PS3 Media Server Tutorial/FAQ

For help and support with PS3 Media Server in general
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Re: Tutorial/FAQ

Postby chocolateboy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:43 pm

Problem: How can I supply details to help diagnose my problem?


First of all, please make sure you've followed the Problem Reporting Guidelines and can reproduce the problem with the latest PMS snapshot build before reporting issues.

If the problem still persists:

  1. Restart PMS
  2. Reproduce the problem e.g. try to play a failing file or wait for a connection
  3. Wait long enough for the problem to be logged e.g. until the renderer or PMS reports an error
  4. Either:
    • Upload your full debug.log (and any other relevant log/config files) to and post the link.
    • Zip your full debug.log (and any other relevant log/config files) and upload the zip file to MediaFire and post the link.

Please make sure you provide the other relevant details requested here.

Where is the debug.log located?

The debug.log can be opened in a text editor (from which it can then be saved anywhere) by clicking the "debug.log" button at the bottom right-hand corner of the "Logs" tab as shown in the image below. If that doesn't work, or if you're running PMS in a headless environment (or the GUI won't start), the default location can be found here: FAQ: Where are the PMS config, log, database files etc. located?


Trace log:

In some cases, a more detailed log will be needed. To enable full logging (AKA a "trace log"), change:

Code: Select all
<root level="DEBUG">


Code: Select all
<root level="TRACE">

- near the bottom of logback.xml (logback.headless.xml on headless servers) and restart PMS.
Last edited by chocolateboy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:36 pm, edited 15 times in total.
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Re: PS3 Media Server for dummies / tutorial howto documenta

Postby meskibob » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:09 pm

Problem: During remuxed or transcoded video playback your video either skips sections of the movie (forward or back) or the video crashes entirely. When you check the debug.log file, you find the phrase "Not enough memory", "OutOfMemory" or "Cannot grow buffer size from 50.000.000 bytes to ... bytes.".

PMS is exceeding the available Java heap memory allocated when PMS starts. Newer versions of PMS handle this error by half-ing the transcode buffer (sometimes leading to skips or crashes depending on the renderer) while older versions just let the video crash.
The heap is the sum of the transcode buffer memory plus all of the overhead memory (the actual PMS application, media library, iTunes support, Radio plugin, etc), and the overhead memory can grow quite a bit if the "extra" features (iTunes, Radio plugin, etc) are enabled.

The quick solution is just decrease the size of the transcode buffer or disable some of the extra features. How much you need to decrease or what features depends on your system and may require some basic guess and check.

However, if you need the larger transcode buffer (better playback) or the extra features (or just want to better manage the memory on your system), then you need to increase the available heap size.
  1. Locate the file "PMS.bat" (Windows), "" (Linux) or "/Applications/PS3 Media" (Mac OS X) and open it in a text editor
  2. Modify the "-Xmx768M" value (more info)
  3. Save and close the file
  4. For Windows or Linux you should now launch PMS using the modified "PMS.bat" or "" file. For Mac OS X, you can launch the application as normal.
Note: this will obviously take up more of your RAM, so make sure you set a value appropriate for your system
Example values (courtesy of Coltaine79 and ExSport):
  • 32-bit JVM on a 64-bit machine with 4+ GB of RAM can safely use a heapsize value of 1536 with a 400MB PMS buffer and a few of the larger plugins enabled.
  • 32-bit JVM on a 32-bit machine with 4 GB of RAM should at most use a heapsize value of 1200
How to Change the Heap Size If Installed as a Windows Service: (thanks lightglitch)
  1. Locate the wrapper.conf (Windows) at win32\service
  2. Modify the line:
    Code: Select all
    # Maximum Java Heap Size (in MB)
  3. Save and close the file
  4. Launch PMS using the service
Last edited by Raptor399 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: Clarify launching PMS after bat/sh/plist modifications
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Re: PS3 Media Server for dummies / tutorial howto documenta

Postby meskibob » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:52 am

Minimum System/Network Requirements for Stutter-free Playback**:
Streaming (no engine) - audio codec, video codec, and container are all supported by client, no soft subtitles*
  • no CPU (pretty much minimum any P4)
  • slight network (wireless G probably not be enough, wired ethernet recommended)
Remuxing (TSmuxer) - video codec is supported, audio codec and/or container need conversion, no soft subtitles*
  • slight CPU (minimum good P4, eg 3.0GHz P4 with HT)
  • slight network (wireless G probably not be enough, wired ethernet recommended)
Transcoding (MEncoder, AviSynth, etc) - video codec not supported or soft subtitles*
  • heavy CPU (minimum good dual core, eg 2.8GHz Core2Duo)
  • heavy network (wired 100mbit ethernet will work for most, but wired gigabit recommended)
  • Note1: there are actually two parts to the CPU. First is the individual core clock speed, which is more important for VC-1 videos as they aren't multi-core capable yet in PMS. The other is the number of threads/cores, which is more important for H.264/AVC videos as they are multi-core capable in PMS.
  • Note2: the specs listed above apply to transcoding source 1080P or lower quality videos. Lower specs may still work for lower quality videos.
*Note: this excludes DivX AVI's with embedded XSubs on the PS3

**Related items not covered in this topic but should be elsewhere in this tutorial thread, the forum, or theGoogle:
What codecs/containers/specs your device supports
How to diagnose stuttering playback
Configuring PMS for optimal CPU and network usage
Proper network setup for maximum LAN bandwidth
Why soft subtitles need transcoding
General asynchronous playback
A/V sync issues due to a framerate mismatch

Edit: Upped clock speed for transcoding since 2.6 still seems to stutter on some intense files.
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Re: Tutorial/FAQ

Postby chocolateboy » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:18 pm

Problem: PS3 Media Server won't start or display the GUI

Quick Fixes:

PMS won't start

PMS won't display the GUI (ignore this if you're running it in headless mode)

  • Make sure PMS isn't running in minimized mode (GUI not displayed by default). If PMS.conf contains the line "minimized = true", either remove it, or change it to "minimized = false".
  • Make sure PMS isn't running in headless mode (no GUI):
    • If PMS.bat or contains a reference to "console", either remove it, or change it to "noconsole".
    • If PMS.bat or contains "-Djava.awt.headless=true" either change it to "-Djava.awt.headless=false" or remove it.

Detailed Solution (if none of the Quick Fixes apply/work):

This usually means that a) Java is not installed, or b) Java is not installed/set up properly.

First of all make sure Java is installed. Open a command prompt/terminal and type:

Code: Select all
java -version

If you get a "command not found" error, or similar, first make sure Java is installed. If you know the location where it is installed, navigate to the directory where the java binary is located and try the command again. On Windows, this will be something like:

Code: Select all
C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_23\bin\java.exe

If you're not comfortable navigating in the command prompt on Windows, you can use one of these approaches to open the command prompt in the right folder directly from Explorer: ... lorer.html

If the command works from the Java bin directory, but not elsewhere, then Java hasn't been configured properly. Two environment variables (PATH and JAVA_HOME) need to be set to ensure that the system can find the Java binaries and libraries. These are covered in detail here and here.

Once the PATH and JAVA_HOME variables have been set, open a command prompt/terminal and check that the java binary can be invoked from any location, and that:

Code: Select all
java -version

runs without error. If that command executes but returns an error (and PATH and JAVA_HOME have been set correctly as described above), then Java is not installed properly, or the installation has become corrupted. In both cases, Java needs to be thoroughly purged and then reinstalled. Tools and instructions for doing this on Windows can be found here: ... indows-xp/ ... ion-of-vm/

If all of the instructions above have been followed and PMS still won't start, further details will need to be provided. Navigate to the PMS installation directory and run:


Code: Select all
javaw -classpath pms.jar net.pms.PMS > output.txt 2>&1

Linux &c.:

Code: Select all
./ > output.txt 2>&1

Then zip/attach or paste the output.txt file along with the debug.log, if any, and any relevant details requested here.
Last edited by chocolateboy on Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:35 am, edited 26 times in total.
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Re: Tutorial/FAQ

Postby chocolateboy » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:21 am

Problem: How can I fix/reduce stuttering video playback?


This is one of the most frequently-asked questions, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. This post merely lists solutions that have been reported to work.

First of all, check the other FAQs:

  1. Make sure your system meets the minimum requirements for stutter-free playback
  2. For skipping/freezing, see FAQ: Video skips/freezes
  3. Make sure you're using the latest version of PMS and the latest version of Java (bottom post)

If they don't solve your problem, the most important things are:

  1. Use a wired connection if possible (and, if so, double check that it's being used, both on the PC and on the renderer)
  2. Make sure the built-in optimizations are enabled where possible (e.g. number of cores, use tsMuxeR (e.g. via the #--TRANSCODE--# folder) &c.)
  3. Make sure the settings in PMS have appropriate values (e.g. max bandwidth, MPEG-2 video quality &c.)

The following have been reported to work (don't forget to undo changes that don't work, and please report fixes that do work so that we can prioritise them):

Reported to work by more than one poster:

  1. ASRock motherboard and/or Realtek NIC: disable "Large send offload" (alt; alt; alt; alt; alt; alt; alt)
  2. Update (or roll back) the PC's NIC driver (alt; alt; alt)
  3. Set the max bandwidth to the actual max bandwidth reported by PMS, rather than 0 (alt; alt; alt)
  4. PS3: configure the network to operate in half-duplex mode (alt; alt)
  5. Reduce the size of the transcode buffer (alt)
  6. PS3: configure it to handle network speed/duplex settings automatically (alt)
  7. Linux: find/compile/enable multithreaded MEncoder/FFmpeg builds (alt)
  8. Assign static IP addresses to the renderer/PC (avoid DHCP) (alt)
  9. Modify the jumbo frame setting in the NIC drivers (alt)
  10. Mac OSX: Install the DivX Codec Pack (alt)

Reported to work by one poster:

Last edited by chocolateboy on Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:02 pm, edited 31 times in total.
Reason: PS3 noise reduction
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Re: PS3 Media Server for dummies / tutorial howto documenta

Postby meskibob » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:58 pm

Problem: My cover art image for a video file isn't displaying on my device

Check the following items:
  1. Your device actually supports cover art
  2. The cover art image file is named as follows: <video file name>.<video file extension>.cover.<image extension>
  3. The cover art image file is a proper JPEG or PNG
  4. The cover art image file is in the same directory as the video file or in your specified "Alternate videos cover art folder"

From the readme inside PMS:
Just drop an image in the same folder as your movie file (jpeg or png) called <mymovie>.jpg (or .png) /
also supported: <mymovie>.cover.jpg (or .png). For example, for a movie called 'tokyo.mkv',
the cover file can be named 'tokyo.png' or 'tokyo.mkv.cover.png'

In order to apply the same image to all videos, just drop a folder.jpg file in this directory.
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Re: Tutorial/FAQ

Postby chocolateboy » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:54 pm

Problem: How can I use a custom renderer icon?


As of PMS 1.22, it is possible to specify a path to a custom renderer icon inside a renderer .conf file. The icon can be specified via the RendererIcon option. This can take three different types of value:

A filename - this is looked up in the renderers subdirectory:

Code: Select all
RendererIcon = renderer.png

A relative path - this is looked up in a path relative to the PMS working directory:

Code: Select all
RendererIcon = images/renderer.png

An absolute path:

Code: Select all
# Windows
RendererIcon = C:\\Program Files\\PS3 Media Server\\images\\renderer.png

Code: Select all
# other platforms
RendererIcon = /path/to/renderer.png

Note: if a renderer icon can't be found, a built-in icon will be used.

When specifying a custom icon, it is a good idea to comment out the default RendererIcon setting so that it can easily be restored if the custom icon is no longer needed e.g.

Code: Select all
# RendererIcon=ps3.png

Alternatively, simply drop a custom icon in the renderers directory with the same name as the built-in icon (e.g. ps3.png), and remove the file if it's no longer needed. That way the custom icon can be enabled/disabled simply by adding/removing the file.

The renderer icon should be around 200 x 166 pixels (width x height) and the format should be PNG (preferably 24-bit).
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Re: Tutorial/FAQ

Postby chocolateboy » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:58 pm

Problem: How can I launch PMS with a custom profile?


Creating and loading profiles

A collection of PMS configuration settings is called a profile. Profiles are stored in text files with a .conf extension. The default profile is saved as PMS.conf.

A new profile can be created by launching the PMS profile selector (see below) and either navigating to a directory without a PMS.conf file (the profile will be saved there as PMS.conf), or navigating to any directory and manually adding the new profile filename (with a .conf extension) after the directory in the file name field. Alternatively, a new profile can be created by copying and editing an existing profile in a text editor (the options are documented here).

New profiles configured in the GUI should be saved via the Save button if they are to be reused, and each profile should use a different port if it needs to run at the same time as other profiles.

A profile can be loaded interactively by launching the PMS profile selector (see below), navigating to a directory with a saved .conf file, and selecting it. For automatic loading options (e.g. via shortcuts), see below.

Profile name

To distinguish between different profiles in the renderer, set the name option (this must currently be set manually in the .conf file) e.g.:

Code: Select all
name = My Profile

If no name is specified, the hostname is used.

Unique profile ID

Each profile must have a unique UUID:

Code: Select all
# this is just an example; don't copy it
uuid = abcd1234-1234-1234-1234-12345678abcd

A new UUID is created and saved automatically (when PMS exits) whenever PMS creates a new profile (e.g. the first time it is run), but profiles that are copied and edited manually will need to be given a new UUID. The easiest way to do this is to delete the UUID from the new profile. This allows PMS to create and save a new UUID the next time that profile is loaded. Alternatively, you can change one or more of the digits in the copied file's UUID — as long as you make sure the UUID in each profile is different. (If you run two instances of PMS with different profiles that share the same UUID, the renderer will see them as one server.)

Profiles can be selected in three ways:

1. GUI

As of PMS 1.30.0, it's possible to select a custom profile or create a new one by launching PMS via the "PS3 Media Server (Select Profile)" Start Menu shortcut on Windows and Linux. A similar shortcut/launcher may be available in builds on other platforms.

2. Environment Variable (Advanced):

PMS also supports multiple profiles by means of the PMS_PROFILE environment variable. This is mainly useful on Unix systems where environment variables can be set on a per-process basis, though it can also be used on Windows e.g. to set a global profile directory/path for all users.

If this variable is unset, the default profile directory is used to locate PMS.conf (and WEB.conf, if used).

If PMS_PROFILE is an absolute or relative (to the working directory) path pointing to an existing directory, then PMS.conf is loaded from and saved to that directory. If PMS_PROFILE is set, but doesn't point to an existing directory, it is assumed to be a relative or absolute path to a profile file. Note: while the file doesn't need to exist, the directory containing it must exist if the file is to be saved.

Unix (Linux, Mac OS X &c.):

Code: Select all
PMS_PROFILE=relative/path/to/profile.conf ./
PMS_PROFILE=/absolute/path/to/myprofile.conf ./


3. Property (Advanced):

The profile file/directory can also be set via the pms.profile.path property e.g.

Code: Select all
java -Dpms.profile.path=/path/to/PMS.conf net.pms.PMS

This is resolved in the same way as the environment variable.

On Windows, this property can be set in the PMS .bat launcher or via a shortcut. In both cases, multiple .bat files/shortcuts can be used to launch different profiles.
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Re: PS3 Media Server Tutorial/FAQ

Postby meskibob » Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:48 pm

Problem: You hear static instead of proper audio while trying to play a video with DTS audio (with "Keep DTS in stream" setting checked)

Solution: Configure the PS3 playback settings (this is also described in the pop-up that displays when checking the above setting): ... el.html#11 - Set to "L+R" ... el.html#26 - Set to "Normal +0"
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Re: PS3 Media Server Tutorial/FAQ

Postby squadjot » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:55 pm

Problem: Movie picture gets stretched!, instead you want 16:9 with borders.

Solution: Note: this goes for transcoding with MEncoder only.
1. In PMS gui, go to transcoding tab
2. Select the mencoder settings
3. Click the button: "Expert Settings : Codec-specific parameters"
4. In the bottom inputfield insert following:

Code: Select all
(width/height < 1.7 || width/height > 1.8) :: -vf expand=::::1:16/9

5. Click "OK" to close the window.
6. Click "Save" in PMS top menu.

Subtitle issue (only older versions of PMS < 1.30) - Personally, i get problems on my Bravia W5500, with unstable framerate with some movies w/subtitles using above vf expand, but following settings seems to fix it:
Code: Select all
(width/height < 1.7 || width/height > 1.8) :: -vf softskip,expand=::::1:16/9,harddup

Edit: Panasonic users found this setting usefull:
Code: Select all
-vf softskip,expand=::::1:16\/9:4

Feel free to correct me.
Last edited by squadjot on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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