I will say this--Windows does not feel it should be taken for granted and makes sure every so often you're reminded how probable it is one of the developers was watching substandard hentai while doing QC on the final version before deployment.
Plex Media Server
Okay, I couldn't get over how pretty it was, so I kept it for movies anyway. With my TV shows that I didn't rip myself, ffmpeg can add metadata--and ask me about the adventure it was hunting down the right metatags for it and imbedding them all correctly while renaming--but it works well enough that I want to keep it for my mom, who is very familiar with the Roku interface and it makes it much easier for her to hunt through our media to find stuff. It's pretty, it's not terribly draining when it's running, and I can can flip it on and off with a bash script. That it works so well with the Roku is definitely a huge factor here. Doesn't hurt at all that it fetches all the cool data on everything with its agents, so full name, summary, runtime et all are there on viewing.
General Media Things
My bluray collection is a pain in the ass and sucks both bandwidth and space like it's a universal hoover. However, compression to less insane sizes than 32 G per movie, after testing several settings in Handbrake, is officially only worth it if I wasn't watching on a freaking HD TV. I don't know why I can tell the difference, but testing uncompressed Thor against compressed Sherlock, there was a noticeable difference in picture quality at 50 inch widescreen and less noticeable--but totally there--placebo effect on my 40 inch tv. I don't like myself for being badly distracted by that, but I really was. The solution is obviously to get bigger drives and stop stressing about getting everything below my 10 G limit and let it be lossless audio free in the wild. My server has a current max of five SATA drives plus bluray, four with my OS on it's own private SSD, so I'm staring resentfully at current 4T drive prices because yeah, might as well give up and get this done.
This also means, depressingly, that I should look into creating a RAID drive array and sacrifice a SATA to a tower of as many drives as I can stuff into an external secondary chassis for future media needs. That would only be slightly less expensive (but so much slower) than getting a newer--hideously expensive--motherboard with more SATA connectors, but honestly not by much, and at the current rate of progress, newegg's price difference could change at any moment, so there's that. I get the benefits of RAID, I do--a billion fanpeople can't be wrong on their magical properties--but there's something about them that fundamentally bothers me and I don't know why.
Food, presents, wildly excited children...no family trauma. It was magic, really. I have no complaints, and oh, the food. The food.
Happy holidays and merry Christmas to all who celebrate!
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