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Jellyfin: Free Software Media System (jellyfin.org)
317 points by marcodiego 61 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 199 comments



I've read the whole thread and am absolutely surprised. Why is nobody telling about plex's ditching of their plugin system? Have invested a lot of time in developing plex's plugin for youtube, twitch, and my favorite streaming services, paid a lifetime fee to plex. And now the whole plugins system is disabled.

That's the only reason why I've switched to Jellyfin. It's not better than plex. It's definitely worse, but it's open, and that's how I am sure it will work forever.


Do you have more details on this? I’ve found that it seems to have been made ‘unsupported’ in 2018, but theres still plugins that apparently work as of this month, and can’t find anything about the plugin function actually being disabled wholesale?


> but it's open, and that's how I am sure it will work forever.

Why are you so sure about it? IIRC Emby was also open sourced before it wasn't, at which point it was forked into Jellyfin. Based on that alone, I wouldn't be too surprised if Jellyfin pulls the same thing down the road, forcing you to move to yet another fork down the line.


It's a community project started after Emby became closed source. They have multiple contributors who don't assign copyright. They legally can't become closed source even if someone wanted to. No one owns the whole code.


> They have multiple contributors who don't assign copyright.

But that doesn't guarantee they wouldn't if Jellyfin approached them like "here's $X for writing this code". Or try hiring them from the start and asking them to sign a contract that transfers their copyright over to the company. Or maybe the contributors would tell them no, make a media fuss about it, and then Jellyfin's team could track down their commits and just re-write them.

Of course, I'm not saying that this will happen, nor I am saying that the Jellyfin's team will even make an attempt at going down this road, but the fact that it's open sourced at the moment is not a guarantee that it wouldn't be in the future.

Emby had a fair amount of contributors as well (https://github.com/MediaBrowser/Emby/graphs/contributors) and then they've just stopped pushing more commits to it. As far as I'm aware, none of those people sued them.


It only takes one to refuse though.

Sure you can find and rewrite that person's contributions, but that person can also fork again.


Who’s going to sue someone taking it closed source?


How much does that matter to us?

Who's going to sue the rest of the developers who keep working on the open version we'd rather use?


> forcing you to move to yet another fork down the line.

That's exactly OP's point, whereas I can't just switch to a fork of Plex.


Aren't Plex and Kodi family? Plex used to be FOSS too, right?


The fact that emby was once open is the reason we have jellyfin today.

If jellyfin ever becomes closed, people can continue the project from the last open release.


> forcing you to move to yet another fork down the line.

And we will keep moving to other oss forks until they realize that closing the source down will mean that they will never get our business.

There are better ways to make money than bait-and-switching with the licensing. It's not my responsibility to keep them working if what they are offering goes against what I value as a consumer.


Well you just described most of the hipster open source projects these days. I’ve been burned by multiple projects. At the beginning they’re all we love open source, take all the bug fixes and feature enhancements. And sell their product to some corporate, or start a subscription as a service and close source it.


In contrast to most people in this thread, I don't find Jellyfin to be an all-around great experience. Maybe because I run the JF client on a Google Chromecast, and the "Jellyfin for Android TV" app is very unstable. I get roughly one crash a day, mostly when restarting a movie-watching. The UI is okay, but there are a lot of small annoyances (why is there no "restart from beginning" button? Why can't I use the "wheel/cursor thing" on my remote to go forward/back?, why does it so often fail to automatically recognize/parse filenames, or download cover art? Why can't a folder contain both movies and tv series?).... All in all, it's mediocre at best, but I'm still glad it exists: despite everything, I still use it over other alternatives, because it's open source and works well enough. I can live with having to restart the client every now and then.


> Why can't a folder contain both movies and tv series?

While your other points I'd mostly agree with, this one you're swimming against the stream here.

It's a pretty standard convention to separate episodic and feature content. There's usually different data sources for each, as well as episodic content being different in structure.

It's probably possible to get all of them to live in the one directory, but if you want a better experience from just about any of the media centre software - you're going to have to get used to separating them.

Ideally something like:

/data/movies/<movie name>/

/data/tv/<series name>/season <season number>/


It might get a little bit weird when a TV show also has movies that are correlated to the show plot. Stargate SG-1 had a couple like that, if I recall correctly. It might be nice to display those movies with the show so they can be watched together in the appropriate order.


There is an extremely well written doc on the Plex site about how to handle this exact situation. There are lots of shows like this (Babylon 5 is another example) and it works great if you follow the simple instructions.


Do you have a link? Because I have the same issue with Emby as just split it out


I would recommend installing Kodi on your chromecast and using the jellyfin addon[1] into Kodi instead. The app is garbage and Kodi is awesome.

(Don't use the Jellyfin Connect addon, it's different and I wouldn't recommend it)

[1]https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin-kodi


What makes you not recommend Jellyfin Connect? I've been on Connect ~1y now and I found it a smoother and hassle-free experience compared to Jellyfin Kodi (which I was on for ~1y prior to switching).

JC has less bells and whistles with library integration and metadata but I'm not missing anything, really.


I found the experience similar to what OP says about the app. Maybe it's better now, it's been a while.


Right! Yeah, I may just have been lucky in starting to use it when it had gotten stable.

I had frequent connectivity and syncing issues with the other one but for me Connect Just Works. YMMV of course :)


Kodi is awesome, but every time I try to use it on a set-top box-type thing, it promptly consumes the entire available storage. I'm going to have to concoct some type of just-in-time mini-library so that these things don't get overeager with posterization, indexing, artwork, etc., but still allow me to use them to watch things essentially on-demand. Sounds efforty so I just won't.


I'll check this out, thanks!


100%.

I’m glad JF exists, but it needs so much work. From the server to the client, it’s an awful experience.

I want to leave Plex so badly, they introduce bugs more frequently than their useless “features”, but the experience is still streets ahead of JF.


When did you last try? 10.6 -> 10.7 was a pretty big transition that took forever to complete and there were several issues around there.

For some there time every other release had something break bad while the team were all personally running test versions from the master branch...

After that settled down I've found it pretty much rock solid (since around June) and the team seem to have learned from the friction there and have a better release process now.


Have you tried Emby? Year ago I attempted to use plex and it was a disaster- Emby seemed like. Good middle ground between plex and jellyfin


> Why can't a folder contain both movies and tv series?

i don't understand this too... i just want to respect folder not have simple metadata control all

also subtitle SRT upload is broken (maybe fixed in source now)

and jellyfin want to own media plays ok with nextcloud but when i have permissions broken, after i fix chown jellyfin was 100% broken delete/add library didn't work (scan never started) had to entirely delete jellyfin db to work it again

jellyfin is good software, better to alternative, but needs work for improve


I run both Jellyfin and Plex at the same time with the same library. I personally don't like Jellyfin either. I often have problems with stream freezing (especially if fast forward/backward). I play both directly from the browser.

I feel like Jellyfin GUI reminders me of XBMC/Kodi GUI a bit and might make it a better fit for home media setups/tvs


I have tried it a few times, I still feel it lacking over emby which is what it was forked from when emby moved to a more closed license model.

I still use emby as my primary server, but I keep Jellyfin around to keep tabs on the project


I've been a Plex-to-Jellyfin convert for a long while now, and I've nothing bad to say. I switched because Plex kept pushing their streaming services, and the fuzzy feeling I get from running FOSS.

Jellyfin used to run on my desktop which has a beefy CPU/GPU, but runs fine on my puny Synology NAS.


I'm with you. I wish Plex they didn't offer a lifetime plex pass, because one-time payments (instead of a monthly subscription) are likely the cause of Plex needing to do all this extra stuff no one asked for to further monetize.

I check out Jellyfin periodically, but the last time I checked it isn't quite ready to replace Plex for me. All the apps (ios, Android, Android TV) aren't great, crash, and I don't think the codec support or audio passthrough support was that good. Hopefully in the future.


I consistently argue that the issue with Plex is not income, but desperately attempting to rebrand as a “legitimate” media centre.

Look at the marketing materials and features from the last few years: Specifically trying to avoid any thought of pirated content.


That’s hardly surprising. Running an ad campaign of “a great place to store all your illegal downloads” doesn’t seem like a wise strategy.

The core problem is that Plex is a business, with investors. Depending on pirated content is not a good model for business success, so they’re trying to pivot. IMO Jellyfin has it right: a non profit, open source solution.


I don't know if it's related to Jellyfin becoming a more viable competitor, but Plex has improved a lot recently. Sync/Downloads are better, the TV apps got a much nicer layout. The metadata agents got updated to be faster. I've been pretty happy lately.


> I consistently argue that the issue with Plex is not income, but desperately attempting to rebrand as a “legitimate” media centre.

If they are low on income due to non-recurring life-time purchases (which I have made myself), and the streaming thingies offered is a income-driver...

I say it's both.

> Look at the marketing materials and features from the last few years: Specifically trying to avoid any thought of pirated content.

I realize this may not reflect the majority use-case, but using Plex for non-pirated content it's still absolutely something people do.

Personally on my Plex-server, I host Photos from all the family, music I've purchased either digitally, or ripped from CDs I own, more accessible copies of DVDs/Bluerays I've also bought and owned, not to mention other DRM-free movies, media and various courses I've bought online.

In my jurisdiction none of this is illegal, and using Plex to manage that media makes managing that media-collection so much better. Why everyone assumes Plex can only be used for pirated contents beats me.

Plex just works(tm), everywhere, no matter what I feed it, and I remember with great dismay how things used to be before I had Plex.

The day Jellyfin gets good enough, I might switch, because it's FOSS and I like FOSS, but for the time being, the simplicity and just-works-ness of Plex means I'll stick around.


> In my jurisdiction none of this is illegal, and using Plex to manage that media makes managing that media-collection so much better. Why everyone assumes Plex can only be used for pirated contents beats me.

This is a great point, and part of what I feel has been the core of the issue with Plex. Back when it started, they argued publicly that serving your own purchased content for personal use was morally (and should be legally) right. Yes, there were always people who shared things illegally using Plex (and sometimes on a large scale), but Plex themselves continued to work with the goal of letting people consume their own format-shifted content. Absolutely people still do it, but it's clear that Plex is no longer working for those people or working with that ability as a goal.


Emby does lifetime purchases and hasn’t don’t the stuff plex has


I switched to Jellyfin because Plex refuses to just show me the files in my directory. Why can’t you just let me have a directory view? Makes my blood boil just topping it out.


What? You can.

https://support.plex.tv/articles/200392126-using-the-library...

> The Folders option is available for all media types, and lets you browse the media folder structure directly based on the folder hierarchy on disk. Browse By Folder is a sticky setting, letting you use Grid, List, or Summary view to browse your drive’s directory structure.


That view will show you all the media it recognized in a folder view. If you have any files that it does not recognize, it will not show them. You’re out of luck off you have something unusual (like a downloaded Rugby Union game). It. Will. Not. Show. It.


You have to put it in a library that's classified as "Other", and then it will show all video files it's capable of playing as regular media without necessarily requiring you to descend into the folder hierarchy view. I have several thousand home videos, YouTube downloads, and other "custom content" that's handled this way.


I have videos that I've pulled down with youtube-dl in mine. Like random 'let's plays', random concert footage, one off JRE episodes, etc. I put them in "videos".

I've accidentally put TV shows in the movies category and had them not show like you describe.


I agree. This is a peeve for me. I ripped toons for my kids and I can’t get the movie or to show view to display them appropriately. A directory view would have been perfect


As a workaround until you find a better solution, perhaps you could exploit the custom artwork feature.

If you have say "movie.mp4" then make two copies of a jpeg named "movie.jpg" and "movie-fanart.jpg" alongside the movie file. Plex will then show this.

You could generate the jpeg using ImageMagick or similar from a base image (per show say) and with text overlay.

I have some scripts that does this and it's better than nothing.


You can view directories, you just have to switch to folder view. It isn't a great directory browser though and that view isn't always sticky so YMMV.


I don't get this. I'm a Jellyfin user too, and I've never seen an option for a directory view in the web UI.

At least my movies are reasonably well-catalogued. My TV shows are still a mess because of how inflexible their naming policy is.


I don't understand this desire, why would you ever want that? The point of using something like Plex is to organize by metadata.


Because some people just prefer something to be laid out a certain way. I have that with music for example, I don't care about albums other than a grouping unit for files (my playlist is flat though). Album art, etc is otherwise irrelevant to me, but some music apps will fetishize organization by album, etc and the art is highlighted etc.


Oh man, I can't find a single usable music app on Linux. I've used MusicBee for years on wine, but I'm stuck on an older version (for stability) and now that I want to run all of my stuff on a Rpi4 I'm screwed (wine+x86 app is a pain). I installed quodlibet, rythmbox, clementine, amarok... All hot garbage when it comes to UI layout. So for now I'm still running MusicBee on an old laptop and controlling playback via the DLNA plugin and the excellent BubbleUPNP.


I've been a huge fan of the mpd+ncmpcpp combo for quite some time now.


This ^ it’s a beautiful thing, seriously. Curses based front end in your terminal with mpd. Light weight and easily integrates with things like polybar


I'll try it out


Did you ever try out gmusicplayer? Depending on what you are looking for it might be something for you. Very customizable and for 'advanced users'. It allows you to combine using Folders and tags for example. Want all it to list all Albums of a single artist in a single Folder? Done. Want it to show you all Artists in One Folder and then again show the contents of that Folder but only those relating to the picked artist? I think it is pretty fun!

Ugly though, if you ask me ;)


I'll try it. At this point I've forgotten the ones I've tried over the years. Every year or so I tend to install everything that a Google search turns up. Some I immediately uninstall. Others I kick the tires for a while but ultimately find some major flaw.


Audacious with the winamp skin mostly works for me, I still miss a few features though the core of it is there. (Global hotkeys for a jump-to and queue songs prompt, nobody except audacious has gotten this down since winamp)


I personally like [TauonMusicBox](https://tauonmusicbox.rocks/) a lot.


Check out mpd+ncmpcpp, or Navidrome. I use the latter.


manual change for metadata is bigger work when you have big library, move or rename folder is easy and fast from terminal of FTP you dont require custom web app

and auto-metadata from IMDB and other API is bad if you have niche videos (me: documentaires for anarchism, feminism, anti-colonialism). so bad it can replace good data with bad data (example sub.media/c/trouble documentary series becomes "good trouble" series)


It sounds like you agree that Plex is not what you should be using in that usecase.


hello using jellyfin for months no idea how to folder view. can you explain?


I use Emby but it house be similar - you should be able to have a library tyoe to “folder” or maybe files. Then it just allows you to browse. But this has downsides


How difficult is the transition from Plex to Jellyfin, do you lose any capabilities?

Also what's the fuzzy feeling you get running FOSS? Do you contribute to the project?


Just being an user of a FOSS system is already a huge contribution. It provides a good feedback loop for developers and brings motivation for the teams to solve issues that are sidelined when no one seems to care.

Granted, FOSS developers don't live off user feedback alone, but if you depend on 1% of your user base becoming faithful financial backers, the more users you have, the better it is.


jellyfin is good but lots of bugs need help. "just being user" like me is not helping very much


It is not just about solving bugs, it is also about gaining mindshare. If a user comes to me and (politely) says "I want to use your product, but while issue X is not solved I will have to stay with your competitor", guess what will get prioritized in the backlog?


As a Jellyfin maintainer, I can confirm that these messages are never polite and are not prioritized.


What about the polite ones?

Or perhaps I should also add "reasonable" to the list of qualifiers? I can see that a larger project might be overflowing with well-meaning but mostly clueless people with unreasonable requests.


How are the ones who don't come to you contributing, though? You said merely using it is a huge contribution, but this example goes beyond just using it.


The one that is using without contributing any feedback is at the very least not using the competitor.

If someone asks them "what are you using to solve problem X" and the answer involves my product, it's my product that gets exposed to another user, who might be interested in contributing...


- no auto sync of content like plex/netflix is the biggest one for me - if the server isn't accessible, the entire app just doesn't work on android. It would be cool to have your shows on the go - metadata/initial content library setup took ages (read 10+ hours) for me (12+TB content) - no live-tv over tvheadend.. but that should be similar to plex

overall, not quite ready, but on it's way


> How difficult is the transition from Plex to Jellyfin

You obviously need to setup a some new software, optionally on a new server/container, and need to reconfigure all your libraries.

Not a big deal IMO.

> do you lose any capabilities?

I had issues with HDR-output to my TV (on my AppleTV 4K), and that for me was a show-stopper. Also the application is generally not as smooth or polished.

It might improve though, so I'm sure I'll check it out again some time later.

> Also what's the fuzzy feeling you get running FOSS?

You know that the people making it want to solve the same problems you do. That they are not desperately seeking a way to make money, because that can often severely affect the direction the software is taking.


- no Samsung Tizen app yet, have to use FireTV/Roku app/DLNA streaming. Have not tried development version (https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin-tizen)

- no offline download in iOS app. Can use browser UI and download mkv to device.


I disabled all those streaming service views so I only see my own stuff.


How much of your use is audio streaming? I'm dying to make my collection remotely accessible after leaving the Plex ecosystem.


I use Finamp with Jellyfin for audio

https://github.com/UnicornsOnLSD/finamp


I also use Finamp for audio streaming (or local, downloaded playback). It's a good app, but still lacking a lot of features other audio players have, like rearranging the play queue. I'd suggest also trying [Gelli](https://github.com/dkanada/gelli), which seems to be a more mature app for music playback.


In the past I wasn't super thrilled by Jellyfin's audio streaming (nor Plex's tbh).

I'm auditioning Subsonic at the moment, but I might give Ampache a go soon (it's apparently having a bit of a revival at the moment).


Also check out funkwhale!


Funkwhale is awesome, but it's also one of those FOSS projects whose website doesn't exactly illustrate what it exactly is or what it's exactly for, so here's a direct link to straightforward answers for both of those questions

https://docs.funkwhale.audio/features.html#scope


I want to say +1 for funkwhale, but I didn't get it to work with the subsonic client and haven't found yet a way to download/cache songs from my library on the phone. Have you figured this out?


Subsonic phone clients were kind of a crapshoot last I checked. Ultrasonic was the only one that kinda worked for me.

https://github.com/ultrasonic/ultrasonic


Ahh no I haven't, if that's not working then it might be better to stick with subsonic...


Airsonic is also nice. I was a long time (paying) Subsonic user, but got a bit fed up with it and migrated.


Another comment not from GP, but I'd recommend Polaris. It's very light (unlike Airsonic), FOSS all the way, and has a functional web client (again unlike Subsonic). Can't recommend it enough


I would like to look up Polaris but my searching skills seem to be lacking. Might you have a web site for it that you could share?


had a hard time too but I think it's this https://github.com/agersant/polaris


An alternative is to use a cloud based player, and stream music from a cloud storage service.

Disclaimer: I run this service: https://asti.ga/

I've written up some alternatives at https://www.blisshq.com/music-library-management-blog/2021/0...

I'd love to know any feedback you have.


I have close to 3 tb of music, storing it all offsite is prohibitively expensive at the hundreds of dollars per month level, so that service is not good for me.


Depends what you mean by prohibitively... you can store that for $5/month...


I tried out Jellyfin for music, but it kept messing up my music tagging. I switched to Navidrome last year. It works with all subsonic clients and has a great web UI.


I'd love audio streaming suggestions too, I've been running Kodi on an old fire tablet to stream music from a Synology NAS but it's surprisingly flaky


Just try Navidrome!


I use navidrome with bobob and it works great!

bonob acts as a media libary bridge so sonos can use navidrome as a media library (instead of having to use a janky old version of smb auth that sonos requires)


i use navidrome but no folder view, so mixtapes with many artist is counted like many albums


Just tag the tracks of you mixtape with "compilation=true": https://www.navidrome.org/docs/faq/#i-have-an-album-with-tra...


maybe you could try https://github.com/sentriz/gonic (nightly build)

it supports browsing by folder


Seeing how Jellyfin runs on raspberry pi 4 your Synology must be very fast with lots of ram.


It might just have hardware support for relevant codecs. They often do, which gives them a massive advantage when playing media files.


It only hosts the files.


Hosting files takes almost no CPU power. If you're running in to trouble on anything you're transcoding, which means converting the files from the format they're in on disk to something else for streaming (usually to reduce the bitrate for internet transmission or because the player doesn't support the native format).

If you aren't streaming over the internet, disable transcoding and you're more or less only limited by bandwidth.


No transcoding. Jellyfin simply running uses too much ram (like 10 times plex does) so pi runs out of memory and starts swapping.


Really? Idle, my Jellyfin instance has about 260MB resident right now. I don't think I've had any memory issues while in use; the old Mac Mini (running Linux) I have it running on only has 4GB total, and it's also running a couple Mono-based apps that are a bit more memory-hungry.


Jellyfin runs on about 700-800MiB of RAM for me. It sounds like you're hitting a memory bug if you're running out of RAM just serving files, to be honest. I've never used Plex but I doubt it runs with just 70MiB.

Perhaps it'll use much more RAM transcoding, but I'd still expect a dedicated 2GiB to be plenty for Jellyfin even in extreme cases. I doubt you'll get any decent transcoding speed out of ffmpeg if you need a buffer that size anyway.


HTOP says plex uses 100M


Plex, its costs-money competition, transcodes files for playback (using `ffmpeg` or `libav` iirc). Is `jellyfin` less capable in this department then or something else?


Jellyfin does also support transcoding, also using ffmpeg.


It's got 4Gb RAM and 4 cores at 2.2Ghz. (RPi4 has 1.5Ghz if I'm reading Wiki right).

It's certainly not as quick as on my desktop, but it's rare if 2 people in my household stream video from it so no trouble so far.

I have only recently switched from desktop to NAS though, so perhaps I'll notice the performance later on.


I'm running Jellyfin on a recent Intel-based Synology (they also have cheaper ARM CPU models), and it can transcode H.265->H.264 on the fly using about 50% CPU. It also runs in a Docker container so it's pretty easy to manage. I'm a big fan!


I'm curious - why does it matter if Plex is pushing their streaming services? Isn't it really easy to ignore?


You can actually toggle them all off in the settings. You'll never see them in a client after that.

I have no problem with Plex doing this. They're trying to show value for a service rather than just gatekeeping premium convenience features.

My problem with Plex is the utter distain they show for users by not having any sort proper bug triage. Users throw themselves at a forum that staff members rarely interact with. It's desperate.


This is a surprising comment! I have a lifetime plex pass from probably 8 years ago. They had a bad release a few years ago that broke some stuff. Made a post. They asked for logs and I uploaded them and they pushed a new build with a fix the next day. Only time I’ve interacted with them and it was super pleasant. My main consumers and my friends with young kids with kid shows and plex runs everywhere and even small kids can work the interface. I really enjoy it!


Depends on whether your wishes align with theirs.

For example: the long-term threads asking for a “TV” mode that will automatically play your library in channel format so that you can go channel surfing.

Even the very very basic version of this (the ability to automatically update playlists) is essentially a dead thread.


You can use the unofficial Plex API to do pretty much anything you want, if you have some time to set it up. https://github.com/pkkid/python-plexapi

e.g. the auto updating playlist idea would be done reality easily with the python Plex api above.


The log handling is one aspect of how poorly Discourse is failing them here. A proper bug triage system would solicit the information they needed at the time of posting. It would also do a better job of filtering out duplicates. That their employees have to go round and do these janitorial jobs manually is a waste of everybody's time.

But there are so many widespread issues that appear ignored. Things like AMD VCN support, Android clients forcing transcoding on some streams. The problem get acknowledged but there's no easy way to track progress. You don't have to dig far to find others users in there who feel habitually ignore, usually as replies ~"I reported the same thing 7 months ago, good luck getting an answer!", eg https://forums.plex.tv/t/is-anybody-working-at-plex-going-to...

It's a shame because it's not a bad product.


We didn't have the same experience.

A bug that also affected me was reported at least twice (March 2019 and April 2019[1]).

After 5 months of wait, the OP posted a script he wrote to work around the issue.

A simple path building issue took 8-9 months to get pushed in the BETA channel.

[1] : https://forums.plex.tv/t/dvr-moving-files-from-grab-bug/3967...


Same, my Plex pass says "comped" because I reported a security bug to them. In my experience the security bug reporting process is super painful. Most devs are super arrogant about how their code couldn't possibly be vulnerable, it must be something else. Plex took the bug report, immediately agreed it was an issue they should fix, fixed it, and without promoting comped my Plex pass for life. 10/10 would report again.

The UI is great, transcoding and playback on a myriad of devices just works, sharing with other people is a few clicks. To me Plex is the perfect example of the Jim Gaffigan joke; everything is amazing and everyone is miserable.


Jellyfin UI is cleaner, no upsell buttons and does not tie everything to cloud account.


No, it's difficult if not impossible to figure out how to get past the login screen without logging in, and they change it all the time. Also who knows what data they are sending back about you and your watching habits?


For serving local music, the free and open source "Logitech Media Server"[0] is a great solution -- main weakness is the lack of a central organization promoting it. In addition to working smoothly with dedicated ("squeeze") clients which can be Logitech-brand or DIY[1, 2], it has a massive plugin catalog that allows e.g.

- airPlay integration: stream to your squeeze-clients via airPlay, stream to your airPlay clients from squeezebox.

- chromeCast integration: stream to chromeCast devices from squeezeBox.

- upNp integration: stream to upNp clients.

The system was originally developed by "SqueezeBox" who also made (awesome) physical devices. SqueezeBox was acquired by Logitech many years ago. Logitech put out one or two devices before giving up, but they are actually playing really nice by continuing to support development on the server (see [0]).

[0]: https://github.com/Logitech/slimserver [1]: https://github.com/ralph-irving/squeezelite [2]: https://www.picoreplayer.org/


Jellyfin is awesome, but there's a few caveats for me. - Android TV app is quite unstable. Even if you make it do direct streaming, it's not a flawless playback - Sometimes hangs when clicking next episode. I also kind of wish the login experience was a bit better. - Android App is decent, but for music it's unusable. I'm still using plex + plexamp because that experience is just so much better for me.

But, I don't regret moving my videos to JF. Plex Android app had terrible QA/QC where it would have regressions consistently every month. A bug where rewinding 30 seconds would push you forward instead of backwards would return at least 1 update every 2 months and that was frustrating.


Yeah, when I started out on Plex, I tried the other services (Jellyfin and Kodi and this other dedi music one), and while they all did what was advertised more or less, Plex was by far the more polished solution with the least bugs for my setup. I also really like the Plex UI, feels well thought out and easy to navigate.

Having said that, I keep an open mind, and every few years check out Jellyfin/Kodi etc.


Have you given Emby a try? I find it’s basically the same as plex without some of the headaches


Are you on the latest Android TV beta https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin-androidtv/releases

btw for Android TV i would recommend installing kodi and the jellyfin plugin


For audio playback on android I mostly use Finamp nowadays. An older, potentially more stable alternative would be Gelli.


Appreciate the info. I tried it with a shield a while back and the experience was awful. Haven't tried again recently and it sounds like it's not worth the effort. I have endless issues from a business and go-to-market perspective with Plex, but it's tough to switch when the server and video playback have remained mostly bulletproof the last 18 months.


It will also completely delete any local assets if you're using NFS and a mount disappears during a scan. This has happened to me a few times, very frustrating.


I have moved from Plex to Emby and finally to Jellyfin to run the Raspberry Pi media server in my camping van. The problem with Plex and Emby (other than their business model of wanting to collect a monthly fee for allowing you to watch your own media) was that they required the server to phone home before they would work. This isn't possible if you are camping and don't have a cell/wifi signal.

And Jellyfin has worked well. The server and clients aren't as slick as Plex but they work just fine and give me a lot more flexiblity in moving media from my home server to the van since the way they store the media metainfo is the same on the Mac OS and the RPi OS.


If you're looking for a slick cross-platform Jellyfin client in the Apple ecosphere, try Infuse. It's quite polished, and even available for tvOS- my personal motivation for using it.


Note also that Infuse is spyware, per its privacy label on the App Store.

You pay for the privilege of having it upload your usage data to a remote server against your consent.


+1, Infuse is a great Jellyfin client (among other things).


Plex charges a one time lifetime fee. Not monthly.


There's both actually.


I only use Plex because they have a native LG webos app.

jellyfin has one too and are currently in the process of getting into the official LG app store, awesome!

it was rejected a couple of times for some bugs the LG reviewers found, all of which are fixable and being worked on. looks pretty much a done deal.


Where do you keep track of the LG app status? I’d love to track the progress too


The project is here: https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin-webos

Unfortunately, it's been pretty quiet the last few months after seemingly getting close to a retry in the LG store.


Most of the webOS development happens in the web repo, you can see some items with webOS tag.

https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin-web/labels/p%3A%20webos


I love Jellyfin. The clients aren't super mature, but the addon for Kodi works great for me so that's what I use.

The only thing I missed about Plex was having Plexamp, but now there is Finamp and Gelli for Android and I wrote one called Jellyamp for desktop and now all my media needs are covered


I set up a Mac mini as my HTPC about a year ago, and settled on Jellyfin to manage my media. Overall it's been great, and I'm really happy that Jellyfin exists. I use Kodi for the TV interface, with the Jellyfin for Kodi add-on to link the two [1]. I looked into Plex, but was turned off by how commercial it was and how hard they tried to push their paid services. The big advantage to Jellyfin is that I can start watching a show on my TV, and pick up exactly where I left off on any of my devices (I use the Jellyfin iPhone and iPad apps, as well as the web interface). I can also access my music library through Jellyfin, and at the recommendation of a comment on this post I just downloaded finamp, which seems like a great music player [2].

The initial setup took a bit of work, and there are definitely some quirks, but all-in-all it's worked for me really well. I would wholeheartedly recommend both Jellyfin and Kodi for anyone interested in a HTPC/home streaming setup.

[1] https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin-kodi [2] https://github.com/UnicornsOnLSD/finamp


Tangential note about Plex; if you're like me and are disappointed by the default buffering behavior in Plex basically making it near-impossible to seek between already-buffered positions easily, I've been using https://github.com/iwalton3/plex-mpv-shim to cast Plex from my phone to mpv on my linux media box with great success.


I'm also using this. Odd quirks, such as the device appearing twice as a fling/cast target, and apparent random net events which make the web client on OSX pop over the "do you want to continue here" pane. (I posted to the plex forums about this btw)

the shim works fine. And, there appears to be a jellyfin shim in the same model.


This is too excellent, thank you. Is there any way to do this without involving the phone? I watch Plex on my computer but I'd love to use MPV as a frontend for it, as Plex can't seek to save its life.


How are you using Plex? Try access the UI via a different browser, or via the dedicated Plex app. Try a few different ones. Personally I use Safari and find I can scroll through my library much faster then the App, or in Chrome. I can also seek pretty quick, even 4k remux files. This is on an all gigabit network. (though client WiFi AC works great too).

But transcoding and trying to seek... isn't the best. At least for my macmini plex server.


I believe the shim is basically set up like a Chromecast receiver, so you can use anything that will cast to it. It should be possible to do that from the browser as well (hit the Cast icon in the upper right and the shim receiver should pop up).


I've setup jellyfin on my media server but I barely use it because the web player bugs make it unusable for me. I think most issues are due to the fact my hardware is underpowered for the task, and the player gets confused when the server replies come slow and not in the same order as they were requested. In practice subtitles go out of sync regularly, I get "codec not supported by browser" messages with the actual video playing fine behind it when seeking and frequently enough to make watching videos too annoying to bother.

There are also other annoyances like the player forgetting my subtitle selection when jumping to the next video of the same season of a show.

There's also no quality setting that is just "stream the source file directly". It seems to always want to transcode when embedding subtitles, which I guess is done by ffmpeg on the server but is really the player's job.

I know they're working on a new player, though it's not included in jellyfin yet.


In my experience, the "codec not supported by browser" error generally means that transcoding either failed or stalled. I get the error message when ffmpeg dies in the middle of a transcode myself. The transcoder still has the file cached on disk as far as it has transcoded it, but Jellyfin notices that the process has died and throws errors.

I don't think a new player will fix that issue, it's usually a resource problem on the server side.

There is a "stream the source directly" option, it's the default even, but only when it's possible to do so (i.e. the media is in a streaming container and not AVI or DivX). You can copy the download URL and paste it into your favorite native player if you want to force it, but that will probably lead to a full file download if the web player doesn't stream the file already. The only way I can think of to avoid this issue is to pre-transcode the media on your NAS to a streamable format.

As for the subtitles, I'm a little annoyed as well that the setting doesn't always stick (it works sometimes, which is even worse). I've never had desync issues though, that's probably more of an issue with the transcode lagging and confusing the player or just mismatched subtitle files.


> "codec not supported by browser"

Unless you're very specific and consistent with your source media codecs, I highly recommend using jellyfin-mpv-shim when streaming from the browser.

You just start the headless client wherever you want to play and it comes up as a "cast target" from the icon in the top right.

Much better performance and codec support. MPV also has great subtitle control and caching.

https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin-mpv-shim

Also, if you haven't, it may be worth updating to the latest point release. There have been a couple of bugs that have come and gone but I think it's in a good place right now.


> subtitles go out of sync regularly

can be problem with subtitle source?

> "codec not supported by browser"

probable problem with browser not jellyfin?

> There are also other annoyances like the player forgetting my subtitle selection when jumping to the next video of the same season of a show.

+1

> There's also no quality setting that is just "stream the source file directly". It seems to always want to transcode when embedding subtitles, which I guess is done by ffmpeg on the server but is really the player's job.

Direct source file is download button it can play in vlc, or can use FTP. why embed subtitles? here i think jellyfin use external track for subtitle (default parametres)


I switched off of Emby to Jellyfin a fairly long time ago. It’s pretty good. I’ve had some annoying issues upgrading my instance over time, but otherwise it generally works. The ecosystem is also a bit young, but I have no huge complaint about the apps. Finamp is pretty nice for example; it’s a Jellyfin client optimized for music playback.


Jellyfin doesn't run on FreeBSD because .NET doesn't run on FreeBSD. This is sad.


Here is a community member building Jellyfin for FreeBSD https://github.com/Thefrank/jellyfin-server-freebsd


I thought it ran under linuxulation


Sort of. When you dig in you discover it that support isn't that great. There are efforts by the community, but Microsoft is doing nothing to help - in particular they regularly break things with each release, and once they do a stable release the previous release is no longer supported.

There are some great efforts, the other comment linked one, but in the end forums are full of users asking for help with something not working and no getting any response. Not a situation that makes me willing to try at this time.


You made me go read. Its a shit-show of the complex packaging and build assumptions at source, the horrendous tooling, and the difficulty negotiating the changes. .NEt is up to 5 or 6 and the email/forum threads seem to be talking about 2.x and 3.

I wish things weren't this complex. But then I remember how much I hate autoconf/configure/libtool, and think "hmm maybe it wasn't so bad after all"

Re-implement .NET in RUST?


FWIW .NET Core 2.1 and 3.1 are LTS versions, support for 2.1 ended last month and for 3.1 in December 2022. .NET 4 is not relevant in this context because of versioning changes over the years and can be ignored. .NET 6 will be the next LTS version, to be released later this year.


One feature I would like to see catch on is having media center software installable on a router. Plex does this[1] which means you can use the USB drive on a router to store and stream your media files without a NAS / media server. Simple setup, I would like to see routers as clients[2] for Jellyfin.

[1] https://support.plex.tv/articles/230934267-netgear-nighthawk...

[2] https://jellyfin.org/clients/


VyOS can run containers with podman, maybe Jellyfin or Plex would work on that. Honestly I think the job of a router should not include running a those kinds of apps.


Too right! I want my router rock-solid. I won't run software on it that isn't mission-critical router software.


I don't see why it wouldn't work if you can get ssh access to your router, assuming you grab an ARM build with the right dependencies. Most consumer routers are absolutely terrible though, so I'd expect such a device to run out of resources very quickly, particularly while transcoding.


Big fan of Jellyfin. I see a lot of comments mentioning problems with the client.

I use it on an Amazon FireTV (you can download jellyfin directly from Amazon's app store, no side loading needed).

It seems to work well on that platform (at least for me).


Although I cannot complain too much since it is open source, I have to say, my experience with Jellyfin is very painful. After fiddling with it for more than 10 hours, I still cannot get .ass subtitles to work on my Android Jellyfin client. :(

(My NAS isn't strong enough to burn subtitles in real time. Even it does, I just cannot get the fonts to work. All CJK characters are displayed as squares.)


I still use Emby, I’d like to use a free solution like jelly but it’s just not there


That's interesting. Jellyfin forked from Emby when the developers went closed source, so I'd be interested to learn what the Emby side has fixed that Jellyfin still lacks.

I switched from Emby to Jellyfin and I found them to be generally equally stable.


I tried Jellyfin as Plex alternative, but Android App is bugged or under development: not all codecs are supported, HDR is not implemented.


Are there any ways to get something like XBMC running directly on an LG Smart TV?

Currently I am finding that having MP4 files on a pen drive is actually far less hassle.

However, the TV's lack of support for MKV files is frustrating - trying to simply rewrap them as MP4 using FFMpeg doesn't seem to work for some reason.



It's not mature enough.

The media server has a misconfigured path to the web server on Ubuntu, so it won't start after installation. I created a symbolic link to the web server folder. The Android client on my Xiaomi Mibox crashes after it comes to the end of every video.


This is very nice, but still misses photos organiser.

I wish I could have a photo viewer where I could specify a location, and it would show me all photos in folder view, and timeline of all photos in all folders and subfolders...


I'll be adding reverse geocoding in a version soon [1], but you can already browse by filesystem and timeline (and by camera, lens, file type, keyword, and Google Takeout metadata): https://photostructure.com/faq/why-photostructure/

(I'm the founder and solo author)

[1] https://forum.photostructure.com/t/support-reverse-geocoding...


I've used Plex, currently on Emby - why should I switch to Jellyfin, they seem identical? Almost a fork really. Appreciate the info, this is a real question and I can make the switch easily enough :)


Jellyfin is an OSS fork of Emby, which went proprietary and stopped distributing source code.


Jellyfin is an Emby fork as the other said. However they are diverging over time, each some some features that the other doesn't, or things that work better in one than the other. Both are moving targets.


Jellyfin forked from Emby about 2 years ago and are still rewriting the spaghetti code from emby.

You can use hardware decoding for free on jellyfin. It's open source. Emby is now closed source.


Does anyone have any experience with their Firestick app? I’m seeing some complaints about Chromecast devices but they’re pretty different.


anyone know good solution for share media library with people in different language? we have 3 principal languages here in house (russian english french) not all people is good with audio/subtitle in different lang

i know jellyfin has subtitles but i dont see filter by audio/sub language in list, and metadata is one lang only no translate for synopsis/poster


You could put the movie files in different folders. And thus create different libraries inside jellyfin.


you mean symlink? or i need 3 times big HDD for 3 language?


Symlink could work, but I thought just move the file itself. If the movie is in Russian, move it to the "russian movie" folder.

Problem is if a movie has multiple languages. A metadata filter would be better.

Looks like there is a feature request: https://features.jellyfin.org/posts/39/filter-videos-by-audi...


> Problem is if a movie has multiple languages.

Yes thats my problem multiple audio or multiple subtitles. thanks for link


I've just given this a try, and it's a fantastic bit of software. I'll definitely be switching over to it.


Trivially deployed using Docker compose as well. I've been using this for quite some time. iPad app works great too.


Heavy user here for 2 years (web/iOS/Roku). Works really well, never crashes. <3


Does anyone know if Jellyfin lets you share an OTA TV connection with friends/family?


I believe it does allow OTA, though when I tried to, Jellyfin seemed to try to transcode the video regardless of what "please don't transcode" settings I had on video transcoding. (And the RPi4 couldn't keep up with transcoding video via software)

Still working on getting that sorted out but in the meantime I've got VLC that I can point at my HDHomerun.


Jellyfin will transcode the moment it determines the source isn't directly streamable. Broken headers, weird containers or general MP4 weirdness can fail the test and make it transcode, but usually direct streaming is the default. If that happens to me, I just copy the download URL from the Jellyfin client and paste it into VLC. That method causes major network traffic (so it doesn't work great on mobile networks on the move) but it'll work fine from home.

Transcodes without hardware acceleration are pretty slow and the transcodes themselves aren't cached which can be a major pain, but with some effort I've managed to get hardware encoding and decoding working through Intel Quicksync (on an entirely separate device, even, through rffmpeg.py!) and things seem to be working great. The isolation Docker provides will make enabling hardware support a pain if you're using that, but if you're running the native package then I'd definitely recommend trying to get hardware acceleration support working.


It does


So in theory someone could use it to build their own mini Locast?


I don't see why not


Jellyfin + tailscale. Easy mode.


tailscale! I love it! So flexible.


I love Jellyfin, but its inability to Chromecast from iOS is a dealbreaker. I think they’re working on a whole new iOS app though that has a working chromecast button - https://github.com/jellyfin/Swiftfin


Sadly, Chromecast is essentially broken on Android too and has been for about a year. Stable version of the Chromecast plugin in the app is ancient and the nightly version doesn't work with stable server.


I simply wanted a personal netflix for the local network. Best fit I could find.


I'm a big Emby user with a large library - trying Jellyfin and it just doesn't compare, feels like a cheap knock off. It crashes quite often requiring a reboot of the service, the client apps hang a lot and the plugin support isn't the same.


Jellyfin user with a relatively large library here. I am not having any crashing or hanging issues, did you use the Docker image when you tried it? Can't really speak about the plugin support since I haven't used Emby.


Haven't tried Docker, ran it on both Windows and Linux, on the same machines that Emby ran on. I tried it for a while but it was too unstable and I kinda gave up - switched back to Emby.


jellyfin on rpi4 with official docker image runs great. just hw encoding acceleration i was not able to set up smoothly.


Do these systems largely expect you to have a big NAS with pirated media? The evolution of the media landscape seems to be away from things like this except for people digitizing their blue ray / dvd collections, but it’s otherwise difficult to comprehend why one wouldn’t want a Netflix subscription instead.


By putting my media on my own server I can be certain it won't just disappear for no reason or be restricted to certain geographical areas only.

Sure, having everything on local media also works, but a streaming server is definitely more convenient.




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