Plex for Android - Plex Blog

Plex for Android

| 16 Feb 2011 | by 56 Comments

(Before I forget, I want to thank everyone who came down to the Plex meet-up we had in San Jose. We had a great turnout, lots of Plex users new and old came to have some drinks and chat about the past, present, and future of Plex. It was a surreal moment for me personally, on the foggy rooftop of the hotel, Cabernet in hand, chatting with people I had known for years, but never actually met.)

The Plex iOS application has been out for nearly six months now (wow, time flies!) and we’ve been incredibly happy with its reception. However, one of the things that many people continue to ask us is “What about Android?” After all, Android is the most popular platform in the world by numbers, and today, we’re happy to announce that you can now experience Plex on Android (press release here).

NewImage

That’s right, no longer will you have to endure the mocking by your all-too-smug, black turtleneck-wearing, beat-poetry reading friends who saunter around with their shatter-happy phones you have to hold with winter gloves to be able to get enough bars to make a call with. No, my friends, this is YOUR time.

This first release has a nearly identical feature set to the iOS version. The one feature that didn’t make it in was the remote control, which we’ll be adding very shortly, but until then, I’m sure you’ll be able to entertain yourself with this beautiful little media center in your hand. Also expect to see updates around the larger-screen Android devices, as we’ve focused more on the smaller screens for this first cut. As you might expect, you get all the benefits of our Media Server architecture: you can watch the first part of a movie on the TV, continue on your Android, and seamlessly finish on your iPad. Ratings and view history are available seamlessly from all your clients. Edit your metadata once, see the changes everywhere.

As always, we so much appreciate your support and great feedback. We have a lot more awesome stuff in store for you this year, and we think you’re really going to love it.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+LinkedIn
Share this

56 Comments so far

  1. James Kurtz III February 16th, 2011 2:29 pm

    Great news! Looking forward to trying it out.

  2. ananke February 16th, 2011 2:34 pm

    Small note: press release refers to http://www.plexapp.com/android (without the needed .php).

  3. Joris February 16th, 2011 2:37 pm

    This rocks so hard! And I even didn’t download this yet! Can’t wait to try it after work…

  4. elan February 16th, 2011 2:39 pm

    @ananke: Thank you :)

  5. Drh February 16th, 2011 2:55 pm

    Nooooooo, Plex belongs to iOS & OSX :-(

  6. dirRtyjoe February 16th, 2011 2:57 pm

    Excellent news, nice work! I hope this is the start to many more announcements!

  7. Peter February 16th, 2011 3:07 pm

    Sweet, just bought it! Thanks guys – you rock!

  8. wassit February 16th, 2011 3:10 pm

    Excellent,

    quick question though.

    The press release refers to a windows server application. Is that out yet? if so where can I get my grubby hands on it?

  9. bi99uy February 16th, 2011 4:25 pm

    Hi, awesome news, bought it the very minute I could. The app however seems to crash when it loads the library and also it doesn’t find the plex server over the net, even though the same creditials works wonder on my ipad. Using a Desire Z running 2.3. If you guys want a crashlog, just tell me how I can give it to you.

  10. worstepisodeever February 16th, 2011 4:35 pm

    bah, server errors!!

  11. worstepisodeever February 16th, 2011 4:47 pm

    got it now, cant wait to set it up so i can see it remotely on my trip out of town next week. thanks guys, great job once again!!!!

  12. adriandb February 16th, 2011 5:14 pm

    +1 for The Hold Steady

  13. Carver February 16th, 2011 5:33 pm

    Well I can connect to PLEX servers on the LAN it’s a no go with remote servers over the WAN. Says it cannot connect and force closes if you attempt to access library. iOS version is working fine with same settings and servers. Bummer….

  14. AndyVirus February 16th, 2011 5:41 pm

    This confuses me. Plex 8 was infinitely better than XBMC on a Mac. That was its purpose. Plex 9 came along with it media server which was only configurable using OS X as this was the “Mac” way of doing things. Also Plex still could only be installed on a Mac. Then came the awesome Plex app for iOS. This all made sense to Mac users.
    Now however, you create an Android app when, lets face it, only appeals to those who, for what ever their personal reasons are, (if you reply to this no one cares what your reasons are, their are yours and your entitled to them, don’t go of topic) don’t buy into the Apple way of doing things or cant afford their products.

    This is where the confusion lies, Plex still only runs on a Mac so the same people who use android most likely wont have a Mac running Plex… Who is your target audience? With your hints at a Plex server for other OS’s, this android app and the LG deal, are you intentionally trying to dissociate yourself from the Mac community that has supported you for so long? Also that quip about Iphone 4 users is also tasteless since I am sure they have brought you a large revenue stream since you launched the iOS app.

    Seems to me the reason to use Plex in the first place, which is the interoperability with all that is Apple, is becoming redundant as you are over reaching for what i can only assume is financial gain. If you loose iPhoto & iTunes support then you may as well just call yourself “XBMC+”, “The other Boxee” or something just as ridiculous as you no longer cater to your initial target audience. You become just another branch of XBMC with media server.

    Just my 2 cents…

  15. GBDESAI February 16th, 2011 6:18 pm

    Well done. A new era begins…

  16. N.O.W.A.L.L February 16th, 2011 6:35 pm

    Releasing iStuff for iDevices is cool, but before this the main priority should be to fix the core of PLEX, aka the PMS (locking by default metadatas/graphics).
    Good job anyway

  17. Gustavo Michels February 16th, 2011 6:56 pm

    Really great news and kudos for the Plex team on widening the experience.

    I do however must regret that even after 6 months of Plex iOS client, basic functionality for a media player such as subtitles isn’t yet available, which renders the app nearly unusable for me.

  18. elan February 16th, 2011 9:25 pm

    @AndyVirus: The quip about iPhone users was a joke, I’m sorry if you took offense, or didn’t recognize it as humor. I personally don’t see the issue with making Plex experience available to a wider audience. The core of the Plex Media Server is portable code, and we’ll be making it available on other platforms as well. I’m not exactly sure where you got the “loose [sic] iPhoto and itunes”, each platform will have features that won’t be available elsewhere, we’re not losing any OS X features.

  19. bommel February 16th, 2011 9:53 pm

    Aaawwsoooooooome!!

  20. ooze February 16th, 2011 10:36 pm

    You guys rock! Well spent $4.99. It works like a charm for me on my Motorola Milestone (European Droid). Thank you for all your efforts! I hope for subtitle support in a future version.

  21. server February 16th, 2011 10:48 pm

    is it intentional or an oversight that we have not yet seen you’re devs post any plex patches and improvements to the ffmpeg mailing list in inclusion yet, can you do that ASAP given you are using that as your core encode/decode engine

  22. Darth Bob February 16th, 2011 11:28 pm

    Great news… for Android users.
    So when can we expect a new incremental!?

  23. Ike February 16th, 2011 11:30 pm

    @AndyVirus: You are obviously SERIOUSLY misinformed with your ridiculous generalizations about Android users. You are right about one thing, my reasons for not owning an iPhone are my own so I won’t go into it. I own a Google Nexus S and I absolutely love it (miles better than the iPhone 4 I had before by the way). Besides that, I’ve got an iPad which I also love, and I do all my work on MacBook Pro. I guess I’m an anomaly… or you’re clueless.

    Thanks Plex team, you’ve made my year (so far). No more physically syncing music with my Mac, and finally I can watch some video on the go!

  24. Al February 16th, 2011 11:50 pm

    @AndyVirus: I have a Macbook Pro, Mac Mini, Windows 7 laptop, and an Android phone. The release of the Windows media server and android app is just giving people like me more options. You’re just mad that you’re losing the perceived exclusivity that comes with owning Apple products.

  25. ccdweb February 17th, 2011 12:17 am

    For the record, I own a mini (to run Plex), an iMac, and a Macbook Pro…and I use an Android phone. People like me DO exist. Thanks for broadening the product.

  26. Klownzilla February 17th, 2011 1:25 am

    WINDOWS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

  27. cory. February 17th, 2011 2:36 am

    andyvirus is upset, clearly. the mac has always been a second-class citizen to windows, and a mac version of an app often lags in feature parity to the windows version. it was nice to have a great app, plex, that felt like something the mac community could rally behind. i know some folks who use plex simply because of that fact. by making it for windows, android, etc, it spreads the development effort across multiple platforms and loses focus on updating and maintaining what has always been a great mac app. now mac users expect larger delays in updating the mac plex app, which is the primary reason people came to plex in the first place.

    at the same time, broadening the market for plex is always desirable for a developer (clearly, since it means more money), so that’s understandable as well. so, it’s sad to see plex sell out, but congratulations on growing your market and making lots more cash. ;) i’m not upset and i definitely see both sides of the argument. only the future will tell if a multiplatform plex can stay ahead of boxee/xbmc.

    personally, i think you should focus your efforts on making the core server app better, and on the living room: appletv2 (and whatever other set top boxes could run plex).

    good luck with your future endeavors.

  28. elan February 17th, 2011 3:05 am

    Cory, thanks for the thoughtful post. I’d like to take a slightly different perspective (I’m ever the optimist!) and say that in our porting work of the server to different platforms, we’ve found and fixed bugs in the process that affected Mac users. Different platforms turn up different issues, and everyone benefits.

    I would disagree more strongly with your notion that we’ve sold out. True, some developers are content to have their single platform niche for their products, but we’ve always been super excited about bringing our platform to the widest audience possible, across multiple devices. And note that when we released the iOS apps, some people were worried that we’d lose focus on the desktop application and the server!

    As far as your thoughts on where we should focus, I think you’ll be happy with the strides Plex makes this year.

  29. Alberto February 17th, 2011 8:01 am

    Please add subtitles support, to the iOS client, for me is a top feature, currently is almost unusable.
    Probably is one of the most requested feature since launch. And we are still waiting.
    Thanks for your work.

  30. xain09 February 17th, 2011 8:19 am

    Amazing! I’m getting my Galaxy Tab today or tomorrow and guess what .. Plex for android is released. I have been using it on my iPad since day one. Now I will be able to do the same with my Android device. Thanx !

  31. Ron February 17th, 2011 8:48 am

    I think there is an issue with using a domain name instead of an IP address. I use dyndns so I have a consistent name for my dynamic IP but when I enter it into the field plex wont connect. As soon as I change it to my numbered IP address everything works correctly.

  32. Red February 17th, 2011 11:37 am

    Yes!!!! My desire and I say thanks the Plex team, and thanks Elan for the report. Seems there is a lot of us folks who do not refrain from using multiple platforms at home, which is great.

  33. AndyVirus February 17th, 2011 11:45 am

    Let me clarify, I did not mean to offend Android users, you have your reasons for the decision you made, hell if I had not already heavily invested in the Apple way then I may have gone that route also, but I digress from the point.

    When i said “Lose iPhoto & iTunes support” I was not predicting the future, I was merely stating that the “i” integration is what makes Plex unique from XBMC & Boxee. IF you were to ever ditch support for these, how would Plex be any different from them?

    It could be that Plex was a Mac only Media centre that was focused on the Apple like experience we all bought into. By broadening the net to other platforms the spotlight will not be focused on Mac any longer, and yes this does disappoint me that we are “losing the perceived exclusivity” to a point but only because my perception was this was a Mac designed product with its primary focus on Mac users.

    I did take the dig at iPhone users as a Joke but with the divergence from your roots with this and the other non Mac announcements, it felt like another grain of salt in the opening wound.

    I currently love Plex and have done for a while, I would just hate to see the brand watered down to something that is no longer specialised.

  34. Roofert February 17th, 2011 10:14 pm

    Sorry but the plex android app won´t connect to my mac mini media server..

    To late for a refund?

    Samsung Galaxy S

  35. elan February 17th, 2011 11:07 pm

    @server: ask and yea shall receive:

    http://www.plexapp.com/elan/plex-changes-ffmpeg.patch

    This is a patch against commit e6fb5a4f78a67ed815e39ba8ac3893fd631b9b1a from the official ffmpeg-git repo.

  36. Cory. February 17th, 2011 11:12 pm

    Elan, thank you for your response, and of course i look forward to seeing what this year has in store for the Plex family of products. =] i still use Plex as my primary video-watching system, and will continue doing so for as long as it is the best option on the Mac / AppleTV2 (which i hope is indefinitely).

  37. jeroen February 18th, 2011 12:29 am

    Can anybody tell me, if the phone in this news message is a render, or a real phone? Please let me know!

  38. elan February 18th, 2011 2:57 am

    @Roofert: please email android@plexapp.com and we’ll take care of you!

  39. Tom February 18th, 2011 3:34 am

    Hi,

    I congratulate Plex team for the launch of Plex for Android and PMS for Windows. I am really happy for you guys. However, I am really worried about the future of Plex on Apple products. Think about this… The PMS for Windows will enable people who do not have Macs watch Plex on PC, Andriod, and the new upcoming LG Smart TV Upgrader. This new LG device is very very close to Apple TV in its functionality and shape of form. Now think about this… How many people who already have Macs and/or iPhone will buy the LG device? I guess the answer is less than 5% They would probably go with the Apple TV2. Now I can further assume that people who will buy the LG device are the people who do not have Macs and they will need to run PMS on Windows. I don’t know what you guys think but if I were LG’s CEO, I really want to see my money go into the development of PMS for Windows…..

    I just want to beg the Plex team to continue your support and energy on Plex in Apple world…

  40. elan February 18th, 2011 5:44 am

    @Tom: No need to beg, we have no intention of not continuing to support the Apple platform with lots of energy. My house looks like an Apple store, except slightly dirtier and just a regular bar.

  41. Kekz February 18th, 2011 10:15 am

    What Phone is that?

  42. Ike February 18th, 2011 8:11 pm

    @jeroen @Kekz: It’s a Motorola Droid X, currently exclusive to Verizon in the US.

  43. stinky February 19th, 2011 1:16 pm

    can’t wait to get a xoom and try this out on a decent screen!

  44. Cayce February 24th, 2011 2:40 pm

    @AndyVirus, @Tom: LG is an investor and partner of Plex. They do not have the ability to dictate our product road map – nor have they have expressed any interested in doing so. In fact, they have been an excellent partner to us in that they have been very supportive of Plex’s independence as a company and a platform as well as our product vision.
    Apparently, there is some confusion here, or fear that we are abandoning our Apple roots. Plex is the only commercial offering I know of that is completely focused on creating the best experience for our users. We are not trying to show you ad words, we aren’t trying to get you to buy content from us, we aren’t trying to lock you into a box or device that only we support and sell. We think we are on to something here, a great product and experience, and we don’t see anything wrong with bringing it to a wider audience. Not everyone can afford $700 for a dedicated Mac Mini running Plex, we’d like to invite those folks to the party too. If our goal is to deliver the best product, that means to continue to deliver the best experience on Mac – we have no intentions of slipping there. In fact, when we decided to bring PMS to Windows we hired additional talent so our core team could continue to deliver our Mac product plan without interruption or delay.

  45. Seroja March 2nd, 2011 7:36 pm

    Well done guys!
    The Android client works like a charm on my Sony Ericsson Neo.

  46. matt March 3rd, 2011 3:25 pm

    I just have a question about the future of this app. I love plex because it is simple and just works. That is why I am also an Apple person (with the exception of my Droid) I purchased this app, and I am pretty sure that if there are not updates planned for the MAC app or pledged so to help me automate to port forwarding process, I will never get it to work. Maybe when I upgrade to a time capsule for my network, but as it stands, there is no realistic scenario in which this app works for me. I don’t want a refund just yet or anything, but I wonder how long I should expect to wait. Are thereplans to help people like me? I know that the transmission application on MAC automatically sets up port forwarding, so it must be possible.

  47. elan March 3rd, 2011 8:54 pm

    @matt: We will definitely support that feature in a future release. There is a detailed explanation on the Wiki which can help as well here: http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/Plex_Android#Enabling_Android_from_outside_of_your_home_network

  48. Adam Barker March 9th, 2011 2:13 am

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for an awesome product. I wanted to suggest that you add a warning to the android store for Xoom users, as Plex does not yet function on the Xoom. It would be good to warn folks before they purchase the app on the android store.

    Thanks!

  49. iordonez March 10th, 2011 3:27 am

    @Adam the android store does list Xoom as not being supported along with other honeycomb devices.

  50. leroy jenkins April 12th, 2011 4:41 pm

    Any idea on when the xoom/honeycomb port will be complete? The forum said 2 weeks in Feb. Do you need more beta testers?
    PS I love you.

  51. John June 20th, 2011 11:49 pm

    I would love to run Plex for Android on my Viewsonic G Tablet — but it is not recognized as a platform on “Android Market” to purchase the app. (I would gladly pay the $5, but need another place to get the app.)

  52. Steve Jobs July 8th, 2011 7:10 am

    I have a Galaxy S 2 (not modded) and I bought the Plex application for the 3.5 €, but I simply can’t get video to work (I hear audio but no video).
    This was practically one of the 1st apps I installed on my Android phone, so no prior mods or conflicting apps.
    I’ve seen several comments / discussions about this in forums, seems to be a known issue for quite some time – and I do think it is not kosher to charge for a product that is not working as specified.
    I bought the app for my iPad2 and it works swimmingly there(good job guys!), but in my Android its quite a disappointment and I’m short 3.5 € :(
    Any idea of a fix ? Thank you

  53. elan July 11th, 2011 5:47 am

    @Steve Jobs: There is a known issue with the Samsung Galaxy S2 series of phones, and we’ve tried to prevent the application from being available for purchase on the devices. Unfortunately we keep discovering new variants in Google Marketplace! If you’d like a refund, please contact support@plexapp.com. Also, please note that we are testing a fix for it as we speak. There is a strange issue with the video subsystem on that phone which does not exist on other Android phones we’ve seen.

  54. Anndy July 21st, 2011 12:19 pm

    Does the Android version support subtitles? I couldn’t manage to enable them. If not, will this be part of a new release?

    Thank you,

  55. Nathan August 3rd, 2011 7:04 am

    I’d like to know about Subtitle support as well. I have a number of videos that have subtitles and I’ve tried embedding the subs as well as following the instructions here: http://wiki.plexapp.com/index.php/PlexNine_PMS_Subtitles (well, as much as I could, not all of the features mentioned are available on windows). Nothing I did managed to get subtitles to work and I couldn’t find a subtitle option on the client.

  56. Davide February 27th, 2012 10:39 pm

    Cannot play flac file … my galaxy note play flac native and plex for pc play flac but plex for android doesn’t work

Leave a reply