What if Plex Server not reading certain MP4 files?

With Plex, it would be easy for you to stream and play most common video and audio formats including MP4, MPEG, MOV, ASF, AAC, AC3, MP3 on TV, PS4/PS4 Pro, Xbox 360/Xbox One/Xbox One S, Android, iOS, and other DLNA-certified devices locally via home network connection, or remotely, as long as you have a Internet connection. While, when users trying to play an .mp4 file on Plex server, the issue still occurred: Plex can't read MP4 file. What caused the problem? Any solution to resolve MP4 to Plex incompatible issues? Now, read on to get the solid answer from this article.

Plex MP4 Solution

Why Plex won't read/play MP4 correctly?

As you see, now Plex serves as a good portable device for video enjoyment. However, Plex could not play all MP4 videos. According to Plex media player official site, it supports all FFmpeg codecs like MPEG-2 video codec and DTS and AC3 audio codec. So if you want to play a video or an audio in Plex media player you must ensure that the video or audio codec is one from FFmpeg codecs. Take playing MP4 as an example, Plex media player can only play MP4 with the video codec H.264 or MPEG-4 and audio codec AAC.

The point here is, MP4 is a container video format which may contain various video or audio codec. If the MP4 video is not encoded with Plex compatible codec, we will fail to stream MP4 to Plex or cannot play MP4 on Plex even if successfully transferred MP4 to Plex.

How to get MP4 files playable on Plex

First way:

Make sure you've added the directory to your library and updated it. Plex requires a special naming convertion for TV shows in order to download the metadata of them properly. If your MP4 videos are TV shows, please try to rename the MP4 files so they have simpler names (e.g. Series - S01E01 - Episode Name). Most time, I don't care about the metadata. There is another solution. We can make a new library or pick Other or Personal Media and put the MP4 TV shows in there. After that, these MP4 files will show up and be streamed to TV.?

Second way:

If it does not help, more than likely it is a permission problem. You need to change the group ownership on the folders in which you save the MP4 files. Setting the permissions to be recursive is highly recommended. So the sub folders have the same permissions.?

Third way:

Tried all the suggestions above but still had the issue in recognise MP4 files with Plex? Don't worry. Maybe the codec in your MP4 file causes such issue as above. In this situation, there is no other ways but to convert MP4 to Plex more compatible format for successfully playback and below are possible 2 ways to enable Plex to read MP4 files.

Fourth way:

Download Handbrake and use the default setting in it to convert MP4 files to Plex for streaming.?

Cons: Not power enough; Only convert a part of MP4 files;?

Last but effective way:

Along with some help from third party program like Dimo Video Converter Ultimate, getting MP4 files recognized by Plex can be done effortlessly. This video app is professional on fast transcoding MP4 to Plex Media Server friendly video by adjusting the video size and frame rate. In addition, it not only supports MP4 videos, but also handles various common video formats, like MXF, MTS, MKV, MOV, AVI, WMV, VOB, Tivo.etc. For Mac users, Dimo Video Converter Ultimate for Mac is also a helpful app to encode videos for further usage.?

people have downloaded it

Tutorial: How to play MP4 files via Plex

1. Load original MP4 files

Click "Add File" button on the main interface to load your MP4 files to the program. (Drag & Drop function is included.)?

2. Select output format

Click "Select Format" and choose MP4 from "Format > Video" or "Format > HD Video" as output format, which can be recognized by Plex easily.

Note: Media compatibility and video quality limitations vary by device. Plex for Smart TVs uses playback systems provided by the TV manufacturer. In some cases, formats that can be played by DLNA or from a USB drive on a device may not be available for direct playback by Plex.

Plex supported format

Tip: With the right settings you can retain the quality of the original videos while also saving space. This is particularly helpful when streaming over your network, depending on your network quality. Simply click Settings bar and you can tweak the settings to your satisfaction and even save it as preset.?

Plex video settings

3. Start MP4 to Plex Conversion

Finally, hit the "Start" button at the bottom of the main interface to start the conversion. It will automatically convert MP4 to Plex Media Server compatible video files. After the conversion, click "Open" to quickly find the converted movies. Then, Plex will recognize, catalog, play and stream these MP4 files at ease. Or save movies to Plex cloud or NAS server first before streaming.

Guide of How to Install Plex Media Server?

The Plex installation is straight forward on a Windows PC and there is no special tweaking needed. You must create a Plex account during the installation which is free. You must also tell Plex which folders contain your media.?

Plex installation

The Plex sign-up screen is where you assign the server name:?

Plex sign-up

This screen lets you assign your media folders:?

add section in Plex

You can configure Plex for Internet channels:?

install Internet channels

Plex adds meta information to your media which it gets from the Internet:?

Add meta information

You can use it for a home theater PC or as a media server for your DLNA media player or smart TV. It is also quite usable with Android devices with DLNA players. The Plex Android app isn't required.

Additional Top 3 Efficient Tools to Get Videos in Plex Video Format

Rip Blu-ray in Plex Format
Convert DVD to Plex Format
Change Video to Plex Format
BDmate - Digitize Blu-ray to Plex compatible video formats, MP4, MPG, MOV, etc. DVDmate - 1:1 copy DVD movie to MP4, MPG, MOV and other Plex supported format without DVD drive. Videomate - Transcode SD/HD/4K videos to playable format for Plex.


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