Plex or Emby? Emby Wins.

That first part of the title was my question earlier in this year. By January 2018 I was sick and tired of the mainline online media things. I wanted to keep it easy, make it work, and I disliked how things were changing. 

So I looked into my own media solutions and checked out (via reading) Plex and Emby the most, and went with Plex initially and felt good about it.

Plex

I got a PlexPass for 1 year, and enjoyed using the PMP and Android apps. Talk of a new forum, then the forum turning over to discord plus a horrid app UI overhaul (amalgamated dump) had many others jumping ship and I stayed and tried to like it, and that ended yesterday when I’d had enough of the Android jumping through hoops to watch stuff game. My PlexPass goes through the end of the year, to the end of January 2019 actually.

Emby

Forget anything I looked up earlier in the year, and as the year went on, about Emby. I downloaded the server for the first time yesterday. That’s Day 1, a New World.

I see what the ship jumpers are talking about. Streaming works, transcoding works. It’s simple looking, deeply customizable to an extent, and a tad rougher looking, but as it goes, the simpleness and control outweigh the Plex behemoth of pretty, glittery mess.

It’s a great relief. Now I can go forward with all the same media in a new server.  Web server, Web Media Player and Android Apps all look the same.  Parity. Thank you and please stay this way Emby, allowing me to group media or not group media. This shines like a beacon calling to all Plex users! 

So I have my Plex Server running and Emby, I can use either, but don’t have Emby Premium yet. I can download Plex stuff on my Android devices, if it wants to work out. One nasty bug is synced movies don’t show progress while watching. Oh, watch dvd vobsub movies, you lose subtitles after a short while. Chokes on other subtitles, buffering, buffering. Plex, oh Plex, one of these days I’ll be able to compare you to Emby Premium.  When I have that sorted, I can use the Android app for more than browsing and server management. Well, that’s one part of the solution already, browsing I get more Posters for Movies and Music way faster in Emby than with Plex. Can I manage my server well within the Plex app? No. 

On my tablet I can use Chrome to load my server, manage it and use the Web App for my media, it’s just like the Android app, honestly it’s perfect for streaming, I just need a scrobbler for my music through Emby Web Android Chrome App on tablet/phone.

I do have the Scroball app (it also scrobbles YouTube Music app, which is why I downloaded it in the first place,) it’s not what I want to use, but it does work as long as I’m playing music in the browser with Emby. If I cast to Emby Chromecast the Scroball app stops. This is so unpleasant: if I want to listen to music via my Chromecast (connected to an old speaker system) and scrobble I have to cast/mirror my phone screen.

Server side Last.FM account scrobbling is important to me, the one stickler in this mess since Last.fm and Emby are not working together and no one else knows what to do to fix it, and I’m only WANTING it fixed, don’t know the coding for this kind of thing so … Plex server scrobbling is solid since it was fixed some months ago. FWIW.

The Bottom Line

So on Day 2 with Emby, I still like it, and the Last.fm problem is my biggest complaint. It’s a workaround to scrobble here and there.

The promise of Plexamp features coming into the Plex apps was a nice future idea, but that’s not enough to hold me, video and syncing of video and music and so much … too much, not enough fixes. UI changes, no problem, just let me have more customizable control to avoid all the mess but … in the end that’s not even going to hold me any longer.

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