Plex Wordmark

Seriously, I can't overstate this. Plex is everything these days, and the more you put into it the more you get out of it. Literally.

Most people think of Plex as an app you use to stream your movies to yourself. And it does that, quite well. Plex clients run on everything. So if you have a huge collection of movies then set up a Plex server and you've got your movies on every device you own. Or in your browser.

Of course there's also TV support, so if you've got DVDs of your favorite shows you can put those on Plex and as long as you name the files correctly it will do all the work of digging up metadata and making your shows look nice and happy in their new home, complete with episode summaries, auto-play of the next episode (or's all configurable so it will work the way you want it), and all the usual bells and whistles.

Then they started in on music. And suddenly Plex is the best thing ever.

Plexamp Icon

Seriously, Plexamp. All your music, presented in a way that makes sense for music. Playlists are easy. “Radio stations” made entirely of your own music are easy. If you tag your music in the main Plex app you can get stations based around genere, decade, or “mood”, which is pretty much your own way to categorize your music. If you subscribe to Tidal you can integrate Tidal into Plex and it shows up like it was just part of your music library. Plexamp has become my favorite app. It works on my phone, tablet, computer, and has made my world far more musical.

And recently Plex added free (but ad-supported) live television . Meaning if you're tired of your own media you can watch something new and weird. My favorite channels thus far are just music videos. I can listen to music that someone else curated and occasionally check out the accompanying video if it's interesting. By the way, most videos from the 80's are hilariously bad. Even if you love the songs. Sure you could find these videos on YouTube, but now you don't have to. Just sit back and let them happen.

The cost of a lifetime Plex pass, which is their subscription service that pays for all this development work, is not much more than you'd pay for a year of any other streaming service, and gets you things like offline sync, so you can stash a bunch of movies or TV or music on your tablet, then watch it without a connection. I used this feature a tonwhen the world still included things like “travel”.

Plex has gone from the app I used to watch a few sitcoms on my iPad to being the heart of my media world, and is in use in one way or another all day every day.