Do you have a Mac and would you like to be able to watch, view and listen to all your media in one place, then Plex maybe the application for you. Plex can be downloaded at www.plexapp.com it is for Intel Leopard only. Once you have downloaded and installed it, you will probably want to add those video, audio and image files that you already have burned to you internal or external hard drive. You do this by mapping the drive to Plex. It is fairly easy once you have the files label correctly and there is a tutorial to help you through the process. Once the videos are added Plex will go out to IMdb and pick up all the data on the movie including cover art, synopsis, and even short clips. If you add music from the Itunes library it will also pick up the information from Grace notes.
The next thing you want to do is go into the Application store. There you will see all the Internet sites that you can add. This list grows all the time as more sites are being added, Food network is a recent addition to the list. The Application store is divided into various section including new applications, where you can find any new web sites that have been added. It also divides it into categories like music, video and photos. Most of these are free to use, however some like MLB or Netflix you do have to have an subscription. Others like BBC I.tv are available only in there country of origin unless you use a proxy. Once you have your preferred applications installed, they are ready to be used immediately.
When Plex is working it is a great application, however it does have some problems. When you add your movies and Plex goes out to IMDB to get the information, it doesn’t always get it right. For example, I added the movie The Haunting (orginal 1960’s version) which Imdb picked up as a Haunting in Conneticut. You can go in and correct it manually. It does help to have the video labeled correctly before you have Plex scan for them. The tutorial will tell you how to do that.
The second problem is that if for some reason your hard drive gets disconnected, when you reconnect it sometimes Plex loses the movie information and you have to rescan it again. The third problem is that on occasion when you go to play a video from a Web site, nothing happens. I mean you click the Web site like Hulu and the system just sits there. Most of the time if you shut Plex down and restart it, that will solve the problem. However sometimes that doesn’t work, usually you can find the solution on the forums. The system does work better if you are connected to the router by Ethernet instead of wirelessly. The main short coming with Plex is that it is requires you to watch it on a computer monitor and is not set up to watch on TV. Also if you are in to sharing with your friends, there is no way to do that through Plex. Due to these problems, I don’t think Plex is quite ready for the main stream, however it is constantly improving and definitely going in the right direction.