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Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video

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Offline tthoben

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  • Greetings from sunny Singapore!
Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2018, 02:12:43 am »
Thanks for the help.

OK, commands are what I have tried before and they did not work on Dots.  Tonight, I had limited success on one Dot - the first one I tried.  Five other Dots and an Echo did not play what I asked, although it said it would but then all was silent.  Somehow it sees one Dot as a default player but none of the others.  I will screw around with it all later.  Frustrating app.

Try logging into your Plex account on the web and see if all your devices were detected properly. Maybe also there will be settings for default devices that you can try configuring.
Echo Dot @ SG

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2018, 03:54:39 pm »
OK, go figure , , , ,  something must have happened overnight.

I asked each Dot and Echo this morning to "Ask Plex to play (artist name)" and it did.  For extra credit, I also got Plex to play on my two Taps, and right now one of them is playing as I write this.  Plex on the Taps is more important to me than on Dots and Echos.

For even more extra credit I had a Dot play a different artist from Plex at same time while Tap played, and it did.  But, a problem appeared after a while:  Twice, the Tap started playing the artist playing on the Dot.  Well, minus some credit; that is an issue that needs work.

I also find it useful to ask an Alexa device to "opem Plex" and it responds with asking me what I want to play.  This is good.

Overall, these features of Plex and Alexa work well now, and make both more valuable than before the Plexa addition.

BTW, the Plex web settings were useless to find various players listed, but then I find the  administration of the Plex settings incomplete and confusing at times.

OK, on to other things now.

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2018, 04:10:10 pm »
I just want to say that after a few days of living with sending my music to Alexa devices this way, it works real well and is very cool.  I now just ask Plex to play my music on a Dot that's audio out goes directly into stereo, and for the most part skip the Roku and TV step. If I want to SEE a list of what's playing I can always use Roku and TV again any time.

Offline tthoben

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  • Greetings from sunny Singapore!
Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2018, 04:11:55 am »
I just want to say that after a few days of living with sending my music to Alexa devices this way, it works real well and is very cool.  I now just ask Plex to play my music on a Dot that's audio out goes directly into stereo, and for the most part skip the Roku and TV step. If I want to SEE a list of what's playing I can always use Roku and TV again any time.

yeah music should be heard not seen  ;D
Echo Dot @ SG

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2018, 02:19:47 pm »
More inportantly why turn on TV if not necessary to hear music well!

Offline 5js

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2018, 08:37:08 am »
Thx for the info Mike.  I had Plex installed on my laptop and the Plex Channel installed on my Roku (which is connected to my stereo system and controlled via Harmony hub)

Everything worked via remote - however, when I asked Plex to play something via Alexa, it would always play to my Dot. 

I see that I need to specify to play to Roku - for example ďAlexa, ask Plex to play Pink Floyd to RokuĒ - I am away for the weekend but will try this when I return home.

I also want to rip some of my DVDís so I can stream those - thanks for the Handbrake suggestion.  Iíll give that a try.

Purely a Plex question - (Iím new to Plex) - are you connected to any online channels or media?

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2018, 03:44:30 pm »
Nice that you got it to work.

>>>  Everything worked via remote - however, when I asked Plex to play something via Alexa, it would always play to my Dot. 

tt only works on one device at a time, so tell Alexa "Ask Plex to stop" on current device before asking another device to play.  Turn Plex off on Roku if necessary.

>>>  I see that I need to specify to play to Roku - for example ďAlexa, ask Plex to play Pink Floyd to RokuĒ

Yes, you do.  I have stopped using the Roku almost entirely. I just use the Dot next to TV that is plugged into stereo input to say Alexa. ask Plex to play (artist) and off we go!

???  I also want to rip some of my DVDís so I can stream those - thanks for the Handbrake suggestion.  Iíll give that a try.

I will send you a PM later so as not to clutter up this thread any more than necessary.

>>>  Purely a Plex question - (Iím new to Plex) - are you connected to any online channels or media?

I have plenty of this without needing Plex.  I have not spent a dime on Plex usage so far and do not intend to.  I have premium cable TV and all the major streaming services.  I'm all set.

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2018, 08:10:34 pm »
After using this setup a while, I have decided to keep Plex turned off in my WD DL2100 NAS server because there is only one thing I find it useful enough for to use it from time to time. That use is so I can say, Alexa, ask Plex to play music by a certain artist (example: Alexa, ask Plex to play The Beatles) After which a random mix of the artistís tracks from the My Cloud begin playing to my stereo directly from an Alexa Dot, or via the Roku if I want to see the list of tracks being played. This feature is pretty cool, although I also have other ways to play music from NAS.

I never use Plex to play videos/movies. I have better devices for that,like a WDTV (which I got in 2011 and have never needed to transcode any videos so I can play them) as well as via Amazon Fire TV with MrMC app that also plays any format of video, too.

I also can easily turn Plex back on when I want to by using the NAS Dashboard running in the Safari browser on an iPad.

I came to this conclusion after ramping down the Plex scan settings which reduced the frequency of scans, but not by enough. Plex works the NAS drives too hard constantly (the NAS drive heads click on and off every second) , but it doesnít at all if Plex is turned off. NAS is silent until I access it.

Offline tthoben

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  • Greetings from sunny Singapore!
Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2018, 10:24:33 pm »
After using this setup a while, I have decided to keep Plex turned off in my WD DL2100 NAS server because there is only one thing I find it useful enough for to use it from time to time. That use is so I can say, Alexa, ask Plex to play music by a certain artist (example: Alexa, ask Plex to play The Beatles) After which a random mix of the artistís tracks from the My Cloud begin playing to my stereo directly from an Alexa Dot, or via the Roku if I want to see the list of tracks being played. This feature is pretty cool, although I also have other ways to play music from NAS.

I never use Plex to play videos/movies. I have better devices for that,like a WDTV (which I got in 2011 and have never needed to transcode any videos so I can play them) as well as via Amazon Fire TV with MrMC app that also plays any format of video, too.

I also can easily turn Plex back on when I want to by using the NAS Dashboard running in the Safari browser on an iPad.

I came to this conclusion after ramping down the Plex scan settings which reduced the frequency of scans, but not by enough. Plex works the NAS drives too hard constantly (the NAS drive heads click on and off every second) , but it doesnít at all if Plex is turned off. NAS is silent until I access it.

sound logical to increase lifespan of your NAS drives
Echo Dot @ SG

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2018, 01:05:20 am »
Very logical, and last night and tonight I turned Plex on for a couple of hours during dinner prep and mealtime to listen to music and then turned Plex off again.  Two hours of use instead of being on 24/7.

Offline 5js

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2018, 12:20:20 pm »
I just want to say that after a few days of living with sending my music to Alexa devices this way, it works real well and is very cool.  I now just ask Plex to play my music on a Dot that's audio out goes directly into stereo, and for the most part skip the Roku and TV step. If I want to SEE a list of what's playing I can always use Roku and TV again any time.
I wanted to do this - but I didn't want to have to have my stereo on to interact with the Dot, nor did I want my responses to come through the Dot.  So that is why I have the Roku connected to the stereo and have Plex stream to the stereo via the Roku vice through the Dot.  The Dot is just used for the voice communication. 

I was hoping that the multiroom capability would help here, but there are only specific apps that can use multiroom (such as Amazon music).  My thought was to have two Dot's in the living room - one to talk to - and one that is  connected to the stereo. I would change the name/wake word of the Dot connected to the stereo to something non-standard then have tell Alexa to play to the one connected to the stereo (this way I would never be talking to the Dot connected to the stereo and therefore there would be no Alexa response played through the stereo).

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2018, 02:55:57 pm »
Yes, I understand and avoid this.  I have my TV sound  (with multiple devices connected to it, i.e TV cable box audio itself, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast , and WDTV, (this requires an HDMI switch box to handle all the devices),  The analog audio out of TV goes into TAPE 1 input of stereo audio amp (audio of TV out is selected by source switch into TV).  Into TAPE 2 input of amp is the Dot on cabinet,  All I need do is switch amp source switch between the two TAPE ins.  The Dot is dedicated to supplying its audio out to amp.  There is an Amazon Echo across hallway about 10 feet away for Alexa purposes.  (We have a lot of Dots and Google Homes in house!)  Dots are cheap when on sale, so get more!

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2018, 11:33:54 pm »
Hi mike. Thanks for referring me to this forum from WD. So I have DL2100 like you. I see that you did a lot of work. Thanks for that.
You were able to get Plex music to play on Roku. I donít have Roku but I could play through my Apple TV or smart tv. So I see that you are still working on getting plax music to play on the Echo dot.

The stupid question may itís! On my plex server I donít see my music library, I added music to my plex folder on DL2100 but when I log in on my sever either using my iPhone e or pc or anything that runs plex I donít see my music.
So again how didnít get your music to play on Roku. Thanks for the 3rd time
....I still need MQTT server on WD but that is on a different forum. Lol.

Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2018, 03:14:28 am »
Hi, thanks for coming here.  First I want to clear up any confusion about my situation with the Dot, etc.  Yes I had problems at first but as I said earlier, eventually both Alexa and Plex "got it" as to what I was doing and within a couple of days of settling in, I now can ask any alexa device to "Ask Plex to play" and it plays music on that device.  I have it playing on Echo, any of our numerous Dots and a couple of Taps.  I currently asked Plex to play music on a Tap and it is doing so now.

Now, for your issue.  Do you see on the Plex configure page you see when you Run App, to the right sie of your device, WDMyCloudDL2100,  All Libraries, Movies, or Music?  Mine show All Libraries, so I see a row of recent music on top and recent Movies below the music.  This should be in the main screen.  You can also select to see just music or just movies.  The libraries should both be visible in this section, and if they are not you have a setup issue with Plex.  If you have Plex running right now, thenturn app off in Dashboard, and then after a moment or so click on Run App to refresh configure screen.  Hope you see what I described now.

BTW, Plex is running only on my DL2100, not on a PC or anywhere else.  My DL2100 is set up as the defaults as for data storage, meaning all media files are in the subfolders in Public folder and music is all in Shared Music.  I do not have a specific or dedicated "plex folder" as you say you have.  This could be causing problems.  Plex on DL2100 reads all my folders and files and groups them in Plex.  Music is all mp3 files and movies are varied formats but it only sees the mp4/m4v video files.  Plex does not see my ISO files since they are disc image files, not video files, but since I do not watch videos from Plex other than the mp4 variety, it is all moot.

Let me know if any of this info helps solve any issues.


Re: Alexa and Plex working together to play music and video
« Reply #29 on: March 16, 2018, 07:17:19 pm »
I donít know man, I donít see in the home page music. All what I see is on the left side playlist, home video, movies,tvshow. Then under that plug in, watch later ...
I donít see music. I donít know if we can share pictures in here.

What I meant earlier by me playing plex on the phone or pc not the server. The server is DL2100.