Plex Media Server Client in XBMC - Have XBMC support for Plex PMS protocol plex:// ?

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freddyflinty Offline
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Lightbulb  Plex Media Server Client in XBMC - Have XBMC support for Plex PMS protocol plex:// ?
Post: #1
My request is that the proper XBMC app add support to access plex:// iPhoto/iTunes sources served up by Plex Media Server.

I know there has been some kind of bad blood with the Plex team but they just came out with an interesting application "Plex Media Server" which allows Plex (XBMC fork) to seamlessly access a Mac's iPhoto and iTunes media. It even works over the network in case the iPhoto/iTunes media is on a different Mac.

The ideal scenario is that those of us who keep our photos/music on a Mac with iPhoto/iTunes will have seamless access from our proper XBMC (linux/xbox/win/mac) client. Big Grin
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spiff Offline
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Post: #2
so they took our plugins and stuck them in a new package or what?
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #3
It's a webserver that serves an XML directory listing basically. All file access appears to be done over http on port 32400. Only reason for the plex:// URL is so that they know what dir class to use I guess.

The separate webserver binary contains the stuff that monitors the itunes db/xml for changes and serves the files up I presume, and I doubt it's using python to do that.

I don't see why they didn't put the directory service directly into xbmc/plex.

Cheers,
Jonathan

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freddyflinty Offline
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Post: #4
jmarshall Wrote:I don't see why they didn't put the directory service directly into xbmc/plex.

If I understand your question correctly, it may be because they want to accommodate the case in which the user's iPhoto/iTunes content is located on a different Mac.

Maybe I'm wrong but I gotta guess there's quite a few folks using XBMC who keep their Music/Photos on a separate Mac?
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #5
If they're accomodating the case where itunes libraries are on a different machine, then they need to either run the PMS on that machine or have that machine share the library files. In either case, it could be accomplished by having the "server" part of things run within XBMC itself.

As for the numbers that would find this useful, I don't know how many there are, but it'll certainly be the minority of users, quite simply because the vast majority of users don't have a mac at all. Those that have a mac may or may not use itunes which further whittles down the numbers.

Note that I'm in no way ruling out that we'd connect to such a server. I suspect, though, that we'd wait until the server sources are opened (which I presume will occur once it's released separately) - we don't want to connect to a server who's API we have no knowledge of and may change at a moments notice.

Cheers,
Jonathan

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(This post was last modified: 2008-11-18 18:37 by jmarshall.)
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Keane16 Offline
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Post: #6
spiff Wrote:so they took our plugins and stuck them in a new package or what?

As far as I can see, no, they did not.

As their solution to iTunes integration allows playback DRM iTunes AAC tracks (not video yet though) which XBMCs solution does not (currently). Elan (of Plex) has said he will blog about 'how' they did it soon.

I use XBMC on my Xbox, and Plex on my iMac. Both are great. XBMC has had a massive impact on my lifestyle, I reckon I watch 85%+ less TV as a direct result of me installing this software on my Xbox which sits under the television. (advertisers will be happy!! Big Grin).

But as a Mac user Plex is really becoming more and more appealing as they introduce these Mac specific features. Proper sleep, simplified settings, TV Themes (sounds gimmicky but very cool), 'proper' iTunes and iPhoto integration, Ability to launch apps from within the Media Centre (e.g Front Row if you want to play an iTunes DRM'd video) and my favourite integrated updating.

This in addition to other things, see http://elan.plexapp.com/ for a full list of the recent Plex/Seven features.


I have no affiliation with either team, however, if you own a Mac it is worth checking the XBMC fork of Plex just for the tighter OS X integration. Is there any reason you don't just use Plex freddyflinty?
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migueld Offline
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Post: #7
jmarshall Wrote:It's a webserver that serves an XML directory listing basically. All file access appears to be done over http on port 32400. Only reason for the plex:// URL is so that they know what dir class to use I guess.

The separate webserver binary contains the stuff that monitors the itunes db/xml for changes and serves the files up I presume, and I doubt it's using python to do that.

I don't see why they didn't put the directory service directly into xbmc/plex.

I think the reason that it's separate is to have the service running even if you exit Plex. There is an option to have the service always running or not.
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anilram Offline
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Post: #8
Does anyone have any information regarding copying a plug-in from Plex to XBMC? Specifically the Netflix plug-in for MAC.
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #9
Netflix will be a no-go as we don't have silverlight.

The only plex plugins that can be made to run on XBMC are those that fetch the actual video URLs.

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anilram Offline
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Post: #10
Thanks for the quick reply, but I'm confussed on how PLEX streams NetFlix on the Mac? I've just tried Plex along with my Netflix account and it works. I would prefer to user XBMC, its much better than PLEX.
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jmarshall Offline
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Post: #11
Plex uses a closed-source back-end called "PlexMediaServer" which implements a webkit based player. Effectively you're looking at a little window cut out of a web browser window that just gives you the video bit. The web browser handles loading the proprietary netflix silverlight plugin.

We'd certainly be interested in using something similar to what they've done, but given that it's all closed source, it's obviously unavailable to us. We could implement the client side and make users download Plex to get the proprietary server-side bit, but that seems somewhat counter-productive.

I believe there are other solutions to the netflix/hulu problem - there's a UPnP server (actually more than one I believe) app that grabs the netflix/hulu stuff and sends it over to players (such as XBMC). PlayOn is one such option.

Cheers,
Jonathan

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smilenkovski Offline
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Post: #12
I know that this kind of questions may provoke controversial discussions but why not?
It should be not so hard to make it work and after todays announcements that Plex Media Server goes multi platform it is in the XBMC's spirit.
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poofyhairguy Offline
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Post: #13
Plus Media Server is the closed source part of Plex.

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elupus Online
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Post: #14
The interface against it still needs to be opensource so should be possible.

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RckStr Offline
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Post: #15
Well I know this probably never gonna happen due to the continiously ongoing pissing contests with the Plex team, but if one looked passed that, would it be possible running PMS as a backend for XBMC?
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