Jellyfin is a new contender in the market for home media services. Many people are familiar with the time old services of Plex and Emby, but I feel like Jellyfin is going to give Plex and Emby a hard time in the future.
In this article, I am going to walk through the features of all these individual media service providers. After we’ve familiarised ourselves with these features, I will give my own analysis on which service I think is the best to use.
What is Jellyfin?
Jellyfin is a new software service that enables you to have complete control over your media; this means that you can manage and stream your media when you want and however you want. And you can do all of that for FREE! (found here).
The software comes with no strings attached, no premium licenses or features, and absolutely no hidden agendas. This software was designed by the Emby community and offers a lot of services for free that Emby would otherwise charge for.
What is Plex ?
Plex offers you a single consolidated place in which you can keep all the media that matters to you. It can be anything from pictures to videos to TV shows and even news reports. You can have everything in one app on one device.
There’s a cost for this… Monthly $4.99, Yearly $39.99, Lifetime $119.99 (prices in USD$) Here is a link to their homepage
What is Emby ?
Emby is your personal media server that helps bring all your media together in one place. It brings in all your home videos, music, and photos together into one consolidated platform. The emby server helps you stream your media and play it on any device.
Emby has similar pricing… Monthly $4.99, Yearly $39.99, Lifetime $119 (prices in USD$) Here is a link to their homepage
What’s The Difference?
All these media servers aren’t a lot different from each other. The installation process and the server interfaces are different from each other because they are designed according to their target audience.
Plex is more comfortable to use and navigate software because it is designed for the mass public. Emby is a software that goes on towards the superior end because of its bigger budget and is designed to appeal to tech people.
Jellyfin and Emby are more or less the same software because the Emby community made Jellyfin. Both software offers free parental controls. However, Jellyfin is still a new market entrant and has enormous potential for growth.
Jellyfin is a free open source port and offers almost all of Embys services for free. Emby and jellyfin provide a large amount of customization. For more tech-oriented people, Emby and Jellyfin are better choices because they are easily more customizable and have more adaptable interfaces.
Jellyfin is designed to be a solution from server to end-user interfaces using mobile apps. Plex is a closed source system, and Emby and Jellyfin come with free parental controls along with free live TV support.
Jellyfin, however, is not compatible with a lot of different mobile apps *yet* because it is still relatively new. Most users claim that it is better to wait until Jellyfin community increases in size and supports more devices.
What we think
I feel like Emby is designed for tech-savvy users who love having customized controls and additional features to help adjust their emby system according to their needs. Emby services have more of the ooh factor while essentially giving out the same service. If I had to choose between Plex and Emby I would opt for Plex because of its easy to use interface, and so everyone in my family can use it conveniently.
Plex is easy to use and comes at the same price, so why not? I see Jellyfin growing to trump both these systems majorly because it is both open source and free. The Emby community is working on this service and give or take a couple of years; I expect it to become much better than how it is now. Jellyfin is very functional and easy to use even now, and if you want to try out a free software first before making any purchases, you should definitely try out Jellyfin.
Another problem with Emby is that its developers are continually changing the models, which can leave anyone confused and annoyed because, honestly, nobody really has the time to adapt themselves to constant model and design changes. Emby has also become very hard to predict, and there’s no knowing what new feature or design change they are going to bring out next.
Therefore, if you’re looking for an excellent free media streaming option,then you should definitely try Jellyfin.