Plex Launches Miniaturized Music App for Mac and Windows Called 'Plexamp'

by

This week Plex announced Plex Labs, a new internal section of the company that focuses on sharing in-depth Medium posts, community ideas, and passion projects created by Plex engineers. The first such project is called "Plexamp," a macOS and Windows app that pulls from your existing Plex music library and accumulates it all into one miniaturized interface (via The Next Web).

The Winamp-inspired app works similar to a native Mac app (so media keys and notifications are supported), plays "just about any music format," can remote control other Plex players and vice-versa, and supports offline playback. More in-depth features include Spotlight-like search for your entire Plex music library, gapless playback, soft transitions when pausing, resuming and changing tracks, and loudness leveling to normalize playback volume across different albums.


In terms of the interface, the app's default setting appears to be around the size of a miniaturized iTunes player, and it features four different sizes in total "including one that hides the app entirely." Plexamp's minimalism extends into its buttons, which appear when needed and otherwise stay hidden. Plex co-founder Elan Feingold mentioned that the Plexamp team forced itself to think small in terms of the app's footprint, so it could act as a miniature companion to Plex's larger apps.

It all started over a beer — as most great things do — re-envisioning what a tiny and powerful music player might look like in 2017. The most classic and beloved small audio player, Winamp, was first released almost exactly TWENTY years ago. Written in a low-level language, it ran on Windows, and was limited to playing files on the local (or networked) filesystem.

Plex, on the other hand, provides a best-in-class client/server model, an extremely metadata rich library, is highly portable, and gives you access to your entire music collection from anywhere in the world; we wanted to pair this with a similarly excellent music player. Literally the only requirement we had was “small”; Plex has plenty of bigger apps already, but nothing that sits unobtrusively on a desktop, beguiling and delighting. We even forced ourselves to limit the design to a single simple window.

The app also turns albums into art with SoundPrints and visualizers, which change with each album played. The main focus of the app is said to be the discovery of songs within your existing music library, with library stations that track popularity, rating, and listening history to curate music.


These stations include "Library Radio" that picks songs across your entire song catalog, and "Time Travel Radio" that begins with the earliest released music in your library and works its way forward. "Artist Radio" starts with a specific artist and then "explores more corners of your library" within similar genres as the original musician.

Those interested can download Plexamp for free on the Plex Labs webpage, but to use the app you'll need to sign up for a Plex account. Feingold noted that the app might have a few "rough edges" due to its creation by just a handful of Plex employees in their spare time.

Tag: Plex

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
37 months ago
Ahh Plex...read their forums and half the user base is complaining about the incredible amount of bugs that are going unfixed, players and features left languishing, features that get released and then promptly abandoned and here they are with so much free time to create more USELESS crap that nobody asked for!!

They spent millions of dollars acquiring a news media content provider for one of the least exciting features in Plex. Now the engineers have so much spare time they’re delving into their own projects to pass the time????
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
YES! Awesome. I can cancel iTunes Match finally. Accessing all of my music from my MacBook Pro has always required iTunes Match. If I can remotely access plex music with an application like this, I'm sold. Time to download.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
Not a ripoff of the Winamp name at all.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
I use Plex daily and it's brilliant. Netflix and Amazon Prime could learn a lot from the Plex interface, usability and sheer range of customisable features, but I'm not holding my breath!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
5+ years ago this would've been amazing. But with streaming services being the main way I consume music this has little use for me.

Looks gorgeous though. And no doubt for those that curate local libraries via Plex it'll be great.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

Not a ripoff of the Winamp name at all.

Are we sure Winamp didn't steal the name from this first? :P

Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

'A New iOS Update is Now Available' Popping Up Repeatedly in iOS 14 Beta [Fixed: New Beta Available]

Thursday October 29, 2020 6:11 pm PDT by
Many users running iOS 14 beta are reporting that they are seeing a dialog box pop up repeatedly asking them to update from the latest iOS 14 beta. Threads in our forums, Reddit, and Twitter are reporting the issue. The dialog has been appearing for a few days now, but as of tonight has started appearing more frequently, every time an iPhone is unlocked. There's been further discussion in...

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple One is Now Available: Save Money by Bundling Apple Music, iCloud Storage, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and More

Friday October 30, 2020 7:47 am PDT by
Apple One bundles are now available in the United States and over 100 other countries, allowing customers to subscribe to multiple Apple services through a single plan, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, and more. To sign up for Apple One on an iPhone: Open Settings App Tap on Your Name at the top Tap on Subscriptions Tap on Apple One The prompt for Apple One...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

Apple CEO Tim Cook: 'More Exciting Things' in Store For This Year

Thursday October 29, 2020 2:20 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the fourth fiscal quarter of 2020 (third calendar quarter), Cook said that while he doesn't want to give too much away, "this year has a few more exciting things in store." Cook is likely speaking about the Apple Silicon Macs, as Apple has previously said the first Apple Silicon Mac will be coming before the end of 2020. There are rumors of a third fall event ...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

Apple One Service Bundles Set to Launch Tomorrow, Fitness+ Coming This Quarter

Thursday October 29, 2020 1:39 pm PDT by
Apple in September announced Apple One, a new series of services bundles that will let Apple device customers purchase several services together in one package instead of separately, saving money for those who use multiple Apple service products. Ahead of Apple's earnings call, Apple CFO Luca Maestri told Bloomberg that Apple One is set to launch on Friday, October 30. Apple One Bundle...

PSA: Apple One Premier Bundle Only Available in US, UK, Canada, and Australia

Friday October 30, 2020 2:39 am PDT by
Apple's new Apple One series of services bundles launches on Friday in over 100 countries and regions, but the top Premier tier will be limited to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. The limited rollout of the $29.95 Premier tier is down to the fact that Apple News+ is currently only available in the above countries. Apple News+ is exclusive to the Premier tier,...