I stream all my video media: TV shows and films. I use Plex to access my ~550-title library, and I have maybe another 100+ (and growing) titles that I purchased on Amazon. But when I browse through my library of titles, they are segregated into Plex and Amazon clients. I wish I could browse a single library of ALL the media I own! (Yes, I am completely aware that this is very much a “first world problem.”)
Maybe someone else has figured this out. I have a workaround that I plan to try, but it is very clunky and not a good solution. Do you have any ideas?
First, a brief word about Plex. If you have been buying lots of DVDs over the years and now find that you prefer to stream your movies instead of putting a disc in a player (or, say, want to watch your movie on your iPad instead of on your TV), then Plex will be your new best friend. Learn about Plex here, and here is my blog post on how to set Plex up for yourself.
Digital content, is segregated into and viewed with different apps. Films that I purchased on disc then ripped to my streaming media system are browsed and viewed using my Plex streaming app. Films that I purchased as digital media from Amazon are browsed and viewed using my Amazon streaming app. This leads to two imperfect scenarios:
- Multiple sources. When I want to watch a particular film, I must hunt through two different streaming apps to look for it (assuming I don’t find it in the first one.)
- Segregated browse. I want to watch something but am not sure what — so I want to browse through my full collection. To do that I must browse through two different libraries.
Screenshots below show the two different libraries.
I would like to have a single place to go to look through my movies (and TV shows). If I want to watch something, I want to go to one place to find it. If I want to browse through an alphabetic list of all my movies, it should merge my Plex and Amazon movies into a single display.
My Clunky Workarounds
My workaround for problem #1 is I keep an alphabetized list of all my media in an Evernote note (Evernote is truly awesome, btw) which indicates the digital films that were purchased from Amazon. So I first look up the movie in Evernote, then that tells me which client to use to find the title.
My workaround for problem #2 is to create folders with a short placeholder video for every one of my Amazon titles and incorporate those into my Plex library. The placeholder video is a 10-second sreenshot of the Amazon Video logo (here’s a link to that Placeholder Video if you want to try this out for yourself). After I moved those folders into my Plex library and refreshed it in the Plex app, then I edited the metadata for each title to add “(AMAZON)” to the beginning of each title ,leaving the “Sort title” alone so Plex will still alphabetize based on it’s real title. In almost all cases it retrieved the movie posters correctly, so this worked pretty well.
Of course this still isn’t an elegant solution, but at least I can browse everything in one place.
So, what do you think? Any suggestions on a better way to do this? It would be so great if I could link to a movie in Plex: Create an entry for an Amazon film much as I do in my workaround, but instead of a placeholder video, it could somehow know to go to the Amazon app and open it up. I’m open to any and all solutions.
Let me know what you think!