When I want to stream locally stored media to my television, I turn to Plex. The popular service has apps for many devices such as Xbox One and Apple TV — both of which I own. Heck, even my Samsung 4K TV has Plex support built in. Ultimately, the value of the service is found in both its ease of use and cross-platform support.
Never known to stand on its laurels, Plex is constantly improving, and today, it gets a really exciting new feature. Users of the service that are also owners of Amazon Echo or other compatible devices can now leverage the Alexa voice assistant to interact with Plex.
“The Plex Alexa experience begins with a quick setup. First, tell Alexa to enable the Plex skill. Link your account and then ask her to ‘open Plex’ to start using the skill. From there, you can have her ask Plex to play whatever media you like on any of your players. You can ask for suggestions, ‘ask Plex what’s On Deck,’ and more! To learn more about the Plex Alexa skill, head over to https://www.plex.tv/alexa and enjoy the future!” says Plex.
The company further says, “If you’re the proud owner of an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Fire TV, or Fire tablet, you’ll be able to dive right in. If you’re still on the fence as to whether to let Alexa into your life, let me share a few examples of how the new Plex skill can save you time, improve your marriage, and rescue you from up to dozens of mouse clicks every day!”
The company shares a couple of faux comedic dialogues to highlight how Alexa might be used with its service. You can see one of them below.
Confrontational Craig: I don’t think I can handle another episode of Arrow. I can literally feel my soul escaping through my eyes whenever I think about it. Literally.
Sensible Sarah: I’m pretty sure you mean figuratively. Anyway, what would you like to watch?
Craig: I dunno. What do you wanna watch?
Sarah: I dunno.
Repeat last two lines for 30 minutes.
Sarah: I know, let’s ask Plex! “Alexa, ask Plex to suggest something to watch!”
Alexa: You were right in the middle of an episode of Arrow. Would you like me to resume it?
Alexa: How about returning to something you haven’t watched in a while? Would you like me to put on the next episode of Celebrity Deathmatch?
Alexa: How about starting a new series? Would you like me to put on the first episode of Son of Zorn?
Confrontational Craig and Sensible Sarah look at each other. Eyes lock. Neither can find a reason to reject such a sensible proposal.
Sarah and Craig (in breathy unison): Sure!
Alexa (in her characteristic, optimistic tone): Okay, enjoy season one episode one of Son of Zorn: Return to Orange County!
While some folks will say this is just another way to make some people even lazier — and I do not disagree — it is still very useful nonetheless. After all, consuming media is all about relaxation and entertainment — voice controls makes this experience less strenuous. On a more serious note, this could come in very handy for those with certain disabilities too.
Are you a Plex user that plans to use Alexa? Tell me in the comments.