Know How... 97 (Transcript)

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On this episode of Know-How downloading YouTube videos, freaking tractor beams, and putting Plex media server on your Free NAS.

Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to know how, it is the twit show where we bend, bill, break and upgrade. I'm Father Robert Ballecer.

Bryan Burnett: And I am Bryan Burnett.

Fr. Robert: For the next half hour or so we are going to show you some of the projects that we have been tinkering around with, so hopefully you can fill your geek stocking with some gifts from nada geeks. Now Brian, good question. Do you like tractor beams?

Bryan: Uh…. Tractor beams?

Fr. Robert: Like Star Trek, or Star Wars Tractor beams.

Bryan: Of course. Totally.

Fr. Robert: It is kind of a cool concept but one of the things has been how do you get something to come closer to you by throwing energy addict? It is very counterintuitive and it doesn’t seem to make sense. In fact it didn’t seem to be possible at all. Or is it? We have a story here from some researchers in Scotland. From the Dundee University who are experimenting with arrays of ultrasound energy emitters. And they found a curious effect. When they took a triangular, hollow object and put it in water with 8000 of these ultrasonic transmitters stacked upon each other, they were able to direct when beams of energy towards the object and create an area of low pressure. Now think about it. It is like the Bernoulli effect when you fly. Into that when you have a lot of energy going to one region creates turbulence. Enough turbulence to drop the ambient pressure, which draws the object forward. Now, the reason why they use that triangular hollow object is that the waves actually converge at the rear of the object and push off the back so it is like you are adding a little inch into the back of the object. it is just propelling it into that area of low pressure. It is actually very cool technology.

Bryan: The thing I love most is that the sci-fi that inspired us as kids, is slowly becoming reality. And Scottish engineers are pioneering a tractor beam?

Fr. Robert: I mean, there are all sorts of Star Trek analogies there.

Bryan: Do they need more power? Because we should do that.

Fr. Robert: We should do that. Here is the thing. It worked on a very small scale in a tiny little object with very little power inside of a closed water filled system.

Bryan: So it was very specific.

Fr. Robert: Very specific. It is not like…

Bryan: It’s not like you are using satellites to pull things into each other.

Fr. Robert: You are not going to be dropping one of these into an aircraft carrier in the near future for towing.

Bryan: But by the time we have an enterprise class starship, we should have the technology.

Fr. Robert: Absolutely. Let's get real practical. You could use this technology in surgery. If you have a device that could pull objects away from a certain coordinate, you suddenly have something that is even better than us helpful. When you could be pulling out tumors, pulling out cancers with no surgery whatsoever. That is actually kind of cool.

Bryan: Very cool. I like that idea, that application. But, also ultimately I just want to be able to pull things out of space.

Fr. Robert: As someone in the chat room points out the other problem with that is it creates a region of low pressure, which is what allows the effect.

Bryan: What we can figure that out later. The details. Baby steps.

Fr. Robert: First we throw pressure at the ship. I don’t know if that’s going to work out.

Bryan: It is so cool though.

Fr. Robert: And like you said, our childhood sci-fi fantasy is coming true.

Bryan: They used Try quarters in Star Trek and eventually we had the cell phones. So why not tractor beams? And lasers?

Fr. Robert: Now if you episodes ago we did cover Free NAS. Building a free dance. This episode we want to show you how to use your Free NAS to become a self-contained, super organized, fully functional media server. Does that sound good?

Bryan: Oooooh. Yeah, I like that idea. Especially the organized part.

Fr. Robert: Absolutely. We are going to do that but before we do that I thought maybe we should take a moment to talk a little bit about one of our sponsors. And that is, of course, Ifixit. Brian do you know what this is?

Bryan: I do. I have become very familiar with that kit. As I have taken many things apart here in the studio.

Fr. Robert: And iFixit protect toolkit. The cool thing about that is that it is smaller than the big one. You know the big toolkit that we had been using the last couple of months? It includes just the tools that people, that the ProTech to engineers but you would need the most. Now is the free online repair manual for everything. With more than 10,000 repair guides with everything from electronics, like your smart phone, tablet, and game consoles to your home appliances, clothing and even your bike. They also have full proof instructions to fix all your stuff. If you have shattered your iPhone screen, need to repair the red ring of death on your Xbox, or swap the battery on your galaxy S3, iFixit has got it covered with parts, tools and repair guides. Now you are showing off this new iFixit toolkit, the smaller set which is nice because it does include these high durability drivers, all with carbide tips. So they don’t ship or wear out quite as easily. These 15 screwdrivers were specifically chosen by the iFixit teardown team as the ones that would be most used in any repair or tear down. They were designed for heavy use and delicate precision. They have fixed blades, swivel top design for added precision and has that custom tool role that makes it handy, nice and easy to put into your pack. Now what I really like about this is that it comes with a lifetime warranty. If you break one of these, if it wears down, if it chips send it back to iFixit and they will give you a new one. At $59.95 a month I am thinking that this is probably the kit that I am going to ask my parents to get me for my birthday. Because I could use it.

Bryan: I can totally see myself getting this for my dad and then just say, “Hey dad happy Father’s Day can I borrow this to take your stuff apart with”?

Fr. Robert: Now it is not just the toolkit. This is the other thing that we have been playing with. This is their magnetic mat. This is actually a really good idea. It is dry erase, so it uses the standard dry erase markers. The idea is that you marked out entrance where you have put the different pieces from your built and this is a magnetic mat so it will hold your screws. We use this for their teardown of the Game Boy, I use it for teardown of computers. It really is one of those things that just makes sense. It took iFixit to come up with this idea. Magnetic service will hold your tiny screws, your springs in place. It is safe for hard drives. It is only $19.95 and it is the perfect companion for your iFixit 15 piece toolkit. So here is what we want you to do. With iFixit you can fix it yourself. Visit for more than 10,000 free step-by-step guides. iFixit also sells every part and tool that you will ever need. In true the code know how it checked out and you will save $10 off on any purchase of $50 or more. That is and we thank iFixit for their support of Know How.

Fr. Robert: Can I have this?

Bryan: I guess so. It is probably safer that you take it away because I am eventually going to take something apart.

Fr. Robert: How are those GoPro cameras doing?

Bryan: The original GoPro is not coming back.

Fr. Robert: Folks, just so you know the iFixit toolkit is a really good at taking things apart just be sure to use the manuals to put things back together.

Bryan: Just don’t go rogue.

Fr. Robert: You kind of did that.

Bryan: Well….

Fr. Robert: So this is the Free NAS box that I showed off with Patrick Norton.

Bryan: This was a really cool project that you guys did together. And you showed how to set it all up. So what are we going to do now?

Fr. Robert: There are a few things that we want to do first. We want to remind people how we created this. Because there are a few considerations that you must hold in the back of your mind when you are setting up a Free NAS box. There are a lot of people out there who say I will just take any crappy old computer I have and I will put Free NAS on it. you can do that but I wouldn’t. Remember this is something that you are going to be storing your data on right? You don’t want to go belly up. So don’t just take the oldest piece of hardware you have an dedicated for a Free NAS box.

Bryan: That PC that you had sitting in the back of your garage that has been collecting dust?

Fr. Robert: Now there are a few things about this. We really don’t care about video performance. This is not a gaming machine. You will notice in this machine that there is no video card. I am using the integrated graphics because that is all I need. In fact, I really don’t need that. Once I have the operating system installed I am just going to be using the web interface. There are a few things that we do care about. The first thing we care about is the CPU. We want a 64-bit CPU because we can address more memory with 64 bit CPUs. So it can't be too old.

Bryan: You can’t use over was it…

Fr. Robert: 4 GB.

Bryan: That was a long time ago.

Fr. Robert: You also want something with enough horsepower to be able to run the plug-ins you are going to install eventually.

Bryan: There are a lot of really cool ones that Patrick kind of showed off.

Fr. Robert: There are some great plug-ins, but if you recycle that old 386 you are not going to be able to do it. And also the ZFS, zetabyte file system, which is fantastic high performance but it does require a lot of CPU power to maintain the airways. So, if you choose a low powered CPU you are going to spend all your CPU cycles just organizing the array and no power left over for plug-ins.

Bryan: So I imagine the next step would be getting a USB drive? To install the OS?

Fr. Robert: Absolutely. We actually got some feedback on this last time when we did this. People were saying why why use a USB drive, why not use a hard drive? Okay, let us settle this once and for all. Free NAS Is a tiny operating system. It is super tiny. It fits on a flash drive. This is a 16 GB flash drive and this is actually way bigger than what you need. Free NAS Downloads and I can’t even remember how big it is. It is tiny. It is like 20 MB or something like that. It can install off of the CD-ROM. Once it installs off of the CD-ROM you really don’t need to do much more with that hard drive. But, you cannot use it for anything else. So if you use a 1 TB rotating drive

Bryan: You just wasted it.

Fr. Robert: You just wasted 99.9% of it.

Bryan: So you can’t even partition it.

Fr. Robert: You can't even partition it. It is the only thing that drive will ever do. the other thing is this, when you are using the hard drive it is always spinning.

Bryan: So if you are using flash memory that would be more advisable because it lasts longer.

Fr. Robert: Exactly. A rotating drive will eventually die. It will eventually shake itself to pieces. A USB driver, or any flash memory is only being worn down when you write to it. Once Free NAS finishes installing the operating system and your plug-ins it is not really doing much writing. It is doing a reading. And this could read for the rest of its life and never wear down.

Bryan: It is a lot easier to find a 16 GB or 8 GB flash drive that you are not using then it is to find a spinning hard drive.

Fr. Robert: And he uses a lot less power. Which we want. Because remember this is going to be running 24 seven. We want something that is going to be more frugal with the power.

Bryan: In something that does not generate a letter key so it doesn’t take up a lot of power.

Fr. Robert: Now you'll also notice in here, I have hot glued the USB drive into the header. Totally not needed, but it works. The cool thing about this is that by not having the USB drive on the outside you have…

Bryan: Less chance of it getting knocked off?

Fr. Robert: Yes, and it is actually hot glued in there so it really isn’t going anywhere.

Bryan: It doesn’t need to be pretty either. It just sits in there. I have seen USB drives that you don’t want hanging off the edge.

Fr. Robert: The other thing is that by using a USB drive I free up the SATA port that would normally be connected to the hard drive. And I want that. I want my SATA ports for all the hard drives I am point to put in here.

Bryan: Very clever, Padre.

Fr. Robert: Now there are four SATA headers on this motherboard. So I could put four drives. I have also got this, which would add two more drives. I could pick two of these cards in here. This is just a standard PCI SATA adapter. In total, I could put up to eight drives in this case if I have the space for it.

Bryan: Now would you want that many drives for redundancy?

Fr. Robert: Yeah. So if you are going to create an array like this, you are not just thinking about having as much space as possible. You want there to be some sort of redundancy when drives fail. Because they will fail.

Bryan: All mechanical spinning, rotating drives will fail eventually.

Fr. Robert: So typically what I do because I care about performance is that I will let Free NAS you create a mirrored stripe. So it is two drives together for a stripe. But it is mirrored for redundancy. So I get performance and I get redundancy. I get reliability. I lose a lot of space. Because of the four drives and I’m really only getting the space of two, but it is worth it because I don’t like losing stuff.

Bryan: Oh, absolutely. And that is like the most heartbreaking thing is when you go back and try and find some family videos or something like that and realize oh, I only backed them up once.

Fr. Robert: Come on, I’m sure your son will grow up again.

Bryan: If I had one. My Corgi?

Fr. Robert: Now here is actually a big one. We didn't cover this last time. Power supply.

Bryan: Yeah, because he don’t need that.

Fr. Robert: Don’t cheap out on the power supply. You know how many times I have seen Free NAS boxes where they have bought really good drives, they bought a great motherboard, a really solid ECC memory and they have a powerful CPU and they bought the bargain-basement $15, 400 W power supply.

Bryan: The one that is going to burn out when you least want it to.

Fr. Robert: Exactly. And here is the worst part. If a power supply goes down, at best, you don’t get your data until you replace it.

Bryan: At worst, it could blow up everything.

Fr. Robert: A power supply that goes bad, that actually blows can search power through everything and just kill it. And suddenly you just killed everything.

Bryan: I have experience with that. It was actually Alex when he built his first PC. The first power supply he had was not like a cheap one that shot sparks out the back of it and stuff. You don’t need a lot of power for this though.

Fr. Robert: So when you are looking at your power budget, what you are typically looking at is somewhere between 50 and 200 W for the motherboard and the CPU. You are not going to put a video card on it so that is really 50 to 200 is what you are looking at. You are also going to be looking at about 30 W for each hard drive. It doesn’t actually use it, most hard drives will pull somewhere between five and 9 W in operation. 20 W while really cranking. But you need 30 because they use more power when they start at. So you need a power supply that can handle to start up. So you just added that. Talking about 30 W for each hard drive, you are talking on the safe side 200 W for the motherboard and that gives you a round number of how large you need to size your power supply.

Bryan: This is probably a machine you are going to leave on nearly all the time.

Fr. Robert: Yeah. If you can find one of those power supplies it has dual modules, that is great. Those are crazy expensive but they are nice because if one module dies the other one keeps powering the system. It just costs more. They are expensive. And by that time you might as well just by one off the shelf.

Bryan: So then we have talked about getting the OS on the machine, what kind of drives you want to use, how much power it is going to use, what kind of specs are we looking at for good performance?

Fr. Robert: So this box, uses an Intel Core 2 Duo so it is a dual core CPU. we have 4 GB of memory in here. I don’t like that you really should have eight. For he is the absolute minimum. We are going to be chugging along on some of the plug-ins. I would prefer this be eight, but unfortunately I couldn’t find the memory modules for this motherboard. I am using integrated video, I've got gigabit ethernet also integrated. I have a CD-ROM that I used to install the operating system but I don’t need that so I am going to pull it out if I need it for the drives. Once the OS is installed I am done with the DVD drive. I have also got 8 GB USB flash drive that has been hot glued into the case and I’ve got two 1 terabyte Seagate drives. Now if I was making a dedicated NAS for myself I would probably put two 4 GB Western Digital red drives in here.

Bryan: Because those are the lower… and they use less power.

Fr. Robert: Right. So they are designed for NAS.

 Bryan: So hopefully, fingers crossed they will last longer.

Fr. Robert: So that is our box. Now, We need to know about putting a media plug-in on this. If you have a Free Nas box folks and this is how you install Plex.

Fr. Robert: The first step in creating your FreeNAS Plex Media server is to prepare it by creating a Volume, two datasets and a share.

1. Click the "Storage" tab from the main menu

You'll see two options. "UFS Volume Manager" and "ZFS Volume Manager". UFS uses fewer resources than ZFS, making it ideal for lower-powered systems, but it's not as robust as ZFS and you CAN'T use it for plugins.

2. Click "ZFS Volume Manager" and give your new volume a name. (I'm calling mine CrankyVolume)

3. Click the "+" to add all available disks to the volume

Our Machine has two 1TB drives, so FreeNAS will automatically select a Mirror as the optimal layout. Don't mess with this unless you REALLY know what you’re doing. Even then, don't mess with it unless OTHER people think you know what you're doing… Even then, don't mess with it unless those other people who think you know what you're doing, actually know what THEY'RE doing. – In other words… don't mess with it.

4. Click "Add Volume"

Once the volume has been created, you'll see it added to the "Active Volumes" list

5. Select the volume you just made, and click the "Create ZFS Dataset" icon on the menu bar towards the bottom of the window.

A window named "Create ZFS Dataset" will pop open.

6. Give your new Dataset a name (I'm calling mine, "CrankyMedia") and click "Add Dataset"

We now need to set permissions. Permissions tells the FreeNAS Operating System who should be able to access the Dataset we just created.

7. Select your newly created Dataset and click the "Change Permission" icon on menu towards the bottom of the screen.

The "Change Permissions" window will pop open.

8. In the "Mode" section, check the "Write" box under the "Other" Mode. – Then click the "Change" Button.

We're doing this so that guests can add media files to you dataset. – If this is NOT a new Installation and you're using a previously created dataset, then you should enable the "Set Permission Recursively" option so that proper permissions will be given to older files.

We just created a dataset for our media, but now we need another dataset to hold our plugins.
9. Select the VOLUME – NOT THE DATASET -- you created earlier, remember that mine was called "CrankyVolume", and click "Create ZFS Dataset" on the menu towards the bottom of the screen.

As before, the "Create ZFS Dataset" window will pop open.

10. Name your new Dataset and click "Add Dataset"

Technically, what we're doing is creating a JAIL for our Plugin information… so I called my new volume "CrankyJails"

11. Click the "JAILS" tab on the main menu.

12. In the section called "Jail Root" – browse through the file tree to find the path to the dataset you just created to hold your plugin information.

In our case, the path was root/mnt/CrankyVolume/CrankyJails

13. Click "Save"

We've created a volume, two datasets and told FreeNAS where to put plugins. Now we need to create a Sharing Tree. – On the left side of the main menu, you'll see the "Sharing" tab. This is where you choose the sharing options that work for your network and clients.

There will be three options available to you: Apple (AFP) Share, Unix (NFS) Shares and Window (CIFS) Shares.

I typically use CIFS (or SMB) because most every Operating System knows how to use them. You can get OS specific performance boosts by using AFP or NFS, but if you want the maximum compatibility possible – and trust me… you do -- use CIFS.

14. Expand the "Sharing" dropdown on the left side of the main menu, then expand the "Windows (CIFS) Shares" tab.

15. Click "Add Windows (CIFS) Shares"

The "Add Windows (CIFS) Share" window will pop up.

16. Give the Share a name.

I'm calling my share: CrankyShare

17. In the "Path" section, browse to the dataset you created to hold your media.

In our case, the path would be "root/mnt/CrankyVolume/CrankyMedia

18. Scroll down and enable "Allow Guest Access"

This will allow anonymous users on your network to read the media files in your share. You can close this down later to restrict access, but we're just trying to get the share up and running.

19. Click "OK"

A Window will open, asking you if you want to Enable the Service

20. Click “Yes”

Woot! - Your FreeNAS Dataset is now accessible by any computer on your network, using the CIFS protocol

Step 2: Accessing and Filling your Media Server

You just created a usable Volume, Dataset and share, but now you need to connect and copy to that share.

I'm going to show you how to access and fill the Media server using a Windows machine, but you can use any OS that speaks the CIFS protocol. Just substitute your access method for mine.

21. Open Windows Explorer and type "\\IP address of your FreeNAS"

You'll see the share that you created. You can now drag and drop your media files directly into your FreeNAS Share.

22. Copy your Files – And be quick about it.

Fr. Robert: That is really part one. You need to be able to set up the Free NAS. you need to be able to set up the permissions, you need to be able to create the volume, the data set, the share and then loaded up with stuff.

Bryan: I appreciate that it was a cranky NAS.

Fr. Robert: Well yeah. Cranky is natural right? Especially the cranky jails part. Now this is all because we want to create a repository of knowledge right? We want someplace where we can just go and have an easy to access index of everything and every piece of content that we have. And stream it. But I would say that trying to get a repository of knowledge is always a good thing, wouldn’t you say?

Bryan: Absolutely.

Fr. Robert: You know who else is a good repository of knowledge?

Bryan: Full Sail?

Fr. Robert: Yeah, Full Sail University. We hear at know-how, we are all about learning online. I mean that is why you have come to watch the show.

Bryan: And continue learning.

Fr. Robert: And continue learning. Because you are never done being a student.

Bryan: No. Because the day you stop learning is the day you die.

 Fr. Robert: Or the day that you sit down in front of the TV and eat to readers and watch cartoons. But either way, don’t do that. Instead check out Full Sail. we are happy to have Full Sail as a sponsor of Know How because they understand that in this world, in this world the fast-moving technology you always have to be a student. Now, big data. The information gathered through business technology and processes provides companies with tremendous potential when it comes to how to make their decisions. It also creates a need for skilled professionals who can translate this information into strategies and results. Well, Full Sail University understands that. They offer you an online master’s degree program in business intelligence. Which can lead you to the skill set needed to become a professional in the growing career field of big data. In their accelerated master’s program you will learn how to collect, manage, mind, analyze and interpret big data. Through the industry tools, software and technologies. You’ll also be able to demonstrate your abilities as business intelligence professional by conducting your own research and presenting your findings and recommendations. Giving you experience that you can take out into the real world. Full Sail University online and campus degree programs are centered on real world education and experience with industry technology and work flow. Through their innovative curriculum you can earn your master’s degree in just 12 months. So here is what we want you to do. If you want to keep learning, if you want to keep expanding your horizons, if you want growing your potential then try Full Sail University. In addition to business intelligence, Full Sail University offers a variety of master’s degrees in related fields including internet marketing and innovation and Entrepreneurship. To learn more about Full Sail’s master’s degree programs in business intelligence or any of their related programs check out And we thank Full Sail University for their support of Know How.

Fr. Robert: Now Brian, before we get to part two of how to turn your Free NAS server into a Plex media server, I thought very quickly we might cover a quick tip that people have been asking for.

Bryan: Right. And that is YouTube Center.

Fr. Robert: You Tube Center. now this is one of those things that people say we notice that you get a lot of videos from YouTube That you don’t use screen capture. It is stupid to screen capture.

Bryan: The thing I like to do is make mash ups a lot of the time. Endearing certain shows and stuff I like to have access to YouTube video right away. So I have downloaded for acute videos and put my own music to it, or I have cut and spliced something together. But this tool you are going to show with is a new way of downloading YouTube videos.

Fr. Robert: Exactly. Right now there is a GetHub a repository, for a project called the YouTube Center. this is just a script. You can use this on most browsers and I would suggest that you use it on chrome. On my experience it is the one that is the least buggy. It is the one that works every time you want it to work. It is very simple you just go to the chrome extension and download it. You are going to notice something when you download this. A lot of times scripts will automatically install but at the bottom of the screen it will say I am sorry I can’t install the script automatically. I think it is covered by the Know How bug. down towards the bottom it will say extensions absent are you sure you want to continue?

Bryan: It sounds dangerous Padre.

Fr. Robert: It’s really not. This script has been used by so many people. Now the way you have to activate this is that you go into the settings of chrome. So I am going to go down into settings and you are going to find the extensions page. In the extensions page you are going to see anything that has been loaded up. I've got Google pass but I have it turned off because I’m not using it. Google Docs and Google hangouts activated. What I want to do now is that I want to go to my downloads and in my downloads you will see I’ve got YouTube center right here. Now all I have to do, is take YouTube Center.crx, this is the script file, drag it and bring it over to the settings window and drop it in.

Bryan: That’s cool. I didn’t know you could just drag it over.

Fr. Robert: And it is going to ask me are you sure you want to do this? Okay that is it. Now if I go to YouTube, here’s the cool thing. Let’s go to YouTube. It is first going to say I just noticed that you added a new plug-in, do you want to do anything about it? And I say yes. In settings for YouTube center you are going to see all the different things that you can do. For example, you can use your protocol, you can remove advertisements, and then all of these other options are the things that the developers have heard that people want them to do. Now you can really leave all these alone, but if you want to get advanced and you want to get crazy dig through these. Go ahead and dig and find all the different ways that you can download things. That you really don’t have to. Instead, let’s do this. Let’s go to Now, if I click this notice appear it gave me a new segment here. I can click download and now I can choose what format I want the video to download in.

Bryan: And the ratio.

Fr. Robert: Exactly. So I can choose my resolution, I can choose the format. I typically want the highest quality format and in this case it is 720 P, 1280 x 720. If I click that it is just going to go ahead and do it just like a standard file. It will download it to my computer. Now something you are going to notice when you start downloading YouTube videos is their compression algorithm, in order to save space it drops everything down to 24 frames a second. So for an example on the TriCaster, it was 29.9 so you are going to have to drop this into an editor and make sure you get the right frame rate for whatever you are doing.

Bryan: Okay. I would probably use Adobe media encoder or something like that.

Fr. Robert: Something simple. Even the high movie will do it. It will get you in the right format. Again it is a really simple tool to use and it is something that I've used on trips. There are several series that I like to watch on YouTube and it is really easy using YouTube Center to download the episodes to my computer and I play them back when I want to.

Bryan: Yeah, because there are a few things that I have watched on YouTube that will get pulled down once they get super popular. And I might want to hang onto that.

Fr. Robert: This is also exceptionally useful if you’ve got horrible connectivity. There is nothing worse than watching a YouTube video and no internet. So this way, download the whole thing. It might take a little bit longer but then you have the full view without having to worry about buffer.

Bryan: That is a good idea. The files aren’t too big.

Fr. Robert: Realistically I could download that, Turn Down For What, it is like a four minute video? it would probably be 60 to 120 MB? It is nothing.

Bryan:. Cool. That makes it really slick. And it also has repeat, resize.

Fr. Robert: It is a cool tool to have. Go ahead and download it, play around with it, and you are going to wonder how you ever did without it.

Bryan: If you seem worth all review videos on the TriCaster you’ll know how I got them.

Fr. Robert: Now, we are going to go that elbows deep into the Plex Media Server.

Bryan: Do I need to put gloves on?

Fr. Robert: When we left the Plex media server we had just figured out how to create the data set and load up your media that now, now we need to know how to actually install and configure the Plex media plug-in, so that we can stream our media anywhere we want.

Fr. Robert: Step 3: Install and Enable Plex

With you share properly enabled and filled with content – We now need to install the Plex Media Server plugin. Make sure your FreeNAS is connected to the Internet, because it will need to download the plugins you select, then:

23. Click the "Plugins" tab on the main menu.

You'll get a list of all the available plugins in the FreeNAS database.

24. Scroll down to "PlexMediaServer", select it, and click "Install"

You'll get a popup window asking you if you're SURE you want to install the plugin.

25. Click "Ok"

Download and installation will take a while. Once that's done:

26. Click the "Jails" tab from the top menu

You'll see the "PlexMediaServer" in your Jails list

27. Select the "Plex Media Server" Jail and then click the "Add Storage" icon on the menu to the bottom of the screen.

An "Add Storage" window will pop open. This is where you give the Plex plugin the location of the Dataset you've created to hold your media.

28. In the "Source" section, click "Browse", then navigate to the Dataset you created for your media.

In our example, I used "root/mnt/CrankyVolume/CrankyMedia"

You also need to tell Plex where it's going to store the index it makes of the media in your Dataset.

This is important, because you don't want Plex to have to search through ALL of your content every time takes a look at your library.

29. In the "Destination" section, click "Browse", then navigate to "/media"

30. Click "Ok"

With the Plex Media Server initial configuration completed, we now need to turn it on:

31. Click the "Plugins" Tab on the main window.

32. Then Click the "Installed" tab on the bar below the "Plugins" menu

You'll see a slider under "Service Status" that defaults to "off"

33. Click the slider – and it will turn the service on.

To the left of the screen, you'll see a plugins dropdown. Open it to see the "PlexMediaServer" selection.

34. Click "PlexMediaServer"

A window named "PlexMediaServer" will pop open.

35. Check the box next to "Disable Remote Security" to make it easier for us to manage our Plex Server

36. Click "Ok"

37. Once again, click the "PlexMediaServer" dropdown on the left side of the screen.

As before, a window named "PlexMediaServer" will pop up, but this time, notice that the word "here" in the sentence "Click here to access your Plex Media Server" is a hotlink.

38. Click "Here"

You will now navigate to the Plex Plugin User Interface.

The first thing you'll see is the "End User License Agreement" – Ignore it, like you've ignored every other EULA you've ever seen, and

39. Click "Agree"

Registering with Plex will give access to some features on the Plex website, but for now:

40. Click "Skip" – and "Skip" again in the popup window

Your Plex Media server needs a unique network name so it can be identified on the network. Our server is called "CrankyServer"

41. Click "Next"

You'll come to a screen sub-titled "Create your Media Library"

42. Click "Add Section"

The "Add Section" window will pop up, asking you what type of media you want to add to your Plex Media Server" – You can choose between Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos and Home Movies, but for simplicity, we're going to:

43. Choose "Movies"

The "Add Section" Window will pop-up. Remember when we were doing the initial configuration of the plugin and we had to tell Plex where to store the index? Well here is where you tell the Interface where that index can be found.

44. Click "Add Folder"

And browse to the "media" folder where we told Plex to store its index.

45. Click "Add"

46. Click "Save"

Plex is now looking through that index and the folder that it indexes. In just a few moments, it will be done with its search and you'll see the "Refresh" icon go static.

47. Click "Next"

You'll now find yourself in the Channels page. Plex will suggest a few channels for you to add to your media server, but you can just skip this step – Of course, first adding the only channel that you MUST have on your Plex server.

Scroll to the bottom and:

48. Click "Next"

You should find yourself on the "Congratulations" screen. Unless you did something horribly wrong, in which case, you're a bad person, and should start over.

In any case, I'm going to assume you're a good person and now you should:

49. Click "Done"

You'll be able to see all of the movies that you added to your dataset.

Clicking any of those movies will start the video in your player.

You have now successfully setup the Plex Server plugin on your FreeNAS box.

Treat yourself to an ice-cream and relax. If you're lactose intolerant, who cares… it's not like YOU have to suffer through the bouts of horrible gas.

Bonus Round!
Of course you'll be adding more media to your media server. You don't have to go through this procedure every time you do so. If you add more movies, go to the "My Library" section of the Plex interface and click "Movies", "More" and "Force Refresh" – Plex will re-index your dataset.

I would have told you that sooner, but I was busy passing ice-cream gas down the halls of my rectory.

Bryan: Hmmmm. So, do you typically not read the EULA’s?

Fr. Robert: have you ever read? The worst ones are the ones that make you scroll to the bottom. That is not going to make it any more likely that I’m going to read those.

Bryan: I think one of the best ones I saw was that it showed how much time you spent on it. Did you really read this and 10.6 seconds?

Fr. Robert: I can’t remember what it was that there was a EULA once for beta. And if you read through the EULA there was a link that if you clicked it you could get like one of 100 free copies would it actually came out. It took three weeks before anyone actually figure that out. Because no one reads the EULA. Ever.

Bryan: It is a lot of words. Can’t they just sort of TDLR at the bottom?

Fr. Robert: That a section what I do.

Bryan: TLTR actually. Too long to read. It has been a long day, Padre.

Fr. Robert: Okay so that is just how you get Plex running up on your server. It is very easy to run a client if you’ve got something like Roku. It is automatically going to take the Plex media server. If you have an android device you can buy the plug-in for about five dollars. Now in three weeks, for those people who haven’t been able to figure out how to get the clients on their computers we are going to run a quick tutorial. But please, try it out. Once you get your Free NAS installed, once you get your Plex media server up, just try it. At the very least, from your desktop or your laptop the clients are free. So you can stream that content to anything. The best part about this is that if you poke a hole in your firewall so that it is to the outside world you will be able to stream your media from home anywhere.

Bryan: That is pretty cool. I know some people who have all the Simpsons downloaded and are able to stream into their phone.

Fr. Robert: Now Brian, I would like to continue but this has been a long episode. We have given the folks a lot. Don’t worry if you are freaked out over part one and part two. We actually gave you all of this death in the show notes. Where do we find the show notes Brian?

Bryan: You find them at where we keep all our old previous episode and our show notes which when you feel like your mind is melting from all the knowledge that is being crammed in there you can just go there and refresh. We have links to products that we use and stuff too. Last week is not a great example for show notes.

Fr. Robert: Two weeks ago Brian.

Bryan: Oh was that two weeks ago? Whatever that was.

Fr. Robert: Feedback episodes are never great for show notes. Because there was nothing we really did accept answer questions. But for this one, it was a 49 step process from start to finish on the Free NAS. you are going to want to check the show notes. Also we have the link for YouTube Center in there as well. So if you want to check that out and download them to your computer just go there rather than searching. Because right now, actually you have to be careful when you download those scripts because there are some people who will take those scripts and change them so that they are malicious and then offer them up on the Internet. Be sure and get them from the source.

Bryan: There are a lot of those. Converters, MP3 downloaders.

Fr. Robert: Now once you have checked out our show notes be sure and check out our show live. We tape he or most weeks on Thursday at 11:00 AM Pacific time, and as long as you are watching our show live what else should they do?

Bryan: You should check out our cheap plus community. People post questions for show ideas and their projects. Hopefully.

Fr. Robert: Disco to Our community is 6500+ people and growing. The nice thing about it is they we get people in there of all types of DIY celebrity. We’ve got people who are just starting, we’ve got people who have been doing it for years, we’ve got people who are makers. So if you have a question, you have a project or if you have something you want us to take a look at join us and be part of the Know it all community.

Bryan: One other thing that I would like to mention is that if you watch a certain show and there is only one segment that you are interested in, you can always go to our YouTube page and watch the episodes they are where I painstakingly put the time codes in so that you can skip to whatever you are interested in.

Fr. Robert: Totally. He has to do that. Which is why I like putting a lot of information.

Bryan: I love it.

Fr. Robert: If you don’t like GPlus you can find us on Twitter. At That is @PadreSJ.

Bryan: I’m @Cranky_Hippo.

Fr. Robert: Until next time, I’m Father Robert Ballecer.

Bryan: And I’m Bryan Burnett. I’m waiting for you to say now that you know how…

Fr. Robert: and now that you know how…

Bryan: Go do it!

Fr. Robert: Nailed it.

Bryan: Two weeks in a row.

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