Archive for the 'Status' Category
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.
They say on the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog. That’s true, until you hire one as your CFO. That’s right, Barkley has come on to help us out over Christmas, and with his inspired direction, we have a few PlexPass updates to share. You’ve been kind enough to have shared some great feedback over the past couple of weeks, and we’d like to go over some changes we hope will address many of the questions people have had.
First of all, we’ve enabled subscription upgrades! You can now upgrade from monthly to yearly, and from yearly to lifetime, even if your subscription is cancelled. To keep things simple and fair, we issue a prorated refund of your existing subscription, and then sign you up for the new one. (My inbox is literally stuffed to the gills with emails asking for this feature, and I apologize for not responding personally to each one.)
Next, we’ve also added support for paying with PayPal. I know this was something many of you (especially those outside the US) requested. Again, in order to keep things simple, right now we just allow purchasing non-recurring year and lifetime PlexPasses.
Finally, one of the most common questions that arose was around premium features like PlexSync. Now originally, we had pictured PlexPass as being something tailored specifically for those people who love early access to new features in development. Many other people simply prefer to get a feature when it’s stable and fully working, and so we thought it made sense to separate these two classes of users into different subscription packages.
However, after reading all of your comments, and reevaluating, we’ve decided to make things even simpler: Raise your glass of eggnog, because if you have a PlexPass, it’ll get you access to all premium features, from the beta stage onwards, and there will be no separate premium subscription. So PlexSync is yours to keep, and we certainly hope you’re getting good use out of it in this busy holiday season!
One little caveat: your PlexPass will include all future premium features – and we’ve got some awesome ones planned – with one rather obvious exception. If we ever add some sort of premium content (say, for example, we start producing our own episodic show centered on a wise-cracking dwarf, an incestuous queen, and giant ice-zombies), access to that content would obviously be an add-on to the subscription. But I mean, who wouldn’t pay extra for ice-zombies?
Lastly, a few people have expressed an aversion for any sort of subscription model. We respect that, and it’s for that reason that we’ve left around the Lifetime plan, as it’s a one-time purchase. It won’t be around in perpetuity, and when/if it comes back, it’ll likely be higher priced, but at least until the end of the year, you can get your platinum-plated, diamond-studded lifetime PlexPass and avoid a recurring plan.
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season!106 comments
About 10 weeks ago, we did something a little different: We released a new Plex web app into the hands of our PlexPass members. The app wasn’t finished by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a giant step towards replacing the aging and slow Plex web manager (and the aging and slow Cocoa manager on OS X), and a giant leap into the future, where you could access, organize, and play all of your media from anywhere in the world with just a web browser.
Releasing as early as we did to a group so passionate about Plex was an unqualified success. Over this period, we made about 10 releases of the app into PlexPass, adding features, implementing your suggestions, and fixing the bugs you reported. We want to thank you all – from the bottom of our hearts – for your help and feedback. Because of you, we have a much better app to show as a result.
To those who are not yet PlexPass members, we are shortly going to be releasing into your hands something that we’re very proud of. We’re confident that because of this PlexPass “gauntlet” it had to pass through, you’re getting a better app than you otherwise would have, and mostly likely sooner than you would have otherwise gotten it. Those guys really held our feet to the fire And if you would like to help shape Plex, and get early access to cool stuff, you can sign up here!
During the same period, we also made three pre-releases of the next Plex Media Server to PlexPass members, with added API functionality for Plex/Web and a few other really cool things we wanted to preview. One of those is a new transcoder which goes idle when it gets ahead, instead of simply taking up the entire CPU. It also supports subtitles on the PS3. We’ll release it publicly at the same time as Plex/Web.
At around the same time as we launch Plex/Web and the new media server, we’ll be introducing a brand new preview for our PlexPass members, of a premium feature. We can’t say anything more about it except that if you have a mobile device, we think you’ll really, really like it.
Without further ado, let’s take a quick tour through some of the coolest things we’ve added to Plex/Web in this period. First up, something that’s been requested for literally years, multi-selection. Type in “star wars” in the quick filter, select all the movies, and add them to a new collection. Or delete the ones with Jar Jar.
We’ve also added support for universal search. Quickly search for movies, artist, albums, shows, episodes, and online videos from a single place. I do love my zombie movies, apparently.
Sometimes it’s late at night, we’re all hanging out in the Plex chat room, and someone says “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” That’s how remote playback got added; that’s right, you can now fling media from any web browser to Plex apps which support remote control.
We’ve also added support for audio stream and subtitle selection, as well as actually displaying subtitles in the player.
We’ve also added support for browsing audio and photo channels (and improved support for video channels).
The On Deck feature is super popular, so we added an easy one-click way to access it inside sections.
One of our foremost goals with Plex/Web was to greatly improve the “first run” experience for new users. Historically, on OS X we had a wizard, but it was out of date; on Linux and Windows, we didn’t have anything at all. We’re now thrilled that Plex/Web has an extensive setup wizard which integrates myPlex setup, lets you drag the bookmarklet right from the wizard, and lots of other stuff.
Last, but not least, the media server keeps a rich universe of information about your media, and we’re trying to do more to expose it. To this end, we added a nice “media info” dialog which shows lots of details. Media nerds will love it, and it’ll definitely help for diagnostic purposes.
In summary, Plex/Web kicks some galactic-level derrière. Coming soon, to a browser near you…
(And if you’re dying to check it out right now, get yourself a backstage PlexPass…)91 comments