Ah, the inexorable march of progress. We have three more releases to talk about today, with lots of goodies. And if you’re getting bored of hearing about the media server, Win8 app, and Plex/Web, you’re in for a treat, because the next blog post is going to be about something new, and very exciting. Promise.
That’s not to say that these updates themselves aren’t exciting. We’ve been doing a lot of work on the next-generation transcoder in the media server lately. Currently in use for PlexSync and the Win8 app, it’ll soon be available for iOS and Android and Plex/Web as well, as it offers many advantages over the old transcoder. For starters, the new version supports burning PGS and VOBSUB subtitle formats, which has been requested for – literally – years. Secondly, it should offer much better performance, stability, compatibility with codecs, should fix issues with A/V sync, and many other things. Last, but not least, it leverages a powerful server-side profile mechanism which will soon be used universally for DLNA, PlexSync, and “live” transcoding. We’re building the most advanced media server on the planet here, and the new transcoder is at the heart of it!
Here’s a full list of changes in the latest Plex Media Server, available from here:
- NEW: Greatly improved (Sync and Win8) transcoder subtitle burning: support SSA and SMI, fix crashes, fix subtitle sync when resuming video.
- FIX: Scanning TV shows near the root directory of a volume didn’t work reliably.
- FIX: Send Accept-Ranges: bytes HTTP header when answering requests for media. Fixes Win8 seeking in media.
- FIX: DTS audio inside MP4 container could be incorrectly identified as mp4a during media analysis.
- FIX: Transcoding certain media files could be pathologically slow. Thanks to Rodger for helping us diagnose the issue!
- FIX: Transcoding video audio from MP3 to AAC would fail in some rare cases.
- FIX: A/V sync issues transcoding Smooth Streaming to Windows 8 Store app.
- FIX: Actor thumbnails weren’t being offered correctly to sync clients.
- FIX: Removed unnecessary logging when running transcoder.
- FIX: Add more logging when Win8 app loopback exemption can’t be added.
- FIX: When a media asset is uploaded, it becomes the default.
- FIX: Sync item status could be prematurely reported as complete.
- FIX: Added iPad mini sync profile.
- NEW: (API) Allow converting SMI to SRT (format=srt).
- FIX: (Windows) Large log files when number of library paths exceeded 64.
- FIX: (Sync) A few issues with sync status not being reported correctly.
- FIX: (Transcoder) An A/V sync issue affecting Win8 app.
Leveraging the new transcoder, and all these other fixes, is the latest update of Plex for Windows 8. It’s taken us a few releases, but at this point media playback support on the app is really super good, and it’s able to play lots of content with remuxing, which (given our support for throttling on the server side), means awesome quality video with minimal CPU usage. Lots of other new stuff, including more keyboard navigation and a cool media information popup, and many bug-fixes.
Plex/Web also got a massive update. A giant, thundering, epic update, featuring a redesigned home screen, greatly simplified navigation, and lots of other goodies. Look at this beautiful new dashboard!
We’ll be back very soon, but until then, I’ll leave with with two photos of Barkley, who has been your faithful Plex mascot for the last five years. The first one finds him as a puppy, with giant paws and a feisty disposition.
As you can see, he’s grown in size quite a bit. (Sweetheart, don’t say I didn’t warn you.)