Anyone who has a ton of media at home knows that it can be a mess to keep it all organized. Using a streaming service is much more comfortable. The problem is, streaming services don’t always have all the content someone wants, and they eat up a lot of data.
The natural alternative is to use a media player like Kodi and watch movies and series that way. But organizing a media collection doesn’t mean it’s suddenly possible to access your content online and stream on the go. That’s where Jellyfin comes in.
What is Kodi, and How Does Jellyfin Add to It?
Kodi is a free and popular media player initially developed for Xbox. Now, Kodi is a well-loved home media player that looks good on both a massive TV and a small smartphone screen. In fact, many people like to have it installed on many devices so they can watch their movies or series whenever.
Kodi has an excellent user interface and supports almost any media file type. But what it can’t do is sync playback across devices. In other words, someone can watch an episode on their TV and it will work fine. But the moment they head off to bed to continue on their tablet, they’ll have to remember and find their place again. This works fine for some folks. Others want something closer to a Netflix experience. The episode should continue from where it stopped even after switching devices. Fortunately, Kodi supports add-ons, of which Jellyfin is by far the best for syncing across devices.
So what does Jellyfin do? It allows people with media players (not only Kodi) to stream their series and movies whenever they want. By using a computer as a server that’s connected to the home network, they can stream any content to any of their devices. Not only is this media server program easy to set up, but it’s easy to use too.
Below is a quick tutorial outlining how to install Jellyfin. Keep in mind that you should install Kodi before the Jellyfin installation process starts. For this tutorial to work, you also need a computer or device that will act as the server.
How to Install Jellyfin?
Jellyfin isn’t hard to install. In fact, even people with minimal technical skills should be able to do it. However, keep in mind that the installation process does consist of a few more complicated steps to get it done, so make sure to follow the steps.
- Naturally, the first step is to go download Jellyfin. You can find various Jellyfin builds on their website. Select the appropriate download for the device you will install it on.
- Open the download and run it. If a pop up asks for permission for the app to make changes to the device, select “Yes.”
- The setup guide should pop up. Click “Next” on the first window and “I Agree” to the terms and conditions on the next one.
- Choose either the “Basic Install” or “Install as a Service” option. Then select the folder where Jellyfin should be installed.
- Confirm the installation and then wait for Jellyfin.exe to complete the installation.
- Once the installation is complete, the browser should open (if it isn’t open already) and bring up a new tab with the Jellyfin “Quick Start Guide.”
- Follow the on-screen instructions to set up a local server. You will need an account name and password for that. Keep in mind that Jellyfin is a free service and won’t need any credit card details.
- Next up, add the media library with the series/movies/music that you will stream from the device.
- After setup completes, the program will redirect the page to the server’s homepage. From there, select the “Dashboard” option in the left-hand menu and note the LAN and WAN URL addresses. You should use LAN address when streaming to devices on the same network and the WAN address for remote networks.
Keep in mind that a server you link to the internet is vulnerable to outside attackers. Especially if it’s streaming to a remote device over WAN. Consider using a VPN to secure a server system from online attacks.
Jellyfin is an excellent media system and a decent alternative to other tools like Plex and Emby. It provides a dedicated home server that you can use to stream media at home or somewhere else. Never go anywhere without access to the movies, series, or music you have at home.