Breakthrough!

Adel Gabot

plex-for-apple-tv-4

6:32AM

I’ve long wondered why my many TV shows refuse to show up in the Plex Media Server menu of the Apple TV app on my flatscreen TV. None of them ever showed up on the screen, but all my movies do.

It’s damned mysterious.

It’s been like that ever since I began using Plex Media Server on my Mac and the PS3 years ago. The problem has prevailed through the PS4, the 3rd gen Apple TV, and now on the 4th generation ATV. Never could figure it out, and have been suffering the problem all this time.

But I’ve had a breakthrough. A bolt of lightning from a clear sky.

It just occurred to me last night that they weren’t showing up because the TV shows were buried deep in a nest of organized folders. Plex couldn’t see them!

So to test my theory I tried dragging a folder up to the second level and checked the menu on my TV—and the shows all showed up!

Apparently, one of the shortcomings of Plex Media Server is that it cannot see any content past the third nested folder level. If the shows were on the fourth level or deeper, they might as well be invisible as far as Plex was concerned. That’s why they weren’t appearing on the on-screen menus.

My problem was that I was organized to a fault.

I meticulously deposit the video files in complicated nests of organized folders. As in, as an example, in descending order of folders starting with TV on the top level, then New Episodes, then Completed Seasons, then Marvel-Netflix, then Daredevil and finally Season Two. Then, and only then, you get to the actual files of Daredevil Season Two.

That’s six levels of nested folders before you get to the actual files.

Plex, in its infinite wisdom, only sees files up to the third folder in the hierarchy. The files were in the sixth level!

Now why would such short-sighted programming be in a modern, top-tier app like Plex?

Damn it.

So I spent some time reorganizing the TV shows to only three levels of folders at most, then re-directed the Plex app to find them there. I did this for a couple of other media formats that were suffering from the nested-folder problem also, and now they all work. My menus were suddenly all filled out!

Now if only Plex would helpfully sort out the files on the TV.

Sometimes I think I ask too much of my apps.

 


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