Plex adds Tidal integration, adds subscription bundles for both services

Posted:
in General Discussion
Media software developer Plex has enabled its users to stream Tidal through the app alongside their existing music collection, with the partnership also offering users a bundle deal that combines the two services together in a single plan that could save some customers money over buying them separately.




In the tie-up between Plex and Tidal, Plex Pass subscribers are able to access the streaming music service's entire 60 million-track and 244,000 video catalog from the Plex apps. Initially it is available from the mobile apps and online, with expansion to other platforms expected to follow.

Once a Tidal account is linked to Plex, the various Plex-based functions will take into account both the Tidal catalog as well as the user's own collection. Playlists from Plex Discovery and Artist Radio will use tracks from both sources, with music the user owns able to influence Tidal tracks that surface under the discovery features, and for Tidal track to fill in missing sections of the user's collection.

Depending on the customer, the partnership can save some users a fairly decent amount of money, via a selection of bundles. The Plex and Tidal Premium bundle costs $9.99 per month or $8.99 for existing Plex Pass users, whereas separately Plex Pass costs $3.33 per month paid on an annual basis and Tidal's Premium service costs $9.99 per month.

Potentially larger savings are available for those electing for the Tidal HiFi and Plex Pass bundle, which offers lossless audio quality for part of its music collection, for $19.99 to new users or $18.99 per month to existing Plex Pass subscribers. Tidal HiFi usually costs $19.99 per month, effectively making the Plex Pass free in the bundle.

The move is likely to be useful to both services. While Tidal is opened up to a new audience with the temptation of an integrated music service, Plex takes one more step towards its goal of making its media center software a single point of access for all of a user's content.

Previous additions to the Plex service includes personalized Plex News, live TV support, and in May, Plex Podcasts.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Shocked to learn Tidal hasn’t gone bankrupt yet.
    slprescottjbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 14
    I don’t know anyone that uses either service...

    Maybe we need a “lossless” audio quality review.

    Kids seem to like YouTube.  I use Amazon Music (included in Prime).  My family has a paid Amazon subscription for their Amazon speakers (Dots etc.).

    Most people seem OK with Apple that pay for their music.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Yeah, 'cause the lack of Tidal integration was the reason I abandoned Plex. lol
  • Reply 4 of 14

    Maybe we need a “lossless” audio quality review.
    That would have value for comparing speakers, but not services.

    Unless you're worried that they are lying about being lossless.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,185member
    I don’t know anyone that uses either service...

    Maybe we need a “lossless” audio quality review.

    Kids seem to like YouTube.  I use Amazon Music (included in Prime).  My family has a paid Amazon subscription for their Amazon speakers (Dots etc.).

    Most people seem OK with Apple that pay for their music.
    Well I've been using PLEX for YEARS!!! I paid for the LIFETIME service which was cheaper than it is now and gone though many, many updates over the years. First using it on my Windows Computer, but these days it's running on my NAS. Which I was almost out of space at just over 13TB. I just upgrade 2 of the 3TB drives to 8TB. Keeping the other 4, 3TB drives in it for now. Jumping me up to just over 18TB now. Had to get 2 as one has to be for Redundancy in RAID 5. Most of my movies and TV programs I've ripped from my large disc collection. I still by my content on Disc and the rip it myself. It's generally cheaper to get on Disc. I just don't trust buying digital content and things can disappear.

    Really, it's like my own personal Netflix type service. I can watch it on any of my TV's at home. I can watch on my iPad or iPhone. If I know I'mm be something without internet access, it's pretty simple to dump a copy onto my iPhone or iPad that's in a good size for it. Simple and comes in handy. I can stream my Music in my car from my Plex server at home. I can go to someone's house and play anything on my home server. Comes in handy. find what I want on my iPhone and Airplay to their TV. I can setup accounts for each person at my house. That way when I watch something and it's marked as watched, it still unwatched for someone else. You can setup Friends accounts and they can stream your content at their house whenever they want.

    I have Apple Music because I have a HomePod. I don't know if I use it enough to justify paying for it. I watch a lot of Youtube myself. I don't pay for that. I do pay for Amazon Prime and have had it when it was only for the free 2nd day shipping. I have Netflix also. I was using Amazon Prime Music but not a good option when you have the Homepod. I do have a Amazon Dot to play around with and Alexa on my Ecobee 4. Also have a Google Mini. It allows me to play around with Alexa, Google Home and Siri and compare. Pros and Cons with them all. Oh and Cortana on my Windows Desktop.

    I don't care about Tidal support on PLEX. I do like them supporting TV tuners, including my older HD Homerun to record content from my Antenna. Along with the free TV listings so long as you're a Plex pass user or Lifetime user. I use this as a backup to my Tivo. I am a cord cutter. I get most of my TV from the Antenna these days.

    There's also another program like PLEX called EMBY. It's pretty similar to Plex. I have that on my NAS also, and I'm a Lifetime on that now also. I only play around with that one right now. You have to pay for a 3rd party TV Program listing for that one which is another yearly cost. Not a lot, around $25 a year. Something like that. It has some features I like over PLEX. For example with a Plug-In, you can have collections. It'll automatically group say all your James Bond movies and Batman movies, etc into collections. Then you can just go into the collection area and pick a group you want to look though. It's something PLEX really needs to do a whole lot better.

    I'm using PLEX almost daily.
    edited November 2018 StrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Yeah, 'cause the lack of Tidal integration was the reason I abandoned Plex. lol
    Do you have time to tell me about why you left Plex? I don't know anything about it, but was about to look into it on the advice of people who responded to my complaints about the Apple TV. I'm interested in knowing if there are reasons not to bother before I invest the time in figuring out how it would fit into our setup.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Just dumped Plex last night. The Live TV/DVR features of Plex Pass are buggy and didn’t live up to expectations on my Apple TV 4 or Roku Express despite reporting bugs to the developers. Just moved to Emby and though some things aren’t as slick everything works like it should.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    I don’t know anyone that uses either service...
    You don't know anyone that uses Plex Pass? I know a crapton. It's popular with people with large libraries of content.
  • Reply 9 of 14

    Yeah, 'cause the lack of Tidal integration was the reason I abandoned Plex. lol
    What are you using for a home media server now?
  • Reply 10 of 14

    jbdragon said:
    I don’t know anyone that uses either service...

    Maybe we need a “lossless” audio quality review.

    Kids seem to like YouTube.  I use Amazon Music (included in Prime).  My family has a paid Amazon subscription for their Amazon speakers (Dots etc.).

    Most people seem OK with Apple that pay for their music.
    Well I've been using PLEX for YEARS!!! I paid for the LIFETIME service which was cheaper than it is now and gone though many, many updates over the years. First using it on my Windows Computer, but these days it's running on my NAS. Which I was almost out of space at just over 13TB. I just upgrade 2 of the 3TB drives to 8TB. Keeping the other 4, 3TB drives in it for now. Jumping me up to just over 18TB now. Had to get 2 as one has to be for Redundancy in RAID 5. Most of my movies and TV programs I've ripped from my large disc collection. I still by my content on Disc and the rip it myself. It's generally cheaper to get on Disc. I just don't trust buying digital content and things can disappear.

    Really, it's like my own personal Netflix type service. I can watch it on any of my TV's at home. I can watch on my iPad or iPhone. If I know I'mm be something without internet access, it's pretty simple to dump a copy onto my iPhone or iPad that's in a good size for it. Simple and comes in handy. I can stream my Music in my car from my Plex server at home. I can go to someone's house and play anything on my home server. Comes in handy. find what I want on my iPhone and Airplay to their TV. I can setup accounts for each person at my house. That way when I watch something and it's marked as watched, it still unwatched for someone else. You can setup Friends accounts and they can stream your content at their house whenever they want.

    I have Apple Music because I have a HomePod. I don't know if I use it enough to justify paying for it. I watch a lot of Youtube myself. I don't pay for that. I do pay for Amazon Prime and have had it when it was only for the free 2nd day shipping. I have Netflix also. I was using Amazon Prime Music but not a good option when you have the Homepod. I do have a Amazon Dot to play around with and Alexa on my Ecobee 4. Also have a Google Mini. It allows me to play around with Alexa, Google Home and Siri and compare. Pros and Cons with them all. Oh and Cortana on my Windows Desktop.

    I don't care about Tidal support on PLEX. I do like them supporting TV tuners, including my older HD Homerun to record content from my Antenna. Along with the free TV listings so long as you're a Plex pass user or Lifetime user. I use this as a backup to my Tivo. I am a cord cutter. I get most of my TV from the Antenna these days.

    There's also another program like PLEX called EMBY. It's pretty similar to Plex. I have that on my NAS also, and I'm a Lifetime on that now also. I only play around with that one right now. You have to pay for a 3rd party TV Program listing for that one which is another yearly cost. Not a lot, around $25 a year. Something like that. It has some features I like over PLEX. For example with a Plug-In, you can have collections. It'll automatically group say all your James Bond movies and Batman movies, etc into collections. Then you can just go into the collection area and pick a group you want to look though. It's something PLEX really needs to do a whole lot better.

    I'm using PLEX almost daily.
    Bingo -- Plex Pass is perfect for running on a NAS and streaming back to any device you own, anywhere -- TV at home, iPad in bed, iPhone on the bus, whatever, wherever. 
  • Reply 11 of 14

    Yeah, 'cause the lack of Tidal integration was the reason I abandoned Plex. lol
    Do you have time to tell me about why you left Plex? I don't know anything about it, but was about to look into it on the advice of people who responded to my complaints about the Apple TV. I'm interested in knowing if there are reasons not to bother before I invest the time in figuring out how it would fit into our setup.
    I've used several media servers over the years. There i nothing more accessible than Plex, IMO. They have an ATV app, and iOS apps, which cover all of my bases. You can run the Plex Server on whatever machine you have kicking around at home, or as a server-app on an NAS. It's basically universal. I wouldn't bother with anything else.
  • Reply 12 of 14

    Yeah, 'cause the lack of Tidal integration was the reason I abandoned Plex. lol
    Do you have time to tell me about why you left Plex? I don't know anything about it, but was about to look into it on the advice of people who responded to my complaints about the Apple TV. I'm interested in knowing if there are reasons not to bother before I invest the time in figuring out how it would fit into our setup.
    I've used several media servers over the years. There i nothing more accessible than Plex, IMO. They have an ATV app, and iOS apps, which cover all of my bases. You can run the Plex Server on whatever machine you have kicking around at home, or as a server-app on an NAS. It's basically universal. I wouldn't bother with anything else.
    Sounds cool, thanks!

    I've got a Mac mini in the living room that already fills that role, though up until now via iTunes rather than Plex. I've just installed the Plex Server and am now waiting while it builds the library, so I've got zero hours of experience with it so far!

    What I don't yet grasp is how using Plex to access my locally-stored content differs from just using Home Sharing, iTunes, and the iOS TV app. The obvious, big difference is being able to view that material away from home. Putting that major advantage aside and on focussing only on watching at home, is using Plex significantly better than just using the tools Apple provides built-in to its ecosystem? With Home Sharing I can already view the contents of the Mac mini's library on my other Macs, my iPhone, and the Apple TV. Will Plex offer something Home Sharing doesn't?

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate it.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 4,295member
    Yeah, 'cause the lack of Tidal integration was the reason I abandoned Plex. lol
    Do you have time to tell me about why you left Plex? I don't know anything about it, but was about to look into it on the advice of people who responded to my complaints about the Apple TV. I'm interested in knowing if there are reasons not to bother before I invest the time in figuring out how it would fit into our setup.
    Plex tries to be everything for everyone. When it works, it's great, when it doesn't you are screwed.

    I've been on and off with it for years hoping it would become bulletproof at some point. It never has.

    They want you to think it is supremely easy to get up and running and use words like great, awesome and incredible in their marketing.

    However, dig just below the surface and you begin to see the limitations, bugs and design issues.

    They try to get intial set up instructions down to a minimum but actually omit important considerations.

    I decided to kill various birds with one stone and get a Shield TV with Plex Server built in. After setting everything up, things went well for a time but that all ended last week.

    The idea is that you have a Plex Server somewhere, a Plex client and a web app to manage things. When they play nicely together you're ok. When they don't, you're in hell.

    For some reason my server stopped running without warning. It was impossible to start it. Without your server running there is nothing you can do and if it isn't running you can't interact with it via the web app. You have ti fall back on the client if you don't have real access to the server component.

    The client in my case, and by definition, is a pretty limited piece of software which basically gives you the option to sign in/out and start or stop the server. This is terrible design as, in their goal to simplify things, there is no visible Plex Server app to interact with. It exists (all 224MB of it) and will appear via the Play Store when an upgrade is available but once installed, it is kept out of sight. You must interact with it via the settings on the Plex client app. This is just confusing for people.

    The server has had some pretty stupid bugs including one MASSIVE oversight that left users unable to add content to their libraries. Heaven knows how that one actually got through testing.

    Because it tries to be a universal solution for everyone and everything support is a complete nightmare.

    From the web app for server management you get a button to clickwhen it cannot find your server. However, clicking that button takes you to a page for solving Server issues on a computer. Totally irrelevant if you are running the server from a standalone device.

    My Plex is localised but no one has actually bothered checking the results. I have important warnings that actually flow off the screen. Luckily I know what they are trying to warn me of.

    Don't try managing the server via web using iOS/Safari. Many buttons don't work.

    Last night clicking the delete server option simply did nothing. I had to fire up the MBP and the button worked but gave an 'Oops, an unexpected error occurred'. In the end it deleted. Voodoo.

    Why did I need to delete? Because everytime I start Plex Client it wants me to re-link to my account via PIN code. Every time. That in spite of the app and the web app confirming I am already logged in!

    Everything is getting duplicated (including the servers) in the default libraries even though there is no content to show because the server isn't running and can't link to my libraries.

    There are lots more issues. Lots. Visit the support pages for your client system as well as the Plex forums themselves to get an idea of what some people suffer and make sure you read and understand everything before setting it up. Especially naming conventions and folder structure.

    I'm reaching a point where I'll shut the door on it. It is a mess when things fail.

    Next to Plex on my Shield I have Kodi. Perhaps a little more complex to get up and running but every time Plex fails I switch to Kodi and 'it just works'.
    edited November 2018
  • Reply 14 of 14
    For anyone who's interested, my foray into Plex did not go well at all. Major bugs. Show stoppers.

    My movie list includes dozens of "phantom" titles. That is, in addition to the movies in my library, it shows a whole bunch that aren't mine. I don't know where they came from. Some show up complete with artwork, complete metadata and a recognizable title. Others have strange, unrecognizable names and no artwork or metadata. Others display the artwork of movies in my library, but with a different title and no metadata. None of them play. Hitting the play button just results in a black screen for a few seconds before returning to the menu.

    Movies that actually exist in my library do play, but look horrible. Jittery motion and grainy image.

    TV Shows is also a mess. Several shows that work fine in iTunes don't show up in Plex at all. When navigating seasons for some shows, pressing the "down" button to shift from seasons to episodes works, but pressing the "Up" button to move from episodes back to seasons just shifts the contents of the screen up rather than returning to the content above. Other shows work correctly.

    The biggest and most bizarre behaviour is Plex playing random shows. I selected a specific episode of The Simpsons, pressed play, and was presented with an episode of The I.T. Crowd. I tried a few more shows that worked fine, albeit with reduced picture quality, but then tried some other show (I forget which one) that played an episode of Downton Abbey instead of what I selected.

    All of this was via the Plex app on the Apple TV 4K. I didn't bother trying it on any other client devices.

    Even in a working state I could see only one advantage to Plex over iTunes/Home Sharing for use with the Apple TV -- Plex allows me to search downloaded and locally-stored media which the Apple TV doesn't (though even with Plex there's still no consolidated search across both local and cloud-based content) -- so I don't think I'm going to bother troubleshooting it. It may work fine for others, or at least offer enough benefits to warrant working out the bugs, but it doesn't look like we'd get enough out of it to justify the effort. We're just going to put up with limited capability of Home Sharing for now.
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