We're all used to streaming our content now. From shows to music to movies, there's a website and app for everything on every platform. However, many of us have our own offline collection of backed up movies, shows and music that is restricted to the device it is stored on. Have you ever thought about building your own streaming service at home? Sounds interesting? Before we start, remember that piracy is a crime. Please only use content that you've downloaded legally and have the right to use. With that, let's check out how to create your own media centre.
The best solution
Plex is a popular media server application used widely for the purpose. It is useful for both cloud streaming as well as streaming over a local network. Since we're focussing on the latter, here's what you'll need to proceed.
- A dedicated computer to run the server: It can be a Windows, Linux, OS X system, or even a network storage solution like Synology. You can find the right application for your platform here.
- The Plex app on all client (devices) that you want to stream on: Find the right app for your platform here: You can find the download for your platform here.
- WiFi connectivity
Step 1: Organise your media
Keep your media library organised as much as possible. Beyond just media type, try to mention the year for movies, artist name-album name for music etc.
Step 2: Install the media server
Once you've downloaded the correct installer and run it, the web control panel should open up automatically. Create an account to login, then name your server, and then click on 'Add Library'. Name your Library, select 'Browse for media folder' and select the folder that contains the media. Hit 'Done' to get started with the server, which should be updating at this point.
Step 3: Accessing your media from elsewhere
On the device, you want to stream on, install and login to the Plex app with the same credentials. You'll see your entire library right there, ready to be accessed on the device of your choice.
Step 4: Enjoy your very own streaming service
No wait time, no buffering - now it's time to kick back and enjoy your library of media.
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