The ideal location to store collections of photos, music, and videos that people make on their computers, smartphones, or other devices is a media center. Their main purpose is to store media, like your most recent vacation photos or your favorite movie. If you begin looking for a specific file only to discover that nothing is properly organized, on the other hand, you might find that your patience is put to the test.
What should a functional Plex substitute be able to do?
The main purpose of a media center is to logically arrange all media files (audio, video, and image) on the chosen computer system. You should have no trouble finding and playing back the content you want thanks to the user interface.
Not only should Plex alternatives (but also Plex itself) support playback on the original device, but also through external devices. The majority of media center interfaces are made to work with smart TVs because streaming your own media content on a TV ought to be a standard feature.
The top Plex alternatives must be able to stream media services, including video and news. Your individual preferences come first, of course, as Netflix and YouTube are more widely used than other services due to their popularity. However, streaming links won’t be useful to you as a user if you are not interested in these popular platforms. It is therefore advisable to check the extra features that can be used as a respectable Plex substitute in advance (often available as optional add-ons). It is crucial that the chosen media management option enables simultaneous access from multiple devices to the library. Your chosen Plex alternative must always allow for simultaneous use by multiple people if you want to watch a movie while a family member or roommate is listening to music.
What are the top Plex substitutes?
When selecting the best media center, factors like cost and compatibility are crucial in addition to the range of features. The latter discusses both the platforms from which you can access the media center as well as the systems on which it should be built. When making your choice, you should also take into account how current the Plex substitute is. Because many media centers are linked to web services, timely updates to plug security holes are crucial.
Here are some fascinating examples of the best media centers, along with a list of their benefits and drawbacks, to help you find a suitable Plex substitute.
The Australian software company Conceiva debuted Mezzmo, a home entertainment system, on December 20th, 2007. Originally offered as a paid Windows program, Conceiva now operates on a freemium business model. The basic version of the software can be downloaded and used without charge, while the pro edition, which includes a web interface so that you can access it using standard browsers, has many more features and requires a monthly fee. A paid Android app was also made available in 2014. The app is primarily used as a remote application to access content on Android devices that are stored on the local Mezzmo media server. You can stream files stored on the device itself with the help of an integrated digital media server.
Mezzmo is incredibly simple to set up; once the program is installed, it immediately searches and arranges all of the movies, video clips, songs, photos, and stored subtitles that have been saved on the system being used. All networked devices that support UPnP, DNLA, or have the app installed (only for Android) can then playback these files because Mezzmo transcodes the media content in real-time to guarantee the best streaming quality. Sharing the media center is simple because you can access the collection of media simultaneously with multiple devices at any time. You can submit a support ticket or use the user forum to get in touch with Conceiva if Mezzmo is giving you any technical difficulties.
The GPL-licensed open source software MediaPortal was introduced by Erwin Becker in February 2014; it is currently run by the MediaPortal team. Support for TV cards, so you can watch TV through your media center, is a key component of MediaPortal. Additionally, the free Plex substitute unifies all computer-stored media files in a single user interface along with TV stations, FM and internet radio, and information services (weather, news, etc.). You get to choose how content is arranged; you can arrange songs by artist, album, or genre, as well as video clips and movies by actor, cover art, and genre.
Since MediaPortal is an open-source program, working with the community is extremely beneficial. For example, plugins created as a supplement that offer extra features can be installed and integrated just as easily as skins to give the user interface a new look. There are extensions that enable remote access to your MediaPortal library from these same devices even though this Plex substitute is only available for Windows and doesn’t have standalone apps for mobile devices, tablets, or smart TVs.
Kodi is one alternative to Plex that was initially created primarily as a media player solution for the Xbox video game console from Microsoft. The media center was first released in 2004 under the name “Xbox Media Center” (XBMC), and it retained this name when it was made available for other platforms. It made the decision in 2014 to rename the GNU-GPL-licensed open source program to Kodi. This demonstrated that consoles were no longer its main target market. The Kodi project—or, to be more precise, its Linux version—formed the basis for Plex, so the media software isn’t really a viable alternative to Plex. Plex is technically an XBMC separation code.
With Kodi on windows 8.1, you can organize all of your media content easily and play it back through the user interface, which supports a wide range of audio, video, and image formats. Kodi provides all the essential features of a good media center. The Kodi team takes care of implementing new formats and technologies (like video acceleration) in real time. To provide more details about archived content, the Plex alternative automatically retrieves metadata from the internet.
With their application of the same name, the Bulgarian startup Stremio introduced an exciting Plex substitute in 2015, and movie and television fans embraced it with great enthusiasm. The user-friendly open source media center concentrates solely on organizing video content and interestingly integrates video-on-demand services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. by allowing add-ons to combine content from various providers with the Stremio interface. When building the library, your own videos, programs, and films are also taken into consideration. You can always keep track of the release dates for new episodes or highly anticipated movies thanks to the integrated calendar function.
Without a doubt, you will come across the Emby if you’re looking for a solid Plex substitute. With a free media server available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as NAS and docker platforms, the largely royalty-free application (GNU-GPL), which has been maintained by Emby LLC since 2015, offers all the features you might need for the multi-device organization of your media files. The extremely complex web interface allows the configuration of the Emby server independent of the selected system. All DNLA-capable devices automatically recognize the server, but the developers also provide a variety of proprietary (and partially fee-based) apps for mobile devices (iOS, Android, Windows), smart TVs, and gaming consoles (Samsung, LG, PS4, Xbox One).
The web dashboard will automatically launch if you start the Emby server after installation, allowing you to set up all the requirements for your personal media server. Finding the ideal configuration for transcoding the content is just as important as stocking the library. Additionally, it is possible to create various user profiles with access authorizations. By doing this, you can, for instance, guarantee that children cannot access adult content. You can access a tonne of extra features, including cloud and folder synchronization, a cover configurator, and a backup feature if you purchase the monthly Emby Premiere package. Additionally, you can save videos and music when you subscribe so that they can be played without a network connection. You can also stream them to specific devices and save them when you take out a subscription.
Now that you’re all aware of the best Plex alternatives for Windows, I hope you’ll spread the word about it to your loved ones and friends. If you have any comments or questions about the article, please leave them in the comment section below. Also, let us know which of the alternatives you liked best.