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Jellyfin vs Emby – Which is Better?

Jellyfin and Emby are media servers that allow users to organize and store media content. On both platforms, you can access your photos and stream videos on any device.

Despite having similar features and functionalities, Jellyfin and Emby are different in many ways. With this in mind, we will be taking you through the notable differences between Jellyfin and Emby.

We will also point out some similarities so that you can clearly understand which of the two media servers is suitable for you.

Jellyfin vs Emby: The Basics

What Is Jellyfin?

Jellyfin is an open-source dedicated media platform that allows you to access media from your server using any device. With Jellyfin, you can easily collect and manage different media content and access it whenever you want.

The multilingual software media system is suitable for holding your complete movie catalog, TV shows, and music. Additionally, using Jellyfin, you can watch live TV and record content automatically.

Jellyfin was released in December 2018 by Jellyfin Team, but it was not until June 2021 that the stable release was made.

Explore how good Jellyfin is when put against Plex.

What Is Emby?

Emby is a media system that allows you to gather all your media content in one place for easy accessibility. Just like Jellyfin, with your Emby server, you can automatically and quickly convert your media to play on different devices.

Despite being launched earlier, the media system received a stable release in March 2021 with great upgrades, making accessing personal media away from home efficient. Similar to Jellyfin, Emby allows you to stream pre-recorded live TV content.

The platform also helps with DVR management and, like Jellyfin, Emby is a personal media server. That means it does not allow you to stream or download new content. It only helps you to manage your existing media.

Check out some of the best alternatives to Emby.

Jellyfin vs Emby: User Interface

Jellyfin

The personal media server comes with a simple interface that makes user navigation and platform management effortless. First, it features a dark background with an amazing arrangement of components.

You are provided with a menu to the top left corner of the media server with controls that you can use to access different sections of your personal media server. Note that the entire design and framework are straightforward.

It can accommodate new and expert users. Thanks to the unique design of the interface, you can freely filter your programs alphabetically for easy accessibility.

Jellyfin also allows you to personalize your platform in terms of tile size and media library arrangement. All you need to do is use an arrangement that you are familiar with or prefer to simplify content accessibility.

Emby

Similar to Jellyfin, Emby comes with a unique and accommodating interface. For instance, it features a dark background which makes the media files stand out.

Additionally, Emby has a menu to the top left corner of the site, making it easy to access different platform sections. You are provided with options such as the latest movies and latest TV series on the home section.

You can also go through suggested titles and album artists, which is exclusive when navigating your audio files. Such a unique representation of media content makes Emby suitable for any type of user.

Once you add content to your server, it is organized and represented elegantly with an official cover, title, and year produced. According to Emby, ‘your personal or private media content will never look the same again.’ Note that the same feature is available on Jellyfin.

Lastly, the entire interface is user-friendly. Thanks to the responsive controls and navigation pane, you can easily switch pages and select your desired media with only a few clicks.

As a result, both Jellyfin and Emby have an incredible user interface that is slightly similar. That means you will get the same amazing experience on both.

Emby vs Jellyfin: Voice Command

Emby

Emby has advanced over the years and is now fully equipped with amazing features and functionalities that ease operations.

Apart from having responsive controls whose purpose is to streamline user navigation and operation, Emby has a feature called Smart Home. The function allows you to use Google Home or Amazon Echo to control your device by voice.

According to Emby, you just need to instruct the device, either Google or Alexa, to tell Emby to play music and the command will be actualized. Adding voice commands to its premium features is one of the main advantages of Emby.

Voice command simplifies the media server management and makes content accessibility easier as compared to the use of controls. But then, you must spend additional cash on Google Home or Amazon Echo to enjoy the voice assistant feature.

Furthermore, you need the payable version to access the voice command feature.

Jellyfin

Currently, Jellyfin is fitted with useful features just like Emby. For example, the personal media server comes with amazing controls neatly added to the user interface for easy Jellyfin operation.

Similar to Emby, Jellyfin has a detailed menu with options that you can use to access different sections of the platform. Additionally, it has clickable tiles for launching music, videos, and displaying full-screen pictures when needed.

However, you should note that Jellyfin is yet to include the voice command option. Hence, you cannot control the resource using your voice. With this in mind, the only way you can navigate the site is by using the actual controls.

Emby is a suitable option in this category since it allows you to choose between usual controls and the voice control function. If you don’t mind getting the premium version for the voice control, Emby is the best option to consider.

Jellyfin vs Emby: Application and Integration

Jellyfin

Jellyfin is one of the best personal media servers available today. Apart from having an amazing interface, Jellyfin is compatible with several platforms.

The Jellyfin team made the media server compatible with multiple media interfaces to ensure you can take your media wherever you go. For example, TV users can access Jellyfin on FireTV, Xbox One, Android TV, and Roku.

You can also use Jellyfin with PS4, LG webOS, and Infuse. Even though Samsung Tizen is yet to be included in the current Jellyfin version, it is listed for upcoming support.

Moreover, Jellyfin is designed to operate smoothly with Android and iOS operating systems. It is the same case with clients who have third-party versions of the two operating systems, for instance, Gelli.

Note that courtesy of Chromecast, you can easily display your content on a big screen. Additionally, Jellyfin is compatible with the Nest application for Android TVs.

Lastly, Jellyfin allows you to watch live TV. The feature has DVR integration which you can use to record your Live TV content and expand your library.

All these features imply Jellyfin is compatible with an incredible integration capability.

Emby

Like Jellyfin, Emby’s compatibility with other devices is incredible. Additionally, the personal media server can get integrated into multiple platforms.

First, Emby is compatible with several TV platforms such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, and Xbox. Such options and many others make watching live TV effortless as long as you use the premium version.

Furthermore, Emby works on different operating systems, including Windows, iPhone, and Android. That explains why you can access your media online and offline on the move or at a specific location.

Users who don’t prefer downloading the Emby app can use the web-based system. Emby’s web-based platform is equally immersive and can be accessed on any device, including iPads, iPhones, Android phones, and any TV with a search engine.

Unlike Jellyfin, Emby already has Samsung Tizen. The feature comes with amazing graphics and audio capabilities, making Emby more entertaining compared to Jellyfin.

If you want to display your image on a big screen, you can use Emby’s Chromecast so long as the device you are using supports the feature. Lastly, like Jellyfin, Emby allows you to watch live TV with a DVR function to record important content.

If you compare the two platforms, Emby has more features making it the best choice if you are looking for a media server that works well with different platforms and extensive integration capabilities.

Jellyfin vs Emby: Parental Control

Jellyfin

When using Jellyfin, you will notice that you can restrict the content one can access and watch while setting up a new user. Therefore, if the user is young, you can use the feature to restrict their access to certain content.

Among the main options provided by Jellyfin’s parental control function is to select which content rating to show for the new user. Furthermore, the feature allows you to block media content that has no rating or those that have unrecognized rating information.

In case you want more efficiency, you can block items with certain tags. Note that you have permission to add specific tags to certain content and block them from the user.

Lastly, the parental control function allows you to set the period a user can access the content. For instance, it can be one hour or four hours or any other amount of time you wish.

Once the stated time frame elapses, the system will log out the user. These parental control features make Jellyfin suitable for managing young users and any other individual who require restriction to specific content, whether that is movies, TV shows, or pictures.

Emby

Like Jellyfin, Emby has a parental control function that limits what children can and cannot access. With the parental control feature, you can decide the kind of content you wish children to access.

For instance, you can exclude content above a particular rating or do away with an entire catalog of movies, TV series, and pictures. Besides that, Emby allows you to set time limits or decide the length of time children can access specific content.

You are free to add as many schedules as you wish. With the parental control feature, you can customize how much time a particular user can access content within a specific day of the week.

Generally, Emby has a parental control system that matches that of Jellyfin. The difference between Jellyfin and Emby is that Emby’s parental control allows you to make general specifications that apply to every user within a specific age.

On the other hand, Jellyfin enables you to customize the parental control of every user.

Pros and Cons

Jellyfin Pros

  • Free to use
  • Allows parental control
  • Offers amazing media cover
  • Compatible with multiple applications
  • Has DVR for media recording
  • Offers demo function
  • Does not track user data
  • Multiple customization options
  • Completely open-source

Jellyfin Cons

  • Does not have Samsung Tizen
  • Lacks voice command

Emby Pros

  • Integrates well with Roku and Amazon Firestick
  • Offers extensive parental control
  • Has an incredible display
  • Allows TV watching and recording
  • Converts files for different devices
  • Accepts voice commands
  • Allows Samsung Tizen
  • Offers Chromecast

Emby Cons

  • Most features require a subscription
  • Closed source

Pricing

Jellyfin

Jellyfin is a dedicated media server that continues to grow its following at a steady rate. Despite its recent launch, Jellyfin already has millions of users worldwide.

The main reason for its worldwide recognition is not because it has some of the best features but because Jellyfin is free. You don’t need any subscription fee for your friends, business, or family to access Jellyfin’s services.

To use the personal media server, you simply need to download the application, sign up, and start enjoying the services. According to Jellyfin, incidental costs are compensated by generous donors and users who are grateful for the service.

It is among the main advantages that make Jellyfin one of the most recommended personal media servers available today. Despite being freemium, Jellyfin offers amazing features and dependable services.

For instance, you will have absolute access to Live TV and DVR recording. Additionally, you can neatly organize your TV shows, movies, and music and access them on any device.

Lastly, you can set parental control on different devices.

Emby

Unlike Jellyfin, Emby comes in two versions, freemium and premium. The freemium version only has basic features suitable for light media server users.

On the other hand, if you want to enjoy unlimited Emby features with no limits whatsoever, you must pay an Emby subscription fee. According to Emby, the premium version is fitted with top-tier functionalities to increase user experience.

Currently, Emby offers you three subscription options. You can choose to pay a $4.99 monthly subscription or pay a $54 yearly subscription. By choosing the yearly subscription, you will save a good sum of money for the 12 months.

But then, if you want to do away with constant subscriptions, you can choose the lifetime subscription by paying $119 once. Note that the main payment option accepted by Emby is PayPal.

You can also choose to pay using debit or credit card options such as VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and JCB, among other options.

But first, you need to sign up for an Emby account before you proceed to make your payment. With Emby premium, you get to access additional features such as Emby DVR, offline media access, free apps, and cinema intros.

But then, if you compare Emby to Jellyfin, you will realize that you can access nearly every Emby premium version on Jellyfin freemium. Hence, Jellyfin is much better for users who want to enjoy media server services for free.

Similarities and Differences

After going through Emby and Jellyfin personal media servers, we noticed multiple similarities in the two platforms and differences. For instance, both Jellyfin and Emby allow users to collect and organize media data easily and effectively.

Additionally, Jellyfin and Emby allow users to watch LiveTV and even record various scenes. Note that the media servers convert content automatically so that it can be streamed on different devices.

You are guaranteed the ultimate experience whether on a tablet, iPad, iPhone, or Android device. In case you want to view a bigger picture, you can either opt to access the data on an Android TV or, better yet, use Chromecast to display the images and videos on the screen.

Among the differences you will notice is that Jellyfin is open source and free to use, whereas Emby is closed source with a subscription. Initially, Emby used to be open and free until recently.

Another notable difference is that, unlike Emby, Jellyfin lacks Samsung Tizen. That means Samsung users cannot benefit from the feature.

Wrapping It Up: Which Is Better, Jellyfin or Emby?

After going through the features and pricing of Jellyfin and Emby, the clear winner is Jellyfin. The personal media server comes with multiple compelling features.

For example, it allows users to access personal media on different devices. Additionally, the code is open-source, so you can make changes and distribute it whenever you wish.

However, the most significant advantage that makes Jellyfin the best overall choice for users is that it allows you to enjoy the same features on the Emby premium version for free.