The popular personal media center app Plex has been approved by Apple and is now officially available on the new Apple TV. The app itself is free, but some of its functionality is only available to users who pay for Plex’s premium subscription tier.
Plex allows users to play videos, music and photos saved on their home computer, networked storage drives and even cloud services. Over the last few years, Plex has emerged as the most popular solution for personal media playback on mobile phones, tablets and streaming devices, thanks to an impressive device footprint: Plex has been available on Roku, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox and Playstation, Fire TV and a number of smart TV platforms.
The lone holdout has long been Apple TV. Plex’s developers recounted waiting for Apple to open up the device for years on their blog Monday: “Over the years, we heard numerous rumors that Apple was going to open up their platform, and add a real app store. Every single WWDC the rumors heated up, we got excited (along with half the Internet), and then our hopes ended up dashed on some fairly sharp rocks. (…) How long could Apple hold out? Turns out, until about 6 weeks ago.”
Plex was initially synonymous with the playback of downloaded content, but the startup has put a big effort into widening its appeal over the last two years by adding better support for photos and home videos as well as music. Earlier this year, Plex rolled out enhanced support for music content, adding videos through a collaboration with Vevo and allowing users to automatically build Pandora-like playlists based on their personal music collection.