updated 11:00 pm EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
Improved home screen, bug fixes, more
On the eve of the company's one-year anniversary, the developers of Plex have released Plex 2.0 for iOS, and have solved one of the biggest obstacles to its mass acceptance -- easily configuring streaming from a users' media library to a mobile or remote device without hassle. The new version also revamps the home screen, brings in alphabetic indexing, improves support for subtitles, and offers a "much improved" Direct Play option.
Plex is a media manager that can also work as a server, allowing remote access, sharing and management of stored content. In earlier versions, configuring the server was beyond the abilities of the average user -- so the company has unveiled myPlex, a cloud-based app that works with the desktop-based server software through a myPlexapp.com web account to make the users' content available almost anywhere, as well as be able to see shared content from other Plex users.
The app has received all kinds of small touches, including localization in French, Swedish, German and Korean; search now integrated into the home screen; audio boosting for videos; subtitle scaling; display album art and track name on the iOS 5 lock screen; faster, more reliable connections as well as caching improvements; the display of air date for episodes and over 150 bug fixes, addressing issues such as memory leaks and unneeded reconnecting. The program now also offers support for photos via Plex Media Manager.
Plex v2 for iOS works with the new Plex 0.9.5 desktop client, which itself supports the new Media Queue in myPlex -- a service that can grab videos from services such as YouTube and Vimeo (and over 100 other sites) and also handles transcoding on-the-fly (allowing iPhone users to watch videos that are only served via Flash normally).
Plex v2 for iOS works with all iOS devices capable of running iOS 4.1 or higher. The app costs $5, but requires that users be running the latest Plex Media Server on their Mac, Windows, or Linux systems.