Going to skip the usual stuff at the top here and get straight to it1: Plex is a super-cool, easy-to-use, everywhere media server. Lots of people use it, and lots of people like it. We recently moved our library from an old home-built NAS running FreeNAS to a Synology DSM box. It broke.
For whatever reason – we sat down at our TV and tried to pull up a video we’d been watching. Plex just responded with an unhelpful message “Video Unavailable: We’re unable to play this video, make sure the server is running and has access to this video”
I thought to myself “Maybe it’s because this is newly ripped stuff, and I ripped the wrong format.” I quickly discovered that most of my Plex library wouldn’t play. Stuff that played fine before. Before I’d purchased the Synology, I was concerned that there would be transcoding issues. My existing NAS seemed to do just fine, and I didn’t know what the limitations of the Synology box would be. As it turns out, the Synology’s CPU outperforms the one I had put in my FreeNAS box. So it didn’t sound like it was going to be a transcoding issue.
I came across all kinds of solutions: My wife asked me if I’d “tried turning it off and turning it back on again“, I attempted, but to no avail. There was a suggestion that Plex needed space to writing transcoding data to. That’s what did it for me, the relevant screen in the settings:
Here’s the procedure, spelled out for ya:
- Open the settings from your PMS web page (That’s the wrench and screw-driver)
- Click on “Transcoder” in the left-hand pane.
- Click “Show advanced settings”
- Set the “Transcoder temporary directory” to something that Plex has access to.
That’s what got things working in my browser again. I admit that I’m still not certain of the cause. I don’t know if Plex is normally allocated a certain amount of space to transcode in, and it just ran out, or what. But this is what solved it for me.
1 I haven’t posted anything in more than a year. I kept meaning to, but I didn’t and it took a long time to write things. And I wanted to perfect things. And, and, and. Anyway. I wanted to post this in case anyone had to deal with looking through all the existing Plex troubleshooting stuff, hoping that they would find this instead and be able to easily fix the problem