So you’ve just read our post on the release of Plex 9 (if not make sure to check it out here). around the time the developers were bringing Plex 9 to life, Apple announced the iPad. The chat in the Plex inter-sanctum was feverish as people thought of how terrific it would be to have Plex 9 – with all its cover-art and meta data goodness, available on the new Apple tablet. So a secret project within a secret project began and the stunning Plex app was born…
Up until now there have only been a couple of options for streaming video to your iphone or iPad. Both Air video and StreamToMe re-encode your shows on the fly using the open-source ffmpeg utility to stream to the device. Plex uses the same principal but builds the server software ideal into the main media centre application on the Mac.
In addition you get all the terrific artwork and meta data from your Plex library plus all the search and navigation options too. There’s only one set of shares / folders to manage – if it’s in your Plex library on the Mac, then it’s available to your iphone and iPad too. even ripped HD Blu-ray formats like MKV files stream to your iOS device, with the minimum buffering delay as the Mac does all the heavy lifting (you’ll need a modern Intel powered maker to run Plex).
There are two other beneficial modes in the app as well. You can browse the library on your device but choose to actually send the media to your Mac. think of sitting in your media room perusing your library on your iPad, checking out cover art, ratings and reviews, choosing a motion picture and then tapping and watcing it kick off on your main AV system. Or maybe you have music playing around your home? No problem, browse and control your Plex music library – including all your iTunes music, on your iphone or iPad anywhere round the house within Wi-Fi range.
You can install plugins remotely using the app too and even send things like Hulu and Netflix to your portable device! With some port-forwarding malarkey (TCP 32400) you can even get external access to all your media (including over 3G).
The other option is to use the app purely as a remote control. No IR hardware required here. everything is done by means of IP, so no a lot more line of sight issues. You can use conventional buttons on the touch screen or even employ gestures instead if you like – something that doesn’t require you to look down as with a lot of touchscreen based remote controls. but a picture is worth a thousand words so check out our high res screenshots below.
The app supports background audio, task switcher/lockscreen/ and in-line headphone remote controls too. It’s available now from the iTunes apps store at £2.99 / $4.99
Click Pics for large Versions
Plex app on iTunes : Plexapp.com : Plex 9 Revealed
* note – the app examined was not the final version released today – which has improved graphics and even nore features.
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