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NEW: Plex for Android can open video files from your phone storage or SD card

GregflixGregflix Product Manager @ PlexMembers, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 50 Plex Employee

Play video files. No server required.

Hey Android users! We just released Plex for Android 6.0, and it has a cool new trick: you can browse & open video files that you've saved to your phone, without a Plex Media Server. (Or, from other Android apps, you can open a video file and choose "Plex" to play it!)

You can open video files including .mp4, .mkv, .avi, .wmv, and more. And for TV episodes & movies, you can see the same beautiful metadata that you expect from Plex – posters, artwork, summaries, cast lists, release dates, and critic ratings.

This is a free feature that can play most files without an app activation. A couple of formats do require the app activation or Plex Pass. If you've already unlocked the app or have a Plex Pass, no additional in-app purchase is needed for those.

Read more in today's blog post: PLEX BLOG: Open and play any video file on Android!

To get started:
1. Update Plex for Android to the latest version (6.0)
2. Open the Location menu and select your phone ("Local and synced content")
3. From the Nav Menu, select "Open Video File"
4. Pick a video file from the list

Having trouble finding it?

Check out our help article:
SUPPORT: Opening a Local Video File (Android)

Problems with a video? Tell us!

Please open a new forum thread here (Android (mobile) forum) with details about the video that you are having trouble playing.

This is our first release of this feature, and we expect there to be some files and devices that don't work perfectly yet.

Hope you love it!

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Comments

  • AltheranAltheran Members, Plex Pass Posts: 19 Plex Pass
    edited June 13

    Is it available for Android TV (Shield) ?

    I understand Plex wont be using the Built-in android video player ? So file format and video codec and audio codec support wont be tied to the android video player ? Will it improve Codec support ? Will it give you controle over codec support ? Will it have similar to Kodi codec support ?

    What I am getting to is ...

    Will it finally be 4K HEVC MKV HDR DOLBY VISON / ATMOS Friendly ??? :D

  • GregflixGregflix Product Manager @ Plex Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 50 Plex Employee

    @Altheran said:
    Is it available for Android TV (Shield) ?

    In this first release, local video file playback is only available on Android mobile devices (phones & tablets).

  • AltheranAltheran Members, Plex Pass Posts: 19 Plex Pass

    @Gregflix said:

    @Altheran said:
    Is it available for Android TV (Shield) ?

    In this first release, local video file playback is only available on Android mobile devices (phones & tablets).

    And for the rest ? (I did an Edit) :

    I understand Plex wont be using the Built-in android video player ? So file format and video codec and audio codec support wont be tied to the android video player ? Will it improve Codec support ? Will it give you controle over codec support ? Will it have similar to Kodi codec support ?
    What I am getting to is ...
    Will it finally be 4K HEVC MKV HDR DOLBY VISON / ATMOS Friendly ??? :D

  • mo73romo73ro Members, Plex Pass Posts: 2 Plex Pass

    Hi. Great feature. I have played some local files and notice that resume last position is not supported for local files. Is this planned for later implementation?

  • sixonessixones Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 80 Plex Employee

    @mo73ro said:
    Hi. Great feature. I have played some local files and notice that resume last position is not supported for local files. Is this planned for later implementation?

    It's planned for a future release, for the moment we wanted to bring our new player upgrade.

    @Altheran said:

    @Gregflix said:

    @Altheran said:
    Is it available for Android TV (Shield) ?

    In this first release, local video file playback is only available on Android mobile devices (phones & tablets).

    And for the rest ? (I did an Edit) :

    I understand Plex wont be using the Built-in android video player ? So file format and video codec and audio codec support wont be tied to the android video player ? Will it improve Codec support ? Will it give you controle over codec support ? Will it have similar to Kodi codec support ?
    What I am getting to is ...
    Will it finally be 4K HEVC MKV HDR DOLBY VISON / ATMOS Friendly ??? :D

    At the moment local playback supports a lot of new containers, video and audio codecs whilst relying on Android for other codecs (like HEVC). For Dolby codecs, we currently support AC3 but not EAC3 or TrueHD (unless your device supports it through pass through). We hope to add others over time!

  • slowmoeslowmoe Members, Plex Pass Posts: 172 Plex Pass

    It looks like the new local media player feature does not honor the ".nomedia" files in directories which tells apps they should not look for media files (videos, photos, audio, etc..) in that directory or it's sub-directories.

    This is very helpful when you have other apps that cache this type of content. Placing a ".nomedia" file in that apps cache directory prevents all the cached media items from flooding media viewer app's file listings or if you have media that you just don't want to show up in viewer apps.

  • exabyte55242exabyte55242 Members Posts: 3 ✭✭
    edited June 14

    This is great news ! Would you like share any insights on what the player is actually based on ? Like is it ExoPlayer 2 or is it a custom implementation of MPV like in Plex Media Player ?

    Also, does it, or will it support FLAC in MKV ? :smile:

  • MovieFan.PlexMovieFan.Plex Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 15,131 Plex Employee

    @exabyte55242 said:
    This is great news ! Would you like share any insights on what the player is actually based on ? Like is it ExoPlayer 2 or is it a custom implementation of MPV like in Plex Media Player ?

    We can't share too much info on this yet but it is something Plex customized.

    Also, does it, or will it support FLAC in MKV ? :smile:

    I'm not sure. I haven't tried it. Give it a try and let us know.

  • larry.balian@gmail.comlarry.balian@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 16 Plex Pass

    Is it supposed to see video on my SD Card. Just showing a video from my local storage?
    Can I tell it where to look?

  • sirjafplexsirjafplex Members Posts: 1

    I'm issues with the new feature of playing local video files.
    1. No local video files shows up after scanning
    2. Only plays 3gp files from file manager or other apps. Other file formats gives this message "Plex for Android can't play this video directly from a device. Try adding this video to a Plex Media server, then play it from this app."
    Need help please. This feature I have been waiting for. Thanks

  • sixonessixones Members, Plex Employee, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 80 Plex Employee

    @sirjafplex said:
    I'm issues with the new feature of playing local video files.
    1. No local video files shows up after scanning
    2. Only plays 3gp files from file manager or other apps. Other file formats gives this message "Plex for Android can't play this video directly from a device. Try adding this video to a Plex Media server, then play it from this app."
    Need help please. This feature I have been waiting for. Thanks

    Thanks for trying local playback! Would you be able to send us the logs from the Plex app? Steps on finding these are available here: https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201573117-Android-and-GoogleTV-Logs

  • RealDaRkLotusRealDaRkLotus Members Posts: 1

    I Hope you are reading this.....
    the new function has a big problem....it's also scanning .nomedia folders and files and thus showing all 6458 gifs my telegram has in cache and stored as mp4 as videos and has because of that huge loading problems.

    Oh and I guess some people use .nomedia to hide some clips no one should see so it's not good plex is showing it now.

    Please fix this asap at least because of big perfomance issues with loading 6k clips for telegram users.

  • Frank LoganFrank Logan Members, Plex Pass Posts: 47 Plex Pass
    edited June 15

    @slowmoe said:
    It looks like the new local media player feature does not honor the ".nomedia" files in directories which tells apps they should not look for media files (videos, photos, audio, etc..) in that directory or it's sub-directories.

    This is very helpful when you have other apps that cache this type of content. Placing a ".nomedia" file in that apps cache directory prevents all the cached media items from flooding media viewer app's file listings or if you have media that you just don't want to show up in viewer apps.

    So is this going to be looked into on a future update, so that hidden files stay hidden? Is there going to be a turn off button, like with photos and camera roll?

  • stevej.3dstevej.3d Members, Plex Pass Posts: 9 Plex Pass

    @larry.balian@gmail.com said:
    Is it supposed to see video on my SD Card. Just showing a video from my local storage?
    Can I tell it where to look?

    Seems to just look at the local default video folders. Would be nice to be able to add custom paths to SD cards.

  • dlevasseurdlevasseur Members Posts: 106 ✭✭

    Every video I select simply tells me I need a Plex Media Server to play the file. All of the files play fine in VLC.

  • MovieFan.PlexMovieFan.Plex Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 15,131 Plex Employee

    Can you provide the log from the app after recreating this problem?

  • Plan-BPlan-B Members, Plex Pass Posts: 76 Plex Pass

    @Gregflix said:

    1. Pick a video file from the list

    I think this UI needs some kind of folder navigation. The list on my device numbers into the thousands with all kinds of random video clips. That's a lot of scrolling to find a specific video.

  • MovieFan.PlexMovieFan.Plex Members, Plex Pass, Plex Ninja Posts: 15,131 Plex Employee

    More updates are coming. This is just round 1 to show off the video playback ability.

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