Plex users can now personalize their viewing experience

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Plex, the company that gives users a way to easily manage and access their personal library of movies, TV shows, music, and photos, is rolling out a new look for its on-screen interface. Dubbed “modern,” it leverages illustrations from a selected movie or TV show to create a more immersive look, instead of the typical black-back poster design that has defined the Plex experience for years. The new design will appear on Apple TV and Roku clients today, and Android TV will be available soon. Finally, other Plex customers will also be included.

The new look can be seen on the Plex homepage as well as the TV guide and detail pages that appear when you select a title from your library. Fortunately, if you’re not a fan of the modern look, you can choose to stick with what Plex now calls its classic interface. If you go for the modern design, Plex gives you control over how the artwork and background colors fit together. You can decide whether you want Plex to automatically pick up the background colors from the title artwork or stick with the default black gradient.

Plex

According to the Plex blog, the goal was to “bring film artwork to the fore and improve the user interface – rather than compete with – poster art.” This approach is most evident on the Plex home screen. Previously, movie and show posters were presented in a grid format, with titles appearing directly below the posters. Since this didn’t leave much room for text, longer titles were truncated and you could only see them as scrolling text when you moved the active selection to the movie you were interested in. With the new interface, the movie or show posters act like their own titles – the theory being that most posters communicate their titles quite well. Moving the selection to a specific title brings up all the show-specific information (title, description, year, runtime, etc.) at the top of the homepage, along with a background inspired by illustrations.

Plex claims that the Modern interface is the result of extensive user consultation:

“We invited our test users to try out the new user interface available in several of our big screen apps. As the experiment took place over several weeks, we followed closely the comments provided by users when they were posted on our forums. Over 350 (and more!) Comments were made on the subject of the experience, providing a wealth of constructive feedback, ideas and discussion. “

Those comments were then taken into account as Plex’s design team worked out the final details.

In addition to letting you manage your media library more efficiently, Plex has introduced several additional features over the past two years, including:

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