It allows you to match your albums with specific MusicBrainz entries to get precise metadata.
It can be used in combination with playback tools like Jellyfin or Plex if you simply point them at your Beets library folder.
I've been using it for a few years and I would never go back.
I would suggest taking another look at it. It has really improved over the last couple of years and seems to have a very active development community that is engaged with its users. They have a dedicated subreddit and they post there a lot. 
I find the web interface functional enough, but the dedicated "Jellyfin" apps for Roku or Android are slightly disappointing still. They are definitely usable, just not as slick as better commercial apps. However, there is an excellent Jellyfin for Kodi addon, and that is what I use on PC and Android TV. 
I do have an actual mini ITX PC to host the media, an old-ish i3, which I would strongly recommend over something like a Pi.
I had the opposite problem where it would not stop showing subtitles every time I opened a new video. I think it's reading a default provided by the video file and just using that.
I want to purchase songs and access them in the “cloud” from around the globe and from Mars and I want to own them!
Haven’t researched the question. Are there any approaches to throw your library behind authed CDN or aws s3 with a frontend ios/android/desktop app to get rid of those fancy subscription models?!
I purchase music from Bandcamp, where everything can be downloaded DRM-free.
I have a VPS with Navidrome as a web streamer/front-end.
Navidrome also provides an API compatible with Subsonic.
For iOS, play:Sub has a pretty nice UI, streams everything from the server, transcoded on-the-fly from FLAC to Opus.
It's quite a joy to use and it feels good that the artists (especially lesser known) get paid more than through spotify/apple. I also throw a little bit of money at the Navidrome dev every month.
All iTunes songs are DRM free and available from the cloud on all devices that can run apple music. https://support.apple.com/guide/music/intro-to-the-itunes-st...
I always keep a second copy of all my original rips just because I'm worried that kind of thing could happen—if not immediately, then later on when I sync a new computer and iTunes Match finds some new song that conflicts.
It’s great for sharing with friends and stuff too. Has decent mobile apps, but haven’t used it much for music.
I can access it from anywhere on all of my devices and I own all of the media.
My biases are clear, just food for thought.
Yes, 100%. The media is stored locally on your own hard drive. Plex is just the player.
They're the interface.
You can use an S3 compatible storage provider and either mount it via NFS or s3fs, and point Jellyfin to it.
My real-life goal is to have a library of media on a NAS and then various playlists played through various clients: my PC, a raspberry Pi, a PS2 with Freemcboot, etc. I also want to be able to combine playlists, like "rock" and "metal" music for example. Not sure where to get started.
and construct your playlists in .m3u format, which is the nearest thing to a cross-player standard.
When the time came to change media players I didn't have to touch the NAS at all.
I switched to Plex running on Synology and that’s worked much better with the synology transcoding to match the app (usually appletv and smartphones nowadays)
Even selfhosting doesn't give you privacy anymore because all the client apps spy on you. :/
Maybe stick to the web interface if this is something you care about. (Does Jellyfin itself phone home?)
Disclaimer - I am a Jellyfin maintainer.
I don't care how proprietary it is or who runs it, as long as they can use it. I am arranging to have their CDs ripped (they don't use the CD player and saw me using my music library - which is just files in the file system and VLC - and liked the idea of hearing their long-unheard, beloved music) and need something they can actually use. Otherwise, they won't get to listen to their music.
All they need to do is select a track and play it. No other UI needed; it will only confuse things.
In fact, something that handles ripped music and new downloads and streaming would be optimal.
If Netflix is too hard, then my goto Plex, wouldn't be much easier. Before they added all their cruft, it was by far the easiest solution, things just worked.
How do they fair using iTunes? Apples stuff integrates really well together. You could get them an iPod Touch and let them control it all from that.
Lowest rung for just music would be load all the media onto a drive and use Winamp. But that is assuming just a computer playing music.
Apple devices, including phones, tablet, laptop; as well as an old high-end stereo (I'll need some digital-to-analog adapter, but I assume those exist).
Standard home WLAN, with wired connections available for devices that don't move.
Media - whatever works, but I assume it will need to be on a server to be available to all those devices, and therefore I assume I will prefer it in the cloud so that I don't have to setup and manage the server. Ripped music will be in ALAC format, I expect, though possibly FLAC. They will also want to play newly downloaded tracks in whatever format provided, and stream music.
How user-friendly are those? WinAmp I used long ago, and certainly it was too geek-oriented, and there was too much going in that GUI.
Those adapters exist, look into Airplay 2 compatible devices.
iTunes is pretty easy to use, my older parents don't seem to have much of an issue with it. Admittedly, I don't regularly use iTunes anymore, only for the occasional iPod sync or restore.
Once you have Apple's HomeSharing setup, it's really easy to play stuff on your apple devices.
The Winamp 2 default skin was pretty basic. It had a stereo layout (play, stop, skip buttons), an equalizer, and a playlist. It was a great stand alone app. If you were just wanting a simple way to play stuff on one computer, it might be the better way to go.
Basically, you point it to one or more online storages. It scans and combines all music on there and presents is as a library you can play from via a web browser.
It also exposes this library as a SubSonic library, which makes that library usable in a lot of apps.
Its slow progress development wise. Making this easy takes a lot of time. Currently the sever is in good condition but it desperately needs a mobile app
With this mstream server could automatically tunnel through a cloud service that gives them a domain and SSL certs.
This way I dont have to pay to host any of the users files on the cloud. All I need is a unlimited bandwidth vps to do the tunneling. And the user doesn't need to know what a server is, they just need to be able to run mStream.
I actually made a proof of concept which worked well. I just couldn't justify scaling it until I get a mobile app finished.
Main down-side is that it can be harder to get e.g. surround sound and HDR working reliably with a VLC + filesystem-browser solution.
I would encourage you to look at the 'airmouse' category of products, though. I have the Wechip one and it works pretty well and detects as a standard mouse/keyboard. It has a mini keyboard on one side and a D-pad on the other, with a wii-mote like function for moving the cursor.
edit: Some review of air mouse remotes https://fixthephoto.com/best-air-mouse.html
My RPi3 kodi was performing wonky after ~30+ hours of uptime.
The duct-tape fix was scheduling a reboot at 3am.
I suspect that a dynamic audio compressor alone will get you many converts.
I would manage the queue myself. This way, I could host watch parties of hard-to-find material, perhaps with intermission material ("let's all go to the lobby" or other nostalgia). Plex, from what I read, seems to be heading in a more legal direction, and Emby closed its source ...
But if you want this going real-time and continuously it sounds like you want more of an RTMP stream setup. I recommend MovieNight but you can handle it natively in Nginx I think. Then it's just a matter of setting up OBS or something similar to stream to it and you can do whatever you want.
I had heard of the OBS Project but I wasn't sure if it would handle my somewhat specific use case.
I know Jellyfin had been working on a feature called SyncPlay but I didn't know how far it had gotten in various clients yet. Out of curiosity, why would you like an RTMP stream setup over Jellyfin in my case? What are the pros and cons?
(I know wanting to set up my own little TV channel for a dozen people is kind of a silly thing to do, but that's the itch I have)
RTMP gives you lower latency and more control over what's being shown when combined with OBS. Jellyfin's SyncPlay works great when you want to watch a shared movie with a set group of people, but it gets buggy when you watch multiple episodes in a row or people drop in and out. Doing OBS with RMTP (I used MovieNight) means it's just one continuous stream that people tune in to. You can use OBS to queue up arbitrary video files, and with different scenes set up you can even do bumpers and "commercials".
And it's definitely not silly! I used an RTMP stream to do a "Saturday Morning Cartoons" stream for my friends a while back.
This is definitely going on my Potential Solutions list, which has been interesting to navigate, to say the least.
For user auth, Jellyfin has it's built in db and I have it hooked up to an LDAP server with authorization for a certain OU. RTMP I never tried to restrict, though if you use the nginx/apache method you probably use .htaccess or something similar?
It would be nice to set up DVR and now that I have Jellyfin (which has a UI for it) running I might see how well it works. But since that wasn't one of my primary use cases I didn't really look into how well it functions.
With Plex, it's literally plug and play - I don't think I had to configure anything to get the TV tuner card to work (other than to scan for channels). And its TV listings are pretty decent.
Plex certainly has its warts. But it's much less "trouble" than Jellyfin.
However, if all you want to do is stream media that's on your HD, and don't need fancy features (e.g. autodownloading subtitles), Jellyfin is probably good enough.
It's been years since I've ripped DVDs (I probably stopped when this guy started) but the last I remember getting around copy protection was ...tricky. I have an archive of DVD's I'd love to digitize - anyone have a good ripper recommendation (Windows)? To be clear, these are DVDs I legally purchased and own.
Blu-Ray is another matter. As far as I can tell, it seems to involve a lot of tracking down the right keys from the internet. Maybe someone who's better plugged into the digital piracy scene and will have more perspective. I just wanted to copy movies onto my NAS so I don't have to look for a physical copy on my shelf. Maybe it's easier now, but when I tried a few years ago, the effort of tracking down decryption keys so I could copy my Blu-Rays wasn't worth the trouble.
e: apparently since I last used it makemkv now finds as many of these on its own as it can: https://www.makemkv.com/svq/
4K UHD Blu-Ray discs are another matter though; I still have a couple of those I haven't been able to rip.
There was a time I used handbrake to reduce the file sizes by encoding to x265 and that never resulted in any audio sync issues either.
Before, I used to use dvdbackup then ffmpeg for DVD ripping.
I found HandbrakeCLI did a better job, though, of handling errors in the stream which seem to be much more common in DVDs than CDs.
Or, more likely, the defaults were just more idiot (me) proof.
Encryption hasn't been a problem for a while.
What we want to do is just watch video via Chromecast.
However both platforms make this very hard. The Android apps are just not reliable and are very confusing. Jellyfin seems to "hint" there's a queue of content somewhere... but how do I find it? Sometimes, choosing a video to play is a game of chance - I'll choose an episode half way through a season... and the first episode of the season will play.
On some phones it just loses its Chromecast "session" and we lose the ability to control it. Other apps don't do this.
It's a shame because it's almost there...
I should perhaps go back to Plex and see whether the app has improved there... it has been a while.
When I looked into media server software, I got a bit overwhelmed. I can't necessarily tell that something doesn't support CUE sheets properly until after I've spent an hour or two setting it up. Can anyone recommend something that will let me browse and stream a big pile of album FLACs by track?
There's also Roku, Samsung TV, LG webOS and iOS/tvOS apps in development if anyone wants to work on them.
I also have Jellyfin installed and serving up the same collection of media for exactly this reason - sometimes it plays stuff that Plex won't. But the Plex app on my Samsung TV is far superior to the generic DLNA app I use for Jellyfin (I can't even remember the name of it; I tried multiple, and none were even close to as nice as the Plex one).
The library is centralized, though, so you need all the medial files on one place. Also, I'd recommend not running it on your router but on a separate device for various reasons (security, performance especially if you need to transcode). If you want to stream 4K without having to think about codecs you'll need decent CPU and GPU. For 1080p you should be OK with an integrated AMD or Intel, or even a decent SBC.
I've got enough upload capacity to stream 1080p to my workstation at the office. Its really great software, the only annoyance was figuring out that I needed to setup a hairpin NAT so I could cast video to my TV's around the house.
My other slight gripe is that the bookshelf plugin for handling ebooks is a bit picky with nested directories when scanning for new media.
Definitely going to try out the setup from this article.
I run the server inside a Proxmox linux container and use the Google TV client. The UI on the Google TV app isn't quite as polished as the Web UI but gets the job done.
Looks like I fell hook line and sinker for Plex :/
It's possible that it'll be harder in the future, but so far Plex still compares favorably to all alternatives I know about.
Once they complete the full migration to Entity Framework I think everything will fall in place.
And yes, the library management is pretty arbitrary, I gave up on that pretty quickly. I recommend sonarr/radarr/lidarr for that!
I've been happy enough with the Lockerstor 4 that I finally gave up my Mac mini setup entirely and am routing all my home data to the NAS. I'll be adding a second NAS soon for two local copies of _all_ data (not just the active projects I'm working on), plus a backup to Glacier.
Sometimes when I do some large video projects that are 30-60 GB in size, the upload to the bucket can take a couple days :(
Synology have put a few feet wrong just recently. With QNAP also on a marketing push I'm looking forward to some competition in this space.
How many times can a person watch Cars?
This just seems crazy.
You don't have kids, do you? ;-)
1) Works that are only available via piracy, of which there are a handful of entries I'd hate to give up, and
2) Inability to create curated cross-service playlists for my kids, and lock them down to only watching items on those playlists. Only way to get this is by keeping your own digital copies of everything you want on those lists, or by using only physical media, which takes up more space and is prone to being broken or lost (especially when handled by kids)
Sadly, since my kids saw Toy Story 2 before Star Wars Episode V, the whole 'I am your father' bit didn't land with the same impact it did on previous generations :(
(There are 50+ episodes)
It's a beautifully put together show, to be fair. Nice and calm! And porridge.
Watching all of LOTR each year without switching discs is nice.
Having kids watch their stuff over and over without ads is nice.
Before I bought the movies I was going to the theater a lot. The cost ratio was clearly in advantage of just buying the movie. With the advent of streaming that cost ratio shifted significantly towards renting/streaming again. However, the fragmentation and region lockouts of which service a show/movie is on that may switch back to discs again. Also some studios are starting to like the idea of re-editing the movies on the fly. You may be better off just buying again. I am already invested in 'buying' but if I were starting today I probably would not bother and just go all in on streaming.
The GP basically is like a lot of people. They watch a movie and they are perfectly good never seeing it again or maybe a few years later. Renting is a perfectly good option for someone like that.