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Plex Media Server 0.9.8 Adds Multiuser, Now Playing, Media Index Support

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The folks at Plex have been working away on their media streaming solution for years and still haven’t reached version 1.0, but the latest Plex Media Server preview gets them pretty doggone close.

Plex announced a new build of Plex Media Server this week, introducing three welcome new features available for premium PlexPass members, as well as support for more secure HTTPS connections in future versions of the client applications.

One of the biggest changes for those who share Plex libraries with others is true multiuser support. Shared users will now have their own view state, which includes the ability to select audio streams or subtitles. For those with kids, that means keeping sections of your library hidden from the younger members of the family — a feature that already works in Plex/Web, iOS, Android and Roku clients once the latest server update is installed.

Plex/Web users will also see a new feature called Now Playing, great for seeing which users are watching content from your server library at any given time. Jumping into the Now Playing screen, you’ll even see additional details on the content and who’s viewing it, another welcome addition for those who share content with others.

Last but not least, a new experimental feature for creating media index files is available to PlexPass members who install Plex Media Server 0.9.8. This feature runs in the background and creates small thumbnails from each piece of content, which can then be displayed while fast-forwarding on Roku or even from the Now Playing screen.

Plex Media Server 0.9.8 requires a paid PlexPass membership, but its new features will ultimately roll out to all Plex users as the software continues marching toward the eventual 1.0 release.

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