The best way to watch media on the new Apple TV: iTunes Home Sharing vs. Plex

With the release of the fourth-generation model, the Apple TV has opened up to third-party apps. You are no longer limited to getting local media from your iTunes library. One of the first apps that lets you use other sources is Plex, which “organizes your video, music, and photo collections and streams them to all of your screens.”

I had tried out Plex some years ago, and found it as enjoyable as installing Linux on a computer. But the company has made great strides in improving the software, and as soon as the Apple TV app was available, I installed it on my device. In this article, I’m going to compare the two for streaming content to an Apple TV. I’ll also discuss using these two methods to share content on other devices.

Read the rest of the article on Macworld.

6 thoughts on “The best way to watch media on the new Apple TV: iTunes Home Sharing vs. Plex

  1. Toldja! Plex is the real dope. And a quite good article on your part. But where’s my shoutout?

    (I don’t expect one in the MW article, but at least on your blog, you could note something along the lines of, “Hat Tip to the brilliant, handsome, modest, and infallibly correct Media Guy who single-handedly dragged me out of the darkness and into the light.” No need for anything extravagant, as I really am perhaps the most modest person in the entire world.)

  2. Toldja! Plex is the real dope. And a quite good article on your part. But where’s my shoutout?

    (I don’t expect one in the MW article, but at least on your blog, you could note something along the lines of, “Hat Tip to the brilliant, handsome, modest, and infallibly correct Media Guy who single-handedly dragged me out of the darkness and into the light.” No need for anything extravagant, as I really am perhaps the most modest person in the entire world.)

  3. This is a great article. Well done! I also tried Plex a few years ago and, as you point out, found it to be “not ready for prime time”. At that time, you had to rename all your media files in a nomenclature that Plex would recognise. I don’t recall it exactly, but TV show files (for example) had be to named in a specific Season, Episode, Title format, something like SxxExxTitle.mp4. So there was a lot of file set-up do to. Glad to hear it’s a lot better now.

    The show-stopper for me is that we have a lot (too much!) purchased iTunes content in our household. As you point out, we could split off the non-DRM content for use with Plex, but I’m not keen to maintain two different media players. I wish Apple would allow 3rd parties to play Apple content, but I won’t hold my breath on that.

  4. This is a great article. Well done! I also tried Plex a few years ago and, as you point out, found it to be “not ready for prime time”. At that time, you had to rename all your media files in a nomenclature that Plex would recognise. I don’t recall it exactly, but TV show files (for example) had be to named in a specific Season, Episode, Title format, something like SxxExxTitle.mp4. So there was a lot of file set-up do to. Glad to hear it’s a lot better now.

    The show-stopper for me is that we have a lot (too much!) purchased iTunes content in our household. As you point out, we could split off the non-DRM content for use with Plex, but I’m not keen to maintain two different media players. I wish Apple would allow 3rd parties to play Apple content, but I won’t hold my breath on that.

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