Plexamp music player review – cloud music at its best

I’ve been searching for the perfect music player forever. Spotify is near perfect, but for a big music nerd like me it still lacks some of the more underground side of music and has quite limited support for your own mp3s. Google Play Music comes close since it hosts all your mp3s, but it lacks in metadata. Less known Roon is great but very expensive for a system that doesn’t work from outside of the home network. Open source server side software like Subsonic, Madsonic and variants are ugly and need lots of work. And so on. There just isn’t any suitable player. Or is there…?

The biggest tiny music thing.

Well, there’s Plex! It’s the best media server currently available and couple of years ago they opened their music service for the Plex Pass owners. The music server and gravenote didn’t convince me first. The biggest disadvantage was the lack of any solid desktop player.

After my occasional googling of music server and music apps, I stumbled upon Plexamp. Remember Winamp? Plexamp is just like the original Winamp, kinda.

Well, let’s skip to the pros and cons, shall we?

Fast performance

App is small not only by its user interface, but I read it’s coded well. That means blazing fast performance, no lags or hiccups!

Gapless playback

Didn’t remember how much I missed this feature! Listening to a Pink Floyd and Devin Townsend is a godlike experience.

Cross platform

You can download the app for Windows, Mac and Linux. Great, huh?

Supports almost any music format

Mp3 and flac is all you need, but if you’d happen to have aiff or wma, let’s play it!

Library and artist radios

This feature is familiar from Spotify or Google Play, but I’m amazed you can do the same with your own music collections. You can listen through your related songs with just one click, how great is that?

Con: Needs a server

While I personally love servers and setting up my own media files, not many do. This can be considered as both advantage and disadvantage, but I’m quite sure many of my readers don’t have a home server so that’s why this is a clear downside.

Con: Dependent on Plex metadata

Grapevine is great, but for my underground library it is not. I have to manually go through my massive collection to get everything out of Plexamp. While it is sufficient for my daily use, it’s not perfect. It needs more work.

Con: Small may be too small

UI is great, but for my “old” eyes, it’s perhaps too small. It’s also most likely a feature and not a bug, but I hate that I can’t focus it since it lies in the menubar area of my Mac OS.

More to come?

I hope Plex Labs will build a full sized app some day with even more features. This is an app “as is” which works fine, but need definitely more.

What are your conclusions? Why do you love Plexamp, why do you hate it? Let me know!

Get Plexamp

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Roni Laukkarinen

Editor-in-chief and owner of Geeky Lifestyle blog. Truly a jack of all trades, a Swiss knife; an avid tech and multimedia geek, coder, owner of a digital agency company, sysadmin, music enthusiast, artist and film critic.

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