Plex is a fantastic multi-platform media center that runs on Macs and Windows PCs and has great iOS and Android clients. Plex has updated to version 1.1. The latest version includes many new and updated features, like improved subtitle and audio stream selection support, Direct Streaming and Direct Play support.
Once installed on your desktop machine (which becomes a “server”) Plex can fetch music, movies and TV shows stored on your computer or anywhere else on an external hard drive, organize them properly into categories by adding the correct metadata, and handle streaming to the clients (such as the iPhone or iPad apps) with live conversion of unsupported video formats. All your media can also be played locally on a computer without the need of a mobile client thanks to the desktop Plex app, which is highly customizable: you can add your own themes, install plugins (like Spotify) and connect to online content providers such as the CNN, Vimeo, Cnet TV, Youtube, Apple Movie Trailers and many others. If that’s not enough for you, Plex can also enable you to connect to your media library remotely via WiFi or 3G with a global hostname, through the iOS apps.
One interesting addition is TV out and AirPlay support, though the latter is still “experimental,” which suggests less-than-optimal performance.
Plex 1.1 also offers much improved live encoding. For example, Plex 1.1 will note what your Apple TV 2 can manage and only convert what needs to be converted, leaving other streams intact.
Plex 1.1 is available from the App Store now for $4.99. Also, grab Plex for Mac to enjoy video, music, pictures and more.