Plex Blog

It’s beginning to look a lot like Collections

December 29, 2017 128 Comments

Ho ho ho! We hope your holiday season has been a wonderful one, filled with spiked eggnog topped with fresh-grated nutmeg; a gentle snow falling outside on a peaceful world; a crackling fire on the hearth, throwing dancing shadows across the room; and a distinct lack of the epic arguments which can only come from having to spend time with visiting family.

Just in case Santa (or whomever his doppelgänger is in your culture) didn’t satiate your desire for goodies, we here at Plex are going to do our best to remediate that (a few days late, technically, but do you know how hard it is to rent flying reindeer this time of year??). If you read the (Plex Pass only) Feature Request forum, you’ll know that two of the most popular requests are around improved support for collections (over 17,000 views and exactly 500 comments as of this writing). Well, we’re positively thrilled to serve that up for you today, with a bit of extra special Plex sauce thrown in for good measure. Let’s take a look!

Collections are a way to gather your media together. For example, you might add your zombie movies into a Zombies collection. Items can belong to multiple collections as well, for added flexibility. What we’ve done is drastically increase the utility of collections. For starters, you can configure exactly how you want collections to behave on a per-library basis; you might want to show collections alongside the items they contain, or collapse the items and just show the collections. Or, if you’re a grinch-type person, you can disable this new behavior altogether. Also: get off my damn lawn.

So now that you’ve edited your movies or TV shows to add one or more Collections Tags (and with the library option enabled), you’ll see collections inline. By default they’ll have a composite poster, but you can set a custom poster and background art by editing the collection entry in the library, just like you would for a regular item.

Clicking on a collection leads you to a beautiful page containing all of the items, which also shows you the date range for the items in the collection. You can edit any collection to order by release date or alphabetically.

At the top level, you can also get a lovely new view of all your collections (and no, I’m not besties with Ridley Scott: that second Blade Runner movie is the “Dangerous Days” documentary on its making).

These collections work much the same way for TV shows, so you can group all zombie-related shows together, or—and this is where it gets fun—you could add TV shows to a Star Wars collection as well. In that case, the two collections from different libraries become linked, and you’ll have access to both on the same page.

Taking it one step further, you can also link artists and albums (which don’t have a top-level collection mode) in this same way, which allows them to show up on show and movie collection pages. For example, let’s take a closer look at my Blade Runner collection, and you can see the soundtracks linked right there next to the movies! You’ll also see these linkages show up on the detail pages for the movies and shows themselves.

We hope you enjoy this powerful new collections feature! It’s available today with support on web (only the online version, for now), Android, Android TV, iOS, and Apple TV. We’ll be working on bringing support to more Plex apps in the near future! The new functionality requires the latest beta release of Plex Media Server (if you upgraded early, you might need to restart to activate the feature), and will soon roll out to all users.

Happy New Year, we look forward to spending lots of quality time in 2018 with you!

Barkley doesn’t have any movie collections, but he’s eyeing that collection of limes pretty closely.