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A new Plex client for Mac

cdhobden@gmail.comcdhobden@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

I would like to introduce to you the tentatively titled PlexMini, a new client for Mac (?!). (if anyone from Plex would like me to rename now is the time to tell me )

what is PlexMini ?
PlexMini is a 3rd party. client for Mac OS X 10.7 and later. PlexMini is not associated with Plex in any way, please do not contact them for support.


History
I work in a multi monitor environment and sometimes while working I like to have old TV shows playing in a window on one monitor just for background noise. I also like too watch films on a second screen while gaming.
To help with this I wrote Media Menu, a small app to give you quick access to your movies and TV shows from the menu bar. A little while after this I converted the rest of the house from XBMC to Plex and once you have a good Plex setup you can't really go back to anything else.

Like XBMC before the Plex client is a great HTPC but was awkward in a desktop environment. And for me it was also impossible to watch a film and play a game at the same time, so I wrote PlexMini for myself. When Plexweb was released I tried converting to that but the choice of either flash or Safari drove me back to Plexmini.

Recently someone asked me for Plex support in Media Menu, I told them that it wasn't really possible but I could release Plexmini. As they were very keen I went back and looked at Plexmini again, the version I am releasing now is almost identical to the one I have been using for a long time. The main differences are a new way of displaying the items, visually its identical but it uses up about 1/4 of the ram the old one did, and an internal player using Apples AVKit.
The first version used VLC as an external player, this worked fine for me but not perfectly. Its something I may consider enabling again as a side feature but with warnings, if people are interested. I also tested VLCKit as an embedded player, this worked well but after reading up on the licensing I took a couple of pain killers for the headache and decided to avoid it.


Features

  • Movie support
  • TV Show support
  • Picture support
  • Music support
  • myPlex
  • Play on other client (just right click an item)
  • Remote control Plexmini from the Plex mobile apps

Future

  • New Icon!
  • HTTPS support
  • Improve music support (I never use Plex for music so it didn't get much attention)
  • Remote control other clients from Plexmini (I wrote a Chrome extension that did this so I never needed it, would anyone be interested in me releasing the extension?)
  • Channel support (again not a feature I use so not something I needed)
  • Improvements the player window (Media index files, details in the overlay etc)
  • Sync support and act as a server for synced content (sync a film to your laptop visit a friend's house and watch that film on their tv!)

What else would you like to see?

At some point in the future (before the next major version bump) I plain to release the source, as it was only ever written for me it needs cleaning, commenting and refactoring to rename things that don't quite match up anymore.

Known issues
10.7 (Lion) has had very little testing. My only access is via a virtual machine.
There are some display niggles on 10.7 associated with changing modes, restarting Plexmini will fix them.


How can you help?
feedback, new colour schemes, bug reports, feature ideas etc

DISCLAIMER
While beta versions will always be free, and at some point the source code will also be available, I do intend put release versions onto the Mac Appstore for a very small fee. I am a freelance developer by trade and my time is my job. While I am not looking to make a profit from Plexmini it is in my nature to try and help people and add features they would like to see. Every hour I spend on Plexmini is an hour I am not earning money else where.
Betas will expire, this is just to make support easier for me, I will try to make sure there is always a valid beta available for those who can not buy the Appstore version but i can’t guarantee it.


Download

RC2b (changelog) (Report Bug)

RC2a

RC2

RC1b

RC1a

RC1

Beta 0.9.3

Beta 0.9.2a 

Beta 0.9.2

Beta 0.9.1

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t8cDAbN.png
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Comments

  • rb2krb2k Members, Plex Pass Posts: 8 Plex Pass

    Neat. Just gave it a quick test and everything worked fine. Great work!

  • rayganraygan Members, Plex Pass Posts: 87 Plex Pass

    So far I like it! I'm definitely impressed.

    An important addition for me would be a search feature. I have a large library and it's been difficult to find stuff without it.

    The Backstage mode is pretty slick and is currently my favorite way to use the app. 

    I'd like to have a list view in addition to the graphical posters view.

    Also, I think the buttons around the edge of the window are pretty low contrast and hard to make out on my screen, particularly in the "Dark" theme but even in the "Light" theme.

    With the player window, I'd prefer if title bar faded out similar to the way it does in QuickTime Player, and I'd like some skip forward and backward buttons to jump 30 seconds, or a minute, or a few minutes forward and backward.

    I'll try to use it a bit more over the next week or two and give you any other impressions.

  • cdhobden@gmail.comcdhobden@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass
    raygan wrote on September 8 2013, 1:21 AM: »

    So far I like it! I'm definitely impressed.

    An important addition for me would be a search feature. I have a large library and it's been difficult to find stuff without it.

    The Backstage mode is pretty slick and is currently my favorite way to use the app. 

    I'd like to have a list view in addition to the graphical posters view.

    Also, I think the buttons around the edge of the window are pretty low contrast and hard to make out on my screen, particularly in the "Dark" theme but even in the "Light" theme.

    With the player window, I'd prefer if title bar faded out similar to the way it does in QuickTime Player, and I'd like some skip forward and backward buttons to jump 30 seconds, or a minute, or a few minutes forward and backward.

    I'll try to use it a bit more over the next week or two and give you any other impressions.

    I'm a bit of a keyboard nut so often things are there but don't have buttons. I will address that.

    cmd-f will bring up the search box.

    left and right arrows will jump forward/backwards 10sec while playing.

    up and down arrows will jump forward/backwards 10% while playing.

    I have a designer friend who is doing me a new icon taking a look at contrast problems, it will be addressed. just by someone who knows more about this sort of thing than me :)

    List view is a good idea, i will add it to the list.
     
    The title bar in the player window has bugged me too since the first day i added the new player, that one is quite a high priority for me!
     
    All this feedback is great, just what i am looking for, many thanks.
     
    I was a bit worried no one would get the concept of why it needed to exist but so far people seem to be onboard which is great :)
  • rayganraygan Members, Plex Pass Posts: 87 Plex Pass
    edited September 2013

    Had a few crashes. Most were just silent but one gave me a log message.

    When this one occurred I had just had a silent crash in the middle of playback. I reopened the app and tried to re-start playback and got this second crash.

    Here's the log:

    http://pastebin.com/SYuLJZ8Y
    

    EDIT: I moved the log to a Pastebin so that it wouldn't take forever to scroll past. :-)

  • rayganraygan Members, Plex Pass Posts: 87 Plex Pass

    Another important thing is that I would prefer if the sections would remember what view options I have chosen. For instance I prefer the TV Shows section to be set to Recently Viewed Shows. Right now I have to switch it back from alphabetical every time I change sections or relaunch the app.

  • rayganraygan Members, Plex Pass Posts: 87 Plex Pass
    edited September 2013

    Another issue, this one pretty MAJOR!

    TV Show episodes are definitely not showing up in the correct order. I just got two episodes into a new show before realizing that I was actually watching episodes 6 and 7! And it doesn't seem to display E01, E02, E03 and so on anywhere in the interface, so it's very difficult to figure out what order I'm supposed to watch things in.

    For example, here is Season 1 of Game of Thrones in PlexMini:

    CGn5HDq.jpg

    And here it is in MyPlex:

    bcKkZ4E.jpg

    I think this should be priority number one, as it basically makes PlexMini unusable for TV shows.

    EDIT: That is, episode lists inherit the sorting of whatever view you were on before opening the TV show, and the sort button disappears. Eventually I realized that if I set the TV Shows list to sort in Date Released Descending order before selecting a show I could get the episodes to display in order, but this is pretty clearly an app-breaking bug as far as I am concerned. TV shows should always default to showing in episode order, and certainly shouldn't sort by title or whatever.

  • cdhobden@gmail.comcdhobden@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    Thanks for all the feed back Raygan. Unfortunately I have been unable to get to the bottom of the crash but i won't give up. If you find a way to reliably replicate it please let me know.

    As for the sorting order I'll get a new version out later today giving a the appropriate default for each type and remembering what you had it set to last.

  • cdhobden@gmail.comcdhobden@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    version 0.9.2 posted above, this is just a small bump to fix some easy problems people have reported.

  • bigbadrabbitbigbadrabbit Members, Plex Pass Posts: 289 Plex Pass

    Maybe too early but PlexMini isn't working on OS X 10.9 Mavericks DP 7. It immediately crashes after launch.

  • cdhobden@gmail.comcdhobden@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass
    bigbadrabbit wrote on September 9 2013, 12:59 PM: »

    Maybe too early but PlexMini isn't working on OS X 10.9 Mavericks DP 7. It immediately crashes after launch.

    Actually not to early, it is built on 10.9 with Xcode 5.0 so its been tested on this more than anything else.

    Do you have any crash log? if you are not getting a the crash reporter pop up please can you also check Activity Monitor and make sure its not still running but gone into the background?

    There was a bug that could remove the Dock icon but not show the menu bar icon, this made it look like it had crashed but it was still running. I thought I had fixed that one...

  • bigbadrabbitbigbadrabbit Members, Plex Pass Posts: 289 Plex Pass
    Camelus wrote on September 9 2013, 1:07 PM: »

    Actually not to early, it is built on 10.9 with Xcode 5.0 so its been tested on this more than anything else.

    Do you have any crash log? if you are not getting a the crash reporter pop up please can you also check Activity Monitor and make sure its not still running but gone into the background?

    There was a bug that could remove the Dock icon but not show the menu bar icon, this made it look like it had crashed but it was still running. I thought I had fixed that one...

    No crash reporter for me. Also no running process in Activity Monitor.

    Log says:

    09.09.13 15:36:22,351   PlexMini[9260]  *** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInternalInconsistencyException', reason: 'Invalid parameter not satisfying: aString != nil'
    

    Here's the full log.

  • cdhobden@gmail.comcdhobden@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    I have just uploaded a new version that I think might fix the issue, please can you try again.

  • rayganraygan Members, Plex Pass Posts: 87 Plex Pass

    Nice job fixing the episode order thing.

    I'd also really find it helpful if I could easily see watched/unwatched status, kind of the way Plex/Web does. Like this:

    Q3Rgka8.png

    Keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to buying your app when you finally begin offering it on the Mac App Store.

  • bigbadrabbitbigbadrabbit Members, Plex Pass Posts: 289 Plex Pass
    Camelus wrote on September 9 2013, 6:36 PM: »

    I have just uploaded a new version that I think might fix the issue, please can you try again.

    It works! Thanks, camelus!

  • fheuselfheusel Members, Plex Pass Posts: 17 Plex Pass

    I'd like to see an option to play media without live transcoding on my media-server (because this thing is simply to slow to handle this task). Maybe based on ffmpeg or the external VLC option you mentioned?

  • robot2xlrobot2xl Members, Plex Pass Posts: 533 Plex Pass
    edited September 2013

    Wow, thanks!

    Works well on Mac OS 10.8.3. But when I put my username and password for MyPlex freezes.

    robot2xl

  • cdhobden@gmail.comcdhobden@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    Sorry for the delay in replying, its a very busy work week. I should have a new version out this weekend.

    robot2xl wrote on September 10 2013, 12:22 PM: »

    Wow, thanks!

    Works well on Mac OS 10.8.3. But when I put my username and password for MyPlex freezes.

    Do you get prompted for Keychain access? Is there any crash report? If you leave it does it unfreeze after a while?

  • robot2xlrobot2xl Members, Plex Pass Posts: 533 Plex Pass

    No access to the keychain requested. No crash report. The only way out of the freeze is forcing out.

    robot2xl

  • cdhobden@gmail.comcdhobden@gmail.com Members, Plex Pass Posts: 18 Plex Pass

    New beta uploaded, very minor update. Mostly fixing reported crashes.

  • robot2xlrobot2xl Members, Plex Pass Posts: 533 Plex Pass

    Thanks Camelus, great app!

    robot2xl

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