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September 26, 2016

Plex Cloud now means you can watch your media without the need for an always-on PC or NAS drive

by John_A

We’ve been fans of Plex for years, the way it organises our media files, fetches metadata and basically sets up our home streaming network to be as comprehensive, yet graphically rich and simple to use as Netflix or Amazon Video.

However, unless you have a PC you don’t mind being always-on, a compatible NAS drive or, in more recent times, an Nvidia Shield Android TV box there was no way to set up a Plex media server. Having your TV shows, films, music or photos on tap required at least one of them.

Not so anymore. Plex has announced Plex Cloud, which uses cloud storage to access media files instead, and therefore gives you access to your wealth of content anywhere you happen to be connected to the internet.

Thanks to compatibility with Amazon Drive, Plex Pass users can link their Amazon cloud storage membership to their Plex account and the media software will do the rest, treating any content it finds on an Amazon Drive as if it were hosted locally. That means the same data-rich information and cover art – the whole shebang.

All you need is a Plex Pass, access to the Plex Cloud Beta (which is invite-only at present) and an Amazon Drive account. The latter costs $59.99 a year in the US, £55 a year in the UK but gives unlimited storage for whatever types of files you want to upload.

It will unlikely be much use for heavy users with movies and TV programmes of questionable legalities, especially considering Amazon Drive’s own T&Cs state: “You must ensure that your files have been lawfully acquired and are free from any malware, viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, worms, or other malicious or harmful code.”

However, there’s still tonnes of legitimate, DRM-free content that you could store in the cloud and access on all your Plex-enabled devices to make cloud access well worthwhile.

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