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Plex update brings local video playback to its Android app

No more workarounds through a media server or third-party app required.

Plex's last few big announcements include unveiling live TV streaming for its premium subscribers and launching Plex Cloud, which lets users pipe media stored on cloud-based services (like DropBox) to any device with Plex's app installed. But the software provider hasn't forgotten folks who like locally storing content. The newest version of Plex's Android app now lets you play any video file on the device (or SD card) without needing to route it through a media server or a third-party app.

As the instructions point out, all videos are fetched automatically and listed alphabetically. Most playback features are supported, but you can't fling a video to Chromecast or another Plex app yet and external subtitles aren't supported. (Worst of all, it won't remember where you left off if you exit the video. Ugh.) The app can play .MP4, .MKV, .AVI, .WMV and .WMD formats -- just note that the first time you play a video of that type, you'll need internet access for the app to update player support components. After that, watch offline to your heart's content.

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