supercharge your Sonos system with the Plex Media Server

May 31, 2019 By Lisa

supercharge your Sonos system with the Plex Media Server

Sonos customers don’t must be bought for the comfort and ease of the audio system of their alternative. With its very simple configuration and intuitive application-based management (or increasingly more voice-based), Sonos stays the flagship of what needs to be a wi-fi dwelling audio system. Regardless of its intensive compatibility with streaming music companies and wonderful common search, Sonos nonetheless cannot do issues like play some high-resolution music recordsdata, handle libraries of over 65,000 songs, or hold lists synchronized studying between them. gadgets. Streaming companies are the longer term, however for these with enormous music libraries at dwelling, these limitations are critical.

That is the place the mixing of the highly effective Plex Media Server may help. We'll cowl all of the methods Plex can improve a Sonos system, tips on how to set up it, and tips on how to combine and use the brand new options of the Sonos app. Let's go!

What’s the Plex?

Plex is a media server software program that you just set up on a private laptop or a community storage drive (NAS). It's free (although some superior options require a paid subscription to Plex Go), and does a unbelievable job of robotically organizing and presenting your motion pictures, TV exhibits, photographs, and most significantly, your music, music. As soon as the server is up and working, you’ll be able to hook up with it through an virtually limitless set of gadgets, from smartphones to tablets, to multimedia broadcasters, sensible TVs and computer systems – the listing goes on. Plex doesn’t simply set up your entire media, it additionally makes it accessible from wherever on any machine. If you want to attempt Plex after getting completed this text, our detailed Plex rationalization program is one of the best place to start out.

Why do I want Plex if I’ve a Sonos system?

If Plex is doing the identical factor as Sonos, it's doing it in some ways. Each techniques are designed to robotically index your music library so you’ll be able to browse by album, style, artist, track title, and extra. Each additionally let you search and play your music assortment. Nevertheless, the Sonos system has some limitations that forestall it from being as highly effective as attainable. The reason being that each one Sonos options are supported by the computing energy of every Sonos part. Since Sonos continues to assist its older parts (for which we commend the corporate), computing energy will be fairly restricted. There isn’t any separate Sonos "mind" – even the Sonos app working in your cellphone or pill is little greater than a classy distant management – which suggests there’ll all the time be limits to what the system can do.

Plex, then again, lives on your private home laptop or in your NAS drive, which provides it much more computing sources. In truth, most of the greatest options of Plex, reminiscent of the power to transform one sort of file on the fly, are made attainable by the it makes use of.

So, whilst you actually don’t want Plex, if you wish to increase what Sonos can do, it's by far the simplest technique to do it.

How can Plex enhance my Sonos expertise?

Plex may help you by eliminating a few of the limitations inherent within the Sonos system:

Storage capability: Sonos can index a strict restrict of 65,000 songs, which can seem to be so much, however there are numerous individuals whose collections go effectively past this quantity. With Plex, the dimensions restrict of the library is dictated by your laptop and linked storage gadgets. So, so long as you might have room to your assortment, Plex can proceed to make use of it.
File sorts: Some audio recordsdata cannot be performed again in native mode by Sonos. Subsequently, it doesn’t even allow you to see these tracks whenever you seek for them. Though they provide prolonged assist for codecs reminiscent of MP3, AAC, WAV, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and others, these should be encoded to a depth of 16 bits, with a sampling frequency not exceeding 48 kHz. This eliminates excessive decision recordsdata reminiscent of FLAC, DSD, MQA, WAV, and so on. 24 bits. Plex cannot, magically, make Sonos excessive decision appropriate, however it might probably transcode these audio tracks right into a format readable by Sonos. entry to your whole music assortment, regardless of the format.
File indexing: Sonos does an excellent job indexing your music, however it might probably solely work with what you gave it. If there’s lacking metadata in your assortment, reminiscent of album artwork, artist data, and even observe names, Sonos cannot aid you. Plex solves this drawback by looking the music databases on the Web to fill these gaps and permitting you to view this data within the Sonos app.

Plex additionally presents options that increase what you are able to do along with your music library:

Distant entry: You probably have a second Sonos system, you must usually copy all of your music library from dwelling and hold it on the identical Wi-Fi community because the second Sonos setup. The Plex Media Server is remotely accessible, which suggests you’ll be able to have a vast variety of further Sonos techniques – every in a special location – and every one among them can nonetheless stream music out of your major library at dwelling. you. Better of all, with Plex's Visitor Account function, you may give everybody entry to your music library, whether or not they have a Sonos system or not. It additionally works within the different approach: Mates may give you entry to their Plex library through visitor entry, which lets you take heed to their music in your Sonos system.
Advice: One of many nice advantages of a music service like Spotify or Pandora lies in its suggestion engines, which introduce you to new music based mostly in your tastes. Plex has a function referred to as Uncover, which does one thing comparable, however attracts its suggestions from the music you have already got. This can be a nice technique to rediscover songs you haven’t listened to for a really very long time, if in any respect.
Combine: A Plex combine, it's such as you're working an Artist radio station on Google Play Music, however once more, with all of the tracks extracted out of your private assortment of songs.

use Plex with Sonos?

Integrating Plex into your Sonos system could be very easy, however earlier than you are able to do that, it’s essential set up the Plex Media Server in your private laptop or in your NAS drive. Comply with the directions of our Plex Exploder (the identical as we talked about above) for this to work, then comply with these steps so as to add Plex to your Sonos system:

If you happen to plan to entry Plex away from dwelling or when you plan to present one other particular person entry to your Plex library, comply with these directions to allow distant entry to your Plex Media Server (you’ll be able to ignore this step when you solely entry Plex from your private home).
Utilizing the cellular Plex app, faucet the Extra tab and select Add Music Providers.
Scroll by the listing (it's alphabetical) and select Plex
Faucet Add to Sonos
You’ll then be prompted to enter the Plex account data you created whenever you put in your Plex Media Server.

If every little thing goes as deliberate, you must now have the ability to browse Plex as a supply of unpolluted music in Sonos, and common searches ought to discover matches in your Plex library. All of the playback choices you're used to, reminiscent of including songs to My Sonos, including tracks to a queue or playlist, getting details about the album or seek for an artist, ought to all be obtainable when utilizing Plex content material.

What can different Plex do?

If you happen to're a fan of podcasts (and you don’t pay for a premium streaming service), Sonos doesn’t supply a really sturdy set of choices. That is equal to utilizing the TuneIn service to search out podcasts or to make use of a third-party software to search out and obtain them, after which broadcast them from their present location. With Plex, you’ll be able to handle your favourite podcasts from the media server. They are going to be obtainable on all Plex gadgets, together with Sonos. Since you entry podcasts from a central supply, you’ll robotically observe episodes that you just take heed to (or end) on all of your gadgets.

As we famous at first, Plex will not be restricted to music. You should utilize it to arrange and entry all of your media on any machine. With an non-obligatory Plex Go subscription – month-to-month ($ 5), annual ($ 40) or lifetime ($ 120) – you are able to do much more, like watching and recording dwell TV exhibits, including parental controls, and for music lovers, add even richer metadata to your audio assortment and even computerized lyrics.


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