With the advent of plaforms like YouTube, Vimeo and Vine, there is no shortage of user-generated video content on the web. In fact, it is these services that have given way to the democratization of media with varieties of content coming from creators all over the globe. Whether a creator or a consumer of user-generated content, users today have the need for good media management software to keep everything organized and to provide instant access when needed. There are many media library software solutions out there that will indeed keep things organized and offer both playback and stream, but there are very few solutions that offer organization and playback across any device and platform. Plex offers the best of both worlds by making media playback and stream on virtually any platform or device possible, all while keeping things organized.
What is Plex?
Plex is a free multi-platform media management system that can stream playback of a user’s media library to almost every imaginable device, from a Chromecast to a Roku, iPhone, iPad or even an Apple TV. Plex consists of two main components: the Plex Media Server (to store, organize and stream media) and the Plex Client (To playback the stream from the server.) Although the Plex Media server software is free, the client apps for Android, and iPhone for example, cost a few dollars. The convenience and value the user receives is enormous when compared with the minimal investment of purchasing the client for payback on a favorite device. The Plex Media server can be installed on a wide range of platforms from Windows, Mac, Linux and FreeBSD to NAS systems like QNap, Netgear, Synology and Drobo.
For a full list of Plex features, visit their features page here. Plex also offers a subscription-based service called the Plex Pass for a small fee. Plex Pass members receive access to the new features while they are still in their beta testing phase, giving users a chance to try out the latest and greatest from the Plex development team.
Downloads for Plex are available on their downloads page.
Plex Client Apps
Most Plex Apps for mobile or connected platforms are paid apps. These include:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Google TV
- Windows 8.1
- Windows Phone 8