Add-on:PleXBMC

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Summary: PleXBMC is an addon with grafts Plex Media Server (PMS) access into XBMC. Also included are a number of modified skins with give easier access to media in a Plex-like environment.
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PleXBMC is an addon with grafts Plex Media Server (PMS) access into XBMC. Also included are a number of modified skins with give easier access to media in a Plex-like environment.

For the most up-to-date info on PleXBMC see forum:92310

1 Where to get it

Updated: 18th August 2011

2 Features

  • Browse Plex Media Server library sections (Movies, TV Show, Music, Photos etc)
  • Play media on XBMC from Plex Media Server
  • See full metadata, thumbs and full fanart
  • Context Menu to set watched/unwatched for movies/shows/seasons/episodes
  • Context Menu to allow manual library section refreshed
  • Delete media from Plex Media Server
  • Resume from last played
  • Updates PMS with last played position - resume on a different device..
  • Supports Music playback
  • Browse and play some Plex Plugins
  • Automatic subtitle and auto stream support including external subtitle files (such as .srt)
  • Support for iPhoto and iTunes through PMS
  • Add multiple PMS instances (up to 10) on different ports
  • PMS authentication so you can talk to remote secured servers.
  • Support for Plex Online - install, modify or delete Plex Plugins
  • Optional Plex filter menus
  • Search within library sections (not global search..yet)
  • Wake On LAN - prod those sleeping servers
  • EXPERIMENTAL: Supports Transcoding media with quality selector
  • Transcoding support for AC3 and DTS audio
  • Skin integration functions for custom skins. Use XBMC like Plex(ish).
  • Refactored and speeded up
  • Support for media flagging and Plex style watched flags when used with PleXBMC skins.
  • Bonjour/zeroconf support added (only works with XBMC pre-11/Eden)
  • Flatten TV shows for a "single season" show or "all seasons"
  • Customise extra features. Switch them off for slower clients.
  • Support for webkit plugins (flash/silverlight) but only with transcoding :-(

3 Screencast

Still not sure what PleXBMC does - here is a video to explain (silently) what it does:

4 Basic installation and configuration

  • Ensure your PLex Media Server is up and running
  • Install addon directly via zipf ile or through the PleXBMC repository
  • Configure the Addon with the IP address of the Plex Media Server
  • Start Addon from Video -> Addon -> PleXBMC

5 Addon Configuration Options

5.1 General

General configuration items

  • Use Bonjour local Discovery - Automatically locate other PMS instances in local network (Default: Off)Off - use static IPs for media servers
On - use Bonjour to find my media servers (only works on XBMC pre-11/eden) assist - Uses the configured media server IP address and PleXBMC will discover all other media servers on LAN
  • Plex Media Server hostname - IP address or DNS name of PMS instance (Default: 127.0.0.1)
  • Port Number - port to talk to PMS on (default: 32400)
  • Stream from PMS - Decide how to play PMS media on XBMC (Default: auto)Auto - First look for local file. If missing use PMS Web server to play file
http - Use PMS Webserver to play file
smb - Use samba/cifs to play file. Share must be assessible to client

5.2 Audio/Subtitle

  • Audio and subtitile selector? - determine what audio stream and subtitles to displayDisabled - Let XBMC decide and remember your manual audio and subtitle selection
Subs Off - Just turn all subtitles off.
Auto - Let PlexBMC decide based on PMS configuration. Audio stream and subtitles will be set to PMS selected stream. Is no embedded subs, external file will be used.
External - let PMS select the audio stream, but do not use embedded subs - use external subs instead.
NOTE: Requires a Pre-11 build.

5.3 Authentication

Only required for remote access (outside of local network)

  • Authentication required - do you need to use a user/password to access Plex Media Server
  • PMS username - User name for PMS
  • PMS Password - Password for PMS

5.4 Server List

Configure multiple PMS instances

  • Number of Extra Servers - Select the number of PMS servers you are going to add
  • Server X - IP address or DNS name of PMS instance, including non-default port number (i.e. 192.168.1.1:32500)

5.5 Trancoding

Experimental stuff.. Also used to playback any flash plugins from teh Plex Media Server (e.g. Pitchfork.tv, tvcatchup.com)

  • Enable transcoding - turn it on or off. If selected ALL media is transcoded regardless..
  • Transcoding format - How to convert file:m3u8 - Standard Plex format using HTTP Live Streaming.
flv - new and unproven Flash Video converter.
  • Quality - Select the quality based on the PMS transcoding profiles
  • Select Audio Output:Stereo
AC3
DTS
  • Use Transcoding proxy - Currently XBMC doesn't support m3u8 natively, so proxy is used to glue these into a .ts stream
  • Proxy Port - usually this is 8087, but can be changed if it clashed with other processes.

5.6 Look and Feel

  • Enable extra filter menus - display intermediate Plex Menus (recently played, by genre, etc)
  • Channel View? - display plugins using the iOS channel view, rather than in separate sections
  • Plex Style Watched Flags - shows partially watched media
  • Flatten TV Shows - either off, Single season shows or all seasons.
  • Clean context Menus - show only plexbmc context menu items
  • Skip Context menus - don't bother to build PleXBMC context menus [speedup]
  • Skip genre/director/writer metadata - Don't gather this info [speedup]
  • skip images (thumbs, fanart) - don't get images [speedup]
  • Skip Media Flags - don't process and display media flags [speedup]

5.7 Debug

  • Enable debug output to log - turns on verbose PleXBMC logging into xbmc.log file. Handy if something goes wrong...

6 Skins

I've also modified some well known XBMC skins to fully integrate PleXBMC into XBMC - so you get easier access to your media and a better Plex-like experience. I would recommend using a PleXBMC modified skin for best results:


Three skins are currently available:

UPDATED 24th June 2011
1. Confluence.plexbmc (originally by Jezz_X and Team XBMC, tweaked by Hippojay)
A tweaked version of the standard XBMC Confluence skin, which integrates PleXBMC functionality onto the home screen.
Access media, plugins and even Plex Online from within XBMC as if you were using Plex itself...
Current skin version: 0.4.4-1.1.0
https://github.com/downloads/hippojay/skin.confluence.plexbmc/skin.confluence.plexbmc-0.4.4.zip


Updated 10th August 2011
2.Cirrus-ex.plexbmc (originally by Crookas, extended by butchabay and Malexx, tweaked by hippojay)
A tweaked version of cirrus extended 2.04, which puts Plex sections on the home screen
Current skin version: 0.3-2.04
https://github.com/downloads/hippojay/skin.cirrus-ex.plexbmc/skin.cirrus-ex.plexbmc-0.3.zip


Updated 10th August 2011
3. Quartz.plexbmc (originally by Pecinko, modded by hippojay)
A minimalist and clean skin. Updated to master version 1.0.3
https://github.com/downloads/hippojay/skin.quartz.plexbmc/skin.quartz.plexbmc-0.3.zip

To use the skins correctly, you will need to install correct version of the PleXBMC addon first. If you have an issue, always check you are running compatible versions of the skin and add-on.

6.1 Configuring XBMC for the plexbmc skins

Basically, for the skin to work properly "library mode" needs to be enabled. Unfortunately XBMC doesn't allow you to do this unless you have an actual XBMC library - which is daft.. So, if you already have films in the XBMC library then it works, if you don't then it doesn't display the plugin correctly:

Anyway, to get around this, you simply create a dummy library using a file that I supply with the plugin:

  1. Go back to the XBMC supplied confluence skin (system -> setting -> appearance -> skin)
  2. Go back to home
  3. Video -> File
  4. Add source
  5. Browse to "Home folder", "addons", "plugin.video.plexbmc", "resources", "dummy library"
  6. Add this folder as a source and select "movies" as the content. Ensure you select "Run automated scan".
  7. Hit OK and the dummy file will be scanned into the library (it will appear as Aladdin (1992))
  8. now go back, switch to confluence.plexbmc, enable integration and it should work..

7 Change log

1.9.6 - Fixed a numebr of transcoder issues and local media detection. Support for ac3/dts in trancoder plus some other stuff.
1.9.5 - Added support for new 0.9.3.3 functions (delete, photos). Also fixed a windows PMS server and windows file detection big

8 Source

If you want to look at the code it's here:

plugin.video.plexbmc https://github.com/hippojay/plugin.video.plexbmc

Confluence.plexbmc https://github.com/hippojay/skin.confluence.plexbmc

cirrus-ex.plexbmc https://github.com/hippojay/skin.cirrus-ex.plexbmc

Aeon-Nox.plexbmc https://github.com/hippojay/skin.aeon-nox.plexbmc

quartz.plexbmc https://github.com/hippojay/skin.quartz.plexbmc