A useful streaming service
Plex provides two major services to its users: an individual client-server to manage your personal media, as well as a streaming service providing one place for users’ externally-purchased or accessed content including music, TV, movies, and podcasts.
Easily organize and stream your personal and purchased media in a single app
Plex puts the power in users’ hands. With its provider-agnostic foundation, users can collect, organize, and stream their media anywhere, anytime.
The software’s entertainment vertical gives you access to your favorite podcasts, TV shows, movies, news, and music. Suitable for both the professional and the average user, Plex allows for large file storage (think: professional high-resolution images), auto-categorization of personal media, and a safe place to store your beloved tunes. Quickly add your personal media library to the desktop app with an easy import feature, later streaming it to any device via the Plex mobile app. Portability and having a single solution for your media are key features of this software suite.
Where can you run this?
Plex runs on Windows 7 OS version and later, OS X and later, Linux, and several other operating systems. It is compatible with popular media players including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS 8.1 or later, PlayStation 3 or 4, and many more.
Is there a better alternative?
Some people mistakenly compare Plex to services like Netflix or Hulu. Plex claims it’s more like a Netflix for your own content, but does not provide content itself. Kodi and Emby are similar services to Plex, both serving as full-featured media players.
Plex beats Kodi for portability, as Plex syncs your media across all devices, unlike Kodi, which has the capability, but is not automatic. This could be a bad thing if you’re already on your flight before realizing you forgot to sync your latest movie download to your tablet. Also, Plex is not a true freeware as it offers the muscle of its features via a paid subscription. Kodi is a truly opensource software offering similar features, without a premium subscription upgrade. If you’re looking for a more customizable option, Kodi is the better alternative, allowing users to tailor the look and feel to their liking.
Plex and Emby are the most similar platforms on the market, as Embry also hosts content via dedicated servers, unlike Kodi. Emby also offers a free version and a premium plan called Emby Premier, similar to the Plex Pass, offered at the exact same price. Plex’s aesthetics are superior to Emby’s, with easier app navigation and sleeker feel. Like Kodi, Emby is more customizable than Plex, including the ability to apply your own CSS and change the overall look. Emby offers free streaming of live TV, unlike Plex which requires the premium plan.
Which is the best option lies truly in the eye of the beholder. If you’re looking for a more customizable solution, Kodi or Emby are the clear winners. If you want the most polished look and are willing to pay a small fee for a higher quality experience, Plex is the ideal choice.
Plex is the media player of choice for anyone looking for media, organization, transportability, and enjoy a high-end appearance. Enjoy the ability to easily stream both your personal and purchased media with the flexibility to take it wherever you go.
Should you download it?
- Easy installation
- Free version offers many valuable features
- Low subscription fee for premium Plex Pass features
- Ability to stream via desktop or mobile apps
- One-stop-shop for all of your media needs
- With so many features, the capabilities can be overwhelming for new users
- Antennae and receiver hardware purchase is required to stream live TV with a paid Plex Pass subscription
- Privacy concerns regarding Plex’s collection of user data