Media center software Plex is adding a few new features… and taking some away.
Plex is a client and server system that lets you stream your personal media collection to multiple devices. For instance, you can set up a server on your PC or NAS and use it to stream your music, movies, and photos to your phone or smart TV.
Earlier this month the developers announced they were shutting down Plex Cloud, a service that allowed users to set up a server in the cloud instead of on a local device. Now Plex has announced it’s also shutting down Cloud Sync, which allowed users to save their local media to cloud services like Dropbox for watching where Plex isn’t available.
The company is also killing support for plugins… eventually.
Plugins allow you to add support for online video, audio, and photo services. Plex says it’ll remove the Plugin Directory soon, but users will still be able to load plugins manually “for the foreseeable future,” which doesn’t sound like a particularly long-term commitment to the platform,
The company says fewer than 2 percent of its users are taking advantage of plugins, and that it’s difficult for providers to continue supporting those plugins.
Instead, Plex seems to be focusing on built-in features. Last year Plex added an online news section, for example.
Honestly, I never used plugins because I primarily use Plex on my Roku TV… which can already access most of the online services as standalone Roku channels. But I suspect some of the 2 percent of Plex users who are still using the feature are going to be disappointed.
Another feature on the chopping block is Watch Later, a bookmarklet that lets you mark videos from supported website so you can watch them at a later time using Plex.
So that’s what’s on the way out. Here are some of the new features coming to Plex.
The team says it’s working to improve offline sync, improved Android playback, and gapless music playback.
For now the biggest new feature is a built-in subtitle tool that lets you find and load subtitles from the internet rather than having to track them down on your own and then load them using the Plex Server.