Plex is constantly getting new features. One of the most exciting one for us is the new PlexSync for iOS. It is currently only available for PlexPass subscribers but we gave it a test run.
Plex for some time now supports streaming from your Media Server to any Plex Client and encoding the stream based on your internet connection. The problem with this approach is that while it is great to have your complete library with you all the time, it is limited by connection and of course costs when we talk about streaming to your phone while using 3G.
PlexSync solves this issue by syncing the content you want to watch to your device so you can watch it later without any internet connect. The setup is quite simple.
First make sure you have the latest version of Plex for iOS (3.0) and also your Plex Media Server is up to date (0.9.7.3). As said you currently need a PlexPass subscription to use the feature, so login with your account to enable it. From there on syncing is a simple press of a button (actually a quite small button on the top right of the app). The sync functionality is integrated in every level of your library so you can sync complete Categories (TV Shows or Movies), a bunch of items (great for TV shows) or a single show or movie. Plex will immediately start the sync process (a combination of recoding the video based on your quality settings and the copy process). Plex will show in the Sync Windows what’s going on an we saw an average of 3 -5 times encoding (we didn’t use the latest and fastest HW, so that might be different from Plex Server to Plex Server).
Also nice is that you can limit when and how PlexSync works with your content. Not only can you set the quality of the video, you can also limit the downlaod to WiFi only to save money and you can either rely on Plex doing its thing or sync manually.
While you can set the details what is going to be synced (number of episodes and total playing time) we really miss one feature. I would love to see “sync latest episodes and/or movies” as a single button function. I use Couch Potato and Sickbeard to get the latest content and it would be great to be traveling and have them synced to my device when they arrive. It would need some tweaking on how Plex Server is communicating with the iOS client, but a push message when new content is found should be easy to implement.
This being the only downside (and it’s more a personal thing), PlexSync is great, works without flaws (big difference to the latest Plex Media Server (more on this later) and is a great add on to Plex.