Not gonna lie, it’s been a big couple of weeks for us. We launched a pretty major new thing just about a week ago. It was a big effort. However, many pointed out that it’s a little bit outside of our comfort zone, and well, you’re not wrong. It’s an area of growth that we’re excited about and pushes Plex into brave, new, and exciting waters. We’re also pumped that it delivers on our long-term vision of bringing all the media you and your family enjoy into a single platform. One powerful, beautiful, and customizable platform that works smoothly and consistently no matter where and how you stream.
A whiteboard session from 2011 outlining our vision
Our 2012 Roku app, showing all your media in one place
Unfortunately, as is the way of logic on the internet, some folks went on to proclaim this the “End of Plex”: it’s only a matter of time (or so the thinking goes) before we kick our loyal Media Server users to the curb in pursuit of glorious, ad-supported world domination. Well, we can very clearly state that nothing could be further from the truth. Personal media is the very core of that long-term vision, and we’re just as invested as you in making it a reality.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the major improvements we’ve made over the past year.
First, some core playback improvements:
- Enhanced and expanded playback capabilities on Android, Apple TV, and iOS.
- Best-in-class media players on Android, iOS and Apple TV, bringing better format support, smoother playback, and overall higher quality viewing.
- Expanded and improved support for hardware-accelerated transcoding.
Next, a bunch of music-related goodness:
- Greatly improved music features, scanning, and metadata.
- TIDAL integration, including the ability to “add to library,” making TIDAL music your own.
- Automatically find related albums and tracks for movies and TV episodes.
Much love for media server admins:
- Rich push notifications for a variety of server-related events.
- Beautiful server dashboard with activity history and clickable graphs.
- Simpler restriction profiles and managed users in a Plex Home now free for everyone.
- Completed our new UI rollout across all devices. It Just Works for almost everyone, and customizable everywhere else.
And these are just some of the highlights among dozens of little features and hundreds of bug fixes, all in support of making Plex the best thing on the planet for your media.
Finally, we wanted to gently dispel some of the more fantastical doomsday rumors that have bubbled their way through the series of tubes. Bonus points if I can clear up some actual misconceptions along the way.
First, we’re as committed as ever to the needs of our media-loving, server-owning, fiercely independent community who’s been with us from the beginning. We don’t take this community for granted, and believe me, we’d sooner give up our phones (uh, no) than drive you away.
Second, our goal is to prioritize your personal media first, and add this new, free media as an optional supplement to you and your family. Your library is still front and center, but now there’s more to choose from if you happen to come up short. Managing multiple sources can be a bit of a tightrope act at times, and (believe it or not!) we may encounter a bug or two along the way. Have a real-world example where we got it wrong? Know that we’re listening and always trying to improve. Feedback is always welcome and appreciated. Oh, and if you or your family play things from one of these new sources, it will have no performance impact at all on your server; it comes straight from us.
Third—and this should go without saying—we do not collect information about the contents of your personal library. We do not run ads against your personal media. We don’t share this info with anyone (given we don’t know it in the first place, how could we?). Nothing here has changed with the rollout of free movies & TV.
So there you have it. We’re excited about where this next year will take us on all fronts. As you know, everyone at Plex uses and loves the product on a daily basis. So trust us when we say that we’re continuing to build the product and the company to be something that we’re all proud of and that everyone genuinely enjoys using: old-timers, new-timers, and even the crotchety internet tube users as well. Plex is a lifelong labor of love—we thank you all for helping us dream big and keep our aim true.