Plex Media Server is a solution for streaming media contents to various home and portable devices. Thus, it allows you to manage and share movies, pictures and music from your computer. Luckily, it supports both wired and wireless networks, which makes it compatible with practically every modern device with connection capabilities. The program runs as an icon at the System Tray; however, its user interface is web-based. In order to play the content remotely, you need to install a Plex application on each client device.
This tool can automatically detect the files stored on your hard disks and create a media library, organizing them into different categories. Similarly, it can add artwork and description to each of the items, which makes finding the desired file a lot easier. Likewise, different icons are used to make already played items stand out from the rest. Special attention is deserved by a service called On Deck, a very efficient and convenient way to keep track of whatever contents you have been playing. And not only that, this service can suggest what to do next, like following the order of the episodes in a TV series or watching a newly released film.
Good news is that the application lets you download content from the Cloud, although you would need to buy a Plex Pass, which also allows you to create various user accounts within your home network, including the possibility to add individualized restrictions (parental control).
In general, Plex Media Server is one of the best solutions for sharing media contents over your home network. I suppose most users will be pleased with its easy-to-use interface; yet, this simplicity has a cost in terms of customization. As a result, more experienced users may feel somewhat disappointed not to have direct control over some technical aspects of media streaming, such as transcoding and subtitles.
- Compatible with practically all modern devices
- Automatic media library creation
- Cloud downloads
- Parental restrictions
- Content tracking
- No direct control of technical aspects