You’ve got all that media – photos, videos, recorded TV, music and more – scattered across your network, and now there’s a load of online media to tap into as well. How can you possibly keep on top of it all while making it possible to access your media while away from home on your portable device?
Plex is one possible solution. It allows you to share the media content – photos, music, video and recorded TV – from selected folders on the host computer as well as any network shares, but that’s not all. Plex also lets you tap into online content too, allowing your clients to access internet-hosted media like YouTube, NetFlix and more through the same interface. These are served via the use of special Plex PMS Plug-ins, some of which are included with the main download, while others are available for separate download and install.
Plex comes in two parts: you’ll need to download and install Plex Media Server separately on the PC or Mac that’s hosting all the media content you wish to share. Note, previous Mac builds combined both media server and client in a single application – this is no longer the case from 0.9.5 onwards.
You then install this client on any Windows PC or Mac that you want access to the content to (you can also install Plex 2.0 for iPhone/iPad and Android. Connecting over your home network is automatic, but you’ll need to log into your myPlex account before you can access servers via the internet.
Once connected, use your keyboard or remote control to navigate your media content (you can enable mouse support via Preferences > System > Input Devices, but it’s not as intuitive as you might think). You should be able to both browse for and locate specific content, plus access online content through supported plug-ins, all through a gorgeous user interface that bends over backwards to provide useful information about your media content and deliver a stunning experience. Your media never looked so good from a distance.