To stream your media from a Plex server you will need to add the media into a library. A library can contain one type of media, such as movies or TV shows, but you can add multiple libraries for the same type of media.
Use the following step-by-step guide to add a library to Plex.
Table of contents
How to add a library
Before you can add any media to a library in Plex, you must first ensure you follow the Plex movie naming conventions, TV show naming conventions, or music naming conventions and folder structure. Once your media files are organized properly, you can now add a library for those media items to your Plex server.
You can use the following steps to add a library to your Plex server:
- Log into your Plex server as an administrator, and then click the Settings - the wrench - link in the upper-right corner of the Plex server page.
- From the menu on the left, scroll down to the Manage section and click the Libraries option.
- With the Libraries page displayed on the right, click the Add Library button. The Add Library window is displayed.
- Select the media type, and then enter a name for your library. You can also change the language. Click the Next button to continue.
- To select the folder containing your media to add to the library and then click the Browse for Media Folder button.
- Navigate and then select the folder containing the media. Click the Add button to add the folder to the library.
- Click the Add Library button.
The library has now been created on your Plex server. If you move your mouse over the library name, the Edit Library option will become visible. This option allows you to modify settings for your library.
You may find that once you added the library, Plex may not display the information about your media. This may also be the case if you add new media to your library.
If the information for your media isn't available in Plex, you will need to tell Plex to scan your library files.
When adding a library there is an advanced option in the list on the left side of the dialog that is enabled once you select a media folder. When you click on this link, a dialog with a number of settings for the media type you selected will be displayed.
The settings that are displayed will be different for each media type. In addition, some media types will have the same settings.
The sections below outline the advanced settings for the various media types.
Visibility. Restricts where the media items included in the library will appear in Plex.
Settings (common, except photos)
Scanner. The scanner will analyze the folder and file names you added to your library that will be used by the library agent to download the metadata. The default scanner is preferred, but you can select another scanner from the dropdown list.
Agent. The agent will take the information from the scanner and search locally and online for metadata about the media items. You can use the default agent or select one from the dropdown list.
Settings (movies and other videos)
Enable Cinema Trailers. This setting will determine whether the Cinema Trailers feature is available for the library. The playback control is available on the Plex app used to stream the media.
Enable credits detection Generates the credit markers for the media items in the library if the feature is enabled in the Plex server settings.
Settings (movies, TV shows, and other videos)
Collections. How the collections are displayed on the Library tab.
Settings (movies and TV shows)
Certification Country. The country used for the content rating system. If you change this setting when editing a library, you will need to refresh the metadata for the media items in the library for the changes to take effect.
Use original titles. Use the original title of the media items regardless of the library language.
Prefer artwork based on library language. Use posters for the library language.
Use local assets. Local posters and artwork are used when the library is scanned.
Prefer local metadata. Embedded tags and local files are used when the library is scanned.
Find extras. (Plex Pass required) Automatically find trailers and extras for the media items.
Only show trailers. Skip extras that aren't trailers.
Allow red band trailers. Allow restricted trailers to be used when available.
Localized subtitles. Include extras that have subtitles that match the library language.
Include adult content. Allow adult titles when matching media items in the fix match results.
Settings (photos, TV shows, and other videos)
Enable video preview thumbnails. When enabled in the server settings, video preview thumbnails will be generated for the media items in the library.
Minimum automatic collection size. Collections will be automatically generated when there is at least the selected number of media items for a collection. Changing this value won't affect existing collections.
Ratings Source. The primary source for ratings.
Settings (TV shows)
Episode sorting. How the episodes are sorted for the show.
Episode ordering. How the episodes are named on the disk.
Use season titles. When available, use the season titles.
Seasons. Choose whether to display the show seasons.
Enable intro detection. Generate intro detection for the media items in the library. The setting will need to be enabled in the server settings to take effect.
Enable credits detection. Generate the credit markers for the media items in the library. The setting will need to be enabled in the server settings to take effect.
Import from iTunes. Import your playlists, ratings, the date the music was added as well as the play and skip counts for tracks in the library.
Album sorting. The albums are sorted for an artist.
Sonic Analysis. Perform a sonic analysis for tracks in the library.
Store track progress. For libraries with long audio tracks, this option will remember and resume tracks from the previous listening position.
Artist Bios. Download and display the artist biography data.
Album Reviews and Critic Ratings. Download and display album reviews and critic ratings.
Popular tracks. Load popular track data.
Find Lyrics. Automatically find and download lyrics for tracks in the library.
Concerts. Find and download concert data for the artists.
Genres. Where to find the genres for artists and albums.
Album Art. Where to find album cover art.
Adding a library using the Plex API
The API command to add a library is a complex command as that single API command is used to add all types of libraries to the Plex server. All settings that are available in the Plex Web app to add a library will need to be specified in the API request.
Because of the complexity of adding a library using the API, the documentation is a long read, but once you fully understand the API request to send to the server, you can add any type of library programmatically.
There could be issues with adding a library to your Plex server. Below are some common issues you may experience, and potential solutions.
No option to add a library
Verify that the user you logged into Plex in the Web browser has permission to add a library to the Plex server.
Make sure the Plex server has been claimed by your account, and if not, then you can unclaim and then reclaim the Plex server.
Access the Plex server from the IP address if you are using the hostname. You can also try logging into the server, if possible, and access the server from the local web browser using the local IP address (127.0.0.1).
If you updated your Plex server recently, try uninstalling the new version and reinstall the previous version. The last versions of Plex should be in the
Updates folder in your Plex data directory.
The Language field is blank
This is a common issue and one that doesn't really have an explanation. The simple solution to resolve this issue is to restart Plex Media Server. After restart, try adding the media library again.
Another solution may be to change the Language option under Settings->General->Language, click the Save Changes button, and then set the Language option to the original value and then save the changes again.
Media aren't being added to the library
Validate that the proper naming conventions are being used and make any changes if necessary and then scan the library again.