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Plex Blog

March 13, 2011

Coming Attractions (part 4)

Almost exactly half of the Plex users (a ridiculously good-looking bunch, might I add) are outside the United States. That means that rich subtitle support is extremely important. We realize that Plex/Nine has been lacking in that department, and we aim to fix that in this next release.

Without any further ado, let’s start from the beginning, as you’re setting up your media. You’ll notice a new preference area for language which looks like this:


This lets the media server know enough about you so that it can make intelligent decisions about which streams to pick when playing media. For example, it’s not going to show subtitles if the audio stream matches your preferred language. Of course, you can also set the stream selection manually in the clients, but with selection this smart, you might never need to!

We’ve also added rich support in the framework for metadata agents that can retrieve subtitles. Next, we enhanced the OpenSubtitles agent to add preferences for subtitle languages (up to two, for those bilingual couples) to retrieve for media. We expect that many such agents will crop up, as different regions in the world seem to have affinities for different subtitle sites.

Plex Media Server 2

The Local Media agent now detects and picks up and “sidecar” subtitles you might have sitting around with your media, during a refresh. Finally, the media analysis picks up any subtitle streams that are multiplexed into your media. This results in information about all subtitles (local files, online sourced ones, multiplexed subtitles) being unified and stored in a single place. Of course, the really cool thing is that the stream selections for your media are stored in your library on the server, so all clients (iOS, Plex for Mac) will have the same settings. I can change it here:

IOS Simulator iPhone iOS 4 3 8F190 10

And then it shows up here (the Mac client):

Plex 2

Alternatively, I can set it over here:

Plex 3

And then watch it over here:

IOS Simulator iPhone iOS 4 3 8F190 11

Pretty awesome, right?

Mobile devices (including third party ones, such as the ATV2 client) have support for subtitles in SSA, SRT, and SMI formats, and we’ll likely add support for others over time.

(Also, we fixed the issue browsing for subtitles on the Plex for Mac client, just in case any of you still want to do that.)

Of course, it also looks sexy on an iPad!

IOS Simulator iPad iOS 4 3 8F190 8

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