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View Full Version : Keep running LMS and PLEX from PC or change to RPi and/or NAS



chopinhauer
2019-03-04, 18:14
I’m a long time user of LMS (10 years) and have always just kept my files on my Windows 7 PC and streamed the music from there to my various Squeezeboxes. I have a decent mesh Wi-Fi set up so I can steam easily throughout my apartment. In addition, I’ve recently started to stream my visual media files stored on my PC via Plex. I have about 1.3TB of lossless classical music files and 4TB of film/TV and growing (mainly kids stuff). I turn the computer off every night since sleep/hibernation mode is a bit dicey.

My current home computer is fairly powerful, used for all my home and work computing tasks and has tons of storage (plus I can always fill the numerous disk bays with larger HDDs as time goes by). But it’s getting long in the tooth and I’m soon going to upgrade it to a current model PC (Intel 8700 processor etc). I’m just wondering if it’s still the best option for my needs to use the new PC as the storage and streaming device as well as for general computing tasks. Or are there real advantages (other than leaving the system on 24/7) to moving to a NAS and/or Raspberry Pi set up for media serving via LMS and Plex? (FYI, I have built and used a RPi a few years ago for a couple of months for one-off reasons, so do know the basic rudiments of RPi plus Max2play).

Basically, I’m asking can I just stick with the structure of what I’ve got now or are there compelling reasons for me (given my rather uncomplicated needs) to change one of the more complex streaming set ups that proliferate here. I’m not really a technical person so the simpler the better as long as it does the job.

Any advice truly appreciated.

chopinhauer
2019-03-05, 18:52
Bump

Come on. Please just quick advice form someone who's been there before (which I assume was many of you). It was the default position back in the early days of squeezebox (pre-2010). I'm still in default mode, but am wondering if I should/must move on in order to do what LMS (and now Plex) are best at (serving and steaming ever increasing content).

Wirrunna
2019-03-05, 19:39
OK, I'll chime in.
I run a reasonably powerful Win 10 box as my main computer, use it for ripping DVDs and CDs etc, MusicIP analysis and tagging. Then I use FreeFileSync to copy it to a Vortexbox (VB) for streaming by LMS and Plex.
Two advantages in this method - backup of all media and low power consumption of the streaming server, plus I have another VB at my Sydney house, so I take the library there on a backup disk and update it for 'off site' backup.
So, my advice is to investigate building a small VB for streaming and keep your big box for day to day stuff.

Happy to talk further by PM.

One of my VBs is in a Silverstone SG05 lite case, uses an Asrock B150M mini itx mobo and a pentium CPU 4GB RAM, 8TB disk. System on a cheap 120GB SSD.

Grumpy Bob
2019-03-05, 22:44
I don't use Plex, just LMS, and I run it on a Raspberry Pi running LMS on piCoreplayer. Files are on a NAS. Both the NAS and Pi are wired connections to the router, all players are attached via wifi. This has been running with no real interruptions for a few years, and I leave the NAS and Pi on 24/7. As I say, I can't comment on video streaming, but for LMS, this has worked well for me. Previously I ran LMS on a Linux PC, then on a QNAP NAS.

Others could chime in to say if a Pi could work well for Plex, and if so which OS is best.

Robert

d6jg
2019-03-06, 03:22
OK, I'll chime in.
I run a reasonably powerful Win 10 box as my main computer, use it for ripping DVDs and CDs etc, MusicIP analysis and tagging. Then I use FreeFileSync to copy it to a Vortexbox (VB) for streaming by LMS and Plex.
Two advantages in this method - backup of all media and low power consumption of the streaming server, plus I have another VB at my Sydney house, so I take the library there on a backup disk and update it for 'off site' backup.
So, my advice is to investigate building a small VB for streaming and keep your big box for day to day stuff.

Happy to talk further by PM.

One of my VBs is in a Silverstone SG05 lite case, uses an Asrock B150M mini itx mobo and a pentium CPU 4GB RAM, 8TB disk. System on a cheap 120GB SSD.

I do very similar.
The only thing I would say is that VB is based on an old and obsolete edition of Fedora (but it still works fine). There have been rumblings of a new version for over a year but nothing has appeared into the Open Source community but I know if you bought a new VB appliance it would come with "Nova" which is a rebadged VB software built on a much later Fedora so there a chance it will appear.
If you run Spotty then you need VB2.4 (2.3 will NOT work).

Redrum
2019-03-06, 04:54
I am new to PiCore player. Previously I was using windows 7 with an internal HDD running LMS at two seperate locations (i.e. miles apart). With the help of this community, I am now running a Picore Player with an external USB HDD at both locations. A windows 7 computer remains at each location, but not for streaming music.

I manage my music library on my Windows 7 PC/HDD at my "home" location. That is, I rip and tag to this windows machine. I then use a set profile in Free File Sync to mirror my library to the USB HDD over the network using Samba. When I travel to the second location, I bring the USB HDD with me, and mirror it to the USB HDD at the second location.

It's a bit tedious, but it allows me to have mirrors of my library at two locations, and a "master" on my home PC. I also backup other important files (photos, etc) to the USB HDD, and mirror them to the other USB HDD, along with the music, which provides an "off site" backup of important files (actually, they exist in 3 locations). "Profiles in Free File Sync make this easy.

The picore player itself is a joy. It just runs. I used to have my windows PC on all the time at either location, but when I would shut it down for whatever reason, I would think "hey, what happened to the music?" for just a moment. The other obvious and stated advantage is power consumption (assuming you change your habits and turn off the computer)

My setup is inexpensive - $45 for Pi 3B+ & PS, $60 for 2TB HDD, $12 for enclosure.

I built this for a friend, and am in the process of building the players/HDD at each location in these enclosures, so I can unplug, travel, plug in, transfer, repeat. I am considering building a third so I have one that does nothing other than travels.

https://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?110239-Pi-Server-with-HDD-Simple-Enclosure

Jim

Paul Webster
2019-03-06, 05:23
For me it is Kodi on RPi (via OSMC) on RPi and LMS (via pCP) on a different RPi with content stored on relatively cheap NAS (e.g. WDMyCloud).
I switched from Windows PC running LMS long long ago - with the intention of switching off the PC at night but that never happened.

Apesbrain
2019-03-06, 06:31
OP, why don't you turn the old PC into a full-time server, stick it in a closet, and keep running all that stuff on it? If it's doing the things you need, switching to a NAS or RPi isn't going to make things any better. My setup is very similar to yours, but on a headless box out of the way and wired directly to my router. I manage it and move things on/off of it using Remote Desktop. Because it's a server, I leave it powered on all the time; that's up to you.

Of course, we'll all have to deal with Win 7 "end of life". I figure I'll wait to see what that involves and try to keep running it for as long as possible.

P.S. I don't see any mention in your post of your backup routine and just want to make sure you have one. A "backup" is not a backup unless it's off-site.

chopinhauer
2019-03-06, 18:00
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I really appreciate it.

Anyway, I now have a good idea of the options and I can weight them up.

I can't re-purpose my current (soon to be old) computer as it's too big for the cupboard option and I don't feel like downsizing it to fit. I have an RPi so that's an option, just need to pair it with a NAS or even just a 2TB external HDD for my music. And then there's Vortexbox, something I'll have to look into when I get a chance and the fact that a member here is kindly willing to help out.

As for backups, I'm well on top of that (although my methods are not state of the art). I'm not a fan of RAID, but regularly clone my OS and keep multiple copies of this on other HDDs on my computer as well as on my massive 4-bay external HDD enclosure. The latter is also used for copies of my music and my most important visual media files. The film and tv stuff I'm happy to lose I don't back up. So far never lost a thing in all my years of computing.