25
Feb
Plex-Thumb

Plex was one of the early apps to add Chromecast support. This is great, because as a service that takes content stored on one of your computers and makes it accessible anywhere, it's the ideal candidate for Chromecasting. Yet the team isn't settling for simply putting videos up on the big screen, and after the latest update, the app now goes a step further by tossing up detailed information on it while you browse through content on your mobile device.

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Plex also now supports displaying photos and pumping music via Chromecast, even going far enough to transcode audio formats that aren't natively supported. The functionality is still currently only available for paying customers, but eventually it will be available for free.

Not to let Chromecast steal the show, this update also introduces shared syncing. Now when you share content from a server, you have the option to let others sync from it as well. This means different members of your family can have individual accounts but all sync from the same place. The home server requires a Plex Pass, but the recipient does not.

What's new:

  • Chromecast support, now including music and photos (early access for Plex Pass members)
  • Massive improvements for remote controlling Plex players

A Plex Pass goes for $3.99 a month, $29.99 a year, or $74.99 for a lifetime. The app itself is available for $4.99 below.

Source: Flex

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Dave

    Looks like Chromecast support is still only available to PlexPass members? I'll be excited when they remove that restriction.

    • http://TransientTangent.com/ Blake Mitchell

      I'll be happy when you give them a few bucks for all their hard work.

      • Dave

        Embrace your unhappiness.

      • wicketr

        I did give them a few bucks for their hard work when i bought their app.

        • Dickyboy

          The app you bought when Chromecast wasn't even available? Wait a few weeks, months, and you too can have all the new features. Just be thankful that you will benefit from it eventually.

          • Wicker

            Eventually...................

          • Sac Bunt Melvin

            How long will I have to wait before I can use Chromecast on an app I paid for? Until then, I'll find and pay for an app that provides the service I want.

          • sahaj

            That's not reasonable. I purchased the App for Google TV and Android separately back before they had a single App. I'm an active proponent of Plex and purchased the apps with the understanding that Plex team would continue to add features and devices support. Plex barely worked on Logitech Google TV when I purchased it. I want Plex to succeed. Also, PlexPass is a completely different feature than having Chromecast support and the two should not be tied together. I wouldn't mind paying for Chromecast support without purchasing PlexPass.

      • http://www.citeyesphoto.com Kyle Telechan

        We all did when we bought the app for $5. There are plenty of other devs who are nice enough not to lock down features that are done 100% on a user's local server and then constantly remind those who did buy their app that they're not getting the full experience.

  • Stephen Feehily

    Wow, what a tease... Wake me up when it's available for us meager peasants...

    • Sam Hollis

      It's only $5/month for a GREAT service.

      • Alberto

        $5 the I pay for the app plus another $5 to get it, I will understand if the app was free

        • Sam Hollis

          App is free with the subscription.

        • Donatom3

          That's why they have 2 apps. One if you don't have plexpass that costs $ and one if you do have plexpass that is free.

          • Baron Von J

            But the ChromeCast featured apps section of the Play Store links to the $5 Plex for Android app that doesn't support ChromeCast yet. If they would have linked the Plex for PayPass app there instead, everybody looking for ChromeCast apps would have been better informed about what they need to pay for.

          • Donatom3

            I have both apps, both support Chromecast, it's just you'll need to be signed in with a plexpass app for the chromecast part to work.

      • Sac Bunt Melvin

        $48 per year is pricey to use a piece of hardware I paid $35 for.

        • ZeRoLiMiT

          i agree! you pay $7.99 a month for nextflix for content. $3.99 a month for a service that is done on your own computer is a bit. I tried it and its nothing special. I have had it for 2 months and i am done! no more! not worth it!

    • wad

      get a job

      sorry, totally kidding. couldn't resist.

      $5 is a lot of money to spend for a service to stream from your pc to the tv. i went ahead and got the lifetime pass to avoid paying a monthly subscription.

      • Wicker

        $75 is lot of money for what it does.

  • Eric Peterson

    I've been using the dev version of this for awhile. Works beautifully. I was hoping this was the announcement of them allowing to be used for all accounts.

  • Bill Stebbins

    Not sure the Chromecast support is new - it's been available for PlexPass members for a while. Kinda sucks for those of us who paid for the app, but not also the subscription.

    • SAI

      It'll eventually trickle down to free users. That's how their model works. Subs get early access to new features and when the feature is fully polished - it is released to all. Also this post is taking about improvements to Chromecast support...not the Chromecast support itself.

      • Guest

        The original article has been updated to reflect this error. When I posted my comments it still said that Plex added Chromecast support, not that it had improved support :)

      • Bill Stebbins

        The original article has been updated to reflect this error. When I posted my comments it still said that Plex added Chromecast support, not that it had improved support :)

        I do actually read the articles before commenting...

        • SAI

          I would've believed you without pictures :)

  • Christopher Heuer

    This isn't new, they added Chromecast support on 12/06: http://elan.plexapp.com/2013/12/06/plex-on-the-chromecast-its-official/

    • JimmyHACK

      *Improvements to Chromecast

    • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

      That one's on me. The post has been updated.

  • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

    PlexPass is definitely worth it. This team is working hard to make the best and easiest media server around. Throw them a couple bones so they can continue to provide a great service!

    • Matt R Carner

      I was ecstatic to sign up for a lifetime membership. Plex is worth every penny and like you said, the team deserves to be paid.

    • HolyFreakingCrap

      If by worth it you mean giant rip off, yeah worth it.

    • http://www.citeyesphoto.com Kyle Telechan

      While I agree completely that the team should get paid for their work, it's frustrating to me that I am forced to pay monthly for features that are done 100% on my own server computer.

      I'm not a fan of being locked out of local features for a monthly cost after I've already paid for an app. Obviously I'm not in their target audience, but that's just my take on it.

      • Mario

        So you pay for the app, then you have to pay a monthly fee to stream your own content via your own server to Chromecast, Really??

        • http://www.citeyesphoto.com Kyle Telechan

          Kinda. The feature will be released to us non Plexpassers eventually, but as it stands now, only those with Plexpass subscriptions can access Chromecast functionality.

          Same with syncing (downloading transcoded media to your phone from your PC), sending your files to your own cloud storage, as well as a few other features, but those seem to be permanently Plex Pass only.

          That said, Plex Pass users use a special version of the app, so technically you don't have to pay for the app if you're a subscriber.

    • ddpacino

      Indeed. Signed up for the lifetime one Chromecast support was added. Loved Plex before I even did that, too.

  • Leif Sikorski

    They've also released a new version of the server for plexpass members which fixed a lot of buffering issues I had with the combination of plex and chromecast. It's a slow progress but they're doing a great job.

  • http://friskychatter.com/ _jsw_

    I recently visited my parents, who live 1500 miles away, bought them a Chromecast, and gave them my old Nexus 4. The Plex for PlexPass app was able to access my home server and stream movies via the 'Cast on their TV - and was simple enough for them to use. Now they can directly access my movies easily on their TV. The Plex app on their Roku 3 wouldn't do that (unless I was just too inept to get it to do so). Yeah, PlexPass is $25/year, but it's worth it in my case, at least. I might just go for a lifetime one next year. They do good work, and I use their app(s) all the time.

    • Seiga

      It's worth the lifetime amount so you don't ever have to worry about payments on it ever! I'd try to get the difference if I were you and upgrade it to that so you save yourself the $25 you spent for this year. The only thing is that, for the server, get a heavy processor based CPU. Transcoding can take up some serious CPU power. And if your computer is outdated and you're transcoding a 1080p video, you'll get a choppy result for sure.

      • Donatom3

        Or rent a dedicated server and have all the bandwidth and power you could want without having to pay the electric bill. I rent at soyoustart.com/us. I can easily stream to multiple tv's in my home and to about 10 friends simultaneously.

        • MikeT

          What level are you using with them? Took a quick look at their service and wasn't sure what was appropriate.

          • Donatom3

            I have the sys-e32-3. I actually ordered the e32-1 but they gave me a -3 which is what i wanted anyway.

  • Johnny Bravo

    chromecast support is probably the only reason i will buy plex.

    • Wicker

      and that's how you milk a cow.

  • Victor Loureiro

    I'd get the lifetime membership if only I were able to stream from my Seagate Central without having a computer on all the time.

  • duse

    Plex is one of the most versatile, solid, and polished pieces of software out there. I'm always impressed how well it works on Android, Roku, and the Windows server software. It can do anything. If you're not using it, it's time to start.

    • unsivilaudio

      Amen!

    • Alphajoe

      Thanks for the hint. I never really digged into it or discovered what it offers. Right now I'm quite happy with my XBMC / OpenELEC setup. I might do some research when I find some time to spare. Would you say that Plex is offering some unique stuff, which makes it worth to consider switching (Chromecast isn't actually one for me, cause my HTPC is hooked up to my big screen anyhow)?

      • duse

        I don't use XBMC so I'm not exactly sure what unique things Plex may offer over it, but I can bet Plex has a better mobile experience. Maybe I'm wrong, but Plex's Android and iOS apps are just rock solid and full featured. Plex is also available on just about any platform - Roku, Google TV, NAS, etc. Also good options for playing your media over the internet. If you primarily use a full-blown PC as your media device, perhaps it won't offer much over XBMC.

        • Alphajoe

          Thx for the info. Using a full HTPC as my media device, I am actually quite happy with the XBMC / OpenELEC combination. All this hype about Plex might though at least make me have a look at it.

  • Chris Caldwell

    Its an awesome platform, but I wouldn't get more than month to month. Plex devs have outright refused to integrate pvrs into the system despite it being the top requested feature by about a 3x margin, while new competitors are emerging who also do trancoded streaming, Chromecast, and are officially listing PVR support on their to do plans. Plex just got press for Chromecast first for getting in on the closed SDK, but its open now. Bottom line, its a good system but its days and features are limited, sobdont commit too much.