Plex Updates Everything: New Server, New Clients, WMC Integration, MyPlex in the Cloud

Plex Logo

Plex started life as a media center style program based on XBMC for the Mac. Plex is aiming a bit higher now. Over the last few days, while I was preoccupied with piles of Halloween candy, Plex was rolling out a series of updates to their growing lineup of applications. 

First out of the gate was myPlex. MyPlex is a cloud-based syncing and queuing service. With a myPlex account, Plex users can sign into any client and access any of their servers without any other setup necessary. On top of that, Plex has put together a bookmarklet for queuing up online video that myPlex will sync with servers and clients.

Once you’ve created a Plex account (and if you have a forums account, you already have one), you simply sign in on the Plex Media Server, and on your Plex client (e.g. iOS or Android), and you’re done. Super easy, and super awesome. Even if you have multiple Plex Media Servers in multiple locations, and multiple mobile devices, myPlex keeps track of everything in order to give you a seamless experience.

Plex Blox

Of course, myPlex wouldn’t be as exciting without the clients and server to go with it, which is where Laika comes in. Laika, the codename for the new Plex client, has been released with support for Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and at last, Windows. The new client is based on the most recent stable version of XBMC, sports a new default skin, and adds support for myPlex. There is also a new smart queuing system for television shows that sounds promising.

This new release of Plex fully supports myPlex, and is a “thin client”. This means you can download just the client, sign into myPlex, and you have instant access to all your media (and media shared with you), no matter where you are. The client can transcode or Direct Play remote media, including Flash/Silverlight video. Many of you have asked for this feature, and we’re incredibly happy to bring it to you. If you look closely, you’ll see there’s even an option for including shared libraries in the universal search.

Plex Blox

For WMC users, the best news might be that the Plex client integrates directly into Windows Media Center. I’ve been following Plex development loosely since the Plex team released the Plex server software for Windows with the promise of a client to come, but had been pessimistic about using it in the living room as there was little chance that I would be teaching the family how to switch between media center apps. If the WMC integration works well, Plex might be well-positioned to take on Mediabrowser and My Movies. Anyone else excited to give the new Plex lineup a test run?


  • That looks great! I love how

    That looks great! I love how a developer created a client for the Samsung TV in HTML5. Is it possible to do the same with Media Center? I vaguely remember seeing a demo of that sometime back related to the Windows 7 Embedded release. Plex looks great (especially the built-in cloud client!!) with the obvious failure of no Live TV or tuner support. Can’t wait ’till CES to see what Media Center in Windows 8 looks like!

    • Windows 7 Embedded has a set

      Windows 7 Embedded has a set of special OEM tools that allow for the customization of WMC’s menus and custom shells. Microsoft has released a couple of videos showing an HTML5 and a Silverlight shell in place of the standard WMC shell. There are a few vendors in Europe using Windows 7 Embedded for over the top and settop boxes with, in some cases, heavily modified WMC as the only visible component.

  • Anybody dig up more info the
    Anybody dig up more info the media center integration? Eery article says it has it but shows nothing more than the screen shot of the button.

    • I’m going to try it out

      I’m going to try it out personally, but it won’t be for another day or two. Just poor timing on the test systems I have available at the moment. If anyone gets a chance to try it out, let us know as I am pretty curious myself.

  • I would be all over doing
    I would be all over doing this myself but I just got my automated usenet tv/movie system working. Not much time with a 6mo. Old and a 5.5yr old. If the reviews are good I will probably set this up after the holidays.

  • I don’t comment on here much,
    I don’t comment on here much, well really ever, but thought I’d chime in on this. I’ve had the plex server running on my whs2011 box for several months now, mainly to easily transfer tv shows to my iPhone to watch when I get bored at work. I’ve had all the metadata grabbers turned off since i was using media center master to do all my meta data, and incorporating that with media browser in WMc. So to me the thought of a media center client really excited me. Since I had the server up already I just downloaded the beta client on my htpc and I was up and running.

    Before i go too far, a little background on my htpc. I have an older core 2 duo in my htpc, so it isn’t real quick at loading my 400+ movies, and I have had a really hard time once I past the 250ish movie count with media browser. Everything just slowed down, mostly due to hardware constraints I’m sure. I’ve been planning to upgrade, hoping to wait and get an ivy bridge when they are released. Ok, back to Plex.

    So I launched the plex application right after install. Everything worked fine, had to reboot my plex service, not quite sure why, but after that it just found my server, no configuration, it just worked (big plus in my book). So I then decided to check out the WMc interface, which is why I’m interested. When you launch the program, it just opens the stand alone app(minimizing wmc), which at first was a little turn off, but my remote (harmony) didn’t blink an eye at controlling Plex. To my amazement plex ran great. I however had a lot of choppiness in video. Maybe again a hardware issue (my server is old too). I’ll have to investigate the choppiness more. The Control options in plex are awesome though. Fast foreword in KVM files works flawless, and there is a setting (on the server) to prefer certain audio tracks, which I couldn’t test, but would be a big bonus.

    There was a few quirky issues I found. While playing music I had to stop it before I could leave that album. Meaning if I had a song playing, I couldn’t simply hit the back button to go back to the previous menu, I had to hit stop first. A few times trying to exit Plex hung, and I had to end it with task manager. Also there doesn’t appear to be any available channels (plugins) right now other then what came bundled for meta data. If they could add a Netflix plugin, I think I would be set. I would only have to go back to WMc for live tv.

    All in all though, I think it’s pretty awesome. It has a definite xbmc feel to it, which I haven’t used in a very long time. But having the iOS integration, for me was key. I didn’t play with the my lex stuff yet, but sounds real cool.

  • Edit: disregard the Netflix
    Edit: disregard the Netflix app (apparently there is one already), and the channels not being available, I don’t think I knew exactly what I was doing

  • Am I missing something?   I

    Am I missing something?   I installed Plex and I still cannot figure out what value it has to WMC owners.  Can someone help explain what application it brings to WMC that we don’t have today?

    First, it seems to duplicate much of the WMC functionality.  Second, it seems that the add-ins are redundant to Boxee.  Is the big draw the transcoding down to mobile phones?

    Any info appreciated.