What's new

First Time Setting Up A NAS Media Server for PS3/4, Any Suggestions? (1 Viewer)

Russell G

Fake Shemp
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
12,193
Location
Deadmonton
Real Name
Russell
Hey folks! Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I currently have a bunch of hard drives in docks plugged into a USB hub to watch movies with my PS4/PS3. It mostly works, but I've been thinking of upgrading to a proper NAS and consolidating some of those 1-2TB drives into a 6TB. At some point I might build a media/gaming PC, but not in the immediate future. I figure what I set up now will work with a PC in the future.

I'm thinking of getting a Synology DS216play. It can hold two drives for a maximum of 16tb of files. It should be fine for a while.

https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS216play

Does anyone have any experience with this type of thing? Not necessarily this make and model, but similar? What I'm wondering:

Does it work as a giant disc drive (i think setting up as a raid0 will have the two drives act as one?)? Can you plug it into a PS4 or PC with a USB and play files direct from it, or only through the DNS server or whatever it's called on the network?

The PS4 is absolute pants with file formats and media playing. Some that work on the PS3 don't play on the PS4 and vice versa. Will these machines using plex or their own software trans-code the files into being playable, or are you screwed unless you convert? The PS3 freeware media server for PC seemed to play everything when streamed to the PS3 regardless of file format. I've not used plex to know if it's similar.

Is there an easy way to have your files recognized by tags? None of the servers seem to have an option to use file names so a TV show might just have the name of the show instead of the name and season/episode title like I have it file-named.

Is setting up one of these even worth it with a PS4/PS3?

I plan to only turn it on when I'm using it. Is this "hard" on the drives? I was going to get Western Digital Red drives since they're supposed to be good for this stuff.

Any help or suggestion would be greatly appreciated!
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
My friend with a Synology loves his synology and recommend them. He streams his music library from it to listen on his iPhone while driving. I can even stream shows from it that he transferred from his tivo.
 

CraigF

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
3,117
Location
Toronto area, Canada
Real Name
Craig
I'm thinking of getting a Synology DS216play. It can hold two drives for a maximum of 16tb of files. It should be fine for a while.

Funny, I was pondering getting that exact model yesterday too. It's apparently a very popular one, especially in the U.S. where it's quite cheap (compared to in Canada). Probably because they're used a lot for home video surveillance systems. Actually, the single drive bay version is probably more suitably sized for my purposes, I only want it for music files, but the dual bay model has USB3.0 and that's something I want.

I do know that people set up NASs with their PS3/4s. I have some PS3/4s. I never even thought of setting up a NAS for them...so I sure can't help at all. I have no use for a NAS here, really, everything I have can be served from my main PC (stupidly powerful considering what I do with it...), it's just something for me to fool around with. The dual bay case is large enough I could fit one of my small computer projects inside it...still under "development".

The point of a NAS is it's on all the time, and many people can use it, from "anywhere", simultaneously. That's the larger picture, doesn't have to be that way of course. The key about WD "red" drives that not a lot of people know about is their vibration resistance. If you choose the more common green/blue/black drives, you'll find that they're not rated for more than 4 (I think it is) in the same enclosure, due to the amount of vibration. To put it another way: with one or two drives, you could use the blue/green/black if their size/speed suits, though they're not specifically made for 24/7 use; may fit your intended usage scenario though. Reds are usually cheaper for the larger sizes, and their performance is fast enough for a NAS. Stay away from the purples, they are "write optimized" for surveillance systems, the opposite of how it sounds like you're going to use your setup, though they may seem cheap for their size and may work just fine...I suppose worth considering if you find a deal (sometimes they're really cheap). My only experience with NASs is at work (i.e. cost not a priority) and mostly write-oriented (backup etc.), so again the opposite of your app.
 
Last edited:

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
...
I'm thinking of getting a Synology DS216play. It can hold two drives for a maximum of 16tb of files. It should be fine for a while.

https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/DS216play

...

The PS4 is absolute pants with file formats and media playing. Some that work on the PS3 don't play on the PS4 and vice versa. Will these machines using plex or their own software trans-code the files into being playable, or are you screwed unless you convert? The PS3 freeware media server for PC seemed to play everything when streamed to the PS3 regardless of file format. I've not used plex to know if it's similar.

Is there an easy way to have your files recognized by tags? None of the servers seem to have an option to use file names so a TV show might just have the name of the show instead of the name and season/episode title like I have it file-named.
You'll want to pre-transcode if you're running Plex Server on the NAS (also, what my friend does).

Rename your files according to the Plex standard. But if you insist on using your own non-standard file names, you'll have to see if / how to set the Server software to use MKV metadata for file info and then edit your files accordingly. But since all the media servers use the same filenaming scheme, I think it's easier and more flexible naming files accordingly. And once that's done, you browse the files through the media client software, and actual file names are abstracted out of site.
 

Russell G

Fake Shemp
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
12,193
Location
Deadmonton
Real Name
Russell
Hey, thanks for all the tips. I've been playing around with using plex and a media server with files on my PC, and honestly, the naming conventions have put me off setting anything up at this point. It seems that regardless of the file name, PLEX and my other media server will do what it will with the metadata. So the only way to get things to display on the PS4/3 in the way I want I have to edit the metadata. Which I can using the Jriver Media Center 23, but it's times consuming.

An issue I had was Twin Peaks the return. All were filenamed in the same convention, but the first episode displayed as a seperate series until I went into the tags and edited the "SERIES" tag from blank to "TWIN PEAKS" which matched the rest.

I tried running everything through "FILEBOT" which is the program that PLEX recommends, but it edits file names, not metadata. Unless the Data is updated by plex afterwards? I'm just not a fan with how plex displays this stuff. none of them seem to allow you to display a file location and see a list by filename. That's all I need.

Nothing ever seems easy with this stuff. :S
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
To your ending question: Use the "Browse by Folder" option. Search for that phrase in this help page:
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/200392126-Using-the-Library-View


I can post screenshots if it would help, but I'll try with just descriptions to start. The folder and filenames contain the essential information to identify a given media file: typically movie name and release year, or tv series name, season and episode number. The server software, be it Plex, Emby, or Kodi (that I am familiar with) use that information to look up the metadata from sites such as iMDB, theMovieDB, and the theTVdb. That metadata is often saved in program-specific folders out of user view but sometimes within metadata files (such as NFO) within the media folder. Likewise the server also usually downloads thumbnails, posters, logos, and other visual metadata files for displaying the media in the client software.

But you the owner of your Plex Server want to tune the metadata for some movies or shows. You use the Plex server's metadata editor. Maybe it's not identifying the show right: you can feed it the iMDB ID to force it, or select from options it thinks are correct. Maybe you want custom artwork (I create custom posters for 3D, Theatrical, Anniversary, and Special editions); this is where set that. Maybe you've got one of those squirrely TV shows like Firefly that was broadcast out of order; you can do some metadata gymnastics to set the system to show the "DVD" order to the client.

But the key thing is that this metadata is not saved into the media file itself; it's not saved as MKV tags or Windows properties. All this metadata is saved within human-readable files in either a hidden server directory or alongside the media files themselves (a configuration choice you can set in the server software).

If you're confused about the naming conventions the file naming conventions for Plex (and Emby and Kodi, etc) are mostly simple:

Movies Folder/
.../Movie Name (YYYY)
.../.../Movie Name (YYYY).mkv

As for programs like FileBot: I've used that program and some others. I think theRenamer is a bit better for this task. And yes, they rename filenames because, as I described, that's what the servers use. And these programs are ok. When they work, they're helpful, but they are only as robust as both the starting filenames and the online database info -- which is to say they fail a lot. I mostly edit manually or with an all-purpose renamer: I bought File Renamer Deluxe.

Ultimately: these systems are designed with the basic assumption that most people want to view media as a library, not as a folder of weirdly named files. For example: Photo library tools are designed to browse the images visually by dates: not by a listing of IMG0001.jpg files. Music software gives the user a view of a library of albums and artists and cover art, not a file folder of MPG files. And so media server gives you a view of your video library by cover art -- like you're browsing your bookshelf of discs back in 2007 -- that's sortable by title or genre or release year and so on.
 
Last edited:

Russell G

Fake Shemp
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
12,193
Location
Deadmonton
Real Name
Russell
Thanks Dave! I'll take a look at the link and play around with PLEX some more.Some things I have, like rips of my Something Weird Collection includes trailers and what not, it would be nice to see them by directory instead of the smodge that plex and other server software displays them, and since they aren't really a series it doesn't fit the TV or "Album" tab to collect them. Hence my hoping for a system tree display like the media player on the PS3 & 4 use when you have a USB stick plugged in.

If I can play around and get my stuff to mostly show correctly, then I may still go the server rout with the Synergy Play.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
If the issue is with personal collections and other media not known by IMDB of theTVdb, consider using the "Home Movies" category, or however Plex calls it. It's ostensibly for home movies but can be a catch all for this type of stuff. I use it for a "Demo" library with all the enthusiast demo discs.

For trailers, you can put them in the Trailers sub-folder for the associated media. Though I'm not sure if that's the playback approach you want.
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/200220677
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Another option, maybe:
Emby has support for Collections and Playlists. They can be a good way to manually collect small sets of content that's not necessarily in the order the library would otherwise show them. But Plex doesn't do Collections; no idea about playlists. So this would require switching to Emby which is $$ and setting up new software.
 

Russell G

Fake Shemp
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
12,193
Location
Deadmonton
Real Name
Russell
Hey Dave, I want to thank you again for the tips. Much appreciated.

Just curious if you or others are keeping single movies in their own directories? I typically only group movies into a folder based on either a Series (all ALIEN movies would be in an "ALIEN" folder, for example, or based on the alphabet.
/Movies
/a
Alien
Aliens

That kind of thing. I know with the Playstation 3, there was a maximum number of sub folders that the media player could read so I limited how deep I went with folders. Is this a similar concern with PLEX and other NAS set ups?

My thinking for setting up the new drive would be like above:
/Movies
/a
Alien (1979).mp4
Aliens (1986).mkv
/p
/Presley, Elvis
Jailhouse Rock.avi
Flaming Star.mp4

Just so it's easier for me to find the files on the server if I want to delete or whatnot. I know PLEX would show the above on the Movies tab as Alien, Aliens, Flaming Star, Jailhouse Rock

Playing around in PLEX, I did see that I could create playlists pretty easy to replicate the film series I currently have tied in order by filename. My main bitch with plex is there just seems to be no way to actually view the files as they appear on the harddrive locations which would really help with creating the lists and whatnot.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Yes, movies in individual folders. I also keep metadata in the folders rather than in a server folder on the boot drive. There are reasons for/against metadata location.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
I don't understand the motivation for your folder structure. Especially things like a "Presley" folder. A movie's a movie, so name it consistently per your naming convention. The server software will take care of all metadata and searching by actor, etc.

Maybe there are OS limitations to number of files per folder that motivate an alphabetical sub-structure. I've seen that approach taken by others in the forums.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Not to say you're doing it wrong :) but my experience is extra sub folders with odd names can cause server confusion and metadata difficulties.
 

DaveF

Moderator
Premium
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
24,566
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
One more comment :)
If your media files are named correctly, just point Plex at the folders and see what happens. If everything works fine, then ok. No need to change your custom folder structure.
 

Russell G

Fake Shemp
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
12,193
Location
Deadmonton
Real Name
Russell
I don't understand the motivation for your folder structure. Especially things like a "Presley" folder. A movie's a movie.

Motivation was so that all the Elvis movies where easy to find and would appear in chronological order when watching with the hard drive plugged directly into the PS3/4 using USB and a dock, no server. Using plex I can do the same thing with a playlist if I so desired. The playlist function actually isn't that bad to use.

i played around quite a bit with plex, naming "trailers" in a folder with a movie and what not. I set up two movies from my something weird rips. One worked no problem, and the second, set up the exact same way, just wouldn't work until I "removed metadata" and had it rescan. Then it seemed okay once I had it re-update. I at least know what I need to do to clean up my library. Now it's just a matter of having the time to do it.

I'm going to put this on hold until I finish cleaning up my music library tags. The Synergy media server works with plex so I know I should be able to get things to display right now that I'm more familiar with it. Thanks again for all the tips.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
346,444
Messages
4,779,080
Members
141,805
Latest member
cronosmantas
Top