Plex blog

The New Plex for Android released for everyone!

05.25.13 92 Comments

(Sorry we’ve been quiet for a while. No reason other than being incredibly busy on the next bunch of stuff for you. It’ll be a busy couple of weeks…)

Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, we’ve been working hard on a brand new  Plex app for Android. Redesigned from the ground up, it’s fast, smooth, and beautiful. If you’ve been feeling jealous of your friends on iOS, they’re about to regret the day they made fun of you.

If you haven’t seen the intro video yet, have a quick watch, if only for the Barkley cameo at the end.

For the last few months, the app has been available for our PlexPass members, who have been giving us amazingly great feedback and suggestions, and reporting issues. I’m including a list of all the changes we’ve made during this period, so you can see what a lot of progress has been made. We’d really like to extend a giant thank you to everyone who helped out!

We just published Plex 3.0 for Android for existing Plex for Android users in Google Play, as a free upgrade. You will see it show up on your devices shortly. Please note that this upgrade requires Android 3.2 or higher. We’ll be pushing it shortly for the Google TV and to the Amazon app store.

What about the existing Plex for PlexPass app? We’re going to leave it  in Google Play, so that new PlexPass members can continue to get it for free. Since it is restricted to PlexPass members, we’ll also continue to make an APK for the app available. And we’ll also push new and bleeding edge features to that app first.

Plex 3.0 for Android is a huge step forward, and given that it was rewritten from scratch, there may be a few thing that have changed or been removed. For example, the remote control functionality has been split into two parts: “flinging” media and play controls, and then the “classic” navigation buttons. The former is currently available, but we’re in the process of adding a great-looking Android widget for the latter.

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Without further ado, here are all the changes we’ve made while it was in PlexPass:

Features:

  • Improved login and signup experience
  • Audio control notifications (skip, pause, play)
  • Improved refreshing of library sections (scroll position maintained)
  • Added new section filtering options, On Deck, Recently Added, Types, By Folder, etc.
  • Added share option, allows queuing URLs to Plex from other applications
  • Ability to browse “up” from library content
  • New preplay layouts for small screen devices
  • Added remote play support (“Play On”) (hold down play button)
  • Added remote play notifications
  • Support for client side subtitles
  • Support for ‘Announcements’ to keep up to date all things Plex
  • Default posters for items
  • Parallax scrolling background art on home screen and small-screen prepays
  • Delete library content from client (needs to be enabled on your server)
  • Maximum quality setting. Helps ensure remuxing on GTVs.
  • Force Direct Play Profile (available in Settings – Device Profile). Attempts to always Direct Play videos and will fallback to transcoding if fails.
  • Setting to allow disabling ‘Network Discovery’
  • If direct playing fails, fall back to transcoding
  • Connectivity checks when user refreshes home screen
  • [Sync] Massive UI improvements
  • [Sync] New “synced” filter in library sections
  • [Sync] Merging of libraries with those currently synced
  • [Sync] Allow synced content to be played to external players
  • [Sync] Add option to “prefer synced content”
  • [GTV] Allow the play button to directly play On Deck items
  • [GTV] Allow the play button to play items from their preplay screens

Fixes:

  • Improve memory usage around music playback
  • Reduce memory usage around background art
  • Only consider non-shared servers for default
  • Unwatched filter was backwards
  • Improve the share action, don’t bring up Plex, and reload the queue in the background
  • Fix issue where track duration could be cropped
  • Don’t allow multiple “now playing” windows to launch
  • Resume should now work perfectly (and more quickly) across all versions of the OS
  • When transcode playback is paused for a long time, resume works
  • Detect media not being accessible before playing
  • Resolve playback issues with iTunes
  • Ensure theme music stops when going back to the home screen
  • Resolve layout issue of episode unwatched count indicator
  • Resolve layout issue for Seekbar preference
  • Fixed an issue where connectivity to a server could be lost
  • Fix video aspect ratio not being correct on some devices
  • Don’t allow secondary servers to become ‘selected’
  • Consider all streams when deciding to Direct Play
  • Fix a crash when pausing audio
  • Fix issue when remote play is issued
  • Fix crash in search
  • Don’t start the audio service when playing video
  • Add missing icons to the menu
  • Only toast about server discovery if application is active
  • Resolve issue where video control visibility was being toggled too aggressively
  • Resolved playback issue which prevented Direct Play of media which had no audio stream selected
  • Selecting a friend request or recommendation notification will now also cancel the notification
  • Resolved layout issue in Friends page where long names could push the buttons off screen
  • Fix inconsistency in HTTP headers passed to media server
  • Add the ability to refresh the list of players
  • Fix alignment of audio / subtitle stream selectors
  • Fix issue where filter menu would automatically close
  • Apply maximum bitrate limit when deciding whether or not to Direct Play
  • Server reachability is updated as the network changes
  • Request constant sized image for photo view, to increase cache hit frequency
  • Crash attempting to setup transcoder quality settings
  • Allow intelligent server selection when transcoding is required
  • Resolve layout issue for track titles which were too long
  • Center album thumbs in the Artist page
  • Fix issue where “Clear Cache” would be ignored
  • If we can’t locally transcode a photo due to memory, use the original
  • Crash when rotating on the episode/movie prepay pages
  • Support subtitle / audio stream selection across multiple versions of media
  • Clarify AC3 / DTS settings in the Device media profiles
  • Sync] Synchronize watched status and progress for synced content back to server
  • Sync] Don’t allow sync over cellular network if not permitted
  • Sync] Kick off sync on app start and when item added/updated
  • [Sync] Sync storage location choice is now respected
  • [Sync] Allow manual selection of custom sync directory
  • [Sync] Resolve issue where storage location could not be set to external location
  • [Sync] Reduce minimum to 0.1 GB so that Google TV devices can at least sync some media
  • [Sync] Be careful not to delete synced content if there wasn’t a successful sync
  • [Sync] Resolve issue where incomplete synced files could be played
  • [Sync] Resolve issue resuming sync download
  • [Sync] Send up resolution for sync items
  • [Sync] Display synced content from more than one server
  • [Sync] Ensure that when syncing over wifi we attempt to keep wifi connection (speeds up transfer)
  • [Sync] Added more sync status into the sync list in settings
  • [Sync] Better sync defaults for TV shows
  • [Sync] Allow non-touch devices to focus video controls and manipulate seek bar
  • [Sync] Fixed 0 byte sync’ed images
  • [Sync] Fix to make maximum sync limit preference behave correctly
  • [Sync] Fix 2/4GB limit on for synced files on some filesystems
  • [Sync] Make sure we set the resolution limit when creating a sync item
  • [Sync] Update audio/Pphoto quality when updating a sync item
  • [Sync] Resolve various issues which prevented syncing of channel content
  • [Sync] Ensure that the Sync List page continually showed updates to syncing and transcoding
  • [Sync] Provide descriptive message when attempting to sync unsupported content
  • [Sync] Resolve issue browsing synced photos
  • [Sync] Ensure sync location is writable
  • [Sync] With high quality sync, limit resolution to screen size
  • [Sync] Update server reachability before syncing
  • [Sync] Fix a refresh issue when deleting multiple sync items
  • [Sync] Resolve issue which prevented single watched episode syncing
  • [Sync] New Sync sections would not become available or removed when the last item was removed, unless the application was restarted
  • [Sync] Don’t delete local state too eagerly
  • [Sync] Report sync list unavailable instead of “no items” when we’re offline
  • [Sync] Allow single photo syncing
  • [Sync] Display bit-rates when creating sync items and ensure that they are passed to the server
  • [Sync] Resolve issue where carrier APN would block localhost networking
  • [GTV] Allow basic navigation via remote control
  • [GTV] Hide filters when focus moves back to section grid
  • [GTV] Added small/big skipping via ffwd/rew/next/prev keys
  • [GTV] Slider for sync storage limit works
  • [GTV] Pass AC3/DTS compatibility to allow remuxing those formats
  • [GTV] Resolve issue where theme music prevented multi-channel audio
  • [GTV] Resolve crash playing video after music
  • [GTV] Show the navigation controls when the user presses the play button
  • [GTV] Allow seeking audio via the DPAD
  • [GTV] Better handling of fast forward / rewind remote control events

Happy April Fools’ Day!

04.01.13 32 Comments

As you all know, the first of April is the day on which people (and companies) play practical jokes. Some are quite elaborate and take quite a bit of planning, and we really think we’ve managed to take that to the next level.

Just over five years ago, we got together around a white board to plan the prank, and this is what we wrote:

  1. Acquire millions of users.
  2. Rickroll them.
  3. ???

We did some more brainstorming, and decided that the best way to acquire a large user base we could proceed to rickroll would be some sort of video streaming thing. We almost called it RickPlex, but we thought that might be too obvious, so we stuck with Plex, and started coding right away.

Fast forward 5 years, 263 blog posts, and dozens of releases across multiple product lines, we finally decided we had enough coverage for our worldwide rickroll. We enabled some code we’d written all those years ago, and then cracked open a beer and waited.

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After we finally stopped laughing at all the tweets and forum posts, and – frankly – ran out of beer, we all took a collective deep sigh. All those year of planning had finally paid off. We’d just pulled off what was possibly the biggest rickroll ever. And it was time to move on.

To all our users, thanks so much for being a part of this! It was a fun ride, and we wish you luck in the future. We’ll be shutting down all our services over the next few days, and moving on to other endeavors.