After spending a lot of time organizing my media in Plex (principally video and music), there are still two major gaps. The first (photos) just doesn’t seem to be a priority in Plex development, with music and video being the foremost of the applications there. Using Plex and creating a series of music playlists has allowed me to rediscover the music that has been buried on my server or elsewhere, for years. I want to do the same with my photos and e-books.

For photos, what I need is the ability (as on Flickr or other such photo sharing sites) to organize photos around albums, without necessarily duplicating them in each album in which they appear. Also, though all my 50k+ photos are on my Synology server, they don’t all need to be included in what’s viewed on Plex. They might all be photos I took, but may not be something that is worthy of being included in an album, even though the photo is not something I wanted to delete. I haven’t made time to look into the options I outlined earlier for photo organization, so that will continue to be on hold. Plex’s photo management is the weakest aspect of this media management server.

The other gap I have is in organizing my e-books. I’ve looked at Calibre before, but not the server aspect. So now that I’ve centralized all of my content on the Synology, I’ve decided to see how the Calibre e-book server works. I was ‘inspired’ by this note on Howtogeek. I have a lot of e-books, primarily in pdf format, but some in other formats (.mobi, .epub, .chm), that Calibre may or may not handle. They are backed up on the server, but since I have no convenient visuaal means of browsing thru the library and metadata associated with the titles, I end up not doing so at all. It’s a mixture of content more focused on finance and applications like Excel, but I have a lot of other content as well. I have some of my books uploaded to Google Play books and some few others in iBooks, but nothing has everything, and I’m not sure I want to have all of my content with one service. I’m also curious to see whether I can copy the protected content from my Amazon Kindle to the Calibre server (I guess you could say these are only backed up on Amazon). One of the introductory videos on Calibre shows that it can handle the protected content. I’ll see for myself once I get to that point.
Engaging in this little project will also force me to reorganize the e-Books folder on the server. It’s a mess. I’ve been dumping stuff into the folder for years, across the multiple computers I used. Some titles are in their own folder, many are not. There are zipped files, and some titles badly titled, ‘clipped’ web pages (pdfs) and probably some duplicates. For the potion of the content that Calibre doesn’t handle or that should not really be a part of an e-Book library, I’ll just move that content into a non-indexed folder. I look forward to this part as much as when I’m forced to pair my socks.

I hate to have to run another server program on my server, just for one category of media. I really wish Plex would handle this as well as it does music and video.

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