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If you currently use your Mac as a home media hub, you might already be using Plex instead of competitors like XBMC or Boxee. If you aren’t, you may very well be downloading it after midnight tonight, because a new update -- coupled with an all-new iOS app -- brings some magical new capabilities.
CrunchGear got the exclusive scoop on Plex/Nine, the latest version of the popular Plex media center software for Mac OS X. At the top of the list of new features is the introduction of an all-new media manager as well as an iOS app which brings all the Plex goodness to your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Thanks to Plex Media Manager (which requires Snow Leopard 10.6 to operate), adding media to your Plex library just got a whole lot easier. Media Manager is installed as an applet when you install Plex/Nine, and runs as a Finder menu item to easily manage your media -- including adding new titles, creating new categories and jumping into Plex proper.
Perhaps the bigger news for Plex fans is that Plex/Nine will shortly have a swanky new universal iOS app, which allows you to use your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad as a remote control for the Mac software -- and even to stream that media from your computer to your handheld device, as you can see from the quick overview video embedded below.
Among the clever tricks that the Plex iOS app brings to users is the ability to resume watching media already in progress. You can watch part of a show while sitting at your computer, then take your iPad into the bedroom and pick up where you left off before rolling over and counting sheep for the night.
For many users, Plex/Nine might eclipse the need for an updated Apple TV or something like the rumored iTV device from Apple, especially since Plex can access your iTunes library in addition to media files you have elsewhere, including network-attached servers or local drives.
Plex/Nine will be released at midnight EST on Tuesday morning, and the iOS app should be available in the App Store shortly thereafter -- full details are available on the Plex website.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter