Plex Media Player has been among the popular home media systems out there. But its availability has been limited only to paying Plex Pass users until recently. The media player will become even more popular after its developers announced Plex Media Player 1.2, a free version of the app that’s now available to all users.
Plex also redesigned the application for easier use on a desktop or laptop computer. The app now includes a desktop mode to let users switch to the TV user interface easily. Plex Media Player’s natural use case is for viewing media on a big screen. But most users have found it hard to navigate a TV UI using a keyboard and mouse in the past. The desktop mode will now allow users to interact with the app as they would with other desktop applications.
The updated app also brings with it two new user interfaces: home cinema and web app. Plex Media Player will display a front end that’s akin to a home cinema when the media center runs in full screen. The app returns to the web user interface, however, when the windowed mode is selected. This is especially helpful for managing and consuming content at the same time.
Version 1.2 also comes with several fixes for proper mp2-in-mkv decoding in Windows and for enabling audio pass-through when users first install the program. Flex also patched some music playback errors. Plex Media Player 1.2 is available to download for users of Windows 7 or later.
Kodi, a Plex alternative, has been a fallback option for users not satisfied with Plex Media Player. The app targets more advanced users, however, so its popularity is limited. To cater to the needs of users who like to tinker every step of the way, Plex has added its add-on for Kodi.
The immersive Plex experience inside Kodi is the result of Plex’s collaboration with some Kodi add-on developers. The add-on delivers the same Plex server discovery, user switching, library browsing, and media playback features to users. The add-on is available for Plex Pass users as of this time.