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Plex Kills Off Plugins, Cloud Sync

Media center app maker Plex is saying good-bye to the cloud: After announcing the closure of its Plex Cloud service earlier this month, the company is now also getting rid of a feature that allowed consumers to sync their media collections to the cloud.

Plex announced the change in a blog post Tuesday that also announced the sunsetting of a few other features, including Plex’s plugin integration and its Watch Later bookmarking.

“Plex has been around for the better part of a decade, and software has a way of behaving like your garage: You had every intention of keeping it neat and organized, but every nook is somehow filled with ‘Star Wars’ figurines and Amiibos,” the company wrote on its blog. “So it’s critical to hold the occasional yard sale and get rid of all the accumulated cruft.”

“We didn’t approach the process lightly; we looked over usage numbers and took into account maintenance costs and general customer satisfaction,” it added. “In some cases, we have plans for a future in which a better replacement shows up. Other things, we’re just stabbing in the chest repeatedly with a wooden stake (and hoping it’s not a zombie).”

Plex first introduced Cloud Sync 5 years ago as a way for consumers to sync parts of their media collection to cloud storage accounts, including those offered by Google and Dropbox. This allowed consumers to keep access to media even when their local Plex server wasn’t available. However, the company said Tuesday that it has seen “very low usage” for Cloud Sync, and that the underlying technology was ripe for a revamp.

One of the other more notable changes is the sunsetting of plugins. Plex has long offered users the ability to install plugins to let people access online content. However, the company said Tuesday that this feature has only been used by 2% of its users, and that it was too burdensome to continue to support the technology.

The move away from plugins makes a lot of sense for Plex: Originally designed as an app for personal media collections, Plex has been putting a lot of emphasis on adding online content, including news and podcasts, in recent months. Each of these new content categories are much more tightly integrated into Plex than content brought in via plugins.

Plex did use Tuesday’s blog post to also highlight a few new and upcoming features: The company is beginning to test better subtitle support, and it promised to improve its sync feature for mobile device syncing as well as playback on Android.

 

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