Mac media player Plex can now play DRM'd iTunes files (plus other goodies)


Work on Plex, the Mac-enhanced port/fork of XBMC, continues, with the media player having been updated to version 0.7 two days ago. It’s not just a bugfix or anything—I wouldn’t bother mentioning it here if that were the case—as the developers have added several features that should compel you to upgrade. One word about upgrading, though: because so many internal settings have been altered with this latest release, the developers recommend that you trash your old preference file in order to prevent conflicts. Yes, that means you’ll have to re-do your Library, but it takes only a few minutes to re-scan everything.

So what’s new? For one, the settings menu has been revamped. Now you’ll find more Mac-like names for settings (“Ken Burns effect,” à la iPhoto versus “Pan and Zoom,” a Windows anachronism) and legacy settings that didn’t really affect anything have been removed. Less junk to navigate through, then.


The gang ported over CoreAudio, which is VLC’s audio module. That means that Plex is now compatible with every audio receiver under the sun and it automatically detects what output (digital or analog) is best for your setup.

As far as music playback goes, a feature I don’t really use, Plex now (somehow) supports FairPlay, which means that it can play DRM’d iTunes music. There’s also a few new visualizers for you to wonk out to.

Finally for us here today is a neat little bonus: when you’re browsing your TV shows in Library mode, Plex fetches the show’s theme song. That means when you’re deciding what episode of Entourage to watch you’ll hear Jane’s Addiction in the background. A neat little extra that shows how dedicated the Plex team is to making it the best media player out there.

I upgraded this morning and haven’t noticed any major bugs or other annoyances, aside from having to re-scan all my files to re-create my Library database.