7 Important Plex Settings All Users Need To Know About

Plex is probably something you’ve heard of if you have a lot of locally saved media. It’s one of the best apps, along with Kodi, for organizing, watching, casting, and exploring all of your content. The Plex app can be used to play video, music, and pictures, and it works with a huge number of formats in each of those three categories. Even on the free plan, you can access your media from anywhere.

But Plex is easy to set up and use, while Kodi is not. Kodi is hard to customize because it has so many add-ons, repos, and settings. Plex, on the other hand, works right out of the box. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change a few things.¬†Here are the most important Plex settings you need to know if you want to stream media in the best way possible.

1. Organize Your Plex Agents

The metadata for your content can be pulled in automatically by Plex. Even though you have to format your Plex media files in a very specific way for it to work, it’s well worth it.

Plex can, of course, add movie posters and the names of TV episodes, but metadata is much more than that. It will know who was in a show, what channel it was on, who directed each movie, and what the big-name review sites thought of the content. Once the metadata is in place, you can use it to find similar shows, other movies in which a certain actor was in, and so on.

All of this won’t work, though, if you don’t set up your agents right. You need to make sure that Local Media Assets is set below other metadata sources. If you don’t do this, Plex will use the metadata already on the file as its main source. Most of the time, this metadata will be wrong.

Go to Settings > Settings > Agents to change the order. Go to Movies > The Movie Database by using the tabs at the top of the screen. Move Local Media Assets (Movies) below The Movie Database. Then, go to Programs > TheTVDB and move Local Media Assets (TV) below TheTVDB.

2. Limit the speed of the upload

Streaming content from outside your network is one of the best things about Plex. Its main uses are to let you watch your Plex videos when you’re not at home and to let friends and family use your server so they can watch your library.

It’s easy to set up remote access. Just click Enable Remote Access in Settings > Settings > Remote Access.

You might also want to change the upload speed, though. This is especially true if your ISP doesn’t have a fast upload speed or if more than one person will be streaming at the same time. By putting limits on the speed, you can make sure that your home network doesn’t slow down to a crawl when remote users log in.

Go back to Settings > Settings > Remote Access and scroll down until you see Internet upload speed. By filling out the next box, you can choose how fast your internet can go at its fastest. Underneath, you can choose how much of Plex’s maximum capacity it can use. Open the drop-down menu to pick what you want.

Also Read : 5 Reasons You Should Use Powershell Instead Of Batch Scripting

3. Control how Plex Transcodes

Plex can change the format of your videos so they can be played on different devices. For example, most desktop PCs and laptops have powerful processors that can handle most file formats, codecs, resolutions, and subtitles. But mobile devices and streaming set-top boxes may have trouble. So, Plex can change your videos on the fly to make sure they can be played on other devices.

The problem with transcoding is that it takes a lot of CPU power. If your Plex server is on a computer that isn’t dedicated to it, you probably don’t want your CPU to be used up completely. Even if you have a dedicated server, you will eventually reach its limits if you have a lot of things transcoding at once.

The fix is to change the settings for your transcoder (Settings > Settings > Transcoder). There are three values you need to know about (click on Show Advanced to see them all):

  1. Transcoder Quality: The drop-down menu lets you choose the quality of the transcodes. The transcode will take longer the better the quality.
  2. Background Transcoding x264 Preset: This setting controls how quickly transcoding happens in the background, such as when you use Mobile Sync, Cloud Sync, or the Media Optimizer. The file size will be smaller and the quality will be better, but the time will take longer.
  3. Maximum number of simultaneous transcode sessions: This is the most important setting for the majority of users. If you let more transcodes happen at the same time, your CPU will be put under more stress. Set a number based on how powerful your CPU is, whether or not it’s a dedicated server, and how many people will be streaming at the same time. You might have to try things out and see what works.

4. Optimize Your Plex Videos

The best way to think of the Optimize feature is as a “pre-transcoder.” It lets you choose certain videos and change them to a different format.

For example, if you know you want to watch Toy Story, Beauty and the Beast, and Batman on your iPad while you’re traveling next week, you can optimize the video files now. It means they will be ready to play right away on the device you choose. There will be no more need to change the code.

Media optimization is also helpful if you know a lot of people will be watching a video remotely at the same time, as it will make your CPU less busy.

You can optimize a single show, an entire series, or your whole library. To start, go to the content you want to change, click on the three dots in the top right corner, and choose Optimize.

In the new window, you can choose whether you want to optimize all of your videos or just the ones you haven’t seen yet. Even better, you can choose how well the optimization works. You can choose Original Quality, Optimize for Mobile, Optimize for TV, or Custom. You can choose a specific device, the resolution, and the bitrate when you use the “Custom” setting.

If you have a long list of things to optimize, go to Settings > Status > Conversion to manage the queue. Settings > Manage > Optimized Versions is where you can take care of files that have already been optimized.

5. Set the quality of your streaming.

Every Plex app has its own settings for how well it streams. So, you can set up your computers, mobile devices, streaming boxes, and so on in different ways.

The quality and resolution of any video played on the device depend on the settings you choose. The quality of the video gets worse as the setting goes down. But it will load more quickly and use less bandwidth. Because of this, you should take the time to change these settings on each Plex client you use.

You can change the Local Quality, the Remote Quality, and the Online Quality settings.

  1. Local Quality: This affects any videos you watch on your local area network.
  2. Remote Quality: This affects how videos you stream from your server when you’re not in your LAN.
  3. Online Quality: This affects how well video from online channels and private Plex channels streams.

Mobile users can also change the settings for both remote network streaming and remote Wi-Fi streaming separately.

6. Make the Plex database work better.

Plex has two ways to optimize, which can be confusing. You can optimize not only individual titles, as we’ve already talked about, but also the whole database.

These two things don’t work the same way. By optimizing the Plex database, you can force Plex to get rid of data that isn’t being used or is broken up. It’s important to run the tool every time you make changes to a large number of files or to an entire library. This will make the Plex server run much more smoothly.

If you go to Settings > Manage > Troubleshooting > Optimize Database, you can make Plex’s database work better. Click the button to get started. When the process is done, you’ll see a confirmation on the screen.

7. Delete Old Artwork

You can make your Plex experience better by downloading artwork. Having the right movie posters and series covers makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for.

Plex can automatically download art. If you decide to change the artwork later (maybe because the studio released a new version or Plex downloaded the wrong one), the old artwork will still be on your server, taking up space.

Go to Settings > Manage > Troubleshooting > Clean Bundles to get rid of old artwork that you don’t use.

More settings to change in Plex

We’ve shown you some of the most important Plex settings to change if you want a smooth Plex experience. We’ve also given you some examples of when each setting should be changed.¬†Check out our list of hidden Plex settings you should be using for more tips on how to make Plex work better.