Plex can be an awesome tool that can be used to help you access all your media content in one place – let’s take a look and see how their services can benefit you.
Plex has been around for a while, but I rarely speak to people that have taken the time to really try it out. However, Plex is probably exactly what you are looking for to help you manage your media collection.
There are other solutions out there such as Google Play and I admit that it does a good job at managing your library of music, but what about your movie collection and the latest season of Game of Thrones and your ever expanding library of photos? This is where Plex really begins to shine.
What is Plex?
The Plex Wiki explains it perfectly:
- The Plex Media Server either running on Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD or a NAS which organizes audio (music) and visual (photos and videos) content from personal media libraries and streams it to their player counterparts.
- The players can either be the Plex Apps available for mobile devices, smart TVs, and streaming boxes, or the web UI of the Plex Media Server called Plex Web App, or the old Plex player called Plex Home Theater.
A premium version of the service, called Plex Pass, is also available and offers advanced features like synchronization with mobile devices, access to cloud storage providers, up to date and high quality metadata and matchings for music, multi-users mode, parental controls, access to high quality trailers and extras, wireless synchronization from mobile devices to the server, access to discounts on partner products and early access.”
The first step to using Plex to connect and access your media on all your devices, is setting up your own home server. However don’t worry, this isn’t as hard as it sounds – it simply involves downloading the Plex Media Server app on your computer, Mac, PC, and Linux.
Once the Plex Media Server app is up and running the rest of the set up is a piece of cake and management of the Plex server is all done in your browser. All you have to do is ensure you are searching the correct directory to connect your content. The next consideration is ensuring that you are hosting your content on a suitable computer; preferably one that stays stationary and that can be left on constantly. This will ensure access to your files when required.
Besides being able to connect with your own content, Plex has multiple channels which you can download and utilize which give you access to tons of different content across all your devices which have access to Plex apps.
The best advantage of channels is that they’re all available in mobile apps and that also means you can use them with Chromecast and watch them on your TV.
Plex for Android
Now for the part we have been waiting for: The Android app is downloadable within Google Play and is available both paid and free. The free download is for Plex Pass subscribers and the paid version is for anyone who just wants to host their media and access it from their other devices. Other than that the two apps are exactly the same.
Plex on Android is functional and that’s exactly what is important. Here is a list of content that is available;
Recommendations: see what your Plex friends recommend,
Queue: create a queue of your own content to watch continuously,
Recently added: sorts and identifies your most recent content for easy access,
My library: This is a snapshot of all your content,
Channels: All the channels that you have installed, they will allow you to watch various content that they have to offer.
Shared libraries: Shared libraries from friends, family, etc.
Additionally Chromecast is supported just like in any other Android app. You hit the cast icon and whatever you’re watching or listening to will be sent to your TV. There are also a bunch of other great advance features that you can access but would take too long for me to mention here.
So that’s it – Plex is really the ultimate in everything you would need in a media server. it truly is a multi platform service that will make your life easier. You simply need to give it a try if you are looking for a great media server for your home.