Should I Get Plex?
What is Plex? That question has had a number of answers over the years. The app’s features have changed in many ways since it launched nearly 10 years ago as it has become a more ubiquitous platform. So let’s tackle this for its current form.
Plex is an app that is built to utilize internet based applications as well as access media servers built from owned media (movies, music, TV shows and pictures). We will get far more into the details of the types of applications and what we mean by servers as we move forward.
So, first thing first.
What is a server?
A Plex server is a program that is installed on a computer that allows a user to save and access their movies, music, TV shows and pictures all in one place. The program is free to download. It can run on numerous operating systems including Windows, Linux and Apple OS. With a server one can organize their media and build an easy to search database. Once in place the movies etc will appear much in the same way that movies and TV shows appear in apps like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. For instance, if you have a digital copy of Star Wars “A New Hope” and load it onto a Plex server, Plex will find the cover art for the film, cast list etc. If it’s a song or album Plex will do the same thing. Whether it’s the Beatles or the latest K Pop band Plex will find the album cover art and categorize it. Once you have this set up you will be able to access the server anywhere with high speed internet and on any device that has a Plex app, which are available on every known platform.
Another feature concerning Plex and servers is that you can access another Plex users collection of movies and other media. This is not an automatic option, but if other Plex users choose to, they can allow you to access their server via an invitation. This means if you know someone with 50k movies on a Plex server and they share it with you, then you will have access to 50k movies.
We have guides on building Plex servers including a basic and more advanced version.
What is The Plex App
The Plex App is just like any other app for a phone, tablet, smart TV or connected TV device. It is a free program that is found in the respective app stores of internet connected platforms. If you have the app you can then access your server, the server of another user and numerous internet based services provided via Plex.
Internet Based services from Plex (all of which are free)
Plex News- News is a service that allows users to build their own daily news updates by allowing them to search multiple sources and topics. The subjects are covered via video news segments from your sources of choice.
Podcasts-Plex has a built-in podcast player with access to podcasts from 15 categories and a myriad of sources.
Web Shows-Web shows is a mix of short video clips and fully developed video podcasts.
Tidal-Tidal music is a premium music service that has been integrated into Plex. It is available via subscription through Plex or Tidal itself. The service gives users access to millions of songs.
Plex Pass-Plex Pass is a subscription level service that adds a number of other perks via Plex. Plex Pass users can get access to Plex’s DVR service, Enhance their music playback (with features like viewing lyrics, advanced audio leveling and more), Automatic categorizing of pictures, Ability to download content from your server to listen to or watch without being connected to the Internet, Parental controls and more.
For a full List of Plex Pass Options click here
So without getting too deep into the weeds on Plex that is what Plex is as of 2019. You can bet more features will show up at some point. And when they do we will update our info.