Popular media software Plex unveiled some big updates this week for its Chromecast app. With the latest version, users can now listen to music and display photos via Chromecast, in addition to viewing their video libraries. Even better, the Plex team has found a “better way” to stream media to Chromecast, enabling support for higher bitrate 1080p content without the need for transcoding.
Another new feature is content mirroring. As it stands now, the Plex Chromecast app only displays content when a user chooses to stream something to the device. In other words, a user browses their media library on their smartphone, chooses a video, and “casts” it to their television via Chromecast. Only with this last step is anything displayed on the television. Now, with content mirroring, details about what a user is browsing on their device will appear on the television screen, letting others in the room see things like ratings, synopses, and posters as family or friends decide what to watch.
These new features require the latest version of the Plex Media Server and newly-updated mobile apps. The Android version is available right now and iOS users will see the update land in the App Store shortly.
Plex for Chromecast was released in December 2013. When paired with Google’s $35 Chromecast Player, the service makes Plex quite powerful and is starting to give PC or Mac-based desktop applications a run for their money.
In addition to the Chromecast enhancements, Plex also announced a new build of Plex Media Server with performance improvements and a new feature called Shared Sync, which lets users who already share streaming access to their media library also now enable remote content syncing.