Plex continues to develop and it continues to be a brilliant platform for users who have a significant media library they still use despite the streaming possibilities available. The new Plex desktop app will not just expand the functionality for Plex, but replace what was the Home Theatre PC setup.
The new app is just called Plex (creative right?) and it delivers what you’d expect from their team. A simple interface to access your media and continual scanning to ensure that your media library is always up to date. It’s available on Windows and Mac which covers the vast majority of users, further allowing access through the web interface which is ever-reliable.
Previous versions of the app will allow you to sync media to your device, now it’s called download. A simple terminology change more than anything (from what I’ve seen so far) — a language choice more than function.
A friendlier term that means it’s just a single click to take your favorite media with you, and you can find it all in one predictable place. It’s also built on a much simpler and more reliable mechanism, so downloads start quickly, and give clearer feedback along the way.
The change further noting that the direction of Plex is focusing more on offline media for travels and mobility. To use the offline media (downloads) function though, that you’ll have to have a Plex Pass subscription.
The Plex team have been very clear that the new app is their intended pathway forward as a desktop solution. This will be minus the TV option that is currently enjoyed by a fairly select number of users. It’s also stated in their blog how much more economic it is to have a streaming box than a PC running these apps.
Pleasingly out of this product sunset of Plex Media Player, it’s been recognised that many users aren’t going to go cold turkey or immediately over to the new app. So there’s about 6 months (end date January 30th 2020) until the updates for the current app stop.
Having experimented with a lot of them over the years, I’ve still got several options running instead of Plex running: I’ll quickly, easily and happily switch back to Kodi as my solution in the living room for watching and recording television.
If you’re a Plex user, I’d absolutely encourage you to download the new Plex app for your PC or Mac and give it a crack. I’m pretty happy with what I’ve seen so far and will continue to play with it in the coming weeks.