Reverting to a previous Version of plex/ Plex 5.0 UI issues.

ios

#1

Having upgraded the iPad plex app to version 5.0 i have found the new UI very clumsy and difficult to use.

It feels as if Plex have thrown a digital hand granade at my carefully crafted library system.

It now takes 5 or 6 “clicks” to get to the content I’m looking for.

Simply put I would like to revert to the previous version 4.2. But can’t find a way to do this. Any help grately appreciated.


#2

Hi @Ardenus

Unfortunately. it is not possible to downgrade to the previous version of the app on iOS. That said I am eager to get some feedback from you around your comments about extra "clicks" etc

There is a nice forum post from one of my colleagues that goes over the reason for the change here https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1675950/#Comment_1675950

That said, I would still love to understand where the UI is causing you friction and any constructive thoughts on how you feel it could be improved.


#3

Please give us the posibility to choose view then.


#4

@chrisallen said:
Hi @Ardenus

Unfortunately. it is not possible to downgrade to the previous version of the app on iOS. That said I am eager to get some feedback from you around your comments about extra "clicks" etc

There is a nice forum post from one of my colleagues that goes over the reason for the change here https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1675950/#Comment_1675950

That said, I would still love to understand where the UI is causing you friction and any constructive thoughts on how you feel it could be improved.

Under previous versions, I could access my CFP Exam videos by clicking the CFP Exam library icon on the Browse screen. Now, I have to: 1) Click More, 2) Click Other Videos, 3) Select the CFP Library from the drop-down menu; 4) Click All Other Videos. Changing the user requirements from 1-click to 4-clicks is a huge step backwards.

The old focus on Libraries was FLEXIBLE. Because your users use Plex in very different ways, forcing things into the Media Type paradigm eliminated that flexibility and made it difficult to use. We create Libraries based upon how WE organize and think about our content.

With 5.0, Plex made certain assumptions (very Netflix-like) about how we might want to view/sort our content. The vast majority of them are utterly useless to how I use Plex. Instead, let me create a preset based upon: i) Library (NOT Media Type); ii) Artist/Album/Track; TV Shows/Seasons/Episodes/Collections; Movies/Collections; iii) Grid, List or Folder view; iv) Filter; v) Sort Order and then add an icon for this preset to my Home Screen. This gives me the flexibility to organize/view/think about MY content in useful ways to ME.


#5

Completely agree. It's getting worse with every release. Infuse is a nice Plex client.


#6

The blog post talks about allowing me to customize my home screen and put things on it from anywhere in the app. But then fails to explain how.

I'm completely perPLEXed by this version. Is there a posting that explains HOW to add stuff to the home screen?


#7

@fbarling This guide should hopefully point you in the right direction on how to customise your home screen.
https://support.plex.tv/articles/customizing-the-apps/


#8

@WingmanNZ said:
Hi @Ardenus

Unfortunately. it is not possible to downgrade to the previous version of the app on iOS. That said I am eager to get some feedback from you around your comments about extra “clicks” etc

There is a nice forum post from one of my colleagues that goes over the reason for the change here https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1675950/#Comment_1675950

That said, I would still love to understand where the UI is causing you friction and any constructive thoughts on how you feel it could be improved.

Thanks for the quick response, it really is appreciated.

Unfortunately It looks like I’m stuck with using plex web or infuse on my iPad for the mean time.

Librarys

I have been using Plex for many years along with my family.
Over this time I have invested a great deal of time and effort to create a library system (over 30 library’s) that used to function really well across all of our devices for all users with what has become a very considerable media library.

I like having the option to search Plex via my library system but also enjoy some of the recommendations from plex this worked really well on the last version of the Plex app with browse and discover tabs along with the full library section in the side bar.

Removing the library function from the side bar and including parts of it under the new media tabs shows, movies, music, etc now means that my library system has become fragmented.

Previous version of Plex including all server librarys in the side bar (scroll feature to access the rest):

Current version of Plex with librarys removed from the side bar:

Current version of Plex with segregated librarys under media type. Including synced library content adding to the mess, confusion and fragmentation:

Under the previous system (Usually 2 Clicks Required)

  1. Swipe the side bar view all librarys in one convienent place.

  2. Tap on a library.

  3. Select either browse or discover depending on how I wanted to view the content with just two options here the memory function works well. Meaning I usually don’t have to carry out this step.

Under the new system (usually 4 Clicks required):

  1. Click the Required media tab Shows, Movies, Music.

(having over 30 mixed library’s I need to remember what is where as I no longer have access to the complete library list in one place)

  1. Click the library from the top left drop down menu if this was last used in browse mode this return to the same library in discover mode.

  2. Select the correct library from the top left drop down menu with a further click. (if previously in browse mode)

  3. To browse the content of the library I then need to select all shows. The memory function does not work as well here as Ifrequently change the library under media type.

  4. if selecting “other videos” or podcasts but do not wish to have these on the home screen a further click is required.

This is very annoying as it is something that I do multiple times each time I visit the app. The current system feels much less intuative and messy.

Synced content

I can no longer easily see the content that has been synced to my iPad all in one place it’s has now been scattered around in the media sections library view.

Previous plex version: Local and Synced content or Server content.

This system was much cleaner, easier and intuative to use.

New system:

Repetitive posters And wasted space.

In general I like the recently released, recently added sections in discovery mode however these can produce repetative results as shown in the picture bellow.

Some of the “discovery bars” can also produce odd items under movies I have on top movies in Crime thriller which only produces one result as its not a popular genre for me this leads to a lot of wasted space I have no option to custmise this by either removing it or changing the genre.

Happy additions

Podcasts. Great to have this.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Plex is still a product I greatly appreciate and I understand that people use it in a vareity of ways to organise there media.

  1. All librarys available in one place (excluding Synced content) I would reccomend the side bar which worked really well for me and mirrors how I use plex on my desktop with PMS and PMP continuity makes life simple.

  2. A return to the previous system of accessing local and synced content or Server based content. Much cleaner and more intuative.

  3. Customisation of content in the media tabs. Ability to remove and re-order “browse bars” (Recently played, Recently added, Recently released, continue watching etc etc.).

  4. Option to be able to include selected Full library content to home screen for example all Films, all TV shows etc etc.


#9

I completely agree with this post. The latest version and the custom home page completely negates how I've configured and use PLEX on my iPhone. I dislike the direction this is going, the incessant obsession with showing me multiple selections of similar or recently played media on every page. And for some reason these are all we can assign to the home page. Why not the option for placing our libraries straight on the home page? I don’t need to see who’s on tour, what’s just been aired or what I listened to last month. I always liked Plex for the ability to hide or avoid all this superfluous fluff but now I have to wade through it to find my media, it’s getting as irritating and preachy as Netflix or Amazon.


#10

@Ardenus Great post.

@chrisallen One possible suggestion:

I would probably be happy if I could just add links for my content to the home screen viewed in grid or list form.

"Movies (MyServer)" -=> links to the browse view of my movies on my server
"Kids Movies (MyServer)" -=> links to the browse view of my Kids movies on my server
"Documentary (MyServer)" -=> links to the browse view of my Documentary on my server
"Movies (NotMyServer)" -=> links to the browse view of my movies on my friends server

I believe this would appease most users. Keeping the new fluffy Home screen that i'm sure the Plex devs are extremely proud of, while still allowing the content navigation that we are so desperate to have returned back to us.

I have a post which outlays the extra clicks I have to go through with every use of the plex app on my IOS devices.
forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1680045/#Comment_1680045


#11

Since Plex forces you to categorize content to a limited set of buckets based on how metadata is scraped or how it is grouped on screen, I have my content logically broken out by libraries and have always used libraries as the main access point to my content. Similar content may be classified as a 'TV Show' a 'Movie' or 'Other' and could all appear next to each other for the user to see in the old UI. The new UI totally breaks this and now forces users to first know what 'type' was used to classify the content to find it when browsing.

One example is instructional/training videos. Some of these need to be classified as a 'TV Show' to get the 'series/season/episode' grouping to logically break out and group the videos with a separate library for each type of training. Other content with just one-off videos is in the 'other' category. Before the user just selected the appropriate 'Training' library - now it is scattered all over the UI based on the type used when the library was created.

With the new UI, home video libraries that used to be front and center are now hidden behind a 'more' button and grouped in with a bunch of other libraries.

From a WAF (wife acceptance factor) standpoint I am going to have to find another solution unless something changes. Old UI: Wife logged in to her profile, clicked on the library she wanted to watch (general home videos, kids performances, kid friendly TV, kid friendly Movie, etc. What was one 'in your face' click before is now a process buried behind categories.


#12

@chrisallen said:
Hi @Ardenus

Unfortunately. it is not possible to downgrade to the previous version of the app on iOS. That said I am eager to get some feedback from you around your comments about extra "clicks" etc

There is a nice forum post from one of my colleagues that goes over the reason for the change here https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1675950/#Comment_1675950

That said, I would still love to understand where the UI is causing you friction and any constructive thoughts on how you feel it could be improved.

This is 100% untrue and questionably misleading. As a Plex employee, why would you purposefully lie about the ability to downgrade the app? What purpose does this serve—forcing people to use the new UI?

Any ways, it is not only possible to downgrade Plex but any app for that matter. Itunes keeps older versions of apps (in the file format of an ipa) in a folder:

Windows - C:\Users\<username>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Mobile Applications\
Mac - ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications/

You then use iTunes to install (sync) the older ipa to your device.

@Ardenus


#13

One suggestion here: Give us the ability to add a library as an item on the home screen. Right now you can customize the home screen by adding the objects that you want, but direct links to a specific library is not one of these options.


#14

@caltrask said:
This is 100% untrue and questionably misleading. As a Plex employee, why would you purposefully lie about the ability to downgrade the app? What purpose does this serve—forcing people to use the new UI?

Any ways, it is not only possible to downgrade Plex but any app for that matter. Itunes keeps older versions of apps (in the file format of an ipa) in a folder:

Windows - C:\Users\<username>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Mobile Applications\
Mac - ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications/

You then use iTunes to install (sync) the older ipa to your device.

@Ardenus

While it is possible to use this method if you have iTunes keeping the older version of apps. Not all users do this (I personally don't use iTunes for anything, and instead just use the App Store on my device, along with iCloud backups)

So, if you are a user that has iTunes setup to save old versions, then yes, you can downgrade (as you have outlined) but for most users that will not be possible. It was not my intention to lie, or mislead.


#15

@caltrask said:

@chrisallen said:
Hi @Ardenus

Unfortunately. it is not possible to downgrade to the previous version of the app on iOS. That said I am eager to get some feedback from you around your comments about extra "clicks" etc

There is a nice forum post from one of my colleagues that goes over the reason for the change here https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1675950/#Comment_1675950

That said, I would still love to understand where the UI is causing you friction and any constructive thoughts on how you feel it could be improved.

This is 100% untrue and questionably misleading. As a Plex employee, why would you purposefully lie about the ability to downgrade the app? What purpose does this serve—forcing people to use the new UI?

Any ways, it is not only possible to downgrade Plex but any app for that matter. Itunes keeps older versions of apps (in the file format of an ipa) in a folder:

Windows - C:\Users\<username>\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Mobile Applications\
Mac - ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Mobile Applications/

You then use iTunes to install (sync) the older ipa to your device.

@Ardenus

Thanks for your post.

I’m using a Mac, I looked in the mobile applications folder in the music folder but the last version 4.2 is not in there anybody know where I might find it?


#16

Please add your vote for library’s in the home screen by liking the first comment in the feature request post here:forums.plex.tv/discussion/323251/feature-request-v7-mobile-app-individual-libraries-on-home-screen#latest


#17

Also please vote in the version 4 Vs version 5 poll here:
forums.plex.tv/discussion/322681/do-you-prefer-plex-for-ios-v4-or-v5#latest


#18

Hi @chrisallen,

I was wondering what your thoughts were on the issues I raised with the upgrade to version 5?

I have tried to get used to the new system but still find it counter intuitive to use, I’m really missing having all the library’s in one place in the side bar.

I understand the app will change with time, but cannot understand why you would remove this feature if not replacing it with something that worked better than the current mess.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.


#19

@chrisallen I've posted my constructive feedback regarding the new UI here:
https://forums.plex.tv/discussion/comment/1682384/#Comment_1682384


#20

Still hoping someone can tell me where the mobile apps are stored in iTunes 12.75, i have checked in:
Music/Mobile Applications but cant find it.

Im also not sure how to revert back to the previous version once I find it.