UPDATE: This feature is no longer available on Plex.
Sometimes I wonder whether people from past generations are so fondly remembered because their minor transgressions were never properly documented. It’s difficult to stage an appropriately embarrassing photo when each exposure takes 90 seconds. So much has changed, and I can’t quite shake the suspicion that some day a new batch of humans will entertain themselves primarily by mocking our current generation’s mishaps. You spend one ill-fated Halloween rocking a Jheri curl meticulously crafted from half a bottle of your sister’s hairspray and the world will never forget. What a time to be alive…
If you’re like me (that is, one part photo nerd, one part data hoarder—I mean, digital lifestyle archivist), your photo library has been growing steadily since the early days of digital. For a while this was manageable: a few pics from a vacation, a snapshot here and there. A portrait of the kids (human or canine) in an especially adorable moment. Recently though, things have gotten pretty out of hand. The iPhone in my pocket is basically better quality than almost every Hasselblad that ever existed, my Facebook friends are clamoring for anything that’s not fake news, and let’s face it, Barkley’s not getting any less adorable. It’s the perfect storm, and the ensuing torrent of photos has given my Plex Camera Upload a workout. Really, it’s my cross to bear: these sunsets and eggs benedict brunches aren’t going to document themselves, right millennials!?
So how do we dig our way out from under this massive pile of pixels? More importantly, how do we find the proverbial needles in this hipster haystack?
As of today, Plex can help!
We’re seriously leveling up the Plex photo experience. For starters, the photos and personal video that you shoot on your phone no longer need to live in separate libraries. Your “Photo” libraries now incorporate your personal videos too. Seamless, like Ansel Adams intended. Second, we’ve significantly enhanced the photo viewer in the Web app. It’s beautiful, and it’s just a hint at shiny new things to come across the board.
But we weren’t merely content with a few cosmetic fixes. We’ve also sped up the process of importing photos into Plex by up to 300%. But really, we wanted to help people understand their photo libraries. So starting today, our Plex Pass subscribers can now let Plex automatically tag all your photos with fun stuff like “kitten” and “irish setter” using advanced machine learning technology. This is useful in a few ways:
First of all, you can now search for images by using tags. For example, if I type in “Puppy” in the quick search bar, I instantly get results. It’s like magic!
Secondly, when you’re viewing a photo, you can now see related photos based on tags, and explore that related set. It’s amazingly addictive, and a great way of spelunking through years of memories.
Now for the fun part: I encourage you all to play a game. It’s kind of like Telephone, but the goal is to see how far you can get from where you started using only tags. My favorite was starting with “Vintage cars” and ending at “Norwegian elkhound”—how? I’ll never tell. Let us know your best photo path in the comments.
How do you enable this advanced-technology-which-is-clearly-indistinguishable-from-magic? Super simple: get a Plex Pass (assuming you don’t already have one), download the latest Plex Pass release of the server, and then either make a new photo library, or edit your current one to enable premium mode.
For those of you traveling for Thanksgiving this year, be safe, be well, and we wish you a wonderful time with family and friends. Barkley will be getting his share of turkey this year, promise. Oh, and don’t forget to take some photos!