We have an awesome media server update for you today. One of the last in the 0.9.7 series, as we inch ever closer to that mythical one-dot-oh. (There’s some amazing stuff coming in the 0.9.8 series, already in active development!)
One of the most notable things about this release are all the changes in the new transcoder. This transcoder can burn image-based subtitles (PGS and VOBSUB), it’s much faster than the old one, resolves many issues the old one had (including quite a few issues with Roku, like the infamous AC3 issue), and we’re in the process of updating all the clients to use it.
The new transcoder is used by default with the new Plex for Android app, the latest version of Plex/Web, and by PlexSync, of course. The next release of iOS (out shortly) can be used with it, as will the next release of Plex for Roku, and we’ll be updating the DLNA server to use it as well.
Let’s get into the details; lots of stuff, as it’s been baking in PlexPass for a while. As you might expect, the majority of the changes are fixes, as we work to get 0.9.7 rock solid. You can pick up the update directly from the usual place, or wait for autoupdate to kick in shortly.
- NEW: Auto-select forced subtitles. I don’t speak alien either.
- NEW: (API) More information passed back at root level to aid PlexSync clients.
- NEW: (API) Final transcode resolution passed back for transcode session endpoint.
- NEW: (API) Add a “transcoderVideo” flag at root if we support transcoding video.
- NEW: (API) Allow callers to specify a background color when transcoding to JPEG.
- NEW: (API) Add viewStateUpdatedAt for global OnDeck to allow sorting.
- NEW: (API) export library section UUIDs for PlexSync.
- NEW: (Android) Add FLAC as a direct play profile (syncing at less than “highest” will convert to MP3).
- NEW: Added device notifications for sync (in progress, item complete). Mostly helps Kepler.
- NEW: (PlexSync) Support for syncing show banners.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Massive speedups for the new transcoder in many scenarios (sync, streaming, seeking). It should be 2x to 3x faster (around 2x faster than the old transcoder), and will resolve many issues of stuttering and buffering some have seen.
- FIX: A bug where timed library updates might only happen every other interval.
- FIX: A major regression with subtitles causing transcoder to exit on certain OS X systems.
- FIX: A case where we didn’t allow the host system to sleep.
- FIX: Improvements to audio stream picking heuristics.
- FIX: A hang when WebKit transcodes failed.
- FIX: Some EAC3 streams showed up as “EC-3″.
- FIX: Use media analysis duration instead of likely meaningless metadata duration when possible.
- FIX: Improved elastic thread pool behavior, less pressure on thread creation/destruction.
- FIX: Fixed an issue where background color wasn’t correct in the image transcoder (fixes section icons on Roku).
- FIX: (OS X) Fix auto-update library failing under certain conditions.
- FIX: (OS X) Show Plex/Web preferences by default, option-click shows old Cocoa prefs.
- FIX: Improve Kepler transcoder profile, add Plex/Web profile.
- FIX: (ReadyNAS) Update packaging, fix temp folder path.
- FIX: (Ubuntu) Upstart fix.
- FIX: (Fedora) Fixes in scripts.
- FIX: (Roku) Improve profile, disable anamorphic video.
- FIX: (Kepler) Limit AAC to two channel, so 5.1 gets mixed down when streaming on mobile devices.
- FIX: (Kepler) Fix for anamorphic video displaying incorrectly.
- FIX: (Windows) Don’t let PYTHONPATH interfere with our Python. Fixes some startup issues.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Upgrade to ffmpeg 1.1.2
- FIX: (New transcoder) Allow specifying max bitrate.
- FIX: (New transcoder) MPEG4 inside AVI files didn’t work.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Allow for faster seeking for clients that support it.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Don’t send back blank segments when transcoder dies.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Allow other users access to transcode session information.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Use higher bitrate when converting other codecs to AAC.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Improve quality when transcoding interlaced content.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Greatly improved AAC audio quality.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Remove MP3 from iOS HLS transcode target.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Improved support for remuxing with multichannel audio.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Support transcoding between multi-channel formats.
- FIX: (New transcoder) We failed with some content due to scaling bug (Vimeo, TED).
- FIX: (New transcoder) Send more logs up to the media server to help diagnosing issues.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Fix an issue when remuxed videos failed or acted weirdly.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Fix issue with last character being missing in SRT subs.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Fix SRT subs showing <font> tags.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Improve accuracy of bitrate in M3U8, helps Roku.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Improve bandwidth estimates for HLS.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Some indirect videos failed to play.
- FIX: (New transcoder) We were generating MPEGTS streams which occasionally made the Roku crash.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Improve reliability of new transcoder when resuming.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Some VOBSUB subtitles inside MKV files weren’t burned.
- FIX: (New transcoder) Some high bitrate stereo content failed to transcode.
I’ll let the tireless Plex mascot have the last word, as usual. Barkley’s been dragging me down to the beach twice a day for a lagoon swim, and if I’m not mistaken, his paws are growing more and more webbed.