VLC and Plex Apps Coming to New Apple TV

I LOVE my Plex server, running on an Intel i5 PC, 256GB SSD… serving files from my Drobo.

Apple’s latest fourth-generation Apple TV includes a dedicated App Store, which will allow users to access many apps and features that were not previously available on the older Apple TV. Popular media streaming apps Plex and VLC, for example, are both coming to the Apple TV, with tvOS versions already in the works.

The developers behind VLC announced their work on a tvOS app this morning, though few details have been given. “Some code to build VLCKit for the new tvOS was merged,” reads a blog post. “It’s very early though, but we have video playback!”

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For those unfamiliar with VLC, it’s a cross-platform media player that’s designed to support multiple audio and video file formats and act as a streaming server. VLC is available on streaming devices that compete with the Apple TV, such as the Amazon Fire TV, but on Apple’s platform, it’s been limited to Macs and iOS devices.

Similarly, popular media organization and streaming app Plex is coming to the Apple TV. A tvOS version of Plex is in development, Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski told ITworld last week. Like VLC, Plex is in the early stages of development, so few details are available

There is no question we will be able to offer Plex on the platform. There are multiple ways to go about it, based on the tvOS SDK we now have access to. We are now evaluating the best path for Plex and will begin work in earnest once we have evaluated the options. The ability to access great and proven iOS frameworks on the device is great for developers like us — we know the stuff is solid and will perform really well. Our goal is to enable people to enjoy Plex on the hardware platforms of their choice, and there is no doubt this will be a top platform for us.

Currently, Plex works with set-top boxes like the Chromecast and the Fire TV, and it is a popular choice with jailbroken Apple TVs, but it is not available to Apple TV users in any official capacity. Plex is designed to organize personal media libraries consisting of video and music files, allowing them to be easily streamed to TVs and other devices, either locally or remotely.