any kind of NAS, good luck getting the regular scan to see your files properly. I have to manually run a deep scan everytime I want new media to show up so it's not fire-and-forget.
Do you have your NAS's media folder mounted as a network drive?
 

Drawmonster

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I've got a server that I run Plex Media Server on. Several Roku's throughout the house stream from it. I also stream my media when I'm on vacation or whatever. I've got one main box in our theater room that runs XBMC. I'm about to install Plex Desktop on it and give that a go. I like XBMC, but tired of fooling with it. Random little problems are starting to annoy me. There is a new one that started popping up last week that is a known issue. Say have have episode "1 2 3 4 5" of a show. Now it shows "11 22 33 44 55". So it duplicates everything. Stuff like that.

Just want something that works and don't need all the customization. I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

Valaire

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I also prefer XBMC for local viewing, but I still found the Plex client to be useful if you're trying to view somebody else's shared library. There's an XBMC plugin for that, but it seemed a bit buggy because it was having issues finding and listing the shared media properly. Last time I used the web interface, the progress bar wouldn't auto-hide in full screen mode for some reason even with the mouse turned off.



Do you have your NAS's media folder mounted as a network drive?
The plex server software runs on my server so they are local drives. Plex can't handle any kind of pooling software. You have to run a deep scan manually every time. It's well documented but as far as I know no fix is ETA.
 

castun

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The plex server software runs on my server so they are local drives. Plex can't handle any kind of pooling software. You have to run a deep scan manually every time. It's well documented but as far as I know no fix is ETA.
Odd, because I use HD pooling software for the drives on my HTPC (currently not using a separate media server) and the Plex media server has no issues picking up new stuff for me. Guess it's just hit or miss with some people?
 

Jagger100

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Odd, because I use HD pooling software for the drives on my HTPC (currently not using a separate media server) and the Plex media server has no issues picking up new stuff for me. Guess it's just hit or miss with some people?
I have problems with Linux based plex server. I just had to re-add my main directory so it would scan properly. Forcing it to scan didn't work.
 

Valaire

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Odd, because I use HD pooling software for the drives on my HTPC (currently not using a separate media server) and the Plex media server has no issues picking up new stuff for me. Guess it's just hit or miss with some people?
It has something to do with the timestamp of file changes. On Flexraid it did not work, and on the new pooling solution I'm using, PoolHD, it doesn't work either. I can only get shows to appear with a deep scan and currently there is no way to set up recurring deep scans, only the regular scan, outside of scripting.
 

castun

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It has something to do with the timestamp of file changes. On Flexraid it did not work, and on the new pooling solution I'm using, PoolHD, it doesn't work either. I can only get shows to appear with a deep scan and currently there is no way to set up recurring deep scans, only the regular scan, outside of scripting.
I'm using DriveBender on a Win7 rig and it seems to work fine here.
 

lilfiend

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I'm using DriveBender on a Win7 rig and it seems to work fine here.
I'm using drive bender on windows 8 with plex/xbmc and it works just fine, worked in windows 7 also.

I highly recommend it.
 

Valaire

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I just wanted a lightweight pooling solution that works well with Snapraid. So far I like PoolHD. I don't use Plex enough to justify switching at this time. I'm hoping one of two things happen: Plex fixes it on their end somehow, or XBMC finally offers a robust competitor to Plex for internet streaming, which it seems like it is doing, at least somewhat, in Gotham. Until then I'll suffer through the manual syncs. :)
 
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