Considering move from iTunes to Plex... help!



I'm not a PLEX user yet.... just shopping. So I have maybe 10,000 songs in iTunes. I'd like to move to a server-type system like Plex but not knowing Plex, I don't know what I don't know.

1) IMPORT: I saw a thread that Plex can import the iTunes Library and ratings and play lists. I have a ton of play lists and this is important to me as are ratings. The thread I saw was 3 years old, can someone comment on how well the import process works?

2) SMART PLAYLISTS: Itunes has smart playlists (e.g every song with "three stars or more". If I import such a playlist from iTunes, is it still "smart" in PLEX? E.g. will it continue to act like a smart playlist?

3) DRM MUSIC: I have a fair amount of music purchased thru the iTunes store and some of it is DRM. Can I play those with PLEX after import or is there another process to convert those to be DRM-FREE I must follow first.?

4) SENDING MUSIC TO MULTIPLE DEVICES. Right now, my iTunes "server" (a mac mini) can play songs in a play list and send them to multiple devices. So let's say I have a party, I will fire up itunes and "send the music" to 3 destinations (Kitchen Airport Express, Apple TV in Family room, Airport Express in basement) and the music pumps out all three locations in sync. Can I do this with PLEX?

Thanks in advance,


You will be disappointed. Plex is only better for it's ability to transcode/server to non-Apple clients like Roku, PS*, Amazonia, Samsung TVs. If you are in a totally Apple environment then there's little or no added value in Plex.

1) Yes, it can read the iTunes library.
2) I think it can read the smart playlist but only as a static list - not as a live updating list.
3) You would have to convert the DRM files to un-DRM.
4) Plex is just a server. Only a client can do airplay. However, Sonos ($$$) has a system of speakers that can do the multi-stream trick.


Firstly, I am a Windows person and only use iTunes for my iPhones, iPods, and iPads. I have about 50k songs so my move from iTunes to Plex was a serious decision.

1) It can read iTunes, but it depends on what platform your sever is running. I was able to read iTunes when I had Plex running on a Raspberry Pi 3. Cannot get it to work running on a QNAP NAS.
2) Not sure about smart play lists - never used that feature. I do miss Genius playlists, although if you purchase Plex Pass, you get Plex Mix which is sort of similar.
3) I have had no problems playing anything I have purchased from iTunes in its native m4a. If need be, you can have iTunes convert it to mp3. It does play PLAC and WMA so it is more versatile than iTunes.
4) I do miss iTunes AirPlay feature, however, my condo is small enough that I only "need" to play 1 systems at a time. I can play music in the living/dining room, switch it to my phone as I head out the door, to my computer when I need to work in the office, back to the living room, and eventually to the speaker in the bedroom from phone. The guest bedroom, garage, and patio I can broadcast from my phone to a couple of Bose Bluetooth speakers.

What sold me to buy Plex Pass was the Plex Mix to create random playlists for trips, and the ability to sync them or whole albums to my phone for traveling. You can stream via cellular, and/or store content on the phone.

When I travel in Europe, where roaming can be expensive, Wi-Fi spotty, or one needs 7 or 8 hours of music for the flight, it is good to have it on the phone. Unlike iTunes, I can be in a hotel in Madrid, create a playlist, sync it on my phone, and I am ready to go. With iTunes, you can only download purchased content from the cloud. Ripped content must be on your local computer to place it on the phone. With Plex, all your content is on your server and you either stream or sync it onto your phone no matter where you are.