So a few months ago, we were all sitting around at Plex World Headquarters, in that fourth story corner office with the long mahogany conference desk and wraparound window that was just starting to let in a magnificent sunset. The new Roku was hooked up to the flatscreen, running Angry Birds, and I was trying to get a handle on the controller. For some reason I kept launching the birds backwards, and after a particularly violent swing, I knocked over Darrin’s beer. “Uncool, dude”, he said, wiping up the Deschutes microbrew.
From the corner, Scott raised his head from his iPad, flicked an imaginary piece of lint off his shirt, and asked the room “So what do you all make of iCloud?”
“As long as it can store my Golden Eggs, I think it’s the most brilliant thing on the planet”, I replied, sending a boomerang bird shooting straight up into the air.
“Seriously, though”, Scott continued, “if Apple is doing it, it must be brilliant. Or different, or something”.
Those words stuck with me, and over the next few months we all worked long hours, behind the multiple levels of biometric security at the Plex Technology Lab. And now, we’re finally ready to reveal what we’ve been working on.
The Plex cloud services – we’ve called them myPlex – are designed to do three things to help make your lives easier:
1) An incredibly easy way for you to access your media remotely. One of the most common support questions we get involves connecting a mobile device to media stored at home. It’s a tricky process, and we’ve worked to make it ridiculously simple. Once you’ve created a Plex account (and if you have a forums account, you already have one), you simply sign in on the Plex Media Server, and on your Plex client (e.g. iOS or Android), and you’re done. Super easy, and super awesome. Even if you have multiple Plex Media Servers in multiple locations, and multiple mobile devices, myPlex keeps track of everything in order to give you a seamless experience.
2) A universal media queue. How many times have you run across a video and thought “I’d love to watch this on Plex later”? Or perhaps your aunt (the one who always sends you a birthday card with your name ever so slightly misspelled) forwarded you a YouTube video about cats that’s actually funny, and you want to watch it on your TV. Well, we’ve implemented a nifty bookmarklet that lets you save web videos (and soon other media as well) to your myPlex media queue. This queue is available on all myPlex-enabled clients, with all the features you’re already familiar with (stop on one client, resume on another), and on-the-fly transcoding when needed (say, for example, for watching that Flash video on your iPhone).
We support over 100 sites at launch (many thanks to Ian, Mike, Sander, Pierre, and others!), and the coolest part about it? The technology behind the media queue is based on our popular and powerful Plex Framework, which means that it’s easy for anyone to write one, usually in a few dozen lines of code. Oh yeah, and there is an API as well, for easy integration with third party software.
3) An easy way for you to share your personal media with friends. In this day and age, we generate huge amounts of personal media, our digital legacy of 0s and 1s. And now that you have them beautifully organized in the Plex Media Server, wouldn’t it be nice to share all your kid’s soccer videos with his grandparents? We’ve made it incredibly easy to share via the myPlex web site. With zero additional configuration, any myPlex-enabled client can browse and play the shared media.
All of these new features imply enhancements to the clients, and we realize that many of you are eager to hear about updates to the mobile and desktop clients. Stay tuned…