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sunrain
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portlandia
 
2010-08-30, 21:15

Plex/Nine is available for download as of midnight EST. For those who don't know, it's a OS X based media center suite.

This version is a complete rewrite of what was originally a fork of XBMC. Amongst the excellent things coming with this version is a universal iOS app that works as a remote and provides media access to your library over WiFi and 3G.

I plan to download ASAP and check it out.

Website
Lead Developer Blog
coverage on CrunchGear (annoying guy, but good overview on the video)

"What a computer is to me is it's the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with, and it's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."
- Steve Jobs
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2010-08-30, 21:20

What did they decide to do about the license? I remember when 9 was first announced, there was some grumbling about whether it would be paid, free as in beer, free as in freedom, or other.

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sunrain
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portlandia
 
2010-08-30, 21:36

It's still free. The app for iOS will be $4.99.
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sunrain
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portlandia
 
2010-08-31, 10:06

The iOS apps are 12 kinds of awesome. When I go out this afternoon, I'll be trying it over 3G to see how that works.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2010-08-31, 16:10

"When I go out"? Did I miss somewhere that it supports streaming *off* the LAN, and with low enough bandwidth needs to actually work over 3G?!

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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2010-08-31, 19:15

Well, so much for its open source roots. For the time being, it's free as in beer. The license agreement is filled with legalese.

Quote:
You shall not, nor permit anyone else to, directly or indirectly: (i) copy, modify, or distribute the Software;
Quote:
You shall not incorporate the Software or any part thereof into any other product(s) or use the Software in any manner that would cause the Software to become subject to any “open source license” that would impose obligations
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2010-08-31, 19:57

Initial impressions:
  • The main app still feels like the old app. That's mostly a good thing.
  • The mixed media setup is still confusing. For example, the setup assistant mentioned automatically detecting iTunes. It doesn't show iTunes in the media manager, though, but shows it in the main app under Music Plug-ins.
  • Most plugins are broken. I get audio but no video from Comedy Central, Daily Show, and Colbert. South park delivers neither audio nor video. Vimeo refuses to log me in despite my triple-checking the credentials I'm typing. These are all freshly-downloaded on a new machine.
  • Visual glitches when in a 4x3 resolution.
  • The main app has already frozen/crashed on me three times in the span of the first half hour of use. Oh, the pains of the early adopter!

Seems like a failure so far, like it was rushed to make this deadline. I would recommend new users wait for a few bugfix releases before trying it out.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2010-09-02, 00:55

Apparently Plex 9 has incompatibilities with Flash 10.1 and that's what's breaking most of the video plugins. There's no ETA or apparent commitment by the devs to get 10.1 working, and the standard response is to downgrade to 10.0.x. I'm not sure if I'm ready to give up the otherwise greatly improved performance of Flash 10.1 in web browsers just for Plex…

Also, the Plex developers didn't seem to consider the effect that their code would have on third-party thetvdb.com, which was struggling with an apparent DoS for hours until the owner of the site realized that the Plex app is misbehaving WRT how it requests the metadata. His only temporary recourse was to block Plex users. Whoops! This means, of course, that TV episodes in your library won't get any metadata… and Plex doesn't allow you to manually edit any metadata. Double whoops!

But among this mess, one feature does shine brightly: computer-to-computer streaming. My goodness. No configuration necessary on either server or client; the section name from one computer simply appears in the main menu like a local section on the other computer. It's completely seamless and the performance (at least for SD TV shows I've tried) is wonderful, even over 802.11g. Major win on that point!

Once they get the bugs hammered out, I think Plex 9 is going to be really good.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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sunrain
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portlandia
 
2010-09-02, 02:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad View Post
Apparently Plex 9 has incompatibilities with Flash 10.1 and that's what's breaking most of the video plugins. There's no ETA or apparent commitment by the devs to get 10.1 working, and the standard response is to downgrade to 10.0.x. I'm not sure if I'm ready to give up the otherwise greatly improved performance of Flash 10.1 in web browsers just for Plex…
I'm using Plex on a dedicated box, so that's no big deal for me. I can see the annoyance factor though.

Quote:
Also, the Plex developers didn't seem to consider the effect that their code would have on third-party thetvdb.com, which was struggling with an apparent DoS for hours until the owner of the site realized that the Plex app is misbehaving WRT how it requests the metadata. His only temporary recourse was to block Plex users. Whoops! This means, of course, that TV episodes in your library won't get any metadata… and Plex doesn't allow you to manually edit any metadata. Double whoops!
I'd chalk this up to the pitfalls of a public alpha release. IT sounds as though both sides are working toward an answer.

Plex doesn't allow you to manually edit any metadata... yet. I believe most of the dev time was spent on making sweet love to a ground-up rewrite of the media library. By many accounts it now has very little (technically) to do with the XBMC it came from. Now that they've laid a sweet smelling foundation, the indications are that the feature sets of the media center and the player will blossom.

Quote:
But among this mess, one feature does shine brightly: computer-to-computer streaming. My goodness. No configuration necessary on either server or client; the section name from one computer simply appears in the main menu like a local section on the other computer. It's completely seamless and the performance (at least for SD TV shows I've tried) is wonderful, even over 802.11g. Major win on that point!

Once they get the bugs hammered out, I think Plex 9 is going to be really good.
Agreed all around. Considering the fact they view this as an alpha release, I think it's doing quite serviceably. Just imagine once they hit beta.

"What a computer is to me is it's the most remarkable tool that we've ever come up with, and it's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."
- Steve Jobs
  quote
Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2011-03-13, 03:46

I set up my Mac Mini as a media center using Plex hooked up to my TV in my bedroom. I must admit, after messing around with Plex for the last several days, I'm very impressed. Ripping DVDs is a pain in the ass but it's going to be very worth it once I get everything converted over.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2011-03-13, 04:10

I ended up mostly ditching Plex for the occasional TV show and movie viewing from desktop to laptop in favor of just AFP mounting the desktop's drive and opening the files in VLC or QuickTime Player. I was surprised at how less warm and noisy (fans) my MBP was when doing that as opposed to watching the exact same file through Plex.

Plus, VLC and QTP7 let me boost the volume "to eleven" (and well beyond it) for the movies and shows that have naturally low volumes. With the added fan noise, that made some shows unwatchable (unlistenable?) on the MBP.

If I had a "media-center Mac" that just sat by the TV, it would probably use Plex, though.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2011-03-13, 04:17

The only issue I've really had is that the ESPN 3 plugin doesn't work, though I believe it was a beta. I haven't really tried out any plugins yet. Gonna try Netflix tomorrow because the interface on my Sony bluray player is awesome so I'd welcome an alternate.

A huge plus for Plex is that you can use your iPhone as a remote by buying the Plex iOS app. It's $4.99 but it's well worth it in my mind to be able to use your iPhone or Touch as the remote.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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