I had to comment as of this last update, 5.0.
The podcasts are great to finally have, but the new iOS interface is ABYSMAL. To think I was excited about the “customization” options that they described in the release notes. It turns out the “customization” simply means adding, removing, or reordering all of the useless, unnecessary content “rows” that Plex is so obsessed with, such as “recently added”, “recently aired”, “top movies with ——“. Really?? I SERIOUSLY have not a SINGLE one of the “content categories” that I would care to put into the “home” screen. Not a single one.
Then you have the individual library sections, such as movies, TV shows, etc., whichever libraries you’ve created on your server. The splash page for these individual libraries is a joke! There is no customization inside these library splash pages. You have a top “on deck” row, with posters, then a single line button for “all TV shows, etc,” followed by a single line button for Playlists, then more poster based content rows, like the above mentioned useless rows.
Looking at these screen is like being able to see a fart… All this cloudy, randomness billowing around with no room for my eyes to “breathe”! I can’t focus on one thing! If I only have 1 item “on deck”, then my On Deck row, which takes the top ONE THIRD of the screen becomes a useless waste of space with only a single poster (see image below). Then as I scroll down, I see repeated items listed in the various poster based category rows, since that item meets the criteria to be in each row. It’s a design nightmare!
Even the last version was better, where I could select my library with a large tile, then permanently select between 2 options at the bottom, “discover”, and “browse”. Discover would show the useless poster based category rows, while browse would let me see all my media alphabetically (or in any other sort order) and let me find the item myself, the MUCH preferred way for me. Frankly, I LIKE seeing all of my items and having to scroll through them. I have spent HOURS and HOURS carefully curating my ripped disc collection, customizing the poster choices and such. Seeing all of these beautiful, colorful posters is like looking at fruits of my labors. Every time my complete library list gets bigger because I add a new title, it only adds to my joy at seeing my hard work and growing collection.
The “content category” rows trying imitate Netflix and other streaming sites is utterly USELESS in this regard, particularly because my collection is small enough that I know what everything is. Seriously, I don’t need to see a row called “Recently Aired TV”, where said row displays several episodes of SAME TV Series, simply because all of these listed episodes happen to best fit the criteria of that row’s algorithm. See below:
Seriously! This screen does NOTHING for me! All I get from it is a weirdly placed button for “All Shows” that floats in the middle of the screen. It’s horrendously out of place. I refuse to believe that anyone would call this screen attractive. But wait, am I to blame? Do I just need to “get more media”, or “watch more shows at once”, so that my “On Deck” row has more posters? No, that’s not the answer here…
That’s my opinion at least. I feel that I should have the ability to disable these content categories completely! Please, just make the default interface have the “content categories”, but give me the option to completely disable them, so that clicking “movies” takes me RIGHT to MY full library. A little selector in the top for “movies” in other servers, like friend’s servers, is fine.
The process to get to my desired screen is now much uglier and bloated. I really didn’t think you could have stepped backwards from the last interface. The solution is easy, copy the Plex Media Player app for the PC!! This interface is the epitome of balance between the two approaches to library viewing and I LOVE it. The last iOS interface was actually closer to PMP. This recent update is a step away, and it’s hideous.