Plex continues to simplify its software by closing functions that were not widely adopted or that are fully functional. The company says it will soon launch a handful of options in its media player software, including Plugins, Cloud Sync and its "See Later" bookmarks feature.
The move to end these features comes shortly after Plex announced that it soon closed its Plex Cloud service due to technical difficulties.
Originally, the company had begun its life as a way for users to organize their personal collections of photo media, music, television shows and movies. But it has expanded more recently in the cord cutting market. This change of focus has seen Plex add features that support the ability to watch and record from live TV.
However, the change has also meant support for things like Plex Cloud, which allows users to transmit their media from cloud storage sites like Google Drive and Dropbox: they no longer have priority.
However, Plex says that his decision to close this other group of features has more to do with its lack of use.
"Look later," he says: it was expensive to maintain and difficult to justify when only a small group of people used it, for example. Meanwhile, Cloud Sync was adopted by so few that Plex joked by challenging annoying users to "DM used a photo from their Cloud Sync library and today's newspaper" to prove that they actually used it.
Even so, the elimination of Cloud Sync is another example of Plex not supporting other platforms in the cloud. In this case, the feature allowed subscribers to select content from their local media library, then synchronize a copy with a cloud storage provider to access when the local Plex Media Server was not available.
It seems that the decision to close Plex Plugins has the greatest concern, and was not taken lightly, says the company.
The Add-ons feature allows users to add multiple channels and other third-party add-ons to their accounts, so they can access online content, including videos, audio, and other photography services. Among the most popular are the accessories for services such as Pandora, CNN, Vimeo and others.
But Plex says that less than 2% of people used add-ons, and that it was created with an obsolete protocol that is difficult to maintain Essentially, it is at the point where Plex would need to reconstruct the feature to keep it , but can not justify doing so when such a small user base takes advantage of the option.
Add-ons also make less sense for the Plex business as its momentum continues in live TV broadcasting, as many of the add-ons were solutions for not being able to access TV content, such as ABC, CBS or NBC programs, for example, or a newscast of some kind. But Plex bought a broadcast news service, Watchup, last year and quickly added a dedicated news center directly into its application as a result. He has also added native support for podcasts, as another means to obtain news and informational content.
The company explained its reasoning for all closures in a blog post:
The Plex ecosystem is quite large, and over the years, we have sometimes added things that might have made sense at the time, but that did not They aged well. We have also been incredibly reluctant to take anything away from people who may be using a certain function. Or eliminate support for a platform with little use or other challenges. And although a certain case may not be significant, they can add more than a decade to one death per thousand cuts (on paper). So we set out to do a little cleaning of the house …
We do not approach the process lightly; we review the usage numbers and take into account maintenance costs and overall customer satisfaction. In some cases, we have plans for a future in which a better replacement appears. Other things, we're stabbing the chest repeatedly with a wooden stake (and hoping it's not a zombie). But the philosophy is the same: we want to focus our finite energy on providing incredible functionality that works wonders and makes people happy.
In addition to the stops, Plex also added support for subtitles, which will be released to Plex Pass Preview in the coming days with web releases (desktop), Xbox One, most LG TVs , Plex Media Player, Android mobile and Android TV with iOS and Apple TV to follow.