Auto-Downloading Youtube Videos for Plex Media Server with youtube-dl

Recently it appears Youtube has decided they want to become cable TV, complete with the unending commercials for American pharmaceuticals. Since I cannot stand watching any advertising, am cloud averse, and also don’t like Youtube’s terribly busy interface, I have automated downloading of channels and playlists I follow with the wonderful youtube-dl tool into my Odroid XU4 based Plex Media Server.

Downloading is pretty straight forward as long as we take care to follow Plex’s file naming guidelines. Getting all the metadata in without doing any work requires a little bit of configuration, and to automate it all takes a few simple shell scripts.

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Self Hosting: How to Get Free and Cheap Linux Virtual Servers

I try to avoid the cloud in favor of self-hosting the services I use. Then I know my information is private, and I can tailor them to suit my needs. I do run some services at home on my network, but my local internet service is pretty slow. So my solution is to run services like VPN, Owntracks Recorder, and this blog on a virtual private server.

Even if you don’t have any grand plans, you could host something simple like Pi Hole to block all ads on your devices – even your phone.

The same economies of scale that make cloud computing so ubiquitous and cheap also work in our favor if we are willing to administer a Linux server ourselves. Here are some cheap, and even free, ways to get your own server.

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Hardware: Odroid XU4 as Plex Media Server

The Odroid XU4 – like a Raspberry Pi, but better.

As part of my efforts to be cloud non-dependent, I have a NAS full of several terabytes of music, movies, and TV shows. Plex is of course everyone’s favorite software for solving this problem, as it essentially turns your hard drive full of files into a private Netflix capable of streaming and syncing to any device.

1080p and commercial free, sorry Anthony.

The problem is that streaming and syncing is a very CPU intensive task and requires a server of substantial processing power. Is the cheap Odroid XU4 single board computer up to it?

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