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The Top 7 Plex Alternatives (2024 Update).

When it comes to media centers, Plex will likely be the spotlight. With its stellar performance in organizing and streaming your media files— Plex is indeed one of the most popular out there. It currently (at the publishing date of this article) has about 305K reviews and 10M+ Downloads on Google Play.

But hey, if you’re itching for some Plex alternatives, we’ve got you covered! Alternatives to Plex with open-source software, more customization, and unique features? Yes, there are quite a few…

Plex alternatives 2023 update

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The Top 7 Plex Alternatives.

  1. Jellyfin
  2. Emby
  3. Kodi
  4. Stremio
  5. MediaPortal
  6. Serviio
  7. Mezzmo

1. Jellyfin

Jellyfin - Alternative to Plex
Photo by Jellyfin

Jellyfin is the best Plex alternative. It is a free and open-source media server solution. It offers a versatile platform for managing and streaming media. With Jellyfin, you can enjoy any multimedia format from your own server, including movies, TV shows, music, books, and photos. Jellyfin allows a great degree of customization. You can customize your media experience according to your preferences without restrictions.

Jellyfin is also a full cross-platform system. It is compatible with a broad range of devices and operating systems. It offers many official and third-party clients, including web, desktop, Android, Apple, Amazon, Roku, Kodi, and more.

Popularity: Google Store: 3.8star – 3.28 K reviews – 500 K+ Downloads.

Highlight Features.

  • Beautiful artwork and browsing.
  • Convenient automatic TV show organization.
  • Music streaming and playlist creation.
  • Watch live TV and set automatic recordings with DVR.
  • Create and access your reading collection.
  • Photo organization and sharing.
  • SyncPlay for remote viewing.

Plex vs. Jellyfin: Comparison Table. 

FeaturesJellyfinPlex
Client/ServerYesYes
LicenseOpen – GPL v2Commercial/Proprietary
Group WatchingFree with Sync PlayWatch Together
Hardware Transcoding FreeRequires Plex Pass
Multi UsersYesYes
Live TV and DVRYes Live TV is free. DVR requires Plex Pass
Library Sharing YesFree
Plugins supportYesYes (limited)
CompatibilityWindows, Linux, macOS, Kodi, DockerWindows, macOS, Linux, QNAP, FreeBSD, Docker, and more. 
PricingFreeFree. Additional features with paid Plex Pass subscription
Customer SupportForums (Discord and Telegram)With Plex Pass. Or free via documentation and forums

Verdict: 

Jellyfin is one of the best compelling Plex alternatives. This open-source software delivers a free and highly customizable media server solution with excellent cross-platform compatibility. It also comes with an impressive feature set and widespread availability. Jellyfin is a strong contender for those seeking an alternative media center experience.

2. Emby

Emby - Alternative to Plex
Photo by Emby

Emby is another powerful media server and a great Plex alternative. It traces its origins back to 2013 when it emerged as a fork of the XBMC media player, which is now known as Kodi. Initially named MediaBrowser, it rebranded in 2015 and became known as Emby. However, it wasn’t until 2015 that Emby Inc, the company developing the Emby media server, was officially founded. Before version 3.5.3, Emby was open-source. But they changed its license, retained the open-source through some plugins, and changed to closed-source. This change gave birth to the open-source fork “Jellyfin.” 

Emby Server (just like Plex media server) allows you to organize and stream media content to different devices. It is also compatible with multiple platforms. It can be installed on various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and BSD, and NAS devices, such as Asustor, FreeNAS, Open Media Vault, QNAP, Synology, and Docker. 

Popularity:  Emby on Google Store: 4.5 stars (out of 5), 6.83K reviews, and 1M+ Downloads. Emby on App Store: 2.3 out of 5 and 39 Rating.

Highlights of Emby’s Features.

  • Automated metadata and artwork for the media organization
  • Personalized profiles via multi-user access and customization
  • A high degree of customization through full support for plugins and add-ons.
  • Emby’s parental control features for better access customization.
  • Compatibility with various formats for a wide range of media playback.
  • Emby’s adaptive streaming through transcoding capabilities.
  • Free mobile apps for Emby’s on-the-go access.
FeaturesEmbyPlex
Client/ServerYesYes
LicenseProprietary.Proprietary
Multi-User AccessEmby Premiere (up to 25 devices)Plex Home (up to 14 users with a Free account)
Parental ControlsCustomizable access controls with ratings, tags, and schedulesPlex Restriction Profiles, Online Media Controls
Plugins and Add-onsExtensive plugin catalog, streamlined installationLimited support, manual setup required
Compatible DevicesAndroid TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox, etc.Limited support and manual setup required
TranscodingCustomizable settings, hardware accelerationCustomizable settings, hardware acceleration
User InterfaceCustomizable GUI with additional setup timeStreamlined and polished GUI
Live TV SupportFree access to 300+ channels, DVR with Plex PassRequires Emby Premier or TV tuner and antenna
CompatibilityWindows, macOS, Linux, NASWindows, macOS, Linux, NAS, Docker, and more
PricingA freemium model with optional Plex Pass subscriptionFreemium model with optional Plex Pass subscription
Customer SupportForum and Knowledge BaseForum, Knowledge Base, and customer service (via Plex Pass)

Verdict. 

Emby can be a strong Plex alternative for many reasons. With Emby, you can enjoy reliable media playbacks and robust media content organization. One thing distinguishing Emby from Plex is its extensive customization options, including skins and plugins, allowing you to personalize your media streaming experience. 

3. Kodi

Plex alternative
Photo by Kodi

Kodi (developed by the Kodi Foundation) is another one of the best alternatives to Plex— it provides similar services but works completely differently. Kodi (formerly XBMC or Xbox Media Center) is really a free multi-platform and open-source multimedia entertainment center. It was initially created for the Xbox game console and has been ported to various operating systems such as Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and more. 

Kodi supports many multimedia formats and includes a large feature set. It includes playlists, audio visualizations, slideshows, weather information, and expandable functions through plugins. Like Plex, with Kodi, you can create libraries for your media collections, cast content to various devices, and utilize add-ons for enhanced functionality. Learn more about this fantastic entertainment center in our guide to Kodi.

Note: One distinction to remember is that Kodi, unlike Plex Media Server, is a web-based media player, not a server/client app. It works as a computer media player and a comprehensive home theater system. 

Popularity: Google Play has 4.2 stars out of 5 stars. 325K reviews and 50M+ downloads

Key Features

  • Local and online media content playback.
  • Organizes and plays movies and TV shows.
  • Supports various audio formats and playlists.
  • Supports Live TV and PVR. 
  • Supports emulators and standalone games.
  • Customize interface appearance through skins. 
  • Access community-created extensions and add-ons
  • Control Kodi remotely via the web interface. 
FeaturePlexKodi
Client/ServerYesNo
License/PricingFreemium (Free with Plex Pass paid options)Completely free and open-source
Device SupportWide range of devices and operating systemsLimited availability on non-Android devices
Customer SupportYes. (with Plex Pass)Community support
CustomizabilityLimited since deprecation of Plugins supportHighly customizable with official and unofficial add-ons
Learning CurveEasier to use with a minimal learning curveMore complicated with a steep learning curve
Media Library ManagementEnhances library with metadata and subtitlesAdd-ons provide similar functionality for free
Offline ViewingAvailable with paid Plex PassN/A
Recording OTA TVAvailable with paid Plex PassRequires additional equipment and add-ons

Verdict: 

Kodi can be a strong alternative to Plex. Like Plex, it also allows the management and playback of multimedia content. Kodi works as a local media player, allowing direct configuration and usage on the installed device. In contrast, Plex operates on a server-client model, enabling remote access to content. A key superior feature is Kodi’s extensibility. Kodi and its add-ons are completely free, making it accessible to users of all levels of expertise. Go for Kodi only if you are looking for customization. 

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4. Stremio

Stremio - Plex alternative
Photo by Stremio

Stremio is an open-source, free, and cross-platform modern media center solution. Stremio is another good Plex alternative because it also gives you access and allows you to watch your multimedia content. One of its distinctions, however, is that you can expand your user experience and content availability via add-ons. You can visit Stremio’s addon catalog to find and install add-ons to access any multimedia. Stremio is also well-known for allowing you to stream video playback via torrents. It also allows you to Youtube videos, TV programs, and channels.

Stremio is supported on desktop platforms such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. It also has mobile apps for Android and iOS, although the iOS version has limited functionality and doesn’t support most addons. Stremio maintains its development operations through non-intrusive ads (thus free!). There are plans to move to a donation model soon— a plan to help develop this fantastic media center solution.

Notable Features

  • Discover and Explore: Easy content discovery.
  • Unified Content Access: All-in-one access to videos.
  • Organize Your Library: Efficient library organization.
  • Watchlist and Calendar: Personalized watchlist and calendar.
  • Casting Capabilities: Seamless casting to TVs.
  • Multiple Video Sources: Diverse content options.

CategoryStremioPlex
Client/ServerActs as a client for streaming contentProvides client and server functionality
License/PricingOpen-Source/Free PersonalProprietary/Freemium
Live TV and DVRNo built-in live TV or DVR functionalityOffers live TV and DVR capabilities
Group WatchingDoes not have a built-in group-watching featureSupports group watching with synced playback
Hardware TranscodingDoes not offer hardware transcodingSupports hardware transcoding for optimized streaming
Library SharingNo built-in library sharingAllows sharing libraries with other users
Plugins SupportSupports addons for additional content sourcesSupports add-ons for additional content sources
CompatibilityAvailable on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSCompatible with various and most popular platforms and devices

Verdict. 

Stremio can be a good alternative to Plex only if you want a user-friendly interface with extensive content availability. You can, for instance, customize it to stream content accessed via torrents (something not possible via Plex). Stremio is a lot simpler media solution; it is less robust and powerful than Plex. 

5. MediaPortal

MediaPortal - Alternative to Plex
Photo by Mediaportal.

MediaPortal is a free and open-source media player and digital video recorder. It is known as the best alternative to Windows Media Center. But it can also be a good Plex alternative if your media server runs on Windows. Additionally, MediaPortal features a 10-foot user interface—a TV-friendly interface optimized for large displays. It allows users to play, pause, and record live TV shows, play DVDs, videos, music, and view pictures.

Although originally derived from XBMC, it has been completely rewritten. It is now specifically designed for Microsoft Windows, without cross-platform support.

Its extensibility is a notable advantage. You can extend MediaPortal through plugins and enable additional features like online video streaming, music streaming from Last.fm, and even launch video games. MediaPortal also integrates with Home Theater PCs (HTPCs) hardware, such as TV tuners, infrared receivers, and LCD displays.

Key Features.

  • Watch, schedule, and record live TV shows.
  • Multimedia Playback: Play videos, music, pictures, etc. 
  • Media Streaming: Stream media, radio, and TV.
  • WiFiRemote feature: Transform any device into a remote control.
  • Access remotely via web or mobile.
  • Expand functionality via plugins and customize appearance via skins. 
  • Centralized TV server, multi-client streaming.
  • Extensive support for Home Theater PCs (HTPCs).

MediaPortal vs. Plex: Comparison Table

FeaturesPlexMediaPortal
PriceFreemium, with paid premium featuresFree
LicenseProprietaryOpen-source
PlatformCross-platform (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.)Windows-only
User InterfaceModern, user-friendly interfaceHighly customizable with skins and plugins
Remote AccessPlex clients available for remote accessMPExtended allows remote access; compatible with Plex clients
TV Engine and PVRTV show recording and playbackTV Engine and PVR functionality for recording TV shows
EPG SupportLimited EPG supportAbility to add EPG metadata from various sources
Client/ServerClient-server architectureClient-server architecture
Library SharingShare libraries with friends and familyNot specified
Plugins SupportWide range of plugins and extensionsExtensive library of plugins and skins

Verdict. 

MediaPortal is a strong contender as a Plex alternative only for its PVR, remote control support, and extensibility. It also offers a comprehensive set of features rivaling Kodi’s. With its powerful PVR feature, you can enjoy both watching and recording TV shows, complete with a convenient TV guide. It organizes your media collection and provides ‘organized’ playlists of content for binge-watching sessions.

6. Serviio

Plex Alternative - Serviio
Photo by Serviio

Serviio is a free media server that offers an excellent Plex alternative. With Serviio, you can also stream your multimedia to network-connected devices, like DLNA-compliant TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray players, tablets, and mobile phones.

One of Serviio’s highlights is its device-specific profiles. This feature allows you to optimize media playback and perform transcoding. Another key advantage of Serviio is its cross-platform compatibility. It runs on various platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and even embedded systems like NAS devices.

Although Serviio is free, they also offer a Pro edition with additional features unavailable in the free version. The Pro edition offers an extended set of functionalities and comes with a 15-day evaluation period.

Key Highlights. 

  • Access media anywhere with Pro edition, MediaBrowser, or apps.
  • Control Serviio using Alexa’s voice commands.
  • Stream media in original or transcoded formats.
  • Access content from various online sources.
  • Expand media options with plugins.
  • Enjoy subtitles and stream playlists.
  • Library updates are automatic.
  • Supports various renderers for seamless playback.
FeaturesServiioPlex
PricingFree, with a Pro version availableFree, with premium subscription options available
Operating System CompatibilityWindows, Linux, Mac, QNAP, Synology NASWindows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, NAS devices
Playlist and Subtitle SupportYesYes
RAW Camera Image SupportYesNo
Native and Transcoded StreamingYesYes
Automatic Media Library UpdatesYesYes
Hardware TranscodingYesYes
Multi UsersYesYes
Live TV and DVRYesYes
Plugins SupportYesYes
Customer SupportCommunity supportCommunity support, paid premium support options

Verdict: 

Serviio is a compelling Plex alternative. Consider this free media server out if you want to experience real-time transcoding, comprehensive subtitle support, automated metadata extraction, a dedicated console interface, and convenient remote access capabilities.

7. Mezzmo

Mezzmo - Plex alternative
Photo by Mezzmo

Mezzmo (by Conceiva) is another versatile media server that proves to be an excellent Plex alternative. Mezzmo streams your multimedia to UPnP, DLNA devices, and web browsers. It also provides a user-friendly interface and a wide range of features to stream your media files. It is also quite popular for being cost-effective. Its Mezzmo Pro 6.0 (Windows) is priced at $29.95.

With Mezzmo, you can stream your entire multimedia collection. Play movies, TV shows, home movies, music, and photos to various devices within and outside your home network. Mezzmo is a DLNA/UPnP digital media controller (DMC) app. It allows you to access and lets you push files to play on your DLNA/UPnP devices— this includes TVs, Blu-ray players, home theaters, and other supported devices.

Vital Features:

  • Stream media anywhere.
  • Wide compatibility with devices.
  • Comprehensive multimedia format support.
  • Blu-ray/DVD and ISO streaming.
  • Subtitle streaming to DLNA devices.
  • Google Chromecast integration.
  • Gapless music playback to DLNA devices.
  • Artwork and metadata support.
FeaturesMezzmoPlex
Client/ServerYesYes
PricingOne-time purchase ($30 for Pro version)Free (Premium features available via Plex Pass subscription)
LicenseGNU GPL, LGPLProprietary. 
Streaming FeaturesWorks with UPnP and DLNA-enabled devicesWorks with UPnP and DLNA-enabled devices, extensively tested.
Library OrganizationiTunes-like library with folder and playlist flexibility.Allows organizing media files in a customizable way.
Playback CompatibilityWorks with various devices and media playersWorks with various devices and media players
Multi-Device StreamingSupports streaming to multiple UPnP or DLNA devices simultaneouslyAllows streaming to multiple devices without additional charges
Server CompatibilityWindows.Windows, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD, NAS, Docker and more.
PricingModerateFree (Premium subscription available)
Customer SupportResponsive customer support and active user forumPromptly responds to questions and provides regular updates

Verdict: 

Mezzmo is a fantastic Plex alternative. Its extensive streaming features, compatibility assurance, and on-the-fly transcoding of incompatible files have given this media solution a good position in the market. Additionally, while Plex Media Server is free (for its limited version), Mezzmo costs $30 for its full version. A dealbreaker for many people when using Mezzmo is its server compatibility, as it only runs on Windows.  

3. Plex Alternatives. Final Verdict:

If you’re looking for Plex alternatives, there are several impressive options, each with its strengths and unique features. For example, Jellyfin, Kodi, and Emby are the best media servers with great customization levels and control over your library.

Stremio, on the other hand, focuses on providing a unified streaming platform, combining various content sources into one interface. MediaPortal offers a feature-rich media center solution, including TV recording capabilities. Serviio excels in DLNA streaming, making it an ideal choice for streaming media to various devices. Mezzmo boasts extensive streaming features, transcoding capabilities, and compatibility with UPnP and DLNA devices. 

So, what are you waiting for?

Experience a new level of media center excellence with the listed compelling Plex alternatives.

Try Jellyfin, Kodi, Emby, Stremio, MediaPortal, Serviio, or Mezzmo, and make up for what Plex lacks, whether it is the power of customization, versatility, and advanced features for your entertainment needs.

With RapidSeedbox, statistics speak:

Experience up to 2x faster streaming with Plex and others. Benefit from 99.9% uptime for continuous, secure streaming.

Logical choice? Clearly.

Discover RapidSeedbox, the resolution for all your streaming requisites.

———

About Diego Asturias

Avatar for Diego Asturias

Diego Asturias is a tech journalist who translates complex tech jargon into engaging content. He has a degree in Internetworking Tech from Washington DC, US, and tech certifications from Cisco, McAfee, and Wireshark. He has hands-on experience working in Latin America, South Korea, and West Africa. He has been featured in SiliconANGLE Media, Cloudbric, Pcwdld, Hackernoon, ITT Systems, SecurityGladiators, Rapidseedbox, and more.