There’s no denying that 2016 has been a crazy year, but with just a month to go, curve balls are still being thrown at us. The latest news comes from Plex, which has just announced support for the Kodi media player software.
Kodi has been a pretty big force in the media player industry, having launched as the Xbox Media Player back in 2002. Since then the company has been known as XBMC, and since 2014 known simply as Kodi.
In recent years, the Kodi software has become synonymous with illegal pirating due to the avalanche of modded boxes which have taken the UK by storm. Despite that image, Kodi is a completely legal, free and open-source media player software that is extremely versatile.
While Plex began as an off-shoot of XBMC, the two have taken some drastically different paths. While Kodi is still primarily a media player, Plex has become an extremely powerful and user-friendly media server solution – which is great for accessing media from anywhere in the world.
Plex has already launched apps for Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Roku, Xbox and a whole range of smart TVs, just to name a few, but its latest release enables users to have the best of both worlds.
Launched as a Kodi add-on, the experience is similar to what avid fans of the media server software are used to, albeit from within the Kodi ecosystem. Support for all the features users know and love from Plex is included, meaning users can access their at-home or in-the-cloud media servers to enjoy movies, TV shows, music or photos without having to give up their Kodi media player. There are a few omissions in this release however, with remote control support, channel support and some music features missing.
Kodi is widely regarded as one of the most customisable media centre solutions currently on the market, with countless add-ons and the ability to change every setting on earth to suit the user’s exact needs. Now prospective Plex users needn’t give that up.
So why exactly would anyone want Plex on Kodi? Well, it’s quite simple. The two have morphed into completely different entities over the years meaning their differences now outweigh their similarities. Now with the Plex add-on, users needn’t choose which one to use – or as Plex puts it, ‘they can have their cake and eat it too’.
To get the add-on, users will need to have a Plex Pass subscription, which is not unusual for new features. Those who don’t have a subscription shouldn’t fret – the company has something for those users too, as the Plex Media Player app is now available for free for all. That means users can now enjoy the ability of using a mouse and keyboard to control their media, rather than relying on the TV-style interface.
Plex has had a huge year in 2016. In September, it embraced the installation community with the Plex Pro installer programme, in the same month it launched the ability to run a server from the cloud, while in July the company officially began supporting the Sonos multi-room audio system. It’s clear that there are no signs of slowing down anytime soon.