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[NOTE: Updated 11/18/2022 for version 4.5.3 of Plexamp & version 8.2.2 of moOde]

Plex has recently released an all-new headless 64-bit RPi version of Plexamp. It’s been long-awaited by certain Plex gearheads (including me). With the new 64-bit moOde I’ve been itching to put them together on one Pi.

At some point I may have time to attempt a cleaner integration with Plexamp acting like an external renderer much like the roonbridge component (and throw Tim some PRs), but having looked at it, I have to admit two things:

1. It would be a lot of work (and I’m short on spare time right now)
2. It actually works OK side-by-side with the only real kludgy part being that when you stop playing something via moOde / MPD you have to wait a few seconds before you can start playback via Plexamp and vice versa. Each one takes a little time to let go of the alsa device. In practice it’s not that bad in my opinion.

So here is a step-by-step guide to installing Plexamp (v. 4.5.0) side-by-side with 64-bit moOde v. 8.2.2+ on a Pi (I have this running on a 3B+).

NOTE: you do need to have a Plex Media Server and be a Plex Pass subscriber to use Plexamp (but this is probably not an interesting topic for you if you are not).

First you need to get SSH access to your moOde install. All of the following commands take place starting in the /home/pi directory (which is where you should be when you access your moOde install via SSH). If you don’t know how to SSH into moOde, check the first part of the setup guide

Next we’re going to install nvm which allows us to install specific versions of node:

Code:
curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/master/install.sh | bash

and then use nvm to install node version 16.18.1:


Code:
nvm install v16.18.1


Next we download headless Plexamp v 4.5.3:


Code:
wget https://plexamp.plex.tv/headless/Plexamp-Linux-headless-v4.5.3.tar.bz2

And then untar it into a ‘plexamp’ directory:


Code:
tar xjf Plexamp-Linux-headless-v4.5.3.tar.bz2 plexamp/


Then go into the plexamp directory


Code:
cd plexamp


Then we are going to make some adjustments to the file called ‘plexamp.service’


Code:
nano plexamp.service


We need to add a line that gives time for moOde to start up completely and also change the line that starts with ‘ExecStart’ so that it uses the new version of node that we installed above. Substitute in the following two lines for the existing line 9 so that it reads like this:


Code:
ExecStartPre=/bin/sleep 30
ExecStart=/home/pi/.nvm/versions/node/v16.18.1/bin/node /home/pi/plexamp/js/index.js


Here’s what the whole plexamp.service file should look like when you are done with this edit:


Code:
[Unit]
Description=Plexamp
After=network.target

[Service]
Type=simple
User=pi
WorkingDirectory=/home/pi/plexamp
ExecStartPre=/bin/sleep 30
ExecStart=/home/pi/.nvm/versions/node/v16.18.1/bin/node /home/pi/plexamp/js/index.js
Restart=on-failure

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Next we will copy that file into the right place in the systemd file structure so that the Pi will start the Plexamp service automatically and keep it running for you.


Code:
sudo cp plexamp.service /lib/systemd/system/

Then tell systemd about that new plexamp service file:


Code:
sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Then tell systemd that it should start plexamp whenever the system boots:


Code:
sudo systemctl enable plexamp


Next you need to do an initial run of plexamp from the terminal to register the device with Plex (hat tip @tpavey on plex forum):

Code:
node js/index.js

Follow the prompts in the terminal which include registering your plexamp install via a visit to a web page.

Finally, tell systemd to start plexamp up right now:


Code:
sudo systemctl start plexamp

Congratulations. You now have headless plexamp running side-by-side with moOde on your Pi. You configure Plexamp via a web app (just like moOde). The Plexamp app is on port 32500, so if you connect to moOde at http://192.168.1.10, you would connect to Plexamp’s interface at http://192.168.1.10:32500 (substitute in your own moOde IP address). You want to do some basic configuration for your Pi under settings (little gear icon) then “Playback”.

Documentation for headless Plexamp is kind of scattered through many posts tagged Plexamp on the Plex Forum.
Not a plex user but I've just had a quick look at plexamp.
What is the benefit of doing this, it looks like you're just going to have two things that essentially have the same function?
Why wouldn't you just use the one you prefer?
What am I missing ?
Great, thanks for this guide will set it up later. Would love some more integrated solution but this is great for now.

So for me PlexAmp (and Plex in general) provides a central location for my music not only on my network but also when I am away from home (via its excellent IOS and Android Apps). The headless RPI option (And the ability to run side by side with Moode) mostly means I can have a single set of playlists, a single source of "playback tracking" what I have played recently etc

Plex also has some lovely metadata eg. album reviews, lyrics (almost like Roon) and if you run Plex on an Intel machine (with a GPU) you get some ML / Sonic analysis. This sonic analysis is then available to all clients including the headless RPI client. So It can do things like create 'radio' stations based around sonically similar albums that I have in my collection.

I feel the headless PlexAmp lacks some control over the DAC hardware that Moode provides and the Equaliser is very primitive so having both options on the one bit of hardware is great IMO
(07-09-2022, 11:04 PM)Mattt Wrote: [ -> ]Not a plex user but I've just had a quick look at plexamp.
What is the benefit of doing this, it looks like you're just going to have two things that essentially have the same function?
Why wouldn't you just use the one you prefer?
What am I missing ?

Plex / Plexamp is many miles ahead of moOde with respect to building and maintaining playlists, as well as generating “smart” playlists, and also handles media metadata automatically for you in a fairly sophisticated way.

moOde is miles ahead of Plexamp with respect to a pure sound path and offers excellent support for internet radio which Plexamp does not offer at all.

If I know exactly what album / track I want to listen to and I want to listen to it bitperfect, or if I want to listen to one or another internet radio station, I’m using moOde. If I want to randomly background listen to everything in my own library that is tagged with a certain “mood”, or create a “smart” playlist with many different criteria, then I’m using Plexamp.

I use each of them for different purposes / different kinds of listening. Being able to do so through the same hardware without fiddling with cables or switches is a big plus for me.
(07-10-2022, 10:00 AM)jeromeof Wrote: [ -> ]Great, thanks for this guide will set it up later. Would love some more integrated solution but this is great for now.

So for me PlexAmp (and Plex in general) provides a central location for my music not only on my network but also when I am away from home (via its excellent IOS and Android Apps). The headless RPI option (And the ability to run side by side with Moode) mostly means I can have a single set of playlists, a single source of "playback tracking" what I have played recently etc

Plex also has some lovely metadata eg. album reviews, lyrics (almost like Roon) and if you run Plex on an Intel machine (with a GPU)  you get some ML / Sonic analysis.  This sonic analysis is then available to all clients including the headless RPI client. So It can do things like create 'radio' stations based around sonically similar albums that I have in my collection.

I feel the headless PlexAmp lacks some control over the DAC hardware that Moode provides and the Equaliser is very primitive so having both options on the one bit of hardware is great IMO

(07-10-2022, 10:39 AM)pjv14 Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-09-2022, 11:04 PM)Mattt Wrote: [ -> ]Not a plex user but I've just had a quick look at plexamp.
What is the benefit of doing this, it looks like you're just going to have two things that essentially have the same function?
Why wouldn't you just use the one you prefer?
What am I missing ?

Plex / Plexamp is many miles ahead of moOde with respect to building and maintaining playlists, as well as generating “smart” playlists, and also handles media metadata automatically for you in a fairly sophisticated way.

moOde is miles ahead of Plexamp with respect to a pure sound path and offers excellent support for internet radio which Plexamp does not offer at all.

If I know exactly what album / track I want to listen to and I want to listen to it bitperfect, or if I want to listen to one or another internet radio station, I’m using moOde. If I want to randomly background listen to everything in my own library that is tagged with a certain “mood”, or create a “smart” playlist with many different criteria, then I’m using Plexamp.

I use each of them for different purposes / different kinds of listening. Being able to do so through the same hardware without fiddling with cables or switches is a big plus for me.

Interesting stuff. Thanks  Big Grin
pjv14: So, Plexamp is just a player. You still need a Plex Media Server (PMS)? 

Right now I have a Moode Setup with: a Pi 4B 8GB, RPi Touchscreen, a 4GB drive and a Topping USB DAC. It's a great local server to my stereo. I like running a low power device for a music streamer/server. I've been thinking recently of getting rid of Spotify and rolling my own internet music streamer. I don't if Moode does this at all (or even can) but I don't want to duplicate hardware.

I have a lifetime Plexpass. but I have not used Plex in a few years. I've been thinking of just installing it on my gaming rig for audio streaming via Plex (Android); but I hate the idea of running my rig all day long.

What do you think?
Open Audio Config, scroll the the MPD options section and turn on the HTTP streaming server. It enables whatever is being played by MPD to be available via the URL http://moode:8000 to other players for example VLC, or other moOde players.

Just be aware that it's only meant for LAN use because moOde application and RaspiOS Bullseye are not secure.
(07-14-2022, 07:51 PM)radiooff Wrote: [ -> ]pjv14: So, Plexamp is just a player. You still need a Plex Media Server (PMS)? 

Right now I have a Moode Setup with: a Pi 4B 8GB, RPi Touchscreen, a 4GB drive and a Topping USB DAC. It's a great local server to my stereo. I like running a low power device for a music streamer/server. I've been thinking recently of getting rid of Spotify and rolling my own internet music streamer. I don't if Moode does this at all (or even can) but I don't want to duplicate hardware.

I have a lifetime Plexpass. but I have not used Plex in a few years. I've been thinking of just installing it on my gaming rig for audio streaming via Plex (Android); but I hate the idea of running my rig all day long.

What do you think?

Yes, Plexamp is just a player and it needs to connect to a PMS. I use the PMS for serving video already and have a dedicated NUC running it (and some other home automation stuff) on my LAN already so using it for music as well doesn’t add anything for me.

If you don’t want to have a box running PMS all the time, I don’t know what to tell you for rolling your own remote stream service.

I haven’t tried this myself, but if you want to try to use moOde’s http server as Tim suggested above, and you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves a bit, I bet it wouldn’t be too hard to install zerotier on your moOde box and create your own private VPN. There is an android zerotier client in the play store which works great. I do use it for accessing my PMS and other home LAN stuff remotely (just have not had a reason to try it with moOde since I can stream from my PMS remotely already).
(07-15-2022, 09:38 AM)pjv14 Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-14-2022, 07:51 PM)radiooff Wrote: [ -> ]pjv14: So, Plexamp is just a player. You still need a Plex Media Server (PMS)? 

Right now I have a Moode Setup with: a Pi 4B 8GB, RPi Touchscreen, a 4GB drive and a Topping USB DAC. It's a great local server to my stereo. I like running a low power device for a music streamer/server. I've been thinking recently of getting rid of Spotify and rolling my own internet music streamer. I don't if Moode does this at all (or even can) but I don't want to duplicate hardware.

I have a lifetime Plexpass. but I have not used Plex in a few years. I've been thinking of just installing it on my gaming rig for audio streaming via Plex (Android); but I hate the idea of running my rig all day long.

What do you think?

Yes, Plexamp is just a player and it needs to connect to a PMS. I use the PMS for serving video already and have a dedicated NUC running it (and some other home automation stuff) on my LAN already so using it for music as well doesn’t add anything for me.

If you don’t want to have a box running PMS all the time, I don’t know what to tell you for rolling your own remote stream service.

I haven’t tried this myself, but if you want to try to use moOde’s http server as Tim suggested above, and you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves a bit, I bet it wouldn’t be too hard to install zerotier on your moOde box and create your own private VPN. There is an android zerotier client in the play store which works great. I do use it for accessing my PMS and other home LAN stuff remotely (just have not had a reason to try it with moOde since I can stream from my PMS remotely already).
Thanks for the reply!
Thanks for this. I did not know PlexAmp could be remote controlled with a web UI.

And for those unfamiliar, PlexAmp is pretty nice, but playing music through the regular Plex web interface is terrible. It will play one or two songs and stop randomly. It's hard to play an album or manage playlists, etc... If I'm at work, I can use Plex Web to access my music and other media, but I cannot install PlexAmp on my work computer. I can listen to my music, but it's not a great experience. Instead I have a self contained Pi with a small touch screen and SSD and Moode. It means I have to manually update the library once in a while, but then I also always have a backup. And as others have said, PlexAmp is only available to paid Plex customers.
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