Giving Emby a Try

Warning: This post was written with very little sleep. If you manage to understand this post then you deserve some serious kudos!

Wanting to host your own media server so you may enjoy the content from your couch or bed instead of your computer chair? Well, me too! The idea is old and talked about all over the Internet, but meh, I’m always a late subscriber. On the bright side that means the options are now mature and stable.

So off to the Duckduckgo searches

Plex, Plex, Plex! That is mainly what I see recommended on the interwebs. Like, is there not other decent options? Introducing already known, simple but robust Emby. A light weight DLNA server that does the job with out requiring an account like Plex and possibly no telemetry. Emby does offer a premium subscription, but its for some features I really don’t have a need nor want, so I’m cool with basic functionality. I can’t truly compare it with Plex since I never ran a Plex server. That will be for you readers to decide if you have that experience. You can check out the premium features for your self.

A quick glimpse of the folder structures for storing your media.

	Gundam Wing/
		episode 1.mk4
		episode 2.mk4 

The functionality offered out of the box is nice and should cover just about all you would need, especially the stream from a url (stream file) feature (I may have plans for this in the future). You could also safely expose your Emby server to the Internet or use a VPN and allow family or friends to log into their accounts using account name and password. I believe the UI is pretty nice, clean and simple, adding to what I think is great work by the devs on this project.

Mobile UI on Ubuntu Touch imge

Desktop UI imge

NAS hardware

Everything is pretty quick and responsive concerning Emby operation, given that it’s on a kind of weak NAS. I’m running just a simple wired 1Gb network except for the “smart” TV which is wireless AC. But all my searches and content load quickly which makes binge watching or jumping between shows painless. The hardest and slowest part is ripping all my media to the HDD.


If you haven’t heard of Emby I would recommend it as an alternative to Plex. In the past few months of casual use I’m loving this software, it’s simple to use and rock stable. It’s completely open-source as far I could tell; it runs on several operating systems and has apps for several devices including the Xbox One, PS4, Nvidia Shield and there is an app in the Ubuntu Touch store (yay!). Pretty much any device with a web browser gives you the ability to consume your content.

Check out Supported devices if you are interested in Emby there is a provided .deb file you can download from the Emby site to get you going.

Until next post o/

P.S. If you have any corrections, suggestions, or want to chat check out the social media links or shoot me an email.