Release 0.5.19: Fine tuning - Plex Blog

Release 0.5.19: Fine tuning

| 23 Sep 2008 | by 50 Comments

Alright, a fresh new release for your enjoyment. A few tasty new items, and some bug fixes reported by our most excellent community! You can download from the home page, or via Sparkle (within a few minutes).

  • NEW: Our newest Plexville code master, Jam, added the ability to modify the panel brightness for applicable LCDs (iMacs, laptops) via the settings. Lots of other really cool things coming very shortly from him.
  • NEW: Greatly simplified settings. Isaac worked really hard to come up with sane default settings, and also to move lots of the more esoteric settings from the UI into advancedsettings.xml. We’ve found that new users tend to run into the same things (e.g. disabling remote events and thus breaking Apple Remote). Plex now ships with a well commented advancedsettings.xml file which will get installed into your Application Support folder if you don’t already have the file. If you want to change settings that no longer appear in the UI, you can either edit the items in the advanced settings file, or remove from them there to make them appear in the UI again. Isaac did an awesome job at choosing reasonable defaults.
  • NEW: Revamped the full-screen toggling (?-F) to make things more Mac-like. If you go into full-screen and quit, next time it will start in full screen. Also, if you drag the window over to another screen and hit ?-F, it’ll go to full-screen on that display. Quit and restart and it’ll be full-screen on that display. In summary, it should act much more intuitively. Thanks to migueld for pushing me on this one, we had lots of new users (rightly!) confused.
  • FIX: Certain MKV files could cause crashes.
  • FIX: Multi-channel AAC files could cause crashes (with AC3 transcoding). Ryan nailed this one.
  • FIX: A regression displaying non-US charsets (e.g. French). Thanks to Soner and others who helped bring the problem to my attention.
  • FIX: A regression scanning/refreshing movies in VIDEO_TS folders.
  • FIX: Improvements to the German translation of MediaStream (thanks, Spacemessage!)

The new MediaStream 0.91 is included also, with lots of good stuff. There is a newer version out there, but we haven’t gotten though testing it yet with Plex.
We’ve also pulled the usual updates from XBMC: New scrapers, bug-fixes, better mouse hiding/displaying code from jmarshall, dropped frame code from elupus (look how few frames are actually dropped now!) and of course d4rk’s new plug-ins for iPhoto/iTunes (nice job!).

It was a beach day for Barkley this last weekend.

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50 Comments so far

  1. JayBird September 23rd, 2008 9:32 am

    Great stuff.

    I must be early cos there isn’t a download link yet

  2. beto77 September 23rd, 2008 9:33 am

    Awesome news, new release! I´ll try this weekend for sure, nice to hear about itunes/iphoto plugings, I tought you said something on the forum about them not been allowed to be redistributed whith anything that weren´t XBMC atlantis

  3. elan September 23rd, 2008 9:38 am

    @JayBird: Try now, I forgot to hit ?-S :-)

    @beto77: It turns out the plug-ins accidentally shipped with a more restrictive license. They are GPL’d.

  4. JayBird September 23rd, 2008 9:43 am

    Downloading now. Thanks!

  5. deanm3 September 23rd, 2008 9:49 am


  6. migueld September 23rd, 2008 9:58 am

    “Español Inteligente”

    Haha that’s funny. I saw a debate over which terms should be used in the Spanish translation and it seems that they wouldn’t come to agreement. So now there is a “Spanish Intelligent”

    Hehe very funny

  7. sej7278 September 23rd, 2008 10:12 am

    any chance of the analogue volume on mac mini’s getting fixed – i went back to videolan today as i can barely hear through plex.

    i’ve got system sound up to max and the startup beep is deafening, so is any other media player like mplayer or quicktime.

    on the xbox (legendary for its quietness) you can turn up the volume in xbmc.

  8. elan September 23rd, 2008 10:21 am

    @sej7278: Please head to the forums to discuss. Are you sure the Plex volume is turned up (hit the = key to turn up)?

  9. elan September 23rd, 2008 10:21 am

    @migueld: I was using it to test spanish characters with smart folders :)

  10. superpea September 23rd, 2008 10:22 am

    Well, on my end the infamous Bird Scene in the BBC P2P documentary plays awesome on my iMac!!! Better than ever!

    Hip hip!!!

  11. elan September 23rd, 2008 10:27 am

    @superpea: I for one wish it was a Velociraptor Scene (or else swimsuit modeling or something more interesting). I can only watch birds for so long before wanting to go skeet shooting!

  12. grey September 23rd, 2008 11:17 am

    Awesome for the mkv fix!

    I tried the ‘official’ xmbc mac port and it had the same bug (which was only introduced in plex around .5.15) making it pretty obvious where they’re borrowing code (and bugs) back from.

    Great work as usual Elan!

  13. migueld September 23rd, 2008 11:20 am

    Whoa Elan, nice work on the fullscreen. Thanks :)

  14. migueld September 23rd, 2008 11:53 am

    There’s a bug on fullscreen when using Tab to toggle “inner-fullscreen”. It makes Plex switch over to the other screen.

  15. jmarshall September 23rd, 2008 11:54 am

    @grey: Actually, I think this bug was introduced in XBMC (when chapter patch was added in r14633) and Plex borrowed the feature (and bug). I’m in the process of borrowing the fix :)

  16. jmarshall September 23rd, 2008 11:58 am

    @Elan: I think you forgot to commit your advancedsettings.xml template to git.

  17. elan September 23rd, 2008 12:02 pm

    @jmarshall: The authoritative source for that file is the app bundle at the moment :)

  18. ihammond September 23rd, 2008 2:39 pm

    Hi Elan, great work as usual!

    i think the new mediastream skin is doing something nasty. As soon as I installed .5.19 and ran it my mac mini fans all started to spin up. Just sitting at the main menu screen they got up to 2700 rpm. I installed .5.16 again and sure enough,just idling on the main menu scree the fans slowed down to below 2000.

    The reason I think the mediastream skin is at fault is when playing a movie in .5.19 my fan speeds actually drop! when i quit movie playback and go back to the menus they spin up again.. weird!

  19. Pacino September 23rd, 2008 2:43 pm

    nice work, but still the same problem – way too cpu hungry. Without playing anything, it already consumes 20% of my CPU, making my MBP a few degrees hotter and my fan to spin faster!

  20. elan September 23rd, 2008 2:48 pm

    @ihammond: Can you test just replacing the skin from 0.5.18 or 0.5.16 ( and see if the CPU usage/fans go down? That will tell us if it’s definitely the skin.

  21. DendeNYC September 23rd, 2008 2:57 pm

    @elan: Im sure there is an official way of posting this but I don’t know if its a bug or feature so Im just gonna throw it out there.

    I run Plex on a dedicated mac-mini in fullscreen. The only time plex is not running is if I accidentally press “menu” once too many times or the app crashes. Anyway, the app crashed and I restarted it, as expected it prompted me to upgrade my version but see, I have mouse disabled in Plex, so I could not click the “install update” link. I goofed around with different ways of getting it to work and finally re-enabled mouse in plex and restarted. This time however Plex did not prompt to update (odd??) and I cant see a way to make it check again.


    a) could we have a “check for update” within the app?
    b) help me understand how to actually update automatically if I run in full-screen with mouse disabled.
    c) awesome job with the updates, hope you had a good time off with the wifey.

  22. elan September 23rd, 2008 3:02 pm

    @DendeNYC: Known issue, your wish (a) will be granted shortly. Thanks :)

  23. tom September 23rd, 2008 4:11 pm

    what happened to the recently added option for movies?

  24. elan September 23rd, 2008 4:54 pm

    @tom: Whoops. Edit ~/Library/Application Support/Plex/userdata/advancedsettings.xml and change the false to a true for recentlyaddeditems:


  25. CharlesV September 23rd, 2008 5:47 pm

    Am I missing where to edit the brightness settings?

  26. CharlesV September 23rd, 2008 5:49 pm

    Oops, there it is. Was hoping I could change the brightness of one display and not the other, i.e. sleep one display / turn the brightness to 0 instead of just blanking.

  27. elan September 23rd, 2008 5:51 pm

    @CharlesV: The setting won’t actually show up unless you have a panel that supports it, but it is in the System settings right below Display Sleep Timeout.

  28. Owen Butler September 23rd, 2008 7:51 pm

    The new fullscreen behaviour does not work well for me, perhaps because of the way I have my system set up.

    I have plex running fullscreen on my second monitor (an LCD TV) in another room to the computer. I can’t see the second monitor from the computer.

    Previously, I could hit command-f to tinker with options using the mouse and keyboard. Once finished I hit command-f to fullscreen, and plex is shown on the big screen.

    Now, when I go from fullscreen to non-fullscreen, the windowed plex window is shown on my second monitor, which is a completely separate room. I can’t tinker with the options, as I can’t even see the window.

    The previous functionality was perfect. Is there a way to add a config item to specify a preferred monitor for fullscreen, and a preferred monitor for windowed mode?

  29. elan September 23rd, 2008 8:04 pm

    @Owen Butler: Oh, no :( I wonder if this is the common case, or the other way (currently implemented) is the common case. Perhaps we can add a hot-key (e.g. Shift-?-F) to move Plex to the “next” display, or else ?-1 for first display, ?-2 for second, etc.

  30. Soner September 24th, 2008 12:08 am

    The iTunes plug in not work very well for me. Anyway, Elan, do you still plan to add integration for this apps in Plex ?

    I had a lot of video Podcast. For now i use iTunes FS but they doesn’t appear in the right order (newest first).

  31. tiwi-john September 24th, 2008 12:24 am

    thanks! its nice! more power!

  32. Owen Butler September 24th, 2008 1:17 am

    @elan: I’m guessing the way you have it now is right for most people! I imagine most people have the second monitor close or right there.

    If you did add a hot-key as you have mentioned, I would use it, and I would be grateful!

    Speaking of grateful, Plex is wonderful software, many thanks!

  33. imike September 24th, 2008 4:20 am

    I encountered the same high fan speed issue on my mini as reported by ihammond. As suggested I added the skin from 5.18 and did notice the fan speed was reduced when idling at the main screen. Reduced but not completely back to normal, it still seems to run hotter than previous versions. I just purchased the mini about a month ago and this is the first time I have heard the fans running. top shows plex using anywhere from 15-20% cpu, which doesn’t appear out of the norm to me.

  34. chitz September 24th, 2008 6:09 am

    I asked if you could pull revision 15344 from XBMC. Apparently this did not make it into the release. It would really be a nice feature to be able to hide completely watched tv-shows and seasons.

  35. migueld September 24th, 2008 6:15 am

    I like that toggle key for next display, I was wondering if that could be added since I’d like to map it to my remote. I think that could be a good solution for Owen.

  36. elan September 24th, 2008 7:04 am

    @chitz: Sorry man, I put it on my list, I won’t forget it next time.

  37. Goose September 24th, 2008 7:11 am

    I also have the same 2 screen setup…with screen #2 in a room that’s not visible from my mac. Having and option to toggle Plex between screens would be great or hot keys either or.

  38. EdBanger September 24th, 2008 8:06 am

    I’m having a problem that I have to change the sound output every time before it uses the correct device.
    I use an external USB soundcard with analog 5.1 sound. The audio hardware shows the correct settings, yet the video sound is always played through the laptop’s internal speakers if I don’t “reconfirm” the settings first.
    Other Plex sounds such as the navigation sounds play on the correct device however.

  39. vejneke September 24th, 2008 8:25 am

    I’m not sure it’s new for 0.5.19 but I’ve noticed a problem with title scrolling in List mode while playing music, where the title of the song playing will start partially shifting to the side, looking like a ghost image that shifts more and more. It doesn’t always happen, and sometimes it fixes itself after a while. It’s no big deal but maybe you’d like to take note of it (if it can be accurately replicated that is). A screenshot (cropped for clarity) has been uploaded to

  40. allanman September 24th, 2008 10:05 am

    mkvs with ass subs are still unreliable for me. added some details in the forum. otherwise most excellent.

  41. Charles September 24th, 2008 1:55 pm

    I’m having a problem with this release. My library no longer updates my TV shows. I’ve tried manually telling it to update. Restarting the mac completely. Even removing and re-adding the TV source. The source is an SMB share that has (and continues) to work without issue.

  42. elan September 24th, 2008 11:53 pm

    @Charles: I just tossed a new show in (Entourage, I’ve been told it’s good), by adding a new folder, new season folder, and new MKV. When told to scan for new content, it picked it up just fine. Perhaps you want to head to the forums to discuss more with friendly and helpful Plexians?

  43. EdBanger September 25th, 2008 4:20 am

    I have the same problem as Charles is having. I added a few new episodes for 2 shows (Entourage :) & Weeds), and can’t find a way to get them recognized by the scraper, and added to the library. Other episodes with the exact same naming scheme and in the same folder updated without problems in the previous version.

  44. elan September 25th, 2008 8:30 am

    I think there might have been a problem introduced by the advancedsettings.xml. Read for more information. Sorry for the trouble!

  45. usro3 September 26th, 2008 2:13 pm

    when you expect videomonkey script will be run ok? thnks.

  46. ihammond September 26th, 2008 3:30 pm

    Hi Elan

    i ran some tests and i think it was just me..

    I ran .5.15 with the skin that came with and it got to 2700rpm

    I ran .5.19 with the skin in .5.15 and that got to 2600rpm

    I ran .5.19 with the .5.19 skin and it got to 2700rpm

    I have not tried the 0.92 Mediastream skin yet though

  47. Maarut September 30th, 2008 2:42 pm

    Hmm… I’ve found that frame dropping has become noticeably worse in this release. This 1080p video ( drops frames whereas the previous version didn’t (although Plex says it does when viewing playback information). Any idea why that could be? I’ve not experienced this with any other video. I’m on an 08 MBP with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.


  48. maxrogers September 30th, 2008 2:56 pm


    Something that you should check into (since you have a Macbook Pro like I do) is overheating issues. I was troubled for the longest time by dropping frames with 1080p video etc. I kept trying to figure out why I was having such trouble with some releases and certain files… Then I found out that it was being caused by my laptop overheating!

    I solved the issue by keeping my laptop in a cooler place, keeping the lid open, closing all unnecessary programs, and I also installed smcfancontrol to help keep the temps down. I would check to see if that is also your problem. I am willing to bet that the cause of a lot peoples dropped frame issues on macbook pros is overheating…


  49. maxrogers September 30th, 2008 3:12 pm

    If anyone also has dropped frame issues with 1080p on a macboook pro, I made a post in the forums about what solved my problems:

    Try it and post your results to see if this is common or if my experience was a fluke…

  50. Jimmy October 31st, 2009 10:30 am

    I have a MacBook Pro 2009 with a 500GB drive (WDigital, I replaced the 160GB)
    I was using Perian to play mkv movies, and yesterday I downloaded Plex to try it out.
    But in both every time I play a Mkv file the fans start spinning, I think it’s the fans or maybe the hard drive. But it’s quite a loud whoosh.
    Is this normal or playing a mkv file shouldn’t make any sound at all?
    Thanks in advance

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