Friday, March 11, 2022

Plex on Raspberry Pi troubles

Recently, I decided to run Plex on Raspberry Pi for a couple of reasons. And it went well. At first.

To briefly recap, I maintain a Plex server for a family member. It went out, and I gave them access to some of the content on mine while I work on theirs. Well, it turns out their computer is toast. Not sure what happened, but we have a situation that will be expensive to replace.

As I said, they have access to some of the content on my Plex server, so they're up and running, relieving pressure while I deal with this in my spare time. And, since I recently did a couple of Raspberry Pi projects, I thought I would try it as a Plex server. And the initial results were promising. Now, I've run into some issue. And some weird issues, at that.

First, I'm new to Raspberry Pi, so I'm not as familiar with all the peculiarities of what can go wrong. And since it's been years, close to two decades, since I've even touched Linux, I'm finding that catching up is harder than I thought it would be. And, throw in that this is the first time I've tried something like this, and I'm not sure when things go wrong, that my troubleshooting is up to standard. I'm treading slowly, because I'm learning and troubleshooting at the same time, not troubleshooting with what I already know. I'm not always clear what results to expect, since I'm a little outside my element. But hey, that's half the fun, right?

Anyway, after a couple of days, videos began to crash. I had loaded videos from my Plex server on to the external drive so I could do some testing. I put full length movies, some short films (Looney Tunes, etc), and TV shows. After initial testing of a movie or two, I decided to set up a series to autoplay. That is, when one finishes, the next starts. I don't normally do it this way, but for testing purposes, I thought it a good idea. I let it run while I didn't watch, just listened for audio so I knew it was playing. Stress testing it, if you will.

Well, videos started crashing. Then the device itself wouldn't play after an update. So, back to the drawing board.

I've got to do some serious study of this and figure out what's going on. If a Raspberry Pi can be a reliable Plex server, that's a big deal to me. But I'm not sure if that is something that can be a part of my Streaming Life.

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