Plex this week announced changes to its media software that will move the service beyond its video roots. Following updates that added online movie trailers and a recommendation engine, the next version of Plex will bring several new music features that Plex Chief Product Officer Scott Olechowski says will challenge iTunes in the music department.
As reported by Gigaom and PCMag, Plex users will be able to import their existing iTunes libraries, including playlists, ratings, and smart playlists, into the Plex app using a new one-click import feature. Plex is partnering with music database company Gracenote to add music file recognition and tagging to simplify the organization of this newly imported media.
One a user's music is imported, the service will leverage Gracenote's extensive database to provide Genius-like music recommendations based on a user's personal music collection. Users also will be able to create station-based playlists from a song's selected characteristics such as genre, tempo, or mood.
Plex also is working with Vevo to roll out a premium feature that will match music videos with the songs that are in a user's music library. These Vevo videos will be available to watch without advertisements by Plex Pass subscribers. Plex hopes this new music video option will drive additional users to sign up for its subscription service, which generates about 80 percent of the company's revenue.
The next version of Plex is expected to debut in the coming weeks. Beyond this version, other possible future music features may include music downloads and integration with a music subscription streaming service.