How To Monitor Plex Users and Use the New Push Notification Feature!

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“Everybody its la and side bend. We are back with our monthly sponsored video from from plex and this month. We re going to be taking a look at their revised dashboard and their new notification system. So you can get a better idea as to what the users on your plex server are doing that includes my kids for example.

But also perhaps people you re sharing your plex server with and there s also some great information you can get on the health of your plex server as well. So you can troubleshoot things that might be going the wrong way. And there s a lot of great stuff that you can get out of all of these features. We re going to preview here.

Please note. Though that most of what you re about to see requires a plex pass and we ve got a link down below for more information about how you can purchase one for yourself. Now i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure. If this is a paid sponsorship from plex.

However they are not reviewing or approving what you re about to see before it was uploaded and all the opinions you re about to hear are my own. So let s get into it now and see how all of these features work all right so let s dig into some of this monitoring. I ve got my ipad here. Running with a blu ray mkv.

This is connected to my local network. But i also have an iphone connected over the cellular network back to my server here so we ve got an inside thing happening and also an outside thing happening to my plex server over the internet and if we look here on the web interface for plex. We ll see that i have two active things happening in my activity icon and this icon will light up yellow when you do have media playing back somewhere in your home or outside of the house and if we click on this you ll be brought to another screen here that will indicate which servers are getting hit with media playback right now and right now the only server that is playing anything back is my my cloud. So i m going to click on that real quick here and that will bring you over to this screen.

Now if yours doesn t look like this there s a little detail icon here you can click to give you all the details about the connection. So right now. I ve got the back to the future part 2 blu. Ray mkv here playing back to my iphone again over the internet on a really lousy cellular connection.

The phone is down here in the base at the moment as you can see we re getting some buffering here. And it s having a hard time maintaining 720 k. Bits per second due to the connection that cell phone has right now. But it is trying its best.

So you can see we re going from 1080p to standard definition with a hardware trance code. We re also transcoding that return of the jedi movie inside the house for the ipad that one s staying at the same resolution. But going down to a slightly lower 22 megabits per second bitrate now. It s cool about this is that you can also get a glimpse as to what your network activity is looking like and it can break it out both by the inside and outside so this blue line down.

Here is my remote bandwidth so this is stuff..


That s getting transmitted outside of my house. And then the yellow line here is what is going on inside of the house right now and this can be very useful to see who might be connecting to your server and how much bandwidth. They might be consuming and you have history here too so you can look at the last seven days. If you want you can go all the way back to the last year.

You can even do an all time thing here to figure out what was going on in different parts of the year. And i can also differentiate it out by remote only so i can see what some of my bad months were for a remote access versus. Some of the leaner months here and of course you can also look at it locally too. So you ve got a lot of different options here for looking at bandwidth utilization.

Which might be useful. Especially if you are sharing your connection outside the home. And maybe you have a friend that s abusing their access to the server a little too much you can kind of see what is going on on your network and outside your network and if we scroll down a little bit. Here.

You ll also see that we have some cpu monitors. Available to us as well. And what s nice about this is that the cpu monitor will differentiate between system usage and the plex media server now right now on my wd. My cloud.

The only thing running at the moment is the plex server. So we re not seeing much of a difference here between these two lines. But if you re having transcoding problems. This chart might be a really good way to figure out where those problems are because if the plex media server.

Which is the green line here is hovering in the lower 40 percentile for example and your system is up to a hundred then there s a good chance plex is not the cause of your problems. And there might be something else running that s consuming up the cpu cycles here and preventing your transcoding from working. So it s a good way to know exactly where the problem is or at least where to start and sometimes this chart can be really helpful. If you are noticing some issues in your transcode.

Likewise. They also have a ram chart that will give you similar information. So you can see here. The memory usage on my system right now is at about 20 percent 6 percent or so of that is the plex media server.

So it looks like we re doing just fine here and you can also segment. It out like you can in the other charts as well now one thing. I ve been having a good time with is the user stuff here because i have two kids and i have their media on my plex server along with some of my movies and everything else and i don t want them to watch anything. But kids stuff and they often like to have a good idea as to what they are watching on here for a couple of reasons.

One is of course to know what they re looking at..


But also what they watch can kind of guide my media buying decisions because i often buy dvds and blu rays and i rip them to my plex server. So the kids can have them on their tablets and at home on the tv and if i see my kids watching a lot of paw patrol. And less of something else then i ll certainly look at adding new media that fits their preferences. And this has some ability to help you with that so right now.

I ve only got really two active users here on my plex server over the last week. And as you can see here my usage is fairly minimal because i just haven t had time to really enjoy any movies on my plex server recently. But if i dive into my daughter s profile here. What we re gonna get as i zoom.

Now is a look at what she s played here over the last 7 days. And it looks like she was watching some paw patrol on her sister s ipad. Here and i could also look even farther back. So i can look at the last 30 days.

I can look at the last year which will give me everything she s played over the last year or i can also look at all time this is every single thing that my kids have played on those ipads and i ll get an idea as to exactly where it was played and what the platform was you can see here. The bedroom tv had paw patrol going on for a little while we also had my old fire tablet here that one of the kids was using so it s a really good way to kind of drill in and see exactly what it is they re looking at you can also drill it down by library. So i can see what kid tv shows were being watched and likewise what movies they were watching all of this data does not leave your server this is stored on your local plex server and is accessed only by you and i found this to be really useful again just to make sure my kids aren t getting into stuff. They shouldn t be getting into or perhaps you know if i set up something incorrectly and they were getting access to things they shouldn t this is a great way to kind of dig into it and see exactly what s going on and its really useful just to be able to drill down here and get a good sense as to what they re looking at now.

I did do an entire video on parental controls and user restrictions so you may want to check out that video to figure out how to best prevent your kids from getting into. Things you don t want them to see and the logging is very useful to make sure that they aren t getting into that stuff just to give you another peace of mind on your media server. But i really do like the level of granularity here. They also have the ability to just to look at the overall play history and the kind of media that your users are consuming so you can see here on my chart.

The most popular thing today so far has been movies. Because we ve been testing out some movies here as we ve been playing around with this video. But i can go back over the last year. And just see what has been the most popular and it looks like tv is winning out over movies.

Which is to be expected if you re bingeing on a tv show with multiple one hour episodes. I can also dig in and see what my daughter has been up to over the last year. So she started heavily in the movies and now she s moved her way over to tv shows. I can also look at the kind of content.

So i can see what each of these things individually looks like and of course. I can look at other users or all users to get a feel as to what s going on on my server. So this may or may not be useful depending on what your situation is but it s often fun just to play around with the data here and get a sense as to what you re consuming. And if you re trying to consume more movies.

This might be a good way to convince yourself to do just that you also have the ability to see what the most played stuff is on your server..


And again you can look at it by user. So if i wanted to get a sense as to what my daughter s favorite content is of all time. I can see that paw patrol. Here is clearly winning out on the tv shows and then they really apparently like these leapfrog movies as well.

So that s a good thing to give me an idea as to what to put on the server for them next. Now one of my projects around the house over the next couple of weeks is to get more of the kids media onto the plex server. Because they ve been spending a lot of time on the youtube kids app and on netflix and amazon and there s some good stuff there. But i don t always have control over what they re tapping on at least in plex.

I can control all the media that they re presented with and i m going to be using this to figure out where their interests are and load it up with stuff so they stay more in here than in some of the other stuff that i don t always have the same level of control with now another thing you can do is set up push notifications and this is a new feature that just got added so if you go into your plex servers web interface click on general and then go over to push notifications and check it off and click save you can get notified every time one of your kids does something it s actually very useful if you want to have immediate feedback as to what s going on this works with android and ios. I tested it on both and we re going to take a look at the iphone now and see exactly how these push notifications can be used all right so we re on my iphones plex app. Now and what i m going to do is tap on my username in the upper right hand corner. What s going to happen after i do that is i will be brought to the settings option here we re going to tap on that and what we re gonna do is go over to notifications and you can see we ve got a bunch of options waiting for us here.

So i ve got a few that can maybe give me a notification when something new is added to the library. This might be useful. If i m connected to another server and i want to know when my friend adds something for example if you re adding your own media. You probably don t need to be notified about that but the option is there if you need it let me show this to you real quick.

Though because i can give you an idea as to how this works. When you do activate it so what i did here is i activated the notification and by default it will be all libraries. But if i turn that off i ll be presented with all the libraries that i have access to so at the bottom. Here is a server called plex dvr.

And this is something that i m connecting to elsewhere. And i can get notified every time they add a movie for example. I would get a push notification to let me know that s been brought to that server. So that might be useful.

If you are connecting to friends and want to know what they added another thing. We can look at here is the playback started notification and this is one that i think is very useful if you have kids and i ll show you how i have mine set up so you can see i had the playback started activated. But i have turned off all users and i only activated it for my daughter kyra and you can see here that it is also activated for plex dvr. Because that s a remote user.

And i might want to know if they ever pop in and watch something on my server. And then i also have the ability to drill it down to specific servers that i have under my control. So i ve got three right now on three different nasa devices. We ve been testing so i can have it apply only to one of the servers or all of them.

And now that we have that dialed in let s take a look and see how that works and how fast that notification gets pushed out all right so we ve got my daughter logged into her account on my ipad here and if i click on the paw patrol..


Here and click the play button. You ll see that that notification now gets pushed down almost immediately. I really got there pretty quick. And i m able to see what she s watching and on what device and i m able to decide what to do about that very quickly from there now if i tap on it really nothing happens it just brings me back to plex.

But you are able to get a very immediate notification as to when something occurs on your system and of course that can be very useful. And there are a few system notifications here that i found of interest. The first one is new devices that you see right here. And what this will do is it will push a notification every time a new phone or computer or a tablet or tv.

Is connected to your plex server and this could be very useful because let s say i shared my plex server with a friend and if that friend then shared his or her plex credentials to somebody else you d start seeing all these different unknown devices popping up through the notifications that you re receiving. You ll also be able to drill down to those devices inside of your logs. But this is a nice way to get immediate feedback before something goes really awry so for example. If somebody posted your plex credentials on the internet.

And you had 20 devices connecting. In you d get those notifications immediately. And you can disable the account to prevent unauthorized use of your server. So this might be very useful.

If you are doing a lot of media library sharing with others. There s also another one here that will give you a notification. If your database gets corrupted and that might be a very useful way to act on it quickly before it becomes an issue so it s a lot of neat little notifications in here that i think can be helpful from both a user management standpoint. But also a system management standpoint.

So you d get a lot of information about what s going on with your server. If you do in fact have a plex pass. I ve been having a lot of fun just drilling into my data to figure out what my kids are up to. But there s a lot of other useful information that you can glean from it as well let me know what you thought down in the comments below and until next time this is lion simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lon tv supporters.

Including gold level supporters. The four guys with quarters podcast. Emu dev org. Tom albrecht brian parker in kellyanne kumar.

If you want to help the channel. You can by contributing as little as a dollar a month. It over to lan tv slash support to learn more and don t forget to subscribe visit. ” .

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