- No HTPC support
- Lacks official interface themes
Although music and video streaming services are great for consuming huge amounts of content, you never own any of it, regardless of how long you subscribe. Plex offers an alternative for those who like to maintain local collections of music, photos, and videos. The media management software helps you construct an always-accessible media server and offers playback apps on many platforms. Plex has expanded its library of free streaming content, too, with preprogrammed channels, movies, shows, and podcasts that you don’t even need to store on your server. Although those with home theater PC (HTPC) setups need to look elsewhere (such as to the more customizable Kodi), Plex earns a top rating for its easy setup, reliable performance, and excellent organizational tools.
What Is Plex?
Plex is a media management platform with two parts: the media server software (Plex Media Server) and the new playback application (Plex), which replaces the Plex Media Player. The benefit of this setup is that you only need to worry about maintaining your file collection on your server. Your media library follows you to every device with the Plex app.
To get started, Plex users set up a server on a device using the Plex Media Server application and add local media libraries to it. Plex is best for people with large repositories of local media files but not necessarily a lot of space on the devices to which they’ll be streaming the content. It’s also for people who oppose popular video and music streaming services. Although we don’t condone the practice, content pirates may be drawn to Plex as well.
Once the media server is configured, Plex users can stream and download that server content on other devices as well as share their libraries with other people via the new cross-platform Plex app. As for specific changes, the updated media playback app replaces the older Sync capability with the simpler Download function for accessing your files offline. However, some functionality and platform support is going away. For instance, Plex is dropping support for Plex Media Player’s TV mode and thus HTPC setups. Plex has also unpublished its Microsoft Store version and does not have currently have plans to release the new app for Linux.
Platforms and File Support
Plex for Android v22.214.171.124456 Crack Premium Media Server is available on macOS, Windows, Linux, and FreeBSD computers. Alternatively, you can install the software on network-attached storage (NAS) drives from popular manufacturers such as QNAP, Seagate, Synology, and Western Digital. The virtualization software, Docker, is another option.
On the playback side, the new Plex app is available for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices. Supported streaming devices include Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku. You can also find Plex for gaming consoles (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), select smart TVs, a few VR platforms, as well as for Alexa and the Sonos app. I tested Plex on multiple devices, including several Windows 10 machines, a Fire TV Stick, and a Google Pixel 3.
Plex can play nearly any media file you throw at it. In terms of audio, Plex supports MP3, M4A, FLAC, and WMA files. For videos, the list includes MP4, MKV, HEVC, AVI, MOV, and DIVX. Plex can also display JPG, PNG, RAW, and TBN image files. Plex includes built-in tools that convert non-natively supported files, such as DTS, to a usable format. You can also stream 4K content. Plex’s playback flexibility is similar to that of VLC Player.
How Much Does Plex for Android v126.96.36.199456 Crack Premium Cost?
For users who want to try hosting files or who don’t need high-level features, Plex offers a free account. With this tier, you get all the basic media organization and streaming capabilities, the ability to cast to other devices, and support for tons of media formats, including 4K. This account level also lets you share your server with others, use Plex’s VR app, and control playback with voice controls on supported hardware.
More advanced users should consider a premium Plex Pass account instead, which costs either $4.99 per month, $39.99 per year, or $119.99 for a lifetime subscription. A Plex Pass includes everything in the free account, plus a host of other usability features. For example, Plex Pass subscribers get Premium Photos and Music options, including auto-tagging and automatic lyrics, support for Live TV via an antenna and tuner, and offline mobile syncing. Plex Pass also features multiuser support, a Timeline organizational view, and early access to new Plex features. I used a Plex Pass account to test the service.
Plex’s partnership with Tidal means that you can subscribe to both services as a bundle for a discounted monthly price. The $9.99-per-month plan combines the Tidal Premium service with exclusive Plex audio features, such as artist recommendations, customized playlists, and universal search tools. Plex will even use Tidal’s music library to fill in missing albums for artists in your music collection. Plex also offers a $19.99-per-month Tidal Hi-Fi + Plex Pass option which unlocks Tidal’s highest quality streams (lossless and CD) and all the benefits of the Plex Pass.
For comparison, Kodi is completely free and includes most of the same features. Emby, another media server option, offers both a free and premium tier. Roughly In line with Plex, Emby Premiere costs $4.99 per month, $54 per year, or $119 for a permanent license.
What’s the Difference Between Plex and Kodi?
Plex for Android v188.8.131.52456 Crack Premium and Kodi are similar, and you shouldn’t feel bad for not understanding the difference straightaway. In fact, Plex’s previous generation Home Theater app was based on an XBMC (a precursor to Kodi) release. However, Plex and Kodi do not share any code and as such there are some notable differences. To begin with, Plex is not fully open source. Developers can contribute or review much of Plex’s code, but some parts are not publicly available. That’s probably fine if you don’t plan to dive into customizations at the code level.
Still, some users may prefer the truly open-source Kodi, which implements no such restrictions. Plex is easier to install on more platforms than Kodi, with dedicated apps for iOS and Amazon Fire TV devices, for example. Also, Plex seems to escape the wide-ranging condemnation of Kodi, despite the fact that using the latter, when used as intended, is completely legal. On the other hand, Kodi doesn’t require the same server setup step as Plex does.
Plex for Android v184.108.40.206456 Crack Premium and Kodi are still very similar, though, as both aim to provide robust and customizable media streaming solutions. For example, users add local or networked media libraries to each program, though Plex offers an on-demand library of content, while Kodi does not. Plex did recently kill off official plugin support, so Kodi wins out from a flexibility standpoint. Both support Live TV and DVR options too, assuming you either already subscribe to cable or purchase the necessary antenna and receiver hardware. Give both apps a try with a few media files before adding your entire collection to see which one you prefer. Check out our full guide on how to download, use, and customize Kodi.
As mentioned, Plex and Kodi are not the only services competing in this space. Emby is likely the most comparable. You can download a dedicated Emby app on the majority of devices that Plex supports. Depending on the platform you intend to stream content on, OSMC and Open Media Server are options as well, especially for DIY platforms like the Raspberry Pi (RPi). Of course, most of these alternatives are not as popular or established as Plex or Kodi.
How to Set Up and Use a Plex Server
To get started with Plex, the first step is to download the server application onto the device where you store your media libraries. If you are a Plex Pass subscriber, you can set up and maintain multiple servers under the same account. Know that whatever device you install the server software on needs to remain powered up in order to access the media. If you are worried about electricity costs (monetary or environmental), consider using a NAS device as your server instead of a full-blown desktop, which requires more power.
Plex’s installation process is pretty simple. Just follow all the prompts and at the end, the application will launch a browser window with a prompt to connect to your web login. The next step is to name your server and add your media folders. Users have the option to either use preselected folders or create their own. To add a folder, hit the Add Library button, select a content type (Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos, or Other Videos), and browse for media files on your local hard drive. Depending on the media type, Plex gives you extra contextual organizational options. For example, with my test Photos library, Plex offered to automatically identify objects and tag them accordingly. For further optimization, read our guide on how to organize your Plex library as well as our expert-level tips on how to manage it.
After you add all the media libraries and complete the setup, Plex takes you to the web application from which you can access and edit the contents of your server. If you intend to open access to your server from points outside your network, you need to enable Remote Management in the Settings > Server > Remote Access section.
Plex for Android v220.127.116.11456 Crack Premium intuitive interfaces and comprehensive platform support make it an excellent option for setting up and maintaining a personal media server. An expanding library of free streaming content increases its appeal.