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Plex Server: Transcode Delete

I've posted this under the server subgroup because I wasn't 100% sure where to put it. It's about my plex server, ergo the thinking behind putting it under server. LOL


Anyway. I have a bit of a daft issue but its one of those things where you just want to bang your head off of the nearest wall. It may very well be an interesting topic for LTT for doing a video on, I just don't know. Buuuut I am hoping that the tech savy LTT forum members will be able to solve this.


I have plex setup on a pretty basic system in the hall. At the moment movies are stored on one drive, my TV programmes on another inside sub directories for the series name and broken down into seasons. However, a lot of the video files are huuuuuuuuge because they are ultra HD etc.


Plex allows you to optimise the files into a format more condusive for specific devices and for better streaming while watching over the network. It stores these optimisations in a sub-directory under the folder for the particular season where the original file is stored. So if the directory of the original is say Expanse/Season 1, then the optimised version would be Expanse/Season 1/Plex Versions/Optimised or some such.


However, now you have both the original source file in the main directory AND the optimised version.


Plex have had numerous requests since 2015 for this addition for plex service but as of yet.......nadda!


There is very little on the subject anywhere on how to do this.


What I want to do in simple terms is have all the movie files and all the TV series files converted to 1080p and the new file put in the same directory as the existing one, then the orginal deleted but for this to happen automagically. So every time I add a new file, it transcodes it to the new format (thereby making the filesize smaller), puts it in the same directory then deletes the original. Simple as that.........or so you would think. 


Any ideas folks?


I bring this up because likely something similar but a different format might be useful to video editors as well. 


Any help would be appreciated because it is irritating me and I just have waaaay too big a collection to sit and do this manually. 



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if you're running a linux system you could try writing a bash script that deletes the transcoded files

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New piece of software called Tdarr (https://github.com/HaveAGitGat/Tdarr) just came out that will do what you want but it's pre-alpha and the install/running of it isn't what I would call graceful. You could also do this manually with Handbrake which would be better than Plex complaining about multiple versions that no longer exist (or whatever it would do).

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Yeah ideally, you need to change your ingest process - if you want all your files in 1080p, then why have 4K files at all? Use Handbrake to transcode them all down to 1080p, to whatever specifications you want.


Handbrake can batch encode, so you can - for example - queue up an entire season of a series, and let it run overnight (keeping in mind that depending on CPU used, this could take hours or even days to complete).


The optimized version feature is not a replacement for this - that feature is instead if you have multiple devices (and say, one of them can't read the full quality source file). It would certainly be useful to have an optional feature to do this, but yeah - Handbrake is definitely the way to go.


Transcode all your existing files (any that need to be reduced, anyway), and then change the way you add new files so that using Handbrake is simply part of the process.

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