Plex releases iOS v3.0 – Media Syncing for Offline Content

Today, Plex, the makers of the multi-platform Plex Media Server and client software released version 3.0 of their iOS app, and with it, introduce PlexSync, which enables, currently only PlexPass members, the ability to download content to their iOS devices for offline viewing.  It requires users to upgrade to the latest Plex Media Server software, version 0.9.7.3, which along with it comes the previously PlexPass-only Plex Web client.  We’ve been playing around with it and overall are impressed, but here are some quick observations:

1. Currently, if the iOS device is connected to the Internet (wifi or cellular), it will stream a media file even if its already been synced and downloaded for offline viewing, unnecessarily incurring cellular data usage.

2. Multiple users report that the Plex Media Server has to be signed out of, and back into myPlex in order for it to work (which solved my issue)

3. While it is ‘currently free’ for PlexPass subscribers, it apparently will become a ‘premium feature’ once it gets out of beta.  PlexPass subscribers will get a discounted price versus non-PlexPass subscribers, however it remains unclear if this is a one-time or recurring (ie monthly) charge.

4.  While transcoding, if necessary, happens in the background (meaning once requested, the user can close the iOS app), the iOS app must be open for the actual download to occur, media will not download in the background (this is believed to be an Apple, not Plex-imposed limitation).

So if you are a PlexPass subscriber, check it out and report back on your thoughts.  Happy cutting….

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