What’s Plex, the right way to use it, and what gadgets assist it?

Key Takeaways

  • Plex is a well-liked leisure platform with a streaming service and a client-server media participant that organizes and provides data to your media information.
  • Plex provides a free streaming service with ad-supported video-on-demand, free motion pictures and TV exhibits, and dwell TV. A Plex Move subscription gives further options for media server customers.
  • Plexamp is a free music participant for Plex Media Server customers, with further options out there for Plex Move subscribers. Plex helps a variety of gadgets for streaming and media server capabilities.


Plex, in its newest avatar, is a well-liked leisure platform that has two main elements – a streaming service and a client-server media participant. The client-server media participant helps you to create a server of all of your media information (motion pictures, TV exhibits, music, and pictures) so that you could entry them on-the-go through Plex media participant apps and internet browsers on nearly any machine. The client-server additionally organises your media and even provides helpful data like posters, opinions, and subtitles.

Plexamp is the corporate’s free customized music participant, which will get further options for those who’re a Plex Move subscriber. On the time of writing, the corporate says Plex has over 17 million month-to-month lively customers (out of a complete of over 25 million customers) however didn’t element what number of of these have been paid subscribers.


What’s Plex?

Integrated as Plex Inc. in 2009, the Plex software program was initially developed as a Mac OS X port of the Linux-based XBMC (Xbox Media Middle) in 2007, and was known as OSXBMC. Because of totally different objectives from the XBMC Basis, the OSXBMC crew forked the code, and named it Plex. The title was chosen as a result of it “evokes ‘cineplex’ and the suffix means ‘comprising plenty of elements’.” This made sense on the time, because the Plex platform had totally different apps inside it, meant to view totally different content material providers.

Over time, the Plex service turned primarily recognized for the Plex Media Server performance. However, with the rising recognition of streaming providers making the possession of private media information unusual, Plex in 2019 tailored to the altering panorama of media consumption by launching its personal streaming service.

How a lot is Plex, and what’s Plex Move?

Plex’s streaming service is an ad-supported video-on-demand platform with free motion pictures and TV exhibits, other than providing a free dwell TV service. A Plex Move premium subscription can also be out there, ranging from $4.99 a month, with further options and entry.

To be famous, Plex Move doesn’t provide any further streaming content material to customers – the very same content material is accessible on the free tier. It’s meant primarily for Plex Media Server customers, giving them further options to stream and handle their content material. As we talked about, one function is the power to stream your Plex Media Server onto Android and iOS gadgets. Plex Move additionally helps you to obtain your media server content material onto different gadgets, after which entry these information on the go, even with out an web connection.

Plex Move additionally provides DVR options when you’ve got an antenna and a supported TV tuner linked to your server. Such a setup will allow you to file broadcast TV to eat later. Different Plex Move options embrace video and music enhancement, sharing entry administration, skipping intros and credit, in addition to {hardware} transcoding to leverage the {hardware} capabilities of your server machine for smoother distant playback. You’ll be able to take a look at all the advantages of the Plex Move subscription on the company site.

What are you able to watch on Plex?

To start out with, Plex has varied free content material on provide, a few of which will not be out there on the streaming platforms you’ve got already subscribed to. The corporate claims it has over 20,000 on-demand titles and over 200 dwell TV channels out there worldwide – within the US, it claims to have over 600 dwell TV channels. Plex says it has a number of content material companions, together with A24, AMC, BBC Studios, Bloomberg, Lionsgate, MGM, NBC Information, Paramount, Reuters, USA At this time, ViacomCBS, and Warner Bros. You’ll be able to take a look at the total checklist of Plex content material companions on the company site. You too can preview over 60 million music tracks and hundreds of music movies within the Music on TIDAL part – an try to make you purchase a TIDAL subscription to take heed to the total tracks.

Plex Discover screen on a laptop

Other than being a free streaming service, Plex tries to distinguish itself from different platforms by being a single place for customers to find and wishlist content material. In a bit known as Uncover – launched last year – you may choose the streaming providers you at the moment subscribe to after which search in a single place to see on which platform the content material you are in search of is accessible. It additionally gives curated content material suggestions primarily based on the providers you are subscribed to, rankings, your pals’ exercise, trending lists, genres, and awards. The Plex common Watchlist function helps you to select content material you need to watch sooner or later, and it acts as a unified checklist of titles throughout streaming providers. If a Watchlisted title is just not but on any platform, equivalent to the newest theatre launch, it’ll notify you when it turns into out there to look at.

Uncover acquired an update in November 2023 when Plex added the Uncover Collectively function, which was first beta-tested with choose customers in July 2022. Uncover Collectively provides three new tabs alongside Trending – Exercise, Folks, and Profile. Exercise exhibits your pals are watching, ranking, discussing, and including to their watchlists. The Folks part is the place you may add pals and get buddy strategies. Lastly, Profile exhibits your watching exercise statistics, publicly exhibits your profile with a bio, and likewise options privateness controls for issues like who can see your watchlist, watch historical past, rankings, pals lists, and extra. You too can mute and block folks from their profile pages, or from one of many actions that exhibits up in your feed. With all these options, Plex is actually attempting to include the social facet of watching and discussing what it calls the “water cooler impact.”

The Uncover database additionally helps you to browse which movies or TV exhibits your favorite actor is in, after which Watchlist the titles you need to see. It’ll present you which of them streaming platform the title is accessible on, whether or not it’s in your private media library or notify you when it turns into out there.

Another excuse to make use of Plex is the Plex Media Server. As we talked about, it helps you to create a server along with your private media library. Other than organising all of your content material (and including metadata equivalent to forged, opinions, subtitles, and so forth.), you may entry this content material remotely in your different gadgets, out of your good TV to your cell phone. Nevertheless, to actually use this function to its fullest, you have to a Plex Move subscription. This allows you to entry your Plex Media Server information in your Android or iOS machine. Alternatively, as an alternative of paying $4.99 month-to-month for Plex Move, you too can pay a one-time $5 charge to entry your media server information on Android or iOS. Distant entry is free on gadgets equivalent to Good TVs, desktop apps, internet apps, and recreation consoles. You too can share your server with family and friends, permitting them to entry your content material.

What’s Plexamp?

One other Plex service is the Plexamp music participant for Plex Media Server customers. Even when you do not have a private media library, the Plexamp participant helps you to entry the TIDAL music streaming service if you’re a subscriber. Plexamp is accessible and not using a Plex Move subscription, and has such options as gapless playback, visualisers, loudness leveling, in addition to Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Chromecast, and AirPlay assist. With a Plex Move subscription nonetheless, a number of further options can be found with Plexamp, equivalent to the power to obtain music on distant gadgets, see lyrics, view artists with an identical sound, and extra. You’ll be able to see the total checklist of Plexamp options here.

Plexamp on an Android phone

Easy methods to use Plex?

You needn’t create an account to look at on-demand video or dwell TV on Plex. Go to this page, and begin searching (and watching). Nevertheless, making a free account is really helpful if you need such options as a common Watchlist, selecting your subscribed streaming providers, getting curated suggestions, and playback synchronization throughout gadgets. To create your Plex account, go to the homepage to enroll. To arrange your personal Plex Media Server, you have to both a supported Community Hooked up Storage (NAS) machine or a desktop/laptop computer that you just intend to maintain on. Extra particulars on the right way to arrange a Plex Media Server may be discovered on the company site.

As for the Plexamp music participant, you may obtain it here.

What gadgets assist Plex?

Listed below are all of the gadgets you should use to look at Plex content material:

  • Chrome
  • Edge
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Android
  • iOS
  • iPadOS
  • macOS
  • Home windows
  • Linux
  • LG, Samsung, Hisense, VIZIO, and Roku TV Good TVs
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Amazon Hearth TV
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • Portal from Fb
  • Roku
  • Sonos
  • PlayStation consoles
  • Xbox consoles

If you wish to benefit from the media server capabilities, listed below are the gadgets that may run it:

  • Home windows
  • macOS
  • Linux
  • FreeBSD
  • Nvidia Protect
  • NAS gadgets equivalent to QNAP, Synology, Netgear, Drobo, and extra

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