Sharing Plex with Common Media Sense age-restrictions
Walmart, Merritt Island FL by Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos is licensed under CC BY
I have a Plex server which houses media for our household. With kids, I want to ensure that they don’t have access to age-inappropriate movies and shows. I’ve taken a rather automated approach that leverages Plex Meta Manager, but still provides the flexibility for manual override as needed.
The complexity around the (different) Motion Picture Content Rating Systems is fairly evident. Even with a selected system (i.e., Canada’s) the ratings are still ambiguous on what might be appropriate for a certain age.
I decided to leverage the Common Sense Media age rating for Movies, TV Shows, and Anime. This provides a more succinct age rating. To note, age appropriateness of media varies based on the child, so it doesn’t hurt to double-check and manually override as needed.
I use Plex Meta Manager to do the following tasks on a daily schedule:
The following is a slimmed-down snippet of my
config.yml that adds the Common Sense Media age rating and displays it on the poster art. As you’ll see in the example image, there are a lot of other Plex Meta Manager configurations in place to display ratings.
libraries: Shows: library_name: ⭐ Shows overlay_path: - pmm: commonsense operations: mass_content_rating_update: mdb_commonsense
In some cases, there might not be a Common Sense Media age rating available. When this scenario occurs, I just look around and make the best-educated guess (or I just be overly cautious), and set it manually in Plex.
If needed, you can add a special Sharing -> Labels on a media item to either include or exclude it from the Kid’s account, regardless of the Common Sense Media age rating. The labels that I’ve chosen are
Override:Kids for including, and
Override:Adult for excluding.
The final piece of the puzzle is putting the actual restrictions on the Kid’s account in Plex. As we can see in this setup, the account will:
I can add new age ranges as my kids grow up, and I can even introduce individualized profiles as required. I like having the flexibility to manually override age ratings for those times when we’ve watched the content as a family.