Jellyfin is my favorite service to self host, I’ve been using it for movies & books and I’d even consider using it for photos if not for Immich. Jellyfin is really popular as a self hosted streaming service for movies & TV shows, since those platforms suffer heavily from enshittification.

Jellyfin can do much more than stream your favorite movies & TV shows. Whether you’re a movie enthusiast, music lover, or photo fanatic, Jellyfin has got you covered.

What is Jellyfin

Jellyfin is a self-hosted multimedia service, which gives you full control of your media. It’s one of the easiest and most useful services to self host, refer to Jellyfin’s installation instructions for up-to-date information.

Why Jellyfin

Jellyfin’s key strength is its multi-platform support. Unlike other media services like Dim, a rust media manager, jellyfin supports a wide range of platforms including iOS & Android. This make it easy to access your content, from any device, at any time.

Accessing Jellyfin

Jellyfin will be available by default on your local network on <host:8096>. I recommend using a VPN service like tailscale or pivpn to access your jellyfin instance when you are not on your local network.

Jellyfin As A Movie & TV Show Streaming Service

Streaming services are going through a weird phase, an era of service specialization has begun, also know as platform decay. Long gone are the days when you subscribe to just one streaming service, it has become a multi-platform journey.

With jellyfin you can bypass geo-restrictions & have complete control & autonomy. Today’s commercial streaming services seem to offer a deteriorating user experience, making it increasingly difficult to justify their subscription fees.

Depending on how you access your Jellyfin instance & the hardware you are using, you can have an improved performance, especially when compared to “free” streaming services.

Jellyfin As A Music Streaming Service

Everybody is making posts about Jellyfin as a Plex/Netflix alternative, but it’s also an even better music player on mobile than Spotify as well, thanks to Gelli, which offers a native music player for Android.

My music collection is precious to me, unfortunately with services like Spotify you do not own it, you cede control over your collection. Spotify, vast in its reach and scale, can alter its terms & user experience at will, such as removing your favorite artists albums or adjusting it’s algorithm recommendations to maximize their profit while disregarding your own taste.

Jellyfin is self-hosted, thereby retaining all choices and decisions lie squarely within your ambit of control.

Jellyfin As A Digital Library

My digital library is crucial to me. Accessibility is key, whether at my university’s library, coffee shop, or even at a lecture hall. Jellyfin facilitates this seamlessly. While the content viewer might not cater to my preferences, I mitigate this by downloading the required book and reading it in Emacs using pdf-tools or nov.el.

Downsides Of Using Jellyfin

Jellyfin’s downside is the potential reliance it might inadvertently create on file sharing services. Depending on the communities you visit, your experience might vary; you might come across toxic individuals or friendly people that share your passion.

I recommend reading torrentfreak to keep yourself up to date on recent developments and suggestions.


Jellyfin is a powerful self-hosting multimedia solution that allows users to manage their movie library, music collection & digital library all within a single service across multiple platforms.

The main downside of using Jellyfin is the reliance on 3rd party file sharing services. Although, relying on a commercial streaming service is an even worse option these days.