Piecing together the ultimate media server

Ive always been more geared towards building my media servers on Emby, a great fully blown media server available on all platforms with server and tv / mobile client apps.I took a year out and ran Plex and it was a pretty bad experience to be honest unless you want to pay for a Plex pass which is a pretty hefty fee for not a lot!

Any way i got the Emby server back up and running on my Mac server and this server paired up with a few great bits of software makes the ultimate media server. Also if your a scribbling fan like me! I like to scrobble music to last.fm and movies and tv shows to trakt.tv these are built direct into Emby and easy to enable unlik on plex which i found a pain and not really reliable. Running Emby server serving movies, photos , music and tv shows and music videos is the standard but i decided to build the IPTV server in. Two option use the free iptv option which lets you add the channels in separate which works but isn’t that great, option 2 is the right way which is Emby premier i did a one month to test and it pass te test which was 5 dollars or 80 which I’m paying when the month runs out! As well as a mountain of nice features with premiere this enables iptv, in iptv section you can your iptv url and it will add all the channels at once. Now with my iptv provider they didn’t supply a EPG url which you will need if you want to use te TV guide and recording features. I got my url from epg guide which lets you select your region and pay 30 for the full year and thats it get the url and add this into the guide section of Emby iptv section it will go off scan the guide and channels and your way! The tv section is pretty good although i found the TV guide on Apple TV useless but they are working on replacing this but have been for a couple of years so there may be a wait! Although the guide on iOS and WebOS is right and easy to use, When you find a program you like you can select favorite then you would think this would be present in the favorites section on the front but it doesn’t, it basically moves any you select to the top of the channels section which basically saves you diving through a thousand channels to watch some say like bbc1! So if you got the guide installed you can sit through that and mov forward intime to a tv show select and pick record for that one show or use the series record if you would like the full series etc. If you go to channels and pick the channel direct you will see the guide on the left hand side so you can see what the line up is or just click play and you get your tv live. Also you get a tab for recordings so you can watch your recordings or schedule so you can see what your recording if you want to cancel them. Media and tv shows with tv show recording awesome! No don’t stop there !!!

Here enters Ombi! Ombi is a great server with mobile app that shows you latest movies and music and can search music but the music is enabled by default, now this is the only bit of software I could find with a iOS app. Now Ombi will show you trending tv shows and movies and let you request them and pass that to the Ombi server and that then uses external to download which we will go over. You need a port forward if you want to get to from outside so open ports on the router and forward to the server and a domain name i use no ip service which offers a free solution by renewing the domain each month by clicking on a email easy peasy, also its worth a mention that this will take multiple users so you can have people request moves or tv shows and then you can accept the movie or tv show then this lets the user know that you have accepted this so they know it will appear in the Emby (or plex) now Ombi has to talk to the download clients this is where is gets tricky ! As i use Sonarr to download tv show Radarr to download movies and ladrarr to download the music! Yup three standalone servers which you need setup then it doesn’t stop there they then have to pull the data from somewhere! So i use nbzget which is the download client and then in that you will need a indexer which i used nzb.su and paid 14 for the as my primary indexer is great then you need your news server I tested the standard service 14 day trial and chewed 50 gig testing so then i noted i only needed ntp so setup 10 dollars a month subscription for unlimited ntp and thats perfect. Setup a port forward for your nbzgt and add a user pass. Then from your mobile or tablet install the Emby app connect it and Ombi and connect it and then your nbzget and then you can basically go to Ombi select the tv show or movie select request then you will get back a notification then if you go to nbzget you can watch them drop in then check your Emby and you should see the requests you made drop into Emby with out going near the computer or NAS etc.one problem i had with Sonarr was it thinking my drive was full as it couldn’t read how much disk space but there are fixes i just ticked the tick box in the media section that says don’t look at the disk space, if you don’t do this it thinks its out of disk space and doesn’t automatically move the tv shows and they will just stay in your downloads folder!

Couple of last minute pointers if you add the music service in Ombi you have to tick the enable button as it’s i ticked by default, in the app you wont see the music tab I’m not sure if that comes in the next version i know version 4 is around the corner add in the re request option which is needed as if you pick a season from the TV app say you cant back in for Eason two as you already requested it which is dumb! But you get the music tab from with the web browser version. Last but not least if you don’t want Ombi and just want to use the Oda loaders separately sonarrr, radarr and ladarr offer awesome web client with full calendar, tv show, music and movie search and discover features that will you wont find in others. Although no trakt support which can be achieved by piecing more software together Which id had enough of I’m hoping trakt support gets added soon ill keep nagging on the forums!

Last tip if you awesome direct support then just install the reddit app I’ve connect to Ombi Emby and Sonarr Groups there and been interacting with other users if i got stuck setting these services up!

Last couple of Mac tips you need mono to run radarr, Sonarr and ladarr which installed mono but i t didn’t work not sure if i got the wrong version or something ! I installed a bit of software called brew which give you almost like a apt-get / Pac-Man install interface from a terminal so i just for instance pasted one line of code which went of and got brew sniffing then i typed brew cask sonarr which went of and pulled mono install and installed then went of and grabbed the stable release of sonarr and dropped in the applications folder! But it didn’t end there when i went to run it never worked!! So i went to a terminal cd .s into /Applications/Sonarr,app/Contents/Macos folder and executed manually like mono Sonarr.exe and it kicked in! I had to do this with all the download apps even Ombi so I have a terminal with 4 tabs running Ombi Radarr Sonarr & Ladarr for now I’m pretty certain i can make script that will Judit trigger this lot a t boot but i ve kept like this when i do reboot which is hardly ever i can watch the service start and look for any warning messages in the console! Not surE if todo with me running the las test version of macOS but I’m sure something they will fix and then you can just add these to your startup which would be handier.

I hope this helps i spent around 3 or 4 days at this and nearly cost me a divorce !!!!

Now thats is a real media server.


Since this I made a few changes.. For one I installed SABnzbd for the download server as this ties into a new app ive side loaded on to the iPhone which connects to sonarr / radarr and lidarr and then the SABnzbd so you can see what’s downloading and history! Also I added pushover support to all services and installed the push over app to my iPhone then paid the 5GBP Licence! this notifies me when its pulling series and downloaded which comes to my watch and phone! And I installed a bit of software called istat which you install the server on the Mac and get a iPhone client so I can track disk space and system performance.


mac osx lion


Just half way through big network swap out loosing a load of windows boxes and moving up to so nice apple iMac’s. The main target has been shared calendars and address book which has been accomplished pretty easily using the built in ical and address book and spanning sync and a free goggle calendar, also swap the mail into imap folders which has allowed us to drop the unreliable exchange server that needed fixing and also add the expandability of adding external calendar connections onto iPhone and home devices easier.  Also i split the 500 gig internal hardisks into 250 partitions and this gave me a drive for the OS and a drive for time machine to do incremental backups, not a solution for permanent backups but daily weekly or monthly files you require back its damn easy to use and very effective. The other problem we had was sage and solid works. Autocad works native and seemed to work very well just a few bugs on some of the installs which was solved easily. Now solid works and sage I’m afraid i have to include parallels into the picture – basically its a windows install that brings the software into the mac software screen. Now you buy parallels for like 40 quid then you pay for a crappy windows licence – install that then install antivirus then run all the crappy windows updates blah blah blah…. so far the sage products have worked but been buggy and solidworks does work but doesn’t have the edge of running it on the PC. Now solidworks has a native mac osx version coming out sometime next year so I’m afraid there is no option but to bootcamp the mac till it comes out… i did try vmware fusion but had no luck running the software i ill try this again as this could be a solution… please solidworks bring out a native version soon!! now sage well i just realised how dated and yes widely used but craply old and dated software as we have payroll one program – accounts one program and job costing one program which is no longer really supported?…. also only windows native support – bring in quickbooks… I’m just looking at pricing for software and support but to install this its easy drag on drop the software on the mac or setup on the windows box… add the server by dropping it on the mac or installing on windows and your away – not only does it have payroll and job costing and accounts in one program but loads of other features plus support is fast 8-8pm – we rang sage the other day they made us wait a hour and basically wasn’t very helpful telling us they don’t support parallels.. trying to get out of support! ill blog the results and outcome of this…… some of the new features i really liked in the new lion setup was airdrop! awesome! lion was breeze to setup – lovely operating system very polished and great in the work environment – one thing thats annoying and i need to find out how to remove is icons like app store… yes the user needs admin password to install software but the fact is I don’t want them in there full stop… try removing chess game …  you can’t .. ! i don’t want staff sat there playing chess instead of job costing etc! a quick call to apple care hopefully will work again ill let you know….. our sage guy didn’t sam to agree that mac on the desktop at work and quickbooks was the way to go but hey everyones moving the apple way whether he likes it or not! and he don’t like quickbooks because he sells sage? thats hardly working in our interest therefore i can’t trust the guy! I’ve yet to test a few apps to see if they will fit into the requirements merlin for project management and maybe daylite to expand the tasking and productivity …. evernote is worth a look …

anyway i have to say not as bad as i thought but migrating over to a new system takes more time and configuration the what you think – one thing i would advice is get a full list of requirements don’t miss a thing and then setup one test machine and test the environment before you launch! also the end user can be awkward to move across to something new and might need training so look into whats required there.

its defiantly a big move dropping the windows boxes for macs just take your time and get it right and I’m sure the results will be great 🙂