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Plex breaks into audio with new music video and smart playlist features

Plex breaks into audio with new music video and smart playlist features

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Plex is already a mainstay for home-theater diehards who want to scan and catalog their movies, but a host of new features revealed today suggest the app is ready to move into the music world as well. Announced in conjunction with CES, the new features will let Plex identify music as it's uploaded (using the same Gracenote database that powers iTunes' recognition feature), and form automatic playlists based on a song's genre or mood, akin to the "radio" feature in Spotify or Pandora. Plex is also partnering with Vevo to let users stream music videos in HD through the Plex app. Plex already offered music cataloging and other streaming services, but the new features represent a powerful push into the music world for Plex. "We've created a truly seamless music and video platform," said Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski in a statement.

A look at Plex's music interface

The features are particularly important when paired with Plex's existing video features. The service already has apps on nearly every major platform, from gaming consoles like Xbox and Playstation to video-streaming devices like the Roku, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV. It also reaches mobile devices on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. That makes it an attractive option for anyone looking to stream music through a home theater system and one of the few independent apps taking on both audio and video at once. It's unclear what Plex will do with its newfound scope, but clearly good news for anyone already using the app to keep track of their movie collection. The upgrades are expected to roll out across platforms in the coming weeks.