Well, it looks like you love having trailers in Plex! Thanks so much for all the kind words and great feedback. We’re thrilled to bring you some most excellent enhancements, less than two weeks after our original launch of the feature. Let’s dive in and explore the new stuff! First of all, we’ve massively improved our algorithm for picking appropriate and related trailers when using Cinema Trailers. We now take content rating into account for both library and “new and upcoming” trailers, so your kids won’t be subjected to an R-rated trailer before The Little Mermaid, for example. You also have complete control over where your Cinema Mode trailers come from—you can even pick multiple sources!
Many of you also requested better localization, and we’re happy to report that “new and upcoming” trailers are now also chosen based on your library language whenever possible.
Next up, by popular request, you can now automatically get “red band” (restricted audiences) trailers for your R- and NC-17-rated movies when available. You can find this preference in the agent settings, and you’ll need to force refresh your library to get those trailers.
You can also enable Cinema Trailers on a per-library basis in the library settings. Because hey, if you’re like us, you may not want Cinema Trailers before your collection of cat videos.
Last, but not least, we’ve added another requested feature, the ability to specify a custom “pre-roll” video to follow Cinema Trailers. You can use it to roll your favorite THX video (try not to blow out your speakers, please), a short PSA telling your family to stop texting during the movie, or that one clip of your dog catching a frisbee in his teeth. The video has to be in a Plex library, and using it is as easy as copying and pasting the URL into the pre-roll setting (an advanced setting on the Extras page).
The new release is available right now for Plex Pass members from our downloads page, and full release notes are available here. Barkley is still proud to be sporting his Plex collar, which of course includes a bottle opener. Best. Invention. Ever.
I can’t even tell you how much pleasure it gives me to sit down and write this post. Why, you might ask? Because today we’re bringing you two of the most highly requested features we’ve had, ever. If you look at the Plex Pass feature voting forum, you’ll see the #1 requested feature is trailers. And today, dear reader, you shall have trailers. But it doesn’t end there. It’s like Christmas in July! (That’s exceptional even in the southern hemisphere, right?)
Now, we here at Plex like to exceed your expectations. We really do. We all grew up raising blue-ribbon heifers and memorizing π to an ungodly number of digits, and we just really don’t believe in anything but the best. So we scoured the earth looking for the best source for trailers and we found one which also had tons of interviews and behind-the-scenes content. Talk about leveling up your library!
If you have a Plex Pass, we’ll automatically add all these amazing extras to your library as you add movies (or just refresh existing ones). Otherwise, we’ll also happily read any extras you already have locally; just be sure to follow our naming guidelines here. We’re in the process of adding extras and trailer support to all our apps. At launch, Plex Home Theater and our web app have full trailer and extras support, while Android and iOS have basic trailer support. Support in other apps will follow in short order.
We weren’t content just bringing you extras, mind you. We wanted to create a full cinema experience right in your living room (popcorn not included), so we added a feature we call Cinema Trailers. Choose the types of trailers to use on the server; then in supported Plex apps, you can select the number of trailers to play before a movie. So sit the whole family down, dim the lights, and enjoy the coming attractions!
We truly hope you enjoy trailers in Plex. Note that this is the first time we’ve licensed premium content for our Plex Pass users; so, we reserve the right to impose viewing limits in the future in order to keep Barkley fed. (Not plump, just fed.) So, now onto playlists. We’ve been eager to bring you this feature for ages, as we consider it a key part of any self-respecting media system. But we wanted to make sure we got it right, and laid the groundwork for a perfect playlist experience across all your devices. So without further ado, we present true playlists, for the first time ever, across Plex. Oh, and One More Thing… we’re especially excited about our iTunes importer. Many of us have been on iTunes for years, and our importer provides you with a nearly seamless way to transition over playlists (including smart playlists), play/skip counts, track ratings, and even media addition dates. I’m pretty sure you’d agree these imported playlists look incredibly sexy!
Playlists are supported today in our web app and on iOS, and we’re working hard to bring them everywhere we are! In order to play with these new features, you’ll need to grab yourself the latest server release. Here are a full list of changes, which include all sorts of yummy new features and fixes:
- Import from iTunes feature for libraries including smart playlist import.
- (API) Support for blur, saturation, and alpha blending on image transcode endpoint.
- (API) Support for rich “composite” images.
- (API) Support for “starts with” and “ends with” operators in filters.
- (API) Allow null values for ID fields.
- (API) Add support for “limit=X” in filters.
- Support for skip count and skip date.
- Hey! A brand new sexy application icon.
- Added a new preference to limit Cloud Sync upload speed.
- Default account language to English as opposed to nothing at all.
- An issue with continuous play on items with same air date.
- Massive (like 50x) speedup for global Recently Added endpoint.
- Items inserted into the past in a play queue when adding to ‘up next’ after playing through.
- Failure transcoding some channel content.
- Sometimes we generated invalid JSON.
- Fix an issue where sometimes sync items would fail to process or upload.
- Much better audio boost (Note: new boosts are significantly larger than previously, so those with large boost settings now may want to be careful).
- On occasion, transcoder would transcode audio when it should remux.
- An ordering bug getting background art from all libraries.
- A bug where an item could end up in a refresh loop.
- Server could end up hanging during nightly DB optimization task.
- Selected art could be reset on refresh if it was generated art.
- Tweaks for menubar icon on Yosemite.
- Speed up deleting transcode temporary directories.
- Play queues were returning all available alternate media for items.
- Various crashes
Last, but not least, my lovely wife Anna had a bunch of fun today shooting Barkley wearing some of our awesome Plex Gear for canines. Here are some outtakes from the shoot.