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Posts tagged with "plex"

Plex Now Available on Apple TV, and Apple Adds Top Charts to Apple TV App Store

The highly anticipated official Plex app for the new Apple TV is now available on the App Store as a free download. The Plex Apple TV app can play all of your video, music, TV and photo collections from any computer or NAS device that you install the Plex Media Server on. You can view more screenshots of the Plex Apple TV app on the Plex Blog.

There truly isn’t any other platform we’ve wanted to be on for as long as we have the Apple TV. Today’s the day, and we’re celebrating. The app is free in the app store for everyone, and requires the latest media server.

Meanwhile, Apple appears to have listened to some of the complaints about the lack of discoverability in the Apple TV App Store and added a Top Charts section. Just as it does on iOS, the Top Charts section is broken down into Top Free, Top Paid and Top Grossing lists.

Top Charts is currently limited to the US App Store, but it seems likely that the feature will roll out to international stores over the coming days. Unsurprisingly, the lists for the Top Paid and Top Grossing apps are dominated by games, whilst the Top Free list is mostly occupied by media and entertainment apps. If you don’t have access to an Apple TV or live outside the US, you can see the top 10 apps in each list on MacRumors.

Perhaps in another effort to increase the discoverability of Apple TV apps, Apple has refreshed the App Store Featured page and is now highlighting some new apps. Typically on the iOS App Store they only refresh the App Store Featured page once a week on Thursdays. Hopefully this happens more frequently on the Apple TV App Store, at least until they introduce categories or some other ways to discover apps that aren’t featured or trending.

Plex Introduces Camera Upload for iOS App

Personal media service Plex today rolled out enhancements to the web and iOS apps, allowing Plex Pass subscribers to use a new photo-related feature called Camera Upload to automatically upload and store photos from a device’s Camera Roll on a Plex media library.

Previously limited to Plex Pass members, Chromecast integration for Plex is now available to all users, for free. Chromecast support lets Plex locally beam media content (music, videos, and photos) to a television connected to a Chromecast device. For both the web and iOS apps, Plex now supports shuffling of all items in a section, which can be combined with filtering to, for instance, shuffle all songs available under Pop Rock.

Today’s big addition for Plex Pass members is Camera Upload: using iOS 7’s background functionality, Plex can automatically upload pictures taken with an iOS device to a Library on a Plex media server and into a specific album. There are settings to control upload with cellular data, and, overall, Camera Upload seems to be aimed at providing an effortless photo archival and streaming solution with sharing options rather than a dedicated photo management system such as the ones offered by Picturelife or Loom.

Camera Upload joins other Plex Pass features that allow Plex users to get more out of the service, namely Plex Sync (to keep media available offline on mobile devices), Cloud Sync (review), Multi-User Control, and early access to new features. Plex Pass is available at $3.99/month, and an update to the iOS app with support for Camera Upload is propagating now on the App Store.

Plex Gets iOS 7 Update

Plex for iOS, a native client for the company’s media manager, has been updated today with support for iOS 7. Version 3.3, available on the App Store, introduces a tweaked look to match Apple’s new OS, as well as bug fixes and changes to the media player.

The app hasn’t been revolutionized in its transition to iOS 7: the main screen has stayed the same, with sections to access your library, channels, and media that is either on deck or has been recently added to your Plex. There are no new options in the Settings, which still allow you to log into your myPlex account and configure playback preferences for synced and remote media.

There’s been, however, a general clean-up of the UI: gone are iOS 6 toolbars and buttons, leaving room for translucencies, redesigned icons, and simplified navigation bars. Translucencies are especially fitting as they make colorful media artwork show through the interface, but it still feels like Plex could use a major redesign (particularly on the iPad) as it has remained largely unchanged since 2011. According to the developers, “lots more user interface improvements” are coming.

The media player (pictured above) has been updated, and the app is now capable of recognizing URLs in the clipboard upon launch, so that you’ll have a shortcut to quickly put content from the web in your Plex queue.

You can get Plex 3.3 on the App Store. Last week, the company released (after a long beta period) version 1.0 of Plex Home Theater, a Mac app to access your Plex content without having to use Plex/Web.

Plex Cloud Sync

I like Plex. I mostly listen to music on Rdio, but I like to keep Plex on my Mac mini for albums that aren’t available for streaming[1], movies, and TV shows. I’ve reviewed the Plex apps for iOS over the years, and the improvements Plex has made to the media server for OS X are impressive both visually (I use Plex/Web every day) and technically.

Last week, Plex released a public beta of Cloud Sync, a feature for PlexPass subscribers that, essentially, lets Plex users turn online storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive into Plex servers for those times when a primary Plex server is offline. In short: if your Mac is your Plex server but you can’t a) keep it always online or b) access it outside of your local network, now you can sync content to other sources and stream it with Plex clients even if your main server is unavailable. Read more

PlexConnect for Apple TV

A clever little hack to display Plex content on an Apple TV with no jailbreak required:

Essentially, you run a program on your computer which masquerades as the Trailer app. Next, change one setting on the ATV, and you’re up and running. It took me less than 2 minutes to install and get it running. It already uses the new transcoder (which means great support for subtitles), and I suspect it’ll support myPlex soon as well.

There’s a bit of manual configuration to do with this first version of PlexConnect. You can find an official discussion board, check out the FAQ, roadmap, or grab the source code here.


Plex 2.0 for iOS Brings Revamped Remote Access, New Home Screen - Plex 0.9.5 “Laika” Released

Back in April I wrote about Plex 1.1, a new iOS version of the popular media manager for Mac and Windows (as well as other connected devices such as Roku) that brought a new design, better streaming of movies and TV shows with Direct Play and Direct Streaming, and many changes from the original application that was released a year ago in November 2010.

With a series of releases announced via various blog posts, the Plex team launched last night version 2.0 of Plex for iOS, another major revamp of the mobile client for iPhone and iPad that brings an improved home screen design (for the grid UI that was introduced in 1.1), new remote access, better subtitle management and over 150 bug fixes. As previewed last week, the Plex team figured one of the most requested functionalities for the desktop media server – a utility that finds media on your computer or local network and handles transcoding, metadata and streaming to Plex clients – was better access of personal media (movies, music, TV shows) over the Internet. In its previous versions, Plex was capable of making a computer or external hard drive available over the Internet via port forwarding, but setup was far from easy and seamless, and the lack of any online counterpart for over-the-air sharing made it impossible to build a platform on top of a local Plex installation. With myPlex, Plex brings “real” remote access to all your media, allowing the app to communicate with through a user account (which you can create for free), letting users not only access servers (like your iMac or Mac mini) remotely, but also to share specific sections of a library with other Plex users.

myPlex is a full-featured solution to access, share and save content for later. “Access” means all your connected Plex media servers will show up online, readily available to show your sections and library; I haven’t been able to personally test the remote access part of myPlex as my router doesn’t want to play nice with port mapping, but I can see how the redesigned preference panel will make for a more intuitive experience when making a computer available online. Moreover, the screencasts posted by the Plex team (available below), show how easily it’s possible to connect media servers to myPlex.

Sharing plays another big role on myPlex: whereas in previous iterations of Plex users could only share content with others by opening up their routers for external access, providing a friend with the required authentication system to access a Plex installation, myPlex makes it extremely easy to pick a folder (say a Music collection, or a TV series), enter an email address of another Plex user, and start sharing content online. Users can share an entire Plex library or just some sections, and obviously the system will take advantage of Direct Play and Direct Streaming between remote connected users and libraries whenever possible. myPlex is a simpler interface on top of the old (manual, URL-based) sharing process, and it’s deeply integrated with the updated iOS and Mac clients. Read more

Lion App Updates: GrowlMail, Pixelmator, Plex, Backblaze

Earlier today, Apple released new hardware, OS X Lion, and a series of software updates to bring new OS compatibility to apps such as the iWork suite, Cocoa enhancements to iTunes, and new features to Safari. Apple also released several minor updates on its Support website, which we outlined in a separate Lion article here. But on the other hand, developers of third-party apps for the Mac haven’t missed the opportunity to update their software following the release of Lion, which is likely being installed and tested for the first time by hundreds of thousands of Mac users as we speak. In the past few hours, we’ve collected the most interesting app updates released today, so check them out after the break. Read more

Plex Releases Major 1.1 Update: The King Of iOS Media Players

If you’re serious about your media library, you’ve probably heard of Plex: dubbed as the “solution for local and online media”, Plex is a fantastic multi-platform media center that runs on Macs and Windows PCs and has great iOS and Android clients. Once installed on your desktop machine (which becomes a “server”) Plex can fetch music, movies and TV shows stored on your computer or anywhere else on an external hard drive, organize them properly into categories by adding the correct metadata, and handle streaming to the clients (such as the iPhone or iPad apps) with live conversion of unsupported video formats. All your media can also be played locally on a computer without the need of a mobile client thanks to the desktop Plex app, which is highly customizable: you can add your own themes, install plugins (like Spotify) and connect to online content providers such as the CNN, Vimeo, Cnet TV, Youtube, Apple Movie Trailers and many others. If that’s not enough for you, Plex can also enable you to connect to your media library remotely via WiFi or 3G with a global hostname, through the iOS apps. Read more

OWC To Transform Your Mac Mini Into The Media Center You Always Wanted

There’s those that live in iTunes with the Apple TV, and then there’s those that live off an assortment of digital media with a mess of HTPCs, NAS storage boxes, and long runs of ethernet. Mac Minis turn out to be pretty good multimedia centers at an affordable price point, and OWC wants to take your initial box and transform it into a powerful, redundant, and blu-ray capable monster. With OWC’s Media Center Solution program, they’ll upgrade your Mac Mini to the max, toss in a new RAID storage server, outfit your Mac Mini with an external Blu-Ray drive, and give you the option of a couple Elegato HDTV USB plugins so you have an effortless connection to your flatscreen. Why pay OWC when you could set all of this stuff up yourself? Well if you’re not terribly handy with cables, screwdrivers, or can’t stand the initial software setup between all these boxes, think of OWC as the cable installer (at least not Comcast ones): he’ll set you up and all you’ll have to do is turn on the TV. The best part of OWC’s package is that it’s easy to judge how much storage you need thanks to easy site layout – OWC plans to turn a complicated setup into a simple install starting a base price of $700.

[via Cult of Mac]