Plex Media Server v0.9.7.17

03.12.13 107 Comments

We have an awesome media server update for you today. One of the last in the 0.9.7 series, as we inch ever closer to that mythical one-dot-oh. (There’s some amazing stuff coming in the 0.9.8 series, already in active development!)

One of the most notable things about this release are all the changes in the new transcoder. This transcoder can burn image-based subtitles (PGS and VOBSUB), it’s much faster than the old one, resolves many issues the old one had (including quite a few issues with Roku, like the infamous AC3 issue), and we’re in the process of updating all the clients to use it.

The new transcoder is used by default with the new Plex for Android app, the latest version of Plex/Web, and by PlexSync, of course. The next release of iOS (out shortly) can be used with it, as will the next release of Plex for Roku, and we’ll be updating the DLNA server to use it as well.

Let’s get into the details; lots of stuff, as it’s been baking in PlexPass for a while. As you might expect, the majority of the changes are fixes, as we work to get 0.9.7 rock solid. You can pick up the update directly from the usual place, or wait for autoupdate to kick in shortly.

  • NEW: Auto-select forced subtitles. I don’t speak alien either.
  • NEW: (API) More information passed back at root level to aid PlexSync clients.
  • NEW: (API) Final transcode resolution passed back for transcode session endpoint.
  • NEW: (API) Add a “transcoderVideo” flag at root if we support transcoding video.
  • NEW: (API) Allow callers to specify a background color when transcoding to JPEG.
  • NEW: (API) Add viewStateUpdatedAt for global OnDeck to allow sorting.
  • NEW: (API) export library section UUIDs for PlexSync.
  • NEW: (Android) Add FLAC as a direct play profile (syncing at less than “highest” will convert to MP3).
  • NEW: Added device notifications for sync (in progress, item complete). Mostly helps Kepler.
  • NEW: (PlexSync) Support for syncing show banners.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Massive speedups for the new transcoder in many scenarios (sync, streaming, seeking). It should be 2x to 3x faster (around 2x faster than the old transcoder), and will resolve many issues of stuttering and buffering some have seen.
  • FIX: A bug where timed library updates might only happen every other interval.
  • FIX: A major regression with subtitles causing transcoder to exit on certain OS X systems.
  • FIX: A case where we didn’t allow the host system to sleep.
  • FIX: Improvements to audio stream picking heuristics.
  • FIX: A hang when WebKit transcodes failed.
  • FIX: Some EAC3 streams showed up as “EC-3″.
  • FIX: Use media analysis duration instead of likely meaningless metadata duration when possible.
  • FIX: Improved elastic thread pool behavior, less pressure on thread creation/destruction.
  • FIX: Fixed an issue where background color wasn’t correct in the image transcoder (fixes section icons on Roku).
  • FIX: (OS X) Fix auto-update library failing under certain conditions.
  • FIX: (OS X) Show Plex/Web preferences by default, option-click shows old Cocoa prefs.
  • FIX: Improve Kepler transcoder profile, add Plex/Web profile.
  • FIX: (ReadyNAS) Update packaging, fix temp folder path.
  • FIX: (Ubuntu) Upstart fix.
  • FIX: (Fedora) Fixes in scripts.
  • FIX: (Roku) Improve profile, disable anamorphic video.
  • FIX: (Kepler) Limit AAC to two channel, so 5.1 gets mixed down when streaming on mobile devices.
  • FIX: (Kepler) Fix for anamorphic video displaying incorrectly.
  • FIX: (Windows) Don’t let PYTHONPATH interfere with our Python. Fixes some startup issues.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Upgrade to ffmpeg 1.1.2
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Allow specifying max bitrate.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) MPEG4 inside AVI files didn’t work.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Allow for faster seeking for clients that support it.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Don’t send back blank segments when transcoder dies.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Allow other users access to transcode session information.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Use higher bitrate when converting other codecs to AAC.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Improve quality when transcoding interlaced content.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Greatly improved AAC audio quality.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Remove MP3 from iOS HLS transcode target.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Improved support for remuxing with multichannel audio.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Support transcoding between multi-channel formats.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) We failed with some content due to scaling bug (Vimeo, TED).
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Send more logs up to the media server to help diagnosing issues.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Fix an issue when remuxed videos failed or acted weirdly.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Fix issue with last character being missing in SRT subs.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Fix SRT subs showing <font> tags.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Improve accuracy of bitrate in M3U8, helps Roku.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Improve bandwidth estimates for HLS.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Some indirect videos failed to play.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) We were generating MPEGTS streams which occasionally made the Roku crash.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Improve reliability of new transcoder when resuming.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Some VOBSUB subtitles inside MKV files weren’t burned.
  • FIX: (New transcoder) Some high bitrate stereo content failed to transcode.

I’ll let the tireless Plex mascot have the last word, as usual. Barkley’s been dragging me down to the beach twice a day for a lagoon swim, and if I’m not mistaken, his paws are growing more and more webbed.

IMG 3180

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  • Thanks for updating the Synology package. It seems to have fixed several problems that were frustrating me!

  • Justin,

    How did you manage to get the PMS for your Synology DS412+?

  • Hi

    Just wanted to let you know that I think I have solved the transcoder problem which seems to have not been a transcoder problem at all but a database problem. Updating PMS seems to have amplified a problem that I may have had but was not aware of I had moved a whole lot of media from one location and had placed in another location and assumed that by deleting the location and adding the location would do the job. Even now though it took 3 attempts to save this on the PMS web interface for it to actually take effect. Weird but all seems to be working now. DLNA to panasonic tis pretty shit though on most file types I have anyway.

  • Plex media server version
    and Plex iOs version 3.1

    mkv files with srt subtitles

    subtitles are not showing. Is there a fix for this?


  • @elan: Doh, I’m an idiot. Thanks!

  • I Found a bug in thé TV series. Time to Time, the number of files per season is wrong. I don’t know if this happen with the last release or with à previous one.

  • I have a different, but likely related issue to Jeff Marsh. I just started using Plex to stream to my PS3 after using PS3 Media Server, and I too am having my 5.1 audio transcoded into 2 channel MP3. The difference is my audio is AC3 rather than AAC and my container is MKV rather than MP4.

    I posted about it in the forums here:

    • @Patrick Stedem: This is a known issue; we ran into some issues playing 5.1 content so we changed the profile to down-mix to stereo for now. We’re going to be working on some improvements to the DLNA code, we’ll look into the issue at that time!

  • mpeg4 in avi are all being cut short. Was watching The Big Lebowski, 1 hour in…fail. The happens for all my movies of this format, and they worked pre-update. Bummer.

    Duration 1:57:27
    Bitrate 1763 kbps
    Width 720
    Height 384
    Aspect Ratio 1.85
    Video Resolution 480p
    Container AVI
    Video Frame Rate 24p
    Accessible Yes
    Exists Yes
    Duration 1:01:46
    File /media_shares/Videos/Movies/Coen Brothers Filmography/The Big Lebowski [1998]/The Big Lebowski [1998] [Cd1].avi
    Size 702.34 MB
    Container AVI
    Codec MPEG4
    Bitrate 1132 kbps
    Bvop 1
    Duration 1:01:46
    Frame Rate 23.976 fps
    Gmc 0
    Height 384
    Qpel 0
    Width 720

  • This latest update has happened automagically and now all the media sections are gone. As luck would have it I’m away for work and have had to try and get the wife up and running again via phone support. One section was created using same name as the one which was there before, and each show is now showing as unwatched. Is this normal (hope not), and is this recoverable (hope so)? Unfortunately Plex has done such a fantastic job to date, I now no longer bothering remembering what episode i am up to, and I REALLY dont want to lose all the stuff i have sync’d to the iPad and have to go through it all again!

  • I’m just hoping .9.8 has some playlist functionality. I’m looking for playlist functionality on ios synced content specifically, but I could live with any playlist functionality for a while.

  • elan kindly ignore my previous post. there was nothing auto and/or magical about it, and there isnt any issue either. i unreservedly apologise for any distress i may have caused.

  • Any news on running plex as a service in Windows Server 2012 Essential, WHS WHS 2011, WHSv1?
    At least WinServer2012 Essentials would be appreciated very much, as it’s the latest & future proof win server platform.

  • Thank Heavens for the upgrades to the Windows 8 Transcoder! I was about to uninstall, but the improvements have made movies watchable on the Windows 8 platform. Now about that subscription….

  • I don’t know but i can’t open the plex media server…can anyone help me plz??? (i have download and install plex in windows 7)

  • Good Job, keep it up guys!! Much Appreciated!!

  • I was using Plex just fine for 6 months or so, and only have it to watch some spike TV shows on my Roku… now with the latest 2 updates, I can’t watch a full episode of anything on Plex – it gets to the first commercial set (bar rescue for example), and then bugs out and exits…. kinda defeats the purpose this way. I can watch about 10 minutes of the episodes, and once that first break comes along, bam, its done.

  • I was amazed at how plex worked so easily on my main PC,HTPC and all my iOS devices. After the last 2 updates, abouthalf my files now work.
    Please go back to the way it was or give me the option to.
    What happened to my “it just works” plex?

  • I have random movies now that are cut short. My kids were watching cars and where it said it had run the full time it actually cut about 20 min off the movie. Have other movies doing the same. 9.7.19

    • @slayer – that’s fixed in a media server update.

  • Version
    DSM 4.2
    PLEX server software – nothing else running.

    FIX: A case where we didn’t allow the host system to sleep. (a bit abstract – non?)

    This doesn’t appear to be the case for my synology. It does hibernate…then it doesn’t…then it does? figured that because a new package was available via the DSM, things had been resolved…

    Love the software,love the community spirit on here, and will be more than happy to pay for a license – when things are a little more robust.

    Please fix this pesky bloody hibernation bug.

  • Trying to update my media server to fix some issues with the newest roku app update and can’t find the server for the download. Is something up or is it just me?

  • Since my last post, I have been unable to run any of the updates. 0.90722.511-4b5280f-en-us won’t run. It locks up downloads folder and causes windows explorer to stop functioning. This is the same problem I had with 90117. I’m running windows vista. Is that the problem? I think I tried this on my windows 7 comp too but same problem. I’m sure I’ve probably tried everything since March to get these updates to run. Are they just for paid subscribers?

    I really love Plex but if I can’t do updates, I won’t be buying a subscription. I want to but I will have to wait until I figure this out.

  • The latest update is not really working at all for me. It shows thumbnails, info, and everything just fine, but no videos will actually transcode and work. I get a transcoder error on PC, phone, and tablet. Nthing connects and works right with the server any more. HELP???

  • Hi,
    I am on v0.9.7.17 but on resume from sleep i get media server not found.

    I have tried killing plex process and also DNLA but nothing changes.

    Only way to get service back is to restart my laptop, is this a known issue and if so is there a workaround without restarting? Having to reopen 20 tabs with cached content is a PITA


  • Hi,
    first of all I want to thank you for the amazing plex functionality as well as your continuous improvements.

    A DLNA server feature that I really like to see in future releases is to support DMC (digital media control) to push media content to a non-plex DMR (digital media device)!
    Given that functionality it is possible to use a tablet as plex-client to browse a media library from a plex server, and then push selected music/videos to a media player that operates as DMR and plays the selection (even though the media player is not capable to run plex software as plex client itself).

    The benefit is to have the very convenient user interface of plex and the superior audio qualitiy of a certain media player at the same time. That would be absolutely great!

  • Hi all,

    I have been using Plex Server on Ubuntu 12.04 and until about 4 days ago it worked flawlessly, but all of a sudden it has now stopped being seen by all of the xbox’s in the house, just giving a ‘No Movies Found’ message on the screen.

    Nothing has changed on the system setup, all networking is hardwired and its gone from a perfect home media system to one thats completely unusable, has anyone else had this problem.

    I’ve rebooted the server, rebooted router, rebooted xbox’s, tried complete uninstall of plex and re-install and still no joy whatsoever, it will play movies through all other devices, laptops, PC’s and iPhones, but none of the xbox’s see the content anymore. Either something in Plex has been updated and fails, or something on the Xbox OS has changed, any help much appreciated, really don’t want to have to go back to using the old mac based version on my imac when I have a dedicated HP 1u server for my media at great cost….


    • @Craig: Have you tried rebooting routers/switches? That’s the most likely explanation (sadly).

    • @Craig: The DLNA server code doesn’t automatically update, so most likely difference is something “networkalogical”.

  • Problem is nothing on the network has changed at all, my job is running web servers so I’m fairly ok with networking as a rule, and hand on heart absolutely nothing on the system has changed so I’m completely at a loss where to go from here, it’s typical that the only devices I need to be able to actually play the content are the xbox’s which feed TV’s in bedrooms and our lounge, so we are stuck with having to watch movies on the laptop, which I could do anyway without plex, as the server uses samba to share the movie drive as well, so I can just play the movies from the server across the gigabit network using quicktime.

    Its so annoying because it was working brilliantly for months since I discovered Plex


  • No idea why it stopped working however I did manage to find a posting which gave the following commands, which completely removed plex where apt-get remove didn’t, after doing the following and then re-installing it works again, still no idea why it stopped though:

    sudo apt-get purge plexmediaserver

    sudo rm -rf /var/lib/plexmediaserver

    sudo userdel plex

    sudo rm /etc/init/plexmediaserver.conf
    sudo rm /etc/default/plexmediaserver

    (last two commands actually didn’t work for me as neither file or directory existed)

  • +1 for cue sheet support for single audio files.

  • Running plex on samsung smart tv was working perfectly before the upgrade and now it does not play any video . Is there any way to downgrade?

  • +1 for cue sheet support for single audio files.
    I’m not sure how does cue support for single audio files depends on ffmpeg, and why Plex server should use just it. From my point of view it is a question of determining what track is being played in a client. (I would like in Web and Android clients). BTW, DeadBeeF player manages with FLAC and cue sheet pretty well Thanks.

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