How to Solve Plex Can’t Play AVI Files

I have over 25 years of home movies converted from 8mm tape to AVI. Whenever I try to add the .avi files to my ‘Movies’ or ‘TV Shows’ library, plex does not detect them. Even though I’ve added over 20 files to the TV Shows library. They are named properly (ie: “show title – sXXeXX – episode title.ext” for TV shows and “title (year).ext” for movies) so that is not the issue. Other formats like .mkv work just fine. Is there any way to get AVI files to play nicely thru Plex? An fix to get Plex recognize AVI files? Searching from Google and got some recommended solutions.

Read More: How to get all old DVDs into Plex for streaming

Possible ways to enable Plex read AVI files:

Solution 1:

Check permissions, plex runs as it’s own user account and won’t have permissions by default. The All Users needs to have at least read access to the files, so settings the file permissions to 775 should do the trick (not sure if execute is needed, so you might be able to get by with just 774 assuming you want full permissions for the current owner and group).

There’s no reason what avi wouldn’t work over mkvs really besides naming and permissions, so if you have the naming right it’s likely the other.

Solution 2:

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

Cons: Some guys reflect Handbrake is spamware. Just downloaded it and had to do two malware cleans to get rid of all the shit it put on the computer.

Solution 3:

Convert AVI to Plex compatible video files with a professional app like Brorsoft Video Converter. This video app is professional on fast transcoding AVI to Plex Media Server with MP4 format (the most compatible video format for Plex) without quality loss. In addition, it not only supports MKV videos, but also handles various common video formats, like MXF. VOB, MKV, MTS, MOV, MP4, WMV .etc. For Mac users, Brorsoft Video Converter for Mac is also a helpful app to encode videos for further usage.

Cons: Brorsoft Video Converter is not freeware. However, if you are seeking for the best video output quality, fastest video conversion speed, and the most formats supported, it will be a great choice.

Simple steps to play AVI files via Plex

1. Load original AVI files

Click “Add” button on the main interface to load your .AVI files to the program. (Drag&Drop function is included.)

2. Select output format

Click “Format” and choose MP4 from “Common Video” as output format, which can be recognized by Plex easily.

Tips: 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.

3. Start AVI to Plex Conversion

Finally, hit the “Convert” button at the bottom of the main interface to start the conversion. It will automatically convert AVI 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 AVI files at ease.

Additional Tips: If you intent to use DVD, Blu-ray, ISO, Video_TS, BDMV, etc. files as well as AVI, MKV, VOB, MPG, MOV, and more with Plex Media Server, the all-in-one app Video Converter Ultimate ( or iMedia Converter for Mac) will be your best choice.

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