As you know, there are two media managers for Plex today: the OS X-only one, which is pretty fast and stylish, but showing its age, and the web-based one, which is very functional, but has some glaring issues (the technology behind it just wasn’t productive or performant enough for our needs). We evaluated a bunch of different options, and settled on a Bootstrap-based web application.
We had some lofty goals for this new app: First of all, it had to be fast, even with huge sections. Like, much faster than even the old OS X manager. Secondly, why stop at management? We wanted you to have the ability to play music, watch videos, and view photos, right in your browser. In addition, why not have the ability to manage and view channels in the same interface? And what about powerful new ways to slice and dice your media library? And by God, it had to work well on mobile devices too, and across browsers.
In short, this new web client is the most powerful Plex client around. Is it done? Nope, but it’s close enough that we wanted to share it with our PlexPass members. Let’s take a quick tour.
Isn’t that a work of beauty? This is the dashboard view, where you can see all your library sections, recently used channels, your myPlex queue and recommendations (oh, right, did I mention it connects to myPlex?). This thing will knock the socks off your cat.
This is the browse view in one of my movie sections. Pay close attention to the rich filters & sorting area on the right hand side. Lets find all the sports movies in the last three years and sort by rating. A few clicks later, we have our answer. Looks like I’ll be watching Moneyball and not Goon.
One click and I’m in the details screen for the movie:
And time to watch!
There’s much more, but that should give you a taste for it. If you’re interested in more of the philosophy and details behind the app, we even threw together a “podcast” style interview with two of the key developers, Eric and Schuyler, being interviewed by our own Tobias. Download the conversation here.
The new Plex web client is available right now in beta form for all PlexPass members (if you want to sign up, visit this page). THE NEW MEDIA SERVER IS REQUIRED. We hope to gather some excellent feedback as we finish up the first release. Once we’re done with the remaining work, it’ll be available, for free, for everyone to enjoy before too long.
(And remember, if you don’t want to sign up for PlexPass, it’s totally optional. It’s designed for the most Plex-obsessed of you, in an attempt to get you cool new stuff earlier than we otherwise would, and bring you into the conversation.)
The new Web Client is included with the latest media server release described in Part 1. In order to access it, simply hit http://x.x.x.x:32400/web or hit the Web Client links from your server page on myPlex.