The Emby server in­stall

Your server’s in place, so it’s time to get it ac­quainted with your me­dia and pre­pare to stream movies, mu­sic and more.

Linux Format - - STREAM IT! -

Be­fore jump­ing in to con­fig­ure your me­dia server for the first time, take a brief de­tour to put your me­dia in order. For Emby to lo­cate and iden­tify your me­dia files, you need to make sure they’re named a cer­tain way and stored within a log­i­cal set of fold­ers and sub-fold­ers.

Start by cre­at­ing a par­ent ‘me­dia’ folder, then cre­ate sub­fold­ers in­side here for each type of me­dia you have: Mu­sic, Movies, TV Shows, Pho­tos, Mu­sic Video and so on. If you plan to de­lin­eate your li­braries fur­ther – for ex­am­ple, sep­a­rate movie li­braries for kids and grown-ups – then cre­ate sub­fold­ers in­side these, too.

From here, your struc­ture de­pends on the type of li­brary you’re cre­at­ing. It also af­fects how me­dia is named – see the ta­ble for ex­am­ples of good nam­ing con­ven­tions to ap­ply to your me­dia to help Emby iden­tify them.

If you’ve not al­ready been nam­ing your me­dia in this way, then re­nam­ing it all by hand is go­ing to be awk­ward. Thankfully there’s a free tool that speed things up for you called File­bot, which can be in­stalled through the Soft­ware

Cen­tre. Sim­ply drag batches of in­cor­rectly named me­dia into the pro­gram win­dow ac­cord­ing to type (we rec­om­mend split­ting TV shows into sea­sons, mu­sic into al­bums or artists, and so on). Once done, use the ap­pro­pri­ate on­line data­base to cre­ate a match and fi­nally re­name all the files with a sin­gle click. You can cus­tomise the nam­ing con­ven­tion if you wish too – for ex­am­ple, we rec­om­mend the fol­low­ing for TV shows where you’d also like to in­clude the episode name within the filename for easy iden­ti­fi­ca­tion: {n} - {s00e00} - {t} Visit www.file­bot.net for a guide to us­ing it.

Set up your me­dia server

With your me­dia cor­rectly named and or­gan­ised, it’s time to in­tro­duce it to Emby as part of the me­dia server setup pro­ce­dure. Open your web browser and type one of lo­cal­host:8096, your server name (QNAP:8096) or IP ad­dress ( 192.168.35.2:8096) into the Ad­dress bar. Emby will launch its setup wizard – start by choos­ing your lo­ca­tion, then set up your pri­mary ac­count. You’ll be prompted to con­nect to an Emby ac­count – this is cloud-hosted and sim­pli­fies sign-in from other Emby apps, but for now skip this step by leav­ing ‘ad­min’ se­lected (or sub­sti­tut­ing it with your name) and click­ing Next.

Click Add Me­dia Li­brary to add your first folder. Click the blank Con­tent type drop-down menu to choose the type of me­dia (such as Mu­sic, TV, Movies and so on). Con­firm its dis­play name be­fore click­ing the + Add but­ton to se­lect the folder con­tain­ing your con­tent. Now work through the Li­brary set­tings op­tion – un­less meta­data is em­bed­ded into your files, you want to keep the op­tion to down­load it and art­work from the in­ter­net ticked, but you can leave the meta­data and coun­try in­for­ma­tion blank (you’ll con­fig­ure a univer­sal set­ting span­ning all your li­braries shortly).

You’ll be given the op­tion to save art­work and meta­data into the me­dia fold­ers them­selves, mak­ing it easy for you to edit later. Tick this box along with the ‘Down­load images in ad­vance’ box if you’re run­ning Emby on a high-end server (in other words, not the Rasp­berry Pi 3). Choose whether or not to re­fresh meta­data au­to­mat­i­cally (Never is prob­a­bly best left se­lected here) and tick ‘Pre­fer em­bed­ded ti­tles over file­names’ should they be­come nec­es­sary. Again, don’t choose En­able real-time mon­i­tor­ing on low-end sys­tems where you’ll be reg­u­larly ad­ding con­tent to your li­brary.

If you’re ad­ding films, you’ll get op­tions to ex­tract chap­ter images for graph­i­cal scene se­lec­tion menus – if you do en­able this, we ad­vise leav­ing ‘Ex­tract chap­ter images dur­ing the li­brary scan’ unticked for now to speed up the ini­tial li­brary scan. TV show op­tions in­clude in­clud­ing de­tails about miss­ing episodes in sea­sons and merg­ing se­ries spread across mul­ti­ple fold­ers – this lat­ter op­tion shouldn’t be an is­sue if you’ve or­gan­ised your me­dia as per our ear­lier tips.

Fi­nally, click OK, then re­peat for any other me­dia li­braries you wish to add. Note, if you make a mis­take with your li­brary se­lec­tions, click the ver­ti­cal el­lip­sis sym­bol next to the li­brary name to re­move it or make changes. When you’re done ad­ding li­braries – for now – click Next. Now’s the time to se­lect your cho­sen lan­guage and coun­try for meta­data re­trieval, click Next, read and agree to the T&Cs and then click Next fol­lowed by Fin­ish.

At the dash­board

You’ll now be whisked to your server dash­board (if you signed up for an Emby ac­count you’ll be prompted to log in here) – be­fore wandering off to leave the li­brary scan to its own de­vices, take the time for a quick tour. Start by click­ing the Take a tour link for a whistle-stop tour of the Emby server in­ter­face to see what you can do.

Places to fo­cus your tweaks: the Dash­board it­self, where you can give your me­dia server a friend­lier name (it’s given the same name as your PC or NAS by de­fault). Se­lect Users

to password-pro­tect your own ac­count and add other users in your house­hold. This en­ables you to not just lock them out of the ad­min­is­tra­tion tools, but also re­strict which li­braries they can ac­cess as well as ap­ply parental con­trols to limit ac­cess to your me­dia.

The Li­brary folder is where you go to add, re­move or man­age li­braries. The Transcod­ing sec­tion is im­por­tant too – transcod­ing oc­curs when stream­ing over the in­ter­net or when your client de­vice doesn’t sup­port the file for­mat or codecs used for your me­dia. Emby transcodes me­dia into MP4/H.264 for video and MP3 or AC3 for au­dio, which should work on most de­vices, but you can save your server a lot of work by con­vert­ing your me­dia into these for­mats us­ing a tool like

Hand­brake ( www.hand­brake.fr), par­tic­u­larly if you’re run­ning Emby on a low-spec ma­chine such as a Rasp­berry Pi 3.

Transcod­ing op­tions

The transcod­ing sec­tion in­cludes some ex­per­i­men­tal hard­ware ac­cel­er­a­tion fea­tures, and en­ables you to ap­ply a limit to the num­ber of pro­ces­sor threads de­voted to transcod­ing if your server is be­ing over­whelmed. If you’re get­ting choppy re­sults when transcod­ing on lower-end ma­chines, try chang­ing the H.264 en­cod­ing pre­set from Auto to Su­per­fast, which should im­prove mat­ters.

There’s lots more to ex­plore too, but we’ll cover some of these bonus fea­tures – in­clud­ing live TV and DVR – later on in this month’s fea­ture.

As things stand, you can now ac­cess your me­dia through any web browser on any other de­vice. Sim­ply en­ter the server IP ad­dress as be­fore, and if nec­es­sary click the Home but­ton. You can browse by li­brary, and in ad­di­tion you’ll see how

Emby starts to stack up con­tent to watch, such as the next episode of a TV show you’ve been watch­ing. But while this is func­tional, it’s not ex­actly prac­ti­cal. Turn the page to find out dif­fer­ent – and bet­ter – ways in which you can stream me­dia around your home.

Re­name your me­dia files quickly with the help of the free File­bot app. Do­ing so helps Emby iden­tify them cor­rectly.

Emby pro­vides you with a slick in­ter­face for brows­ing your me­dia – art­work and meta­data is down­loaded au­to­mat­i­cally.

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