Our KODI server has been doing a great job of serving our media (movies, television shows, music videos and music), but lately I've been using it to convert blu-ray media files (via handbrake-cli) and play/download some pretty big Steam games. With the price of SSD storage media dropping it seemed like a good time to think about some upgrades.
If you rip Blu-rays using MakeMKV the resulting file size can be huge. File sizes of Blu-ray movies in our collection range from 16GB to over 36GB. This was fine a year ago when we added an 8TB hard drive to our KODI server, but in less than a year we managed to whittle the free space on that drive down to 250GB. Buying more/larger drives is one approach to solving the free space problem, but we've already done this several times, going from a 1TB drive to a 2TB drive, then a 3TB drive, and another 3TB drive, before replacing them all with the 8TB drive. Another approach, the one we ulimately decided would be the right solution for us, was to encode those files - in this case using handbrake-cli, the command-line version of handbrake.
When you're working with Blu-ray media file sizes can be a nightmare. Back when I got my 8TB drive I had slightly over 5TB of files. Eight terabytes seemed like it would be enough at the time, but here it is less than a year later and the drive is dangerously close to full (308GB free). Drive space wasn't a problem when I was ripping my DVDs, but when I "rip" my Blu-ray discs it's more like dumping them to the drive, there's no re-encoding done.
Recently I came across an interesting old (2009) article by Don Woligroski on Tom's Hardware entitled Gigabit Ethernet: Dude, Where's My Bandwidth? At the time I stumbled upon the article I was transferring some media from my main desktop system (which I use to rip and encode media) to our KODI server. The files were transferring slower than I expected and slower than I remember on other hardware I've had in our server.
If you've already checked out our KODI setup page you already know that we mainly use KODI to organize our existing media collection. We don't use a lot of add-ons and we tend to steer clear of third party add-ons not found on the kodi.tv web site. But sometimes even the add-ons found on the kodi.tv web site don't work. Troubleshooting them can be a bit puzzling since the add-ons refer you to the kodi log file. When locally stored television shows and movies are scraped and not found they generate a log entry.