We live in a time where streaming is monopolizing everything and it is not for nothing, we cannot deny the comforts of this. However, we don’t need to leave behind our old music collection, we can create a music streaming service with Plex It’s quite simple!
What do we need to create a music streaming service with Plex?
To turn any old computer into a Plex media server. We are only going to need a good amount of storage space and a stable internet connection, in this sense it is best to use an Ethernet connection. Although it is also highly recommended to use an NVIDIA Shield TV device or a Rasberry Pi 4 microcomputer.
Of course, the NVIDIA Shield TV and Rasberry Pi 4 are much more energy efficient than desktop PCs, which translates into minimal impact on your electricity bill. While these products aren’t overly powerful, they’re actually pretty good at streaming even 4K video; so we will not have problems when transmitting audio. Finally, we must consider that, in the case of both, external storage is necessary.
In case you need something with a little more flexibility or potential, then it is recommended to use a computer or it is also possible to use a NAS device for the Plex server. In case we use a computer, it would be best to use something small and efficient like an Intel NUC, if possible. A NAS device, they are literally made for servers, they are the best option for more complex Plex builds.
If we want to try Plex we can do it from our own computer or laptop. This will not affect the normal functionality of our computer; because Plex is a software that transmits files from the computer to the internet. We shouldn’t use it as a long-term solution either, Plex can slow down your computer when it’s active and wear down storage drives with fairly heavy use.
After choosing the device for the Plex server, we are going to have to follow the instructions of the platform to configure everything. This process is completely free and we only need a Plex account and follow the instructions.
Add our music collection to Plex
Considering that we are creating a streaming server, we are going to have to search for MP3, WAV and FLAC files, etc. This means ripping our CDs, buying DRM-free music through platforms like Amazon or Bandcamp, and removing DRM from the music we buy on iTunes.
After we have a digital music collection, we will have to organize it for Plex. Otherwise, we will only show a bunch of songs randomly. Luckily, organizing music is extremely simple.
Similarly, Plex offers detailed instructions On this subject, we will try to summarize it below:
- The first thing we will do is create a folder called “Music”. This will be the Plex directory that we will use for the music.
- Obviously, in this folder we are going to create other folders for each artist.
- Each artist’s folder must contain their music. But it would not be ideal to mix files; it is better to separate by album.
- We will assign a name to each track in an album, putting the track number in front of the name.
- We can add metadata of each song in the library. This metadata tells Plex which artist and album a song is from, as well as the location on the album.
We should add that Plex automatically organizes and adds metadata to the library. Even if some of the tracks in our collection are missing information, such as track list metadata, it may work fine with the service.
Once the music is organized for Plex, we’re going to need to copy the “Music” folder to a storage drive on the Plex server. Next, we can tell Plex where to find the music directory.
Next, we open the Plex web client and go to Settings. Then we are going to look for the “Administration” section and we will choose “Libraries”. We will click on the “Add library” button and we will have to select “Music” as the type of library. What we will do now is select the music directory that we created earlier for this. We will confirm our selection by clicking on “Add library”.
The entire music collection will fill the Plex server. It is a process that can take a while depending on the size of the library; mostly because Plex will try to fetch images and information from each album.