Infuse and Transcoding with Plex, Emby, and Jellyfin

To add more context: Infuse is not a file server. It only has client apps (on iOS, tvOS, and MacOS) that access files stored elsewhere. To transcode, Infuse would need to reside where the files are, (such as on a users’ NAS) and be able to use that hardware to decode and reencode video files (at lower bitrates) to send those transcoded files out over the internet.

A client app (that lives on your iOS device or Mac) can’t reach through the internet, access a high bandwidth file, and transcode it remotely so that it has a low enough bandwidth to send it back to you over the internet. All it can do is stream the original file.

Firecore would need to create server-side apps for a multitude of devices that run on multiple different operating systems. I don’t have any idea if that’s on their long-term roadmap, but it would appear to me to be a big switch of focus from what they currently seem to be striving to create.

Plex and Jellyfin have both Server and Client apps. They’ll do what you seek.
Infuse has limited support for Plex and other media servers, but I’m unaware if that includes supporting those apps transcoding or simply using them to manage the media library (as I don’t use anything but Infuse). Others might chime in here.

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As written above: Currently Infuse uses Emby, Plex, Jellyfin as media Server only. It allows you to manage your files, poster, meta data etc. using one of the above.

Infuse will ALWAYS direct play the files. Requesting one of the media servers to transcode and send the transcoded stream is STILL NOT SUPPORTED. It was mentioned, that this feature might make it for future versions of Infuse, but seems that it is not important or easy to implement or what ever.

So for now we can use the mentioned to manage our library but nothing more.

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Thank you for the clarifications. That is what I suspected but not having used Plex/Emby/Jellyfin I wasn’t certain.

I don’t know how complicated using Plex/Emby/Jellyfin’s encoding would be, but I suspect that’s not likely to be added to Infuse’s roadmap anytime soon because Firecore seems pretty focused on making sure EVERYTHING a user throws at it plays correctly, without issue.

If Firecore gives up control of that to other apps (or even to AppleTV’s built-in player, which I once saw requested) and things fail to play because those apps don’t have the wide-ranging codec support or robustness of Infuse’s own player, than Infuse users would be likely to hold that against Infuse and demand Infuse fix it, even when Infuse had nothing to do with it.

Thus, I suspect Infuse will only begin supporting transcoding of users’ content if Firecore decides to write their own suite of server-side software, giving them complete control over the entire process.

Given your explanation of what the current situation is, my question to Emby/Plex/Jellyfin users wanting Emby/Plex/Jellyfin transcoding accesible via infuse is … Why?

Why not just use Emby/Plex/Jellyfin directly?

If you link Infuse to Emby/Plex/Jellyfin because you prefer the way those programs manage your library to the way Infuse does (which is 1/2 of what Infuse exists for), but also prefer the way Emby/Plex/Jellyfin transcodes and streams lower-bandwidth versions of your content over the internet (playing back local and remote content being the other 1/2 of what Infuse exists for) … what is left for Infuse to do? Why use it at all?

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But to be honest, Infuse does very bad at managing meta data. With pure Infuse its quite complicated to replace a movie poster that is downloaded from TMDB with the one you prefer.

Sorting for example or managing collections is also a pain in the a… (at least it was before Infuse had custom collections :wink:)

So that is, what I use Emby for :slight_smile:

And you mix transcoding and encoding. Even with Emby/Plex being able to use their transcoding options, Infuse will always use its own player to play the movie stream. The Advantage would be, that on a low bandwidth network, the Emby / Plex server could transcode the 4K Hires movie to 720p low res and send the transcoded stream to Infuse. Instead of direct playing the file, the Infuse player would play the transcoded stream.

Could be handy if you are out on a business trip where the hotel has only a garbage connection and you want to stream from your home network…

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Just download it, name it “movie title-poster.jpg” if a movie or “folder.jpg” if a TV series, and save it in the same folder as the files. Yes, you need to do this outside of Infuse, but Infuse isn’t trying to replace Kodi/Plex/Emby/Jellyfin … it’s its own thing.

Understood. So what do you use Infuse for?

^I missed this point first time around.

In this case, the server software (Plex/Emby) created the transcoded stream, so surely the Plex/Emby client wouldn’t have any trouble playing it? If so, what would be the point of using Infuse?

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Playing Movies / Shows on Apple TV because the Emby native player is very bad at this.

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But doesn’t that speak against the argument that Firecore should allow Emby to control the playback of content in Firecore’s own app?

If Emby is by your own description “very bad at playback” (especially when compared to Infuse, which prioritizes being very good at it), how would it benefit Firecore (and Infuse users) to give up control of playback quality to Emby?

I return to the opinion that one should petition instead that Firecore add a server-side companion app for Infuse clients that would permit Firecore complete end-to-end control of the transcoding of any users’ content accessed through Infuse clients.

Adding such features would elevate them into direct competition with the existing players (Plex, Emby, etc.) and would probably be a very welcome development along many of its users … but also obligate then to break much new ground …

… beginning with operating for the first time outside the walled-garden of Apple’s various OSs to provide robust server-side library maintenance and to enable said transcoding [<oh, how I’d love to see an Infuse client and media manager come to Windows!>] …

… and the expectation that (to compete in that larger market) they’d need to soon after expand client support far beyond macOS, iOS and AppleTV … to service users of the many flavors of Android-based phones, tablets, and PCs; plus the multitude of set-top boxes and smart TVs on the market — many (perhaps the majority?) of which do not have the necessary hardware and performance specifications to deliver the sort of premium smooth, responsive, and glitch-free playback experience Infuse users have come to expect.

But hey, that would be awesome! I got such a buzz just writing all this, I do hope they move in that direction someday! (But first, I insist they fix their TMDB TV genre-splitting fail only I seem to care about :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.)

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I voted for the OP but honestly the bugs keep growing and growing in Infuse and they try and do more and more things. I have not had a fully functioning player since early this year, monthly the bugs grow, my tickets ignored, etc. Pretty sure the problem is too much for too few people. When the company concentrated more on the app as it was a year or more ago, the player was top notch. Now it’s just bug riddled with no end in sight. Really lost my interest in the app for the most part, very sad to see.

Really, I’d vote for NO NEW FEATURES until the majority of existing problems and bugs are resolved.

No one asks for giving playback control to emby. Playback should be done by Infuse. But Instead of playing back the original 8K fullAtmos file, Emby could transcode to 720p and send the 720p stream to Infuse for Playback. this comes in handy if you have low bandwidth or using Infuse from outside if you are in a hotel for example.

Emmy / Plex are NOT players. They are media servers, that come with a player companion app. These Media Servers are good at serving media to a player app, but often their player app is not good.

Infuse on the other hand is a player app, which does not have any media server capabilities.

So why should Infuse re invent the wheel instead of using 3rd party media servers?

Agree. Infuse should focus on what Infuse is good at and fix their bugs. When done, they could look at new features.

Interesting discussion so let’s not derail the suggestion thread and move it here. :wink:

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