Plex for Android and Google TV version 126.96.36.199 – includes connection, remote control and myPlex fixes.
This release brings you a critical fix for the myPlex Queue and Shares on the Google TV. Rest assured, we’ve been properly beaten for that. In addition to that critical fix, we’ve pulled in fixes for remote control, some long standing connection issues, and some big hitters that you’ve submitted to us from the field.
Fixes related to Plex for Android
The first bunch are related to connections to Plex Media Servers. The first two issues in particular were causing some seriously frustrating problems where some people could only get to their media servers when AWAY from home:
FIX an issue where unauthorized remote connections were incorrectly categorized as reachable.
FIX an issue where local connections aren’t chosen over remote connections when detected and reachable.
FIX an issue where sometimes servers would be listed with name of section rather than server.
And some fixes for the newly introduced remote control feature:
FIX remote controlled Androids now properly resume video in progress.
FIX when video started from remote control ends – return back to original view.
FIX when navigating to remote control Loading dialog never dissappears.
FIX where network logging failed to work on some devices / in some cases.
FIX about a dozen assorted field reported crash conditions.
Extras for Google TV
Google TV users pick up all the fixes above and:
FIX myPlex Queue and Shares now load properly again.
FIX always refresh the last selected flyout when returning to Home – so that you can finally see updates to onDeck and channels and so forth without having to reload the page.
Fair Warning – Redux
There are now 13 customers running Plex on Donut which means 4 of you upgraded! Good job! To the remaining 13 people there is good news – you should still be able to run this release on Donut (1.6) but SERIOUSLY the next version of Plex for Android will (almost) certainly not support it. 13 is an unlucky number – please upgrade. Thanks!
As always we’d like to extend a special thank you to the Plex for Android Alpha Test Team. They do more than you’ll ever know to make every release better!
Follow me here at darrin.plexapp.com or on Twitter for mostly Android and Google TV updates. To keep informed on all the latest Plex news follow us on Twitter or Facebook or tune in to our blog elan.plexapp.com for a wide array of Plex information.
If you run into trouble or otherwise need help please come talk to us: http://www.plexapp.com/help/.
Those of you who have been paying careful attention may have noticed that releases of Plex for Android and Google TV went live yesterday morning. We think you’ll find that this release (version 188.8.131.52) offers a nice little kick to performance as well as being generally better behaved – yep, this is a performance and stability release.
Plex for Android just got a bit faster…
Is your seatbelt buckled? Without further ado here’s what to expect out of this release:
NEW a number of optimizations and performance improvements around especially around page and image load times.
FIX an issue where loading dialog was not being dismissed properly.
FIX connection and reconnection logic to cope with failure to connect issues, network outages and transient network issues.
FIX to allow the audio player to seek backwards.
FIX eliminate progress indicators and option to resume audio.
FIX duration was sometimes not being calculated correctly.
FIX quit followed by a quick start no longer closes immediately on those nimble enough to have noticed this.
FIX don’t reload/rerender the home screen every time. Feel free to push the nifty refresh button in the upper left corner of the app to your heart’s content!
FIX a number of field reported crash conditions. Thanks for keeping those reports coming!
Extras for Google TV
In addition to the above there are a number of things worth mentioning that are particular to Plex for the Google TV which was also released today:
NEW Support for Plex Remote controls. You can now use Plex for Android or Plex for iOS to control Plex on your Google TV!
NEW Media Info is now displayed at top of screen when playback controls are visible.
NEW Network logging (off by default) – which we may someday ask you to turn on if you run into an tricky issue when using Plex for Google TV.
FIX An issue where Plex was failing to fall back to transcode (from Direct Play) in some situations.
FIX Seek bar doesn’t jump around anymore.
FIX An issue where Channels list was getting lost on reload.
FIX Scrobble only once.
FIX Reporting progress too often when connected to wifi and talking to remote server.
FIX Flush Cache and Reset Defaults moved out of options menu onto preference screen.
FIX Removed unnecessary logging
The next version of Plex for Android will no longer offer support for Donut (Android version 1.6). If you’re one of the 17 customers this impacts please, please, PLEEEASE consider upgrading your Android device!
We’d like to extend a special thank you to the unspoken heroes of every Plex release on Android and Google TV: the Plex for Android Alpha Test Team. They are capable of leaping small buildings and do more than you’ll ever know to make every release better.
Follow me here at darrin.plexapp.com or on Twitter for mostly Android and Google TV updates. To keep informed on all the latest Plex news follow us on Twitter or Facebook or tune in to our blog elan.plexapp.com for a wide array of Plex information.
As always we hope you enjoy! Come talk to us if you find any issues!12 comments
It’s been far too long, in our opinion, since the last release of Plex for Android. Despite all appearances to the contrary, we’ve not been idling. In addition to being at GoogleIO and demoing on the new Vizio Google TV, we’ve been deep in the bowels of the labs at Plex working on some new features. Without further ado – here they are:
A number of people have asked for this in the past. It’s great that you can hook up your tablet to your TV, but what a pain to have to get up out of your couch to control video playback. Now every Plex for Android device supports remote control from any of our mobile clients. Likewise, you can also choose to navigate on your mobile device and simply play the media on your Android.
Experimental QuickSilver Transcoding
We’re proud to introduce support for the new QuickSilver Transcoder, present in the latest beta of the Plex Media Server. While this is a general transcode mechanism that you’re likely to hear more about in the future, this initial release is tuned especially for Kindle Fire users. This has been a long time coming, and there have been a number of hurdles we’ve had to overcome. It’s still quite early for this technology, but we think Kindle Fire users will notice significantly improved video quality when this feature is turned on.
This feature is not on by default (yet). If you want to try it, you’ll need to go into Advanced Settings and switch the ‘Transcode’ setting to use Quicksilver. Also note that you’ll need to be on a more recent version of the Plex Media Server (0.9.6.3 or higher) – your Android client will tell you if you need to upgrade. If you’re on a Kindle Fire, give it a try and please let us know how it works for you!
One thing you’ll notice if you switch to Quicksilver is that Video Quality on the Settings page will change a bit. When talking about QuickSilver we talk in screen resolutions, rather than bit rates. Feel free to play with these… but don’t be surprised if “Full HQ” doesn’t yet work. Please back down to what works for you.
Please note that QuickSilver is still highly experimental. If you’re bold and want to be known for living on the edge, feel free to give QuickSilver a try! If it works well for you please contact us and let us know what device, model and settings you’re using so we can share with other Plexians! If it doesn’t work, please switch back to your normal settings – we’re not yet ready to debug field issues with this feature.
Here is a more complete list of fixes and changes in this release:
- NEW: Experimental Transcode method (Quicksilver).
- NEW: Android devices can receive remote control commands and publish themselves as players. Can be turned on/off. On by default.
- NEW: Network logging for troubleshooting. Down with the logcat! If you’re helping us troubleshoot you may opt into Network Logging from Advanced Settings to turn on Plex Client and PMS logging for 10 minute intervals.
- NEW: Media Info displayed at top of screen when playback controls are visible.
- FIX: an issue where sometimes Plex would get stuck on ‘Loading’ the Home Screen.
- FIX: playback issues on some ICS devices (e.g. HTC One).
- FIX: an issue where hints in myPlex dialogs/fields were not appearing so it wasn’t clear what went into each field.
- FIX: weird seekbar behavior where it would temporarily skip around before seeking was complete.
- UPDATE: Added a number of devices to the “Device Supports HLS” list.
Of course there’s many other little bugfixes. Please let us know via the Plex for Android Forums how it works for you!
As always we’d like to extend a special thank you to the Plex for Android Alpha Test Team for helping us vet innumerable internal releases! You are the unspoken but NEVER under-appreciated heroes of every release! Thanks gang!
As a last little bit of fun – maybe you can help tell me where in the world I am here?
Follow me here at darrin.plexapp.com or on Twitter for mostly Android and Google TV updates. To keep informed on all the latest Plex news follow us on Twitter or Facebook or tune in to our blog elan.plexapp.com for a wide array of Plex information.31 comments
Yes – it’s been a while since we’ve talked. We wanted to give you a quick update to let you know we still love you! :)
While we’ve been quiet lately, we HAVE been busily working on updating Plex for Android. There have been a number of the changes deep in the bowels of the system, so we’ve had a longer test cycle than usual. We apologize for the delay… some of these fixes have been a LONG time in coming. Still, we think you’re going to be pleased with this release.
The thing you’ll notice first when spinning up this release is that it’s quite a bit snappier. Navigation, page loads, image loading and scrolling should all be noticeably faster. Beyond that, this release fixes many issues large and small that our community reported and has been patiently waiting for.
One thing you may not notice that I’ll tip you off about is that you can now long press just about any media item, just about anywhere, to bring up details if it has them – which is particularly useful if you’re launching stuff from the home page. Some may not care but as for me – well – I think it’s cool if only for the little thrill I get with every buzz of haptic feedback that comes with the long-press.
Here’s the high level list, though there are many more fixes in here:
- IMPROVED performance of navigation and image loading.
- IMPROVED media selection logic – more channels play and quality better matches settings.
- NEW long press on a media item takes you to details if they’re available so you no longer have to aim at the little ‘i’. It’s a small thing we know.
- NEW configurable logging levels – the default is that Plex will now only display errors in the logs.
- NEW ability to control your remote media players in addition to those on your local network (helps when your phone isn’t on your local wifi for example).
- FIX lights out / low profile during media playback in ICS.
- FIX some cases where subtitles weren’t being picked up and displayed.
- FIX in Plex search capabilities.
- FIX numerous connection related problems.
- FIX memory leaks especially related to images.
- FIX an issue where quality settings above 8Mbps were ignored.
- FIX a problem where some channels (Flash and Silverlight video) were always playing at the lowest quality.
- FIX for many, many other field and forums reported issues.
The proof is in the pudding. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
We’d like to extend a special thank you to the Plex for Android Alpha Test Team – nice job gang!
It’s been a long while since my last post. We’ve been very hard at work with lots of new and exciting things in the pipeline. Today I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve JUST released a shiny new home screen which kicks off the first in an exciting series of updates that will completely overhaul the user experience for Plex on your Google TV. There are LOTs of people new to Plex and because we think this release is going to completely change how you use Plex on your Google TV, we’ve decided to take this opportunity to start from the beginning and walk through the concept of Plex as we introduce the new home screen. If you’re a veteran fully versed in the wonders of Plex – feel free to jump down to the first screenshot to get to the juicy stuff.
If you want to display all of your favorite local and online media (video, music, and photos) seamlessly on your big screen TV there’s no better way than with Plex for Google TV. Imagine being able to watch your Battlestar Galactica collection, your extensive Beatles collection and your family photos without having to convert files formats or move files over to the Google TV. Plex can stream your music, photos and video in real time.
In addition to playback of your local content, Plex supports a growing number of channels from many of your favorite online providers, giving you an easy and consistent way to consume your favorite online content. For example, you can peruse CNN for the latest news, and CNET for the timely technology updates. With support for over 200 other content providers there are lots of other great channels, including Vimeo, Revision3, Live Music Archive, and NPR. Also, if you sign up for myPlex (more on this later), you can queue up interesting videos as you come across them, as well as share your media with friends and family.
If you’ve never used Plex before, and you want to connect to your local content, you’ll need to install the Plex Media Server on a PC, Mac or Linux to get started. During installation you tell the Plex Media Server where to find your media, and it will organize it, pulling down cover art, ratings and other goodies to make your media browsing experience wonderful. Here are Detailed instructions on Installing the Plex Media Server.
From there it’s easy – download Plex for Google TV from the Android Market. Upon startup, Plex for Google TV will scan your network and automatically connect to the home page for the Plex Media Server you just set up. The latest release of Plex for Google TV has a redesigned home page that makes Plex for Google TV one of the very best Plex clients available. It offers the means to quickly get to your media library, channels, shares and your myPlex queue.
Let’s have a closer look!
The home page is divided into two parts – on the left are the movie, TV shows, photo and music sections that you added to the media server during setup. You’ll also see sections for recently used channels, your myPlex queue as well as sections others are sharing with you. The right side will show you details as you flip through items on the left. Plex shows you the most important information from each section so that you spend less time looking for media and more time enjoying it. Here for example is the TV section.
There are two panels shown for TV shows. The bottom panel shows the most recently added episodes. The top ‘On Deck’ panel keeps track of where you are in each TV series you’ve been watching, so that you can quickly and easily pick up where you left off. ‘On Deck’ is cool for those of us (like me) that can’t remember where we left the remote, let alone what episode of each TV series we were on. As you watch each episode, Plex keeps track, so when you’re finished watching the ‘On Deck’ section will update with the next episode if it’s available in your media library.
Other types of media are handled similarly. Below is a movie section where the ‘On Deck’ section lists any movies that are partially watched and again the lower panel shows the most recently added films.
If you use Plex to access online content, you’re also in luck. The Video, Music and Photo Channel sections offer you an easy way to get to channels you’ve used most recently.
Last but certainly not least – Plex offers an online service called myPlex with some really cool features. First of all, myPlex makes it incredibly easy to access your media while on the road from your mobile device. Simply sign into myPlex and you’ll have instant access to all your home media. For more info check out Plex for Android.
myPlex also allows you to share your instantly share content with friends and family. Instead of having to upload that new baby video or your vacation photos, simply share them with your family in a few clicks. These shared sections will then show up in ‘Shared Sections’ on the home page.
To share simply navigate to https://my.plexapp.com/servers. Select the orange share link which displays how many users you’re sharing with currently to bring you the share details page.
From here you can invite whomever you want to share sections of your choosing:
Lastly, myPlex offers a bookmarklet for you to easily save any interesting media that you run across while browsing the web, or that your friends and family email.
These videos show up right away in your queue on the Plex home page. Run across an interesting video on your mobile phone? You can simply email it right to your myPlex queue!
You can read more about myPlex and sign up here: https://my.plexapp.com/
If you’re looking for a way to access your media on your big screen TV you should definitely check out Plex for Google TV. Give it a try and I think you’ll agree that Plex for Google TV is a beautiful way to access your media. Now sit back, relax, start Plex for Google TV on that gorgeous flat panel screen, and let Plex do the heavy lifting for you!
To use Plex App on your Google TV, download it from the Android Market. If you’re new to Plex start off with the free Plex Media Server and desktop client versions. Plex is also available on a growing number of clients including Android, iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc), Roku devices, Google TV, Mac Desktop, Windows Desktops as well as many Samsung devices, and LG TVs with Media Link. Coming soon – support for DLNA and our WP7 client! You can get more information on any and all of these at www.plexapp.com.
Yep – it’s rolling out as we speak! We started receiving reports a couple days ago from users that the latest patch release for Google TV is being rolled out and happily we can confirm that it does include the enhanced HLS support we’ve been talking about for so long. So go grab the new Plex release to make sure Plex will make use of the new enhanced HLS support – bringing you broader video support, more channels, subtitles and more.
What does it all mean?
World peace!? Well maybe not quite – though we’d like to think that it brings us one step closer!
We’ve covered what this will mean for you in some detail in my previous blog post – but here’s the quick summary:
Here’s the full set of fixes in the 184.108.40.206 release for Plex for Google TV:
To keep informed on the latest Plex news follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Or tune in to one of our blogs elan.plexapp.com for a wide array of Plex information or darrin.plexapp.com for mostly Android updates.12 comments
Happy New Year!! Whatever regrets you may have about last night, or even last year, toss them aside – it’s time to get your Plex on.
To bring in 2012 we’ve got a couple announcements (below) and a stability patch.
We’ve addressed a couple issues and added a couple little features to help make Plex a little nicer until enhanced HLS support arrives (more on that below):
- NEW: zoom options using the zoom keys or ‘z’ cycles through: scale to fit and full screen.
- FIX: Direct Play from secure remote server – so you can now access your friend’s shares on your Google TV.
- FIX: don’t (yet) show channels on the home page if they absolutely require HLS.
- FIX: give a sensible error message if the user attempts to play a video that requires HLS.
- NEW: Alert the user if they go into “More Channels” but they don’t have HLS support.
- FIX: an issue where connections were sticking.
- FIX: an issue where video was improperly resized after seek/scrub on some devices.
- FIX: Artist appears again in Notifications as music plays.
- NEW: If no channels are installed there is now a button allow you to install them from home page.
Coming Soon – Enhanced HLS Support for Google TV
For many the Plex for Google TV release has been somewhat frustrating because it’s hard to know which items from your media library are supported on the platform and which are not. Some of the enhancements in this patch release will help with that the fact remains that you’ll have some media that doesn’t play. We’ve talked about the fact that when the Google TV supports enhanced HLS that Plex will be able support transcode and therefore will allow Plex for Google TV to play media it cannot support natively.
Unfortunately we’ve not been able to tell you if and when that will be… until now… So we are very happy to announce:
YES – Google IS working on enhanced HLS in a future update for Google TV. We’ve done early tests with the enhanced HLS for the patch and are happy to report that indeed it works great with Plex! Now – we’re not allowed to say when this will hit the streets – but it is coming!
What does this mean for you? Well – it will mean that you’ll be able to get all the Plex goodness that you’ve come to know and love. Plex for Google TV will be a full fledged Plex Client. Specifically with enhanced HLS the following will begin to work for you:
- All video containers, codecs, formats that Plex supports will be streamable to your Google TV.
- A much broader set of video channels will begin to work! All those that work on Plex for Android will work here on the Google TV.
- Subtitles will work – so you can understand what they’re saying in those foreign flicks!
- Audio Stream selection – will allow you to choose the audio track in cases when your video has multiple languages.
And one more thing…
As we announced here – we priced Plex for Google TV at $.99 for one week (normally $4.99). This was to ease the pain for those who bought our Plex for Android product solely to use on the Google TV and were then forced to move over to the new Plex for Google TV. Obviously we decided to keep Plex for Google TV at this price point and it will remain at that price point – for now.
So – it’s still less than a buck for all current and future Plex goodness on your Google TV!
To keep informed on the latest Plex news follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Or tune in to one of our blogs elan.plexapp.com for a wide array of Plex information or darrin.plexapp.com for mostly Android updates.21 comments
The Android team has worked off the Thanksgiving turkey and has gotten a nice head start on our annual holiday “cookie belly” since we last talked. [Editors Note: picture of cookie-belly removed to protect the innocent.] Still we’ve not been sitting on our laurels. In fact we’ve been just itching to get this release out to you – but it always seemed there was one more thing we needed to fix before releasing. Without further ado – here’s what’s in Plex for Android 220.127.116.11:
Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) Support
A number of folks out there got ICS working but it needed some special tweaking and had some strange UI artifacts on screen when playing video. Plex now recognizes the ICS and will configure the video system properly for playback so no more need to touch advanced settings. Additionally, we’ve gotten rid of those pesky soft navigational buttons and weird gray boxes during video playback so you can watch your movies in the darkness again… as it should be.
Video Related Fixes
There were a number of different annoying video issues that occurred on some devices. We’ve painstakingly tracked down and squashed these – hopefully without introducing something new. These include fixes for issues and general improvements around handling network connectivity issues during playback, resuming playback, seek, video sizing, dealing with video not being displayed on some devices and probably some other stuff thrown in for good measure.
As a special holiday gift – we’ve introduced a zoom button and a new video zoom mode. Tapping the button on the video playback HUD causes the video to cycle between the two modes. The video modes are:
- ‘fit to screen’ – is what you’ve always had – expands/shrinks the video to fit entirely within the screen without cropping.
- ‘full screen’ – expands the video to fill the screen – may crop by height or width depending upon the screen and video dimensions – try it out!
Here’s the full list of video changes:
- FIXED: issue with stuttering video on Honeycomb MR2 and ICS devices (e.g. Xoom, Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus)
- FIXED: an issue where video was improperly resized after seek/scrub on some devices.
- FIXED: for some devices where we experienced audio but no video upon start of play.
- FIXED: to enhance UX and robustness of video player resume
- NEW: video zoom – tap zoom button to cycle through: scale to fit and full screen.
UI Tweaks for small tablets
Our UI for small tablets has been a bit of an ugly-stepchild. While I have an affinity for ugly-step children (as I am one) we’ve fixed this so that we better utilize the screen real-estate for this middle sized device. Here are some before and after shots:
Note: the screen capture here is of a Kindle Fire – but you should see the improvements on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and other small tablets.
There have been many fixes since the last release. Here are a number that you may notice but the fixes aren’t limited to these:
- NEW: Plex now recognizes and configures itself for the Kindle Fire, more Samsung Galaxy S2 variants and a number of other devices so that these devices will play video without the need to tweak the Advanced Settings for the device.
- FIXED: Connection issues fixes for a number of cases where Plex client had trouble connecting to Plex Media Servers.
- FIXED: Direct Play from secure remote server.
- FIXED: Progress recorded during remote playback.
- FIXED: The seek thumb is now easier to grab (finally).
- FIXED: Artist appears again in Notifications as music plays.
- FIXED: Miscellaneous field reported fixes.
- FIXED: Several fixes we found on HTC devices.
- FIXED: Styling updates around progress dialogs.
- FIXED: Android as a remote once again asks where to play.
- FIXED: If no channels are installed there is now a button to add them from home page.
- FIXED: Minor change to help some video players ID audio format using file extension – should help some audio files to play properly.
I wanted to extend a thank you to everyone on the Plex for Android Alpha Team for all the feedback and testing that went into this release. This group of guys and gal – helps to make sure that when we release that we’ve not made a complete mess of it – we’re now on more than 841 devices so this group is absolutely critical to our success. In particular Ammon, Chris and Cory spent a good chunk of time working with us to make sure we really nailed the video sizing and ICS issues. Special thank you to KevinO for lending an HTC to help us troubleshoot some lingering issues on that platform.
As always let us know if you run into any trouble with the release!15 comments
That’s right! You heard it here first – Plex for Android is now on Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
It was an early morning maybe 2 weeks ago when our CEO first got his Kindle Fire, and it also happened to be the morning of my birthday. I woke up to find not one, but four email messages from him. Could it be four happy birthday emails? Or maybe I was in deep trouble – he’d found out that I’d pilfered the mac and cheese from the company fridge. I was incredibly relieved when I found out that all the excitement was about the Kindle Fire.
Needless to say – any plans I had for the day were completely shot. I was at Best Buy at opening time and walked out 5 minutes later with a shiny new Kindle Fire. It’s an awesome device, and the great news is that it works with Plex out of the box. There are a couple small things you’ll want to do to optimize performance:
First you’ll need to alter the Secondary Player in Advanced Settings to use the OpenGL player. When you’re done the settings should look like this:
Next you’ll want to change the local and remote quality settings to something like this to start with (feel free to tweak from here):
Note that a patch release is in Amazon’s hands now and it will take care of these things automagically for you – but if you’re purchasing within the next couple days – please do make sure to check these settings!
To keep informed on the latest Plex news follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Or tune in to one of our blogs elan.plexapp.com for a wide array of Plex information or darrin.plexapp.com for mostly Android updates.13 comments
Why are we doing this? For two main reasons 1) we plan on taking the products in different directions because of their different areas of focus and 2) ensuring that we can rapidly deploy fixes for each platform without jeopardizing the stability of the other. Having different products in the google market is the best way to bring you the very best of Plex on both platforms.
To help those who purchased Plex for Android for use on the Google TV, we’ve priced the Plex for Google TV app at just $0.99 for the first week (the lowest price that Google Market permits).
Get your copy soon because 2012 is rapidly approaching and I don’t have to tell you what the Mayan’s predicted about 2012.
Late Edit: Oh and both Plex for Android and Plex for Google TV have quite a few bug fixes in the most current releases! Enjoy.