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.

image block plex labs plexamp macbook 10
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.

plexamp app
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

Drzed Avatar
44 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)
adamjackson Avatar
44 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)
UL2RA Avatar
44 months ago
Not a ripoff of the Winamp name at all.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
page3 Avatar
44 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)
Keane16 Avatar
44 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)
Michael Scrip Avatar
44 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

General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Fires Newly Hired Ex-Facebook Product Manager Following Revelations of Past Misogynistic Comments

Thursday May 13, 2021 12:10 am PDT by
Apple has fired Antonio García Martínez, an ex-Facebook product manager and author of the controversial book "Chaos Monkeys," following public and internal calls for removal and investigation due to past misogynistic statements, The Verge reports. Apple hired Martínez earlier this week to join its ads team, however, comments that Martínez made in the past sparked condemnation from users...
imac m1 blue isolated 16x9 500k

M1 iMac is Up to 56% Faster Than Prior-Generation High-End 21.5-Inch iMac

Wednesday May 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Apple's M1 iMacs are set to start delivering to customers next week, and ahead of the official launch day, benchmarks for the machines have been showing up on Geekbench, likely from reviewers who are testing them. It will come as no surprise that M1 iMac benchmarks are right on par with benchmarks for the M1 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, coming in with an average single-core score...
2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
fortnite apple logo 2

Judge in Epic vs. Apple Case Floats Potential Compromise

Wednesday May 12, 2021 3:54 pm PDT by
In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the two companies are this week calling up their expert witnesses to argue their points before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will make a decision in the case after a three week trial. Expert testimony is not as exciting as some of the leaked App Store documents that were highlighted last week, especially as much of what's being...
google photos

PSA: Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Next Month, Here's How to Export Your Pictures to iCloud

Thursday May 13, 2021 5:26 am PDT by
For as long as it's existed, Google Photos has offered free unlimited storage for uploading images at a reduced yet good enough quality for most users. From June 1, 2021, however, all photos and videos uploaded to Google accounts will count against users' cloud storage. If you've been relying on Google to back up your media library, it may be time to move that content elsewhere. This article...
AirTag in Envelope Feature 2

AirTag Used to Successfully Track a Mailed Package Across the UK

Wednesday May 12, 2021 8:44 am PDT by
An Apple customer in the United Kingdom has successfully used Apple's Find My network to track an AirTag as it was being sent by mail to a friend in a completely different city. Outlined in a blog post at Intego, Kirk McElhearn said he taped an AirTag to a piece of card, wrapped it inside a small bubble envelope, and then sent it on its way. Kirk lives in the small town of...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...
prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...