Thursday , June 21 2018

Plex can pull your media from Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive.. who needs a NAS anymore?


In countries with faster internet than Australia, this concept probably makes sense. If you have the NBN, you can probably make use of this new feature of the Plex streaming media solution as well. In short, you can now use Plex to stream your content from Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive, obviating the need for any form of local storage whatsoever.

If you have the capability of putting your media in the cloud — and you’d need a fairly heft upload pipe to do so — you don’t need to store your media locally anymore, but of course, you’ll pay for downloads every time you stream it (unless you’re on a very fast, unmetered connection).

Plex Cloud is in beta, so you’ll need an invite to try it, as well as a $5/mo Plex Pass subscription. If you meet all those requirements, you can give the service a try, but bearing in mind that Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive all prohibit storage of any prohibited content, so the utility of this service might be more of a “because we can” rather than a “because it’s good”.

Developer: Plex, Inc.
Price: Free+

Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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Valued Guest

Certainly I like this idea, just I’d be rather concerned about copyright implications plus the cost of having a google drive account with enough storage. My current plex server has a library in excess of 5 TB.

Ausdroid Reader

I have an unlimited Google drive and NBN but still can’t see myself using this.

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Ausdroid Reader

I’m pretty happy running my Plex Server using a NAS at the moment. With Port Forwarding and the fact that my PC runs practically 24/7 anyway, I’m able to access all my media from any device whenever I want.

Completely agree with the copyright implications, no point going through the trouble of having a VPN when downloading to then re-upload it all to a cloud service.

Ausdroid Reader

I don’t understand why people prefer Plex over free alternatives like Mizuu/Kodi that can index media without a server.

Brett Carleton
Valued Guest
Brett Carleton

Will, I used Kodi for years. I actually prefer the interface. Plex is actually an old fork from the days when it was still XBMC. I started running Plex in parallel, keeping Kodi for me main home theater. The biggest drive for me was the fact that Plex would serve my media to other devices. 4 of my TVs only have a Chromecast, so watching files with Kodi wasn’t an option. Plex server this need. And eventually when my MySQL database got corrupted I switched completely. Just to mention, Plex is free, there is no need to pay. They adopted… Read more »

Ausdroid Reader

Plex allows you to index your media (and correct any matching issues) once, on the server, then access the same media database wherever you like.

I assume if I use Kodi et al, I have to index the media every single time, everywhere I want to use it, and correct any mis-matches every time.

Not saying Plex isn’t without it’s issues, but for some people, that centralised storage and metadata is what they want.

Ausdroid Reader

I understand the benefits of running a server, but there’s also the negative of having to actually run a server. My current NAS is almost full, so I might consider a smart NAS next time so it can run a server and I can try out Plex properly. I do find that a combo of a (dumb) NAS, Chromecasts and Mizuu/BubbleUPNP on all my Android device is a simple, equally effective alternative though. Doing this means I don’t have to run any Windows devices unless I really need to. The only tiny bit of extra work is getting the naming… Read more »

Ausdroid Reader

Plex Cloud technically is the ability to run the entire plex serve online as opposed to requiring hardware locally ie. an always on PC. They do also have Cloud Sync that allows you to store media in Dropbox, drive etc negating the need for permanent local storage.

Valued Guest

Unfortunately you have to store the content locally as well.

“A Cloud Synced item is not meant as a replacement for your local media; it is a copy of your local item.

Note: If you remove an item from your local Plex Media Server, the item will also be removed from Cloud Sync.”

Ausdroid Reader

Apologies. Did not realise that cloud sync is just a copy.

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