back to article Plex plucks media cloud service, sends users scurrying to exit

Streaming biz Plex has dumped its cloud-based media wrangling service, prompting users to dump its subscription service. "We've made the difficult decision to shut down the Plex Cloud service on November 30th, 2018," the company said on Tuesday – six weeks before the deadline. "We've been actively working on ways to address …

  1. Michael Duke

    Re: This is Dell or EMC?

    Long term Plex Pass user here who did not use their cloud as it was obviously unsustainable. Too good to be true always is.

    1. stewski

      Re: This is Dell or EMC?

      Got to agree, on a life time subscription, couldn't give a monkeys.

      The satellite local DVR function however, is putting my Virgin Tivo to the sword at my next contract negotiation!

    2. goldcd

      Same here

      Been a lifetime user for many years and one of the best value things I've purchased.

      Dabbled in the cloud thing a while back (started pushing stuff into my 'unlimited on amazon' storage) - and then when amazon unceremoniously pulled the plug, simply gave up on the cloud aspect and cancelled the amazon account. Clearly too good to be true - but well thought it would last longer.

      Currently have my plex server running on a lovely synology box under my stairs, get frequent updates, faultless features and a load of stuff I keep on meaning to play with like adding a SiliconDust dvb ip streamer, but haven't got around to yet.

      I think everybody involved just wishes they'd not tried the "silly cloud thing".

  2. panoptiq


    Thank goodness the killed it off; it was unwise to get into the cloud business to begin with. Their core offerings sold iself.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Whew!

      Why? As far and I can tell, Plex is Kodi with a different skin, fewer addons, and the requirement to run their media server instead of using any NAS.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Whew!

        5 thumbs down? Surely someone can explain why...

        1. MrMerrymaker

          Re: Whew!

          Because you're wrong, it's nothing like Kodi. It's a local streaming solution, for one, Kodi came out of the Xbox Media Centre project and is more of an all round media service.

          You probably think all streaming is equal. Netflix isn't Plex isn't Kodi isn't iptv, even if they can cross over.

          Read a bit up on Plex (you sound like you don't use it) and Kodi.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Whew!

            Er, Plex was originally a fork from Kodi a decade ago and it seems it hasn't moved on very much in the meantime.

            I've looked at the website and I'm quite unimpressed with the Plex Perks (scroll down, click "Show me the Perks" button, click button and get told you have to have a Plex Pass to see that page, told to click "Go Premium" to see the goodies, click button and get sent back to the previous page) and the Plex Pass itself (scroll down to "Plex Features", the same feature can be explained in two or three different ways on the scrolling banner, and again can these features can be replicated with the appropriate Android app or Kodi plug-in).

            Given Kodi, I really don't see why Plex is worth anything, let alone a subscription.

            1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: Whew!

              I would call Plex the lazy mans Kodi (Hence why I use it). Plex server tends to be a simple install on the majority of NAS devices.

              I have no issues with Kodi and to my knowledge can be extended way more than Plex can, however Plex does everything I need and its interface is simple and easy to use on my Roku's.

              Both have good and bad points, for me a bad point about Plex is NAS manufacturers can be advertise their NAS' as supporting Plex even though its not powerful enough to transcode video (Like my previous Drobo 5n).

              1. phuzz Silver badge

                Re: Whew!

                "I would call Plex the lazy mans Kodi"

                Yep, I wanted something that would stream from a PC to a PS4, and Plex turned out to be the easiest way of doing that (DNLA always turns out to be a lot more work than it should).

                Especially for the grand price of free, as long as you don't need any of their premium features.

                1. overunder

                  Re: Whew!

                  Uhhh... PLEX started as a transcoder and remains essentially just that. With most (all?) modern devices not only being able to decode everything, but also index, what is PLEX?

                  Everyone grows accustomed to software and will keep using it, even if that software is outdated (WinXP anyone?)

                  For what it's worth, ever be tried to dispell the magic of PLEX...?

                  ffmepg -i movie.mp4 -f mp4 http://localhost:port/....


                  1. LewisRage

                    Re: Whew!

                    ffmpeg is a convenient and simple solution that both myself and my non-technical girlfriend can use directly from our television.

                    Oh no, my mistake. Thats plex :)

            2. MrMerrymaker

              Re: Whew!

              You've missed the point, I think you're actually contriving *not* to understand so you don't have to do an about-face.

              It does not matter from whence Plex came. The usage case of it vs Kodi is different.

              That's the key issue. While you continue to conflate what Kodi and Flex do, you'll be in the dark (and you asked why you got down votes - I told you; and here you are, instead of accepting the answer, you're mewling, and arguing with it. Those down votes didn't come from nowhere.)

  3. OffBeatMammal

    I didn't use the Cloud option so not too worried ... hopefully it means they can continue to develop a great solid product that my family can use (it replaced our old Windows Media Center which was much loved!)

  4. mr_souter_Working

    who knew that renting someone else's computer might not be a sustainable model....

    lifetime plex pass - never touched Cloud, because I don't have any interest or need for it

    I have all my media stored on a couple of NAS boxes, my home server, and my desktop - I have no issues playing any of it from anywhere with an internet connection. The DVR function works well, since I took the leap of buying a dual tuner HD network tuner.

    if they add an audio books category (something that people have been asking about for a while) then I will be very content.

  5. Anon the mouse

    So what is plex pass for?

    I used to use Plex until shortly after they introduced the pass system....

    Why do I need to login to their system to stream my local files to my local devices? Other than to give them usage data,

    1. Spanker

      Re: So what is plex pass for?

      For me it’s the parental control via ratings

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: So what is plex pass for?

        So like the TVDB/IMDB/MovieDB scrapers with the Universal Parental Control addon on Kodi then.

      2. Andy Humphreys

        Re: So what is plex pass for?

        I host all of my content on a 12TB custom built storage device, FreeNAS running, and with Plex running there in a jail, with a secondary Media Server on another machine, NFS attached to the storage.

        For me Plex Pass is about being able to Sync (and transcode on the fly) content down to my phone. I travel a lot, and so it's nice to be able to pull a few albums down, or maybe even a couple films/TV whatever. And the beauty is I don't even have to be at home. Can do it at the airport whilst I'm waiting to board! Or if I don't sync, then once I've got an internet connection, I just stream it straight from my server to my laptop. Kodi can't do that.

        I'm even experimenting at the moment with an Android based Car Head Unit - installed Plex and I can either sync or just stream stuff straight down to the car, wherever I happen to be.

        Don't need the cloud.. and the Plex Pass is relatively nothing in terms of cost anyhow..

    2. se99paj

      Re: So what is plex pass for?

      "So what is plex pass for? " - Probably suggest going to their website to find out

      "Why do I need to login to their system to stream my local files to my local devices? Other than to give them usage data" - Tried to highlight the main point here, but if you want to stream local files to local devices without giving them usage data then don't use their system, its pretty simple really.

  6. daflibble

    Good riddence cloud bollox

    Lifetime plex pass holder and couldn't give a (*&^ about the cloud feature.

    I wish they'd sort out the DVR stuff though. Still getting issues with Silicondust network tuner and recording to SSD storage.

    Hears hoping they have the time to deal with DVR issues now they are not wasting so much time on cloud stuff.

    1. MrMerrymaker

      Re: Good riddence cloud bollox




  7. skuba*steve

    Big cloudy Meh

    Never really saw the point of this, other than targeting folks without large amounts of local storage. I've had Plex for donkeys, running off an old NAS box stuck in a cupboard - and it's always done exactly what I needed except for the one time my home IP changed after a system update many moons ago, since which I've had a script running on a local machine that emails me if the IP changes.

    Can't see any reason for pulling the plug on a subscription, it was only ever one bolt-on goody around an exceptionally stable platform.

  8. Deltics

    "Plex allows people to stream their content from other places – media servers, cloud storage providers like Google One and Dropbox, etc – to any device they own for $5 a month, $40 a year, or $120 for "lifetime" usage."

    And this capability is not affected by the shuttering of Plex Cloud, except in so far as it means no longer being able to stand up a media server in the cloud, directly connected to cloud storage.

    Anybody running their own Plex server and using Plex Pass to access their content remotely can still continue to do so - that has _never_ relied on Plex Cloud. I think that should be made clearer, lest El Reg be accused of misrepresenting facts in the interests of fomenting discontent.

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