Plex has just received new “skills” that make it voice-activated, as it now plays nice with Amazon Alexa.
This means that Plex users can now ask Alexa to play content from their Plex media library, without needing to use a remote control. The Alexa skill also allows Plex users to play music from their collection.
“[W]e’re incredibly pleased to announce that Plex will be coming to life on all Alexa-enabled devices starting Feb. 2, 2017, with the Amazon Alexa skill,” says Plex.
“With Plex and Alexa, your home gets even smarter. Now you can run your home theater or play your favorite playlists, simply by talking,” Plex further touts. “By controlling your media libraries with your voice through Alexa, you are one step closer to full home integration! For the home of the future, Plex is the perfect solution.”
Plex-Alexa Integration Limitations
This marks the media player’s first steps toward home automation, albeit there are still some limitations for now. For instance, users can’t play music directly on an Amazon Echo, Tap or Dot speaker, but the company hopes to make it an option in the future.
At the same time, the integration doesn’t support media playback from a number of Plex devices such as Xbox 360 and Xbox One players, or LG Smart TVs – at least not for now. The integration doesn’t support Plex Cloud either, nor voice control for the “Photos,” “Other Video,” or “Watch Later” sections.
Lastly, users can’t rely on Alexa to navigate through the menu or control video playback other than play and pause through voice commands.
Enabling Plex-Alexa Integration
It’s also worth pointing out that in order to take advantage of this Plex-Alexa integration, users have to enable Remote Access for their media software’s settings. To do so, head over to Settings > Servers > Remote Access in Plex Web App.
On Android devices such as the Nvidia Shield, users can launch and control Plex when the app is running in the background. On other devices such as Roku, however, it will only work if the Plex app is open.
In its online documentation, Plex also notes that the difficulty of the setup process will also vary. In some cases it will be automatically configured, but in other cases users will have to get slightly technical.
Either way, once it’s all set up, all users have to do is access the Alexa web app to enable the Plex Skill. To do so, users will need to authenticate to their Plex account with their credentials (username + password).
Lastly, users will have to tell Alexa which Plex Media Server should be used by default. Simply tell Alexa to “ask Plex to change my default server” and if you have several options, it will return a list of servers to choose from. If you only have one, Alexa will set it as the default.
To learn more about the new Plex-Alexa integration, check out the company’s video embedded below, aptly titled “Plex and Amazon: We got skillz.”
If you already tried it out, drop by our comment section below and tell us about your experience.
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