Plex is popular because of its sleek user interface and capability to manage and play extensive libraries of movies, TV shows, and music. If you're a casual user, Plex will virtually work straight out of the box. You just need to spend a little time learning how to set up Plex and add your media. However, if you are a power user of Plex, you will find that streaming downloaded content isn’t all you can do with the digital media player. By installing Plex plugins, you’re able to expand its functionality and enjoy content from online sources.
Plex is shutting down its plugin directory, but will continue to support manually installed plugins “for the foreseeable future”. Plex plugins add additional functionality that Plex doesn’t support on its own. There are hundreds of third-party plugins, but not every plugin is the right choice for every user. Well, here in this page, we would like to recommend you 10 best plugins/addons for Plex Media Server to help you better enjoy movies with Plex media server.
Part 1: 10 Best Plugins/Addons for Plex Media Server
There are hundreds of third-party plugins for Plex, but not all of them are worth your time. Fret not, though as we’ve done the leg work for you. Below, you’ll find a list of the best Plex plugins that you should use in 2021.
One of the most widely-used Plex plugins, WebTools features the Unsupported App Store that offers access to a host of user-generated content and unofficial Plex channels. It also features logging tools and a playlist management module along with a subtitle management module. You also have the ability to scan for unmatched or missing media.
Formerly known as PlexPy, Tautulli is an essential add-on for anyone who shares their Plex library with other people. It's one of the best Plex apps that can make Plex even better. The add-on focuses on providing statistics about your Plex server. The stats include what programs have been watched, who watched them, and when and where they were watched.
For those who don't know, Trakt is like the Last.fm of the video world. It automatically logs everything you've been watching to your online profile. Kodi has a Trakt add-on, so if you split your time between the two popular apps, this is an essential tool to keep on of what you've been watching. It will sync your watch history between the two apps so you don't become confused.
Like Last.fm, Trakt will also make recommendations based on your viewing habits. It can even tell you which services and apps offer the show or movie you want to watch. Other features include a TV calendar and customizable watchlists.
Though Plex can manage subtitles natively, it comes with a few limitations. For starters, you only have access to a few subtitle libraries. Plus, the tool can’t retrospectively load subtitles to existing content. Sub-Zero finds the best subtitles by scanning eight repositories and even searches for missing subtitle files. It also features customization tools like timing offset, color, and more.
Want someone to view your Plex library without granting them access to the server? Plex Export is the perfect add-on as it lets you create an interactive HTML page for others to browse. Your content is displayed by section, and there are a number of live filters as well so users can quickly determine what’s available.
If you’re a gamer, chances are good you’ve already spent some time watching streamers on Twitch. The Twitch Plex plugin is a great way to bring your favorite streams to your TV. It has everything you’d expect from a polished Plex plugin, including high-definition video and straightforward content browsing by category.
This plugin is officially supported by Twitch, but it does lack a few features. The biggest problem we have is that there’s no option to log in with your Twitch account. But if you’re a gamer who loves to watch your favorite players stream Overwatch, there’s no better way to get that content in your living room.
Pandora is arguably the most popular streaming music service on the web, and it’s absolutely the best choice for streaming radio on Plex. Google Music and Spotify both have unofficial Plex plugins, but setting them up is a pain and they both require paid subscriptions. In contrast, the Pandora Plex plugin is easy to configure and free to use.
Once you set your username and password, the plugin pulls in all of your stations and preferences. Music will continue to play even if you navigate away from the station view. All of Pandora’s features work as expected, including quick mixes and music suggestions. In my opinion, Pandora is a must-have plugin for your Plex server if you’re a music lover.
Did you know many TV networks worldwide air their shows through IPTV? Cigaras IPTV lets you access your favorite broadcasts, unless they’re geo-restricted (you’ll require a VPN to unlock them!). If you want to add content, M3U playlists or streaming URLs can be found via a Google search. The app supports channel categories, custom channel logos, and on-screen program guides as well.
Some people like to try and make their Plex server replicate the movie-going experience as closely as possible. A big part of that is watching pre-movie trailers for films that haven't yet hit theaters. The TheaterTrailers add-on can pull in trailers that are currently airing in cinemas and broadcast them before your video starts. When the films eventually become available to the public, the app will automatically delete its trailer.
Vimeo & Dailymotion
Vimeo and Dailymotion are great sites if you’re a fan of online video. The sites are less restrictive than YouTube, and a lot of great content is uploaded to their servers every day. Vimeo is compatible with your user account, and subscribed plugins carry over as expected. If you don’t have an account, you’ll still be able to watch popular content.
Dailymotion users can browse videos by category, and watch featured and trending videos. Both plugins are easy to use and responsive, with a professional layout and category-based browsing.
Part 2: How to Add Plugins to Plex
Installing a Plex plug-in is simple. First, download the plugin. It will most likely be in a zipped file, so unzip it and find the .bundle file. If there is any text after “.bundle,” remove it to prevent any errors.
Copy or move the .bundle file into your Plugins folder within Plex. Once you’ve done this, all you need to do is restart Plex to ensure the plugin is loaded.
If you can’t find the plugin folder, it’s usually found in the following locations:
- Windows: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Plex Media Server\Plug-ins
- macOS: ~/Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Plug-ins
- Linux: $PLEX_HOME/Library/Application Support/Plex Media Server/Plug-ins
Part 3. Watch Any Video You Want via Plex Media Server - Leawo Prof. Media
As mentioned above, you could stream videos from your computer over Plex Media Server. However, you need to know that Plex Media Server actually streams video and audio files only in limited file formats like ASF, AVI, MOV, MP4, MPEGTS, TS, MKV, WMV, AAC, ALAC, FLAC, MP3, M4A, WAV, E-AC3, etc. and 4K/UHD videos in MP4 and MKV file formats. What if your media files are not saved in any of these file formats? Or what would you do if you want to stream Blu-ray or DVD movies over Plex Media Server?
Leawo Prof. Media could help. As a professional multimedia converter solution suite, Leawo Prof. Media handles nearly all media conversions between Blu-ray, DVD, video, audio, image and even online videos. Leawo Prof. Media could help you convert Blu-ray/DVD/video/audio files, play back Blu-ray/DVD/video/audio files, back up Blu-ray/DVD movies, burn video/image files to Blu-ray/DVD movies, download online videos, download live stream videos, and even create 3D movies, etc. With Leawo Prof. Media, you could easily convert any media files for streaming over Plex Media Server. This suite helps you handle all media file format incompatibility issues.
The below guide would show you how to use Leawo Prof. Media to convert Blu-ray/DVD/video/audio/ISO image files for streaming over Plex Media Server in detail. Download and install Leawo Prof. Media on your computer first. Get source media files ready for converting.
Leawo Prof. Media
☉ Decrypt, rip and convert Blu-ray/DVD to video/audio files.
☉ Convert and burn videos files to Blu-ray/DVD content.
☉ Download videos from YouTube, Facebook, VEVO, and 1000+ other video sites.
☉ Edit Blu-ray/DVD/video files to trim, crop, adjust effect, apply 3D effect, etc.
☉ Remove Cinavia protection upon Blu-ray discs
☉ Play back various media files including Blu-ray, DVD, video, audio files.
Step 1: Launch Leawo Prof. Media
Launch Leawo Prof. Media and then click “Convert” button on the sub-menu to enter the “Convert” module.
Step 2: Add source media content
Under the “Convert” module, you could directly drag and drop source media files, or click “Add Video” or “Add Blu-ray/DVD” options to load video, Blu-ray/DVD content respectively.
- If you are going to load Blu-ray/DVD content, Leawo Prof. Media offers 3 options: Full Movie, Main Movie and Custom Mode. Full Movie allows you to import all titles, and Main Movie only imports the longest title by default but allows you to switch, while under Custom Mode you could freely choose any title(s) for loading. Choose the one according to your needs and load source Blu-ray movies.
- After loading source media files, you could then see the thumbnail of loaded media files, by clicking which you could play back loaded media files directly. It could play back Blu-ray/DVD/video/audio/ISO image files, regardless of disc protection and region restrictions.
- After loading source media files, you could edit loaded Blu-ray/DVD/video files, select subtitles and audio tracks, add external subtitles to source videos, etc.
Step 3: Set output format
Hit the button next to the “Add Photo” button and then click “Change” option to enter the “Profile” panel. Choose output format from “Format” or “Device” group according to your needs.
If you like, you could adjust the output video and audio parameters like video codec, video bit rate, aspect ratio, resolution, audio codec, Sample Rate, Bit Rate, Channel, etc. Make these changes according to your player or device specifications. To do these, just click the “Edit” option on the drop-down panel next to the “Add Photo” button.
Step 4: Set output directory and start converting
On the main interface, hit the green button of “Convert” and then click the “Save to” option to set a directory to save output video file and hit the “Convert” option to start converting Blu-ray/DVD/video/audio/ISO image files.
You then only need to wait for the conversion to complete. When the conversion completes, you could then be able to stream the converted media files over Plex Media Server as you usually do.