Archive for the 'Ho, Ho, Ho' Category
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:
- Acquire millions of users.
- Rickroll them.
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.
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.32 comments
Happy New Year! We hope you had a festive and safe celebration. I personally spent the minutes before midnight in fear, as our neighborhood apparently considers launching illegal fireworks as the island equivalent of having the greenest lawn or largest snowblower. Explosions which sounded like mortars shook the house, and rockets clearly on par with the best commercial fireworks shot overhead, one nearly setting a palm tree on fire. Add the staccato of long chains of firecrackers and clouds of acrid smoke wafting over the entire neighborhood, and it was probably the closest I’ve even been to a war zone. And where, might you ask, was Barkley during all this action? Tucked in, completely unfazed by all the antics.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand, our triad of releases to greet the new year, as a harbinger of much awesomeness to come.
First up, we have a major update to the Windows 8 Plex app with a bunch of bug fixes, much improved support for keyboard navigation, audio/subtitle stream selection, universal search, a lovely interface to the channel store, and a new high quality (but experimental) option for video playback which allows re-muxing most H.264 video. It’s available in the Windows 8 store right now.
Next up, Plex/Web is kicking it Gangnam style with an awesome new release, including the much requested ability to upload custom posters, with drag and drop, no less (or from a URL), some sexy tag completion in the editor, support for retina-quality posters on retina devices, and lots of bug fixes. You’ll get the update automatically within the next few hours, or you can force an update, as usual.
You know it’s going to be a big year when we have two photos of Barkley gracing a release post! The second one of course celebrates the new new release of the media server, which has the usual bag of goodies and fixes. You can download it right now from the usual place.
- NEW: Music sections support searching by album.
- NEW: Massive performance improvements for some DLNA streaming scenarios.
- NEW: Allow players to specify a protocol and respect their port.
- NEW: (API) Support for filtering movies by studio.
- NEW: (API) Support for sorting by last view date.
- NEW: (API) Added endpoints for uploading custom media assets (e.g. posters). Used by Plex/Web.
- FIX: Some cache control header updates.
- FIX: A few crashes.
- FIX: (Windows) Workaround for Win 8 security model preventing Plex for Windows 8 from connecting on same machine.
- FIX: (Windows) Crash on start.
- FIX: (Windows) 100% CPU when Plex for Windows 8 is running.
- FIX: (Transcoder) External SRT files with BOM marker weren’t getting rendered.
- FIX: (Transcoder) Faster startup.
- FIX: (PlexSync) Transcoder now handles anamorphic video properly.
- FIX: (PlexSync) Sometimes converted files could be bigger than source files.
- FIX: (PlexSync) Ratings directory was missing.
- FIX: (API) New /channels/arts endpoint which returns channel background art.
- FIX: (API) Resolutions filter can be itself filtered.
- FIX: (API) Don’t return empty studios.
- FIX: (API) Global on deck has mixed parents.
- FIX: (API) Make sure recently viewed channels have identifiers.
- FIX: (API) Fix incorrectly escaping JSON.
- FIX: (API) Fixes for media asset uploads, and select/lock upload.
- FIX: (API) Fix alphanumeric paging with non-alphanumeric characters.
- FIX: (DLNA) Hopeful fix for some heap corruption.
- FIX: Fixed a few (very) rare deadlocks.
- FIX: Fixed iTunes channel for iTunes 11.
- FIX: (Sync) iPad 4s weren’t using the right profile.
- FIX: (Transcoder) Faster starting for transcoded audio.
- FIX: (Transcoder) Fixes for RTMP with new transcoder.
- FIX: (Transcoder) Speed up WebKit transcoder starts.
- FIX: (Transcoder) Fix for some remuxing cases with Win8.
It is the season for giving, and I just want to start by saying how much we appreciate all those who have become PlexPass members. Thank you so much. You literally keep the lights on, and keep us and our families (and dogs) fed. We’re excited and energized to head into 2013 with some huge plans (Could this btobiae the year we bring Trailers back? Bet on it!)
Before the year ends, though, we have a little present for you PlexPassians. A token of our appreciation, if you will. We’ve been working hard to bring it to you, because you’ve been asking for it for quite some time…
That’s right, we have a massive update for our desktop Plex app! It used to be Plex Media Center, but because of the sheer number of people who confused it for Plex Media Server (no, really), we’re rebranding it Plex Home Theater.
So what’s new? Well, we’ve re-synced to upstream XBMC code, to their “frodo” pre-release. But more than that, we’ve completely redone our integration so as to make future updates much, much easier. Our internal codename for the project was Fordo (because, let’s face it, a giant mountain with an impenetrable fortress inside sounds slightly more bad-ass than a little guy with hairy feet).
This brings us up to date with all the latest, which should finally resolve a number of long-standing issues, including A/V sync on SD files, high CPU usage when idle, and adds lots of cool stuff including:
- HD audio support, via the new AudioEngine code, on operating systems which support it.
- 10bit H.264 video
- Airplay support
- Much improved rendering efficiency (“dirty regions”)
- Many bug fixes to home screen, server detection
In typical Plex fashion, we’ve also disabled/removed a bunch of stuff too, in order to make it as lean and fast as possible. It’s not a toaster, microwave, or PVR. Our only interest is making it work as well as humanly possible with our media server.
I also want to point out in BIG CAPITAL LETTERS, that this is a PlexPass preview. It’s definitely pre-release quality. Frodo (the upstream code) hasn’t shipped yet. It’ll crash, and hang, and possibly even overwater your house plants. We’ll be updating it frequently, and when it’s ready to come out of the oven, we’ll release it for everyone.
So, a few important links: You can download the OS X and Windows releases here (yes, you need a PlexPass for this). You can help us figure out what needs fixing in the new release in this new forum (please read the “known issues” sticky). You can build from source yourself and pitch in (it’s so easy now!). (One nice little easter egg: the context menu now works on the home screen to mark an item as watched.)
Most importantly, though – please have yourself a meaningful and happy holiday season. Spend some time with people you love. Pet your children. Hug your dogs and cats. Time with family and friends is more important than presents or material items.
Namaste, and we’ll see you next year!
This release is brought to you by Gordon, our favorite Swedish Plex dog. Gordon’s dad Tobias led the Plex strike force who is behind this new release. Gordon is stoic (obviously), loves the snow, and enjoying curling up in front of a good movie. Barkley’s brother from another, roughly.