Upgrading Plex to version 1.12.1.4885

I needed to upgrade Plex on my QNAP NAS again, and I felt quite hesitant considering the last few botched attempts. It began with the new iOS app update change notes that Plex would in the near future start to require a minimum server version.

I was running, mostly happy, on version 1.3.4.3285, which was released almost precisely a year ago, and had it not been for the iOS requirements I would probably not have risked upgrading. I seem to have forgotten to write down the pains and rollback of the attempts to upgrade to versions 1.4, 1.5.5 and 1.5.6, but the bugs were plenty and rollback was required since I don’t really want to rebuild my entire library, that takes far too much time I do not have.

But it’s been a year and the current version is 1.12, and I hoped most bugs would have been fixed, though I initially feared I would also need to upgrade QNAP firmware at the same time which I hoped to avoid since it’ll replace my current 32-bit firmware with 64-bit, which is nice if everything works of course. But there’s so much pain if it doesn’t.

Anyway, there was a 32-bit version available and I just did an in-place upgrade, and surprisingly everything worked. (This wasn’t always the case). And the initial feeling is that the new design looks fair enough. Not as good as the old one but I guess it’ll have to do. Though I still haven’t tested all my devices if they actually still work, my first impression is ok.

But what would a Plex upgrade be without its glitches, and so far here’s what:

  • The Plex server is a bit slower at starting after NAS reboot, than the previous versions. Not a big deal since I don’t reboot more than a few times per year.
  • The Plex server settings now require login with an account, so I needed to create one. Somewhat annoying since I don’t feel I need it, but I won’t rollback due to this.
  • The new dashboard came with some youtubeian newsfeed, mainly US sources, but even with local sources I wouldn’t have wanted it. Luckily after some searching Plex support site there was an option to disable the newsfeed. Gone!
  • The new dashboard also comes with an ugly scrollbar if the number of libraries are too many to fit on one screen, that really could have been fixed I think. But it’s still only on the annoying level on the scale.
  • Lastly background images are gone in the web player, only the covers remain and some dizzy thing indicating there might be a blurred version of the background image somewhere. Now this is more annoying, but I haven’t yet had time to see how this looks in the iOS apps, so I’ll not do a rollback for this either. At least just not yet.

At least mostly positive experiences from the upgrade so far (i.e. Plex actually works, the upgrade didn’t break any libraries, and I didn’t have to upgrade firmware at the same time). One has to be grateful for the little things nowadays.

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Upgrade of QNAP firmware

I just upgraded to the latest QNAP firmware. Everything seems to be working, but despite the promised patch of Safari-related problems some glitches still remain.

First of all the bug in Plex media server remains, in that it won’t start after first boot after firmware upgrade, but needs a second reboot of the NAS. I’m not sure if this is fixed in the more recent Plex upgrades, since my last attempt to upgrade Plex just caused more problems than it solved and I then chose to downgrade. So, as long as nothing more than a scone reboot is needed I will live with it.

Second, while I’m not sure what Safari problems have been resolved, mine still remains, that I can’t log in at all if using Safari on an iPad. Login menu appears, enter user and password, and nothing happens other than the spinning “wait…” screen. But the apps works so it’s also manageable.

I’m thinking of abandoning Office365

I’ve started thinking of abandoning Office365, and what I would need to do in order to replace what little remaining functionality there is.

  • Outlook design is too flat, and even the Outlook.com web interface is richer, with more contrast, colors and just as easy to work in. (In fact easier since it’s way much faster in responding)
  • Using contacts in Outlook 2016 is horrible, the old dialog box for adding details is gone, replaced with some flat strangeness, and even more important, to add pictures to my Outlook-contacts I still need to edit contact details through a web browser.
  • Beyond Outlook I’m mainly using OneNote. The rare few times I use Word and Excel are easily counted. And OneNote is free.

That leaves OneDrive as the key factor for safekeeping all my photos and documents. And while I could place them on my NAS the whole point of OneDrive was to have them roaming, available anywhere and safe offsite in case anything would happen to my home computers.

I’m thinking whether any other service could replace this, on the other hand that would mean I’d need to pick and choose software all over again, when all I wanted was one working bundle. But when the bundle goes in the direction of working less and less as needed it gets slightly frustrating.

I’m not sure it will happen yet, but it needs thinking about.

And there is still at least one glitch in a complete move to web-only, in that Outlook.com doesn’t support having contacts in iCloud. Which would mean I’d need to migrate entirely to iCloud email as well, which is really too much work in the way of updating my contact information across all places where I’ve used it.