Following a blog post issued last Wednesday, the latest version of the Plex Media Player is now free for everyone, and the company will now offer users the opportunity to connect their software to the Kodi home theater system via a Plex add-on.
This development is the latest in a series of upgrades the Plex software has been undergoing. Most of its client apps have been revamped from scratch, offering customers new experiences in photo display, audio, and now video streaming.
A partnership between Plex and Kodi means users will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. On one hand, they have Plex’s streaming features, on the other, Kodi’s power and much-needed customizability.
What are Plex and Kodi?
— Plex (@plex) December 1, 2016
The Plex media server is a piece of software that allows users stream audiovisual content on any platform, anywhere in the world. Plex works to make a user’s content available on smartphones, smart TVs, PCs, game consoles, and tablets.
Kodi is an open-source media player that has become the standard for free home theater applications because of its dedicated user interface. It is also multi-platform, just like Plex, and comes from the same developer, the XBMC Foundation.
Kodi for Plex: initial features and how to get it
Though Plex is now a free media player, the new Plex for Kodi add-on remains limited for premium Plex Pass subscribers only as a preview.
Plex released a list of features that includes both premium and free versions, so a no-cost version of the plugin might come soon.
The Kodi for Plex app will have support for “virtually” all file types, audio and video, including high-quality file extensions. Plex does not specify which formats it does not support.
The cross-platform availability ensures that users will be able to run it on any device, keeping the same media platform quality and playback experience across screens. The app, however free, requires a one-time unlock fee for full playback on Windows, Android, and iOS.
Plex’s common characteristics are available alongside some new additions
The software’s signature library organization, which has received mixed reviews from users, will still be available. Aside from this, there is Plex’s encryption system for privacy and security, and library sharing for people to exchange media content.
Plex will also recommend users new content and help them discover related items that might entertain them.
Premium-only features include the new Plex DVR addition for recording and playback of broadcast TV channels on all devices, managed only through the desktop version. It also includes audio fingerprinting, multiple users, and parental control.