Plex launches new Web Client and PlexPass subscription, updates Media Server

Plex fans among us just got treated to a smorgasbord -- albeit one that isn't completely free. The media front-end developer hopes to boost its bottom line through PlexPass, a subscription service that amounts to a paid beta program. Shell out $4 per month and you'll get early access to in-development features, including a slate of premium-only extras during their incubation phase. One of the more ordinary (if important) features is going live today: a revamped Web Client not only rivals the native OS X app for speed but offers full media playback on top of the usual queue management. Whether you subscribe or not, you'll want to get an updated Media Server app that supports both PlexPass and the new client along with improving the server's behavior in several areas, such as lowering its memory use and supporting RTMP transcoding. We hope Plex keeps enough components on the free side of the fence as time goes on. For now, at least, we'll see the paid model as a way for loyalists to reward a company that has been powering their home theater PCs for years.