New Version of Plex Released

Plex 0.9.5.1 (Laika) Beta Released

As some of you may know, the team over at Plex has been working very hard to release great HTPC applications for us users.  This past weekend, they really blew open the HTPC doors for many people.  With the new version of Plex being released there are multiple changes.  Most notably, a WINDOWS CLIENT!!!  There are many other changes that I will detail below, as well as my personal experience over the last week with the new Plex on my Mac Mini.

Changes to Plex:

  • Windows now has a client app and server app.
  • MyPlex (new) allows for easier streaming across WWW.
  • They have split the Media Server and Client app into two separate entities.
  • Multiple bug fixes in the app

Plex Windows App:

Now all my Windows readers won’t feel left out when I tell you how awesome Plex is.  There is now NO EXCUSE!!  I know some of you love your XBMC installations and have been with it since its inception, but rest assured, Plex will not let you down.  I personally haven’t had a chance to test Laika on a PC, but just the fact that there was so much demand for a Windows client and it has taken them this long to release it, speaks volumes to the effort that was put into it.  I’m guessing that the Windows client is very similar to the Mac client, except it runs natively on Windows.  Stay tuned for a guide on this shortly!

 

MyPlex:

MyPlex is a new service available to Plex users that is pretty awesome.  Not only does it make it easier for you to share your library across the worldwide web and to other mobile devices, it makes it easy to share your library with a friend.  If you both use Plex, you can simply import each others library into your personal one and share content.  This way you don’t always have to store ALL the media locally, if your friend has it available and has the bandwidth, just stream that bad boy!  This is pretty neat feature, not sure how much it will be used in the real world, but it sure is innovative.  It also streamlines the process of getting Plex to stream to your mobile device, making it a much simpler process as all you have to do is register for MyPlex and share the library, and then use your credentials to access the Plex library.

 

Client and Server Split

Now this one in a way frustrated me, and made me happy at the same time.  First off, I was frustrated at the fact that now I would have to have two separate processes to manage and make sure were operational whereas before it was simply one process.  This is a catch 22 because if your (old) Plex crashed, you would have to restart both client and server.  Now with the branching off, if your client crashes, your server is still sharing to other clients that you have designated (i.e. your mobile device, other clients in the house, etc).  I am still unsure of how I really feel about this, but so far so good.

 

Bug fixes and changes:

So honestly, Laika, hasn’t done a ton for me in the sense that its changed my HTPC experience, there are things that I think are cool and awesome, that I probably will never use, or rarely use.  For instance, my house is 100% Mac environment (minus Bootcamp for Gaming) so I don’t really need a windows client.  Is it cool to know there is one available, should I ever switch back to Winblows?  Yes, it’s nice to know.  Is it cool I can share media with my friends easily via MyPlex?  Yes, but all the friends that use Plex also use Usenet and can easily obtain the content, in full resolution at their home.  Does that mean that I don’t see a market use for this?  Of course not, there are plenty of people that I feel could make use of this.  In conclusion, I think there was a lot of hard work put into the new version of Plex and it really shows.  Plex is still my favorite HTPC app and I will stick with it through any changes that are forthcoming until something changes that pushes me towards XBMC or the next great thing.

One minor nuance I have experienced on Laika:  My OSX screen saver kicks on whereas it didn’t on Plex9.  It was a simple fix, by just disabling screensaver, but it did annoy me to see it when I switched input on my TV to Plex.

Get Plex @ Plexapp.com

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