Do I really need Plex Premium?

Levi Pearson levipearson at
Fri Jan 5 15:27:25 MST 2018

On Fri, Jan 5, 2018 at 2:54 PM, Jonathan Duncan
<jonathan at> wrote:

> I have tried it because a family member is using it. It is a great idea. I
> currently already rip all my movies to a local drive and view them through
> iTunes. But that limits me to Apple viewing. I have been considering other
> options.
> Is there an option for local streaming instead of cloud streaming? I mean
> for family members who want to watch some of my movies. Can they cache them
> locally or host a backup of my movies and stream from their local cache?

LAN streaming is one of the primary use cases for Plex. The reason
you'd use Plex over some other LAN streaming system is that it does
on-the-fly transcoding to deal with the supported formats of various
devices and has apps for Roku, Fire sticks, various smart TVs, gaming
consoles, Chromecast, etc. plus a client app for HTPCs. But for mobile
devices, you can indeed use Plex to transfer (and even transcode to a
supported format while transferring) to local storage on a tablet or
phone, which is great for loading up movies for a road trip or flight.
Plex also manages music libraries and does a terrific job of metadata
scraping, especially when you have a PlexPass and use the premium
music collection mode. You can cache music for offline playback too,
with transcoding to suit your storage and playback needs, but the
files are stored in such a way that they are awkward to use in
anything other than the Plex app, which I find a bit heavyweight for
music playback.

There are other ways to accomplish most of the things Plex does, but
it's by far the easiest and most integrated way to manage a media
collection so that it's usable from just about any device and just
about any network location. And most of these features are available
in the free version, which gets continually better as PlexPass-only
features are typically moved into the base system over time.

Although they are working on more cloud-based stuff now, they're most
strong in LAN-based streaming and sharing of collections between
locally-hosted sites. Makes it really handy to access your own stuff
over the internet. If you've already got a set of media files laying
around, install the free version and give it a shot. It's amazingly
simple to set up.


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