Entertainment Mac Windows

What Is Plexamp and Why Do You Need It?

Dan Price 21-12-2017

Plex has spent much of 2017 releasing exciting new additions to its service. Summer saw the introduction of Plex Live TV Plex Live TV: Everything You Need to Know Plex has added live TV channels to its service, but what exactly is Plex Live TV? We have everything you need to know about this exciting new option for cord-cutters. Read More , and in the Fall the company launched its own news service Plex News Should Help Keep Cord-Cutters Happy Plex has launched Plex News, which is comprised of news clips from an array of sources from across the political spectrum. Keeping you up-to-date with what's happening in the world. Read More . But it turns out that there was more to come. Now, Plex has unveiled another new feature: Plex Labs.


In this article, we’re going to quickly explain what Plex Labs is, then move on to take an in-depth look at its first standout app: Plexamp.

Introducing Plex Labs

In terms of Plex Labs, Plex has clearly takes inspiration from the once-popular Google Labs and the still active Gmail Labs 7 Essential Gmail Lab Features to Increase Your Email Efficiency Gmail Labs is home to some really great experimental features that can help you increase your email productivity. Read More .

The Plex team has three initial goals for the project. They are:

Technical Writing About Plex: Plex’s official documentation has always been streets ahead of the utterly confusing official Kodi wiki. But as part of Plex Labs, the company will now publish regular in-depth feature pieces on Medium.

Introducing Plexamp from Plex Labs


Community Projects: These are apps created by third-party developers. The third-party community has been thriving on Plex for several years. The company hopes Plex Labs will help bring all the projects together under one roof.

Internal Projects: The final strand is Plex’s own internal projects. They are addons and apps that are not officially supported by the company, but they’re all built in-house. Plex Labs launched with two such projects: Webhooks and Plexamp.

Webhooks is like a Plex-specific version of IFTTT. You can configure the Plex Media Server to ping particular URLs when certain things happen, thus letting you integrate Plex with your smart home. For example, you could automatically dim your smart lights whenever a movie begins.

Plexamp is a music player. And that’s what we’re going to focus on in the rest of this piece.


What Is Plexamp?

A surprisingly high number of people still use Winamp. In 2017, the ubiquitous music player celebrated its 20th birthday. And while it’s not as popular as it once was, millions of people around the world still rely on it each and every day.

Plexamp is Plex’s answer to Winamp. However, unlike its namesake, it cannot “browse” music libraries in the traditional sense. Instead, it focuses more on search and discovery.

Plexamp logo

The app is built on the Electron platform and using an open source audio player called Music Player Daemon for music playback.


Users can enjoy gapless playback, a global activation hotkey (like Spotlight on a Mac), and soft transitions. But that’s only scratching the surface. Let’s delve into the features in a bit more detail.

What Features Make Plexamp Worthwhile?

For such a tiny media player, Plexamp already packs an impressive punch. Let’s take a look at some of the app’s key features, starting with playing and discovering music.

Searching for Music

When the app is open, you can click on the search bar at the bottom of the screen to find any song, artist, album, or playlist on your machine. Just start typing, and you’ll see a live list of results.

Music Discovery

One of the most significant downsides of desktop music players The 5 Best Free Music Players for Windows Downloading music still has its benefits. For one, you can play music even when you don't have internet access. But which music player should you use? Find the best free music players here. Read More is their music discovery tools 8 Websites to Help You Discover New Music Genres Broadening your musical horizons by discovering new or niche genres can be beneficial. With that in mind, here are several essential websites for discovering music you've never heard before. Read More . They just don’t have the same power as tools on Spotify, Google Play Music, and other streaming services Amazon Music vs. Spotify vs. Apple Music: Which Is Best for You? This comparison of Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, and Spotify, will help you find the best music streaming service for you. Read More .


Of course, you’re always going to be limited to the music that’s on your Plex server, but with automatic playlists for Recently Played, Recently Added, Recent Playlists, and more, you can be sure to find some gems you had forgotten about.

Plexamp music player


Music app “radio” is nothing new. Spotify has been offering artist radio for a few years, and the other major streaming services have all followed suit.

Plexamp offers a twist on the theme. The more extensive your music collection, the better your radio experience will be.

You have three radios to choose from:

  • Library Radio: Uses popular or highly-rated tracks in your library to formulate the playlist.
  • Time Travel Radio: Time Travel uses the song’s year as the playlist’s main determiner. It starts with early songs and works forward towards the current day.
  • Artist Radio: This uses the same methodology as the Spotify equivalent. Pick an artist, and Plex will mix a healthy dose of their work in with similar artists.

Other Features

There are a few smaller features that also warrant a mention.

  • Multiple Libraries: If you have a local library and someone has shared a library with you, you can flip between them with ease.
  • Seekbar: The track seekbar has taken its design cues from Soundcloud. Drag your mouse to move around the song.
  • Visualizer: Click on the VIZ icon to activate the on-screen visualizer.
  • Lyrics: Click on the LYR button to see a song’s lyrics (if they are available on the server).

Plexamp music player

All the other typical music player features are included, such as Play/Pause, Skip Track, and keyboard shortcuts.

How to Get Plexamp

To download Plexamp, navigate to plexamp.com and click on the appropriate button for your operating system.

At the time of writing, Plexamp is only available on Windows and macOS, though Plex has promised a Linux version will be released very soon.

Setting Up Plexamp

Once you have downloaded the file, double-click on the icon to install Plexamp on your system.

After the installation process is complete, a small window will pop up on your screen. You need to give your new player a name and click Sign In. Clicking the button will redirect you to the Plex online portal.

Plexamp setup

Once again, enter your details and click Sign In. You Plexamp app will now be linked to your Plex Media Server and ready to use.

Plexamp signin

Will You Be Installing Plexamp?

Hopefully, this article has made you realize how powerful Plexamp can be. If you use it in conjunction with an existing Plex setup, it’s now the best way to access and listen to your music on the system.

But does it offer enough for diehard audiophiles The Internet Music Guide for the Audiophile We have uncovered the biggest sites for music fans in several categories. Whether you want to buy an album, stream songs, discover new music, or just learn more, these sites have it all. Read More ? Or would they be better served by sticking to a more traditional desktop music player? As always, you can leave your opinions, thoughts, and feedback in the comments section below!

Related topics: Media Player, Plex, Winamp.

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  1. c hellemons
    January 22, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    Inlogging seems to work fine. But then.... I don't get any further than your 'small window' and then the message "no music servers". No other possibility on the screen then that silly little window.
    So, all in all for me a useless programm. Better stick to Winamp. At least : that works !!

  2. Pete
    December 28, 2017 at 2:54 am

    Nope, I'll pass. But only because I'm a dedicated jRiver Media Center user and I use that to play to different DLNA network zones, multiple DACs, etc, and it supports all my hi-res audio tweaking "needs". I LOVE Plex for video, but not so much for audio. I DO wish there was a sexy minimalistic desktop view for jRiver like Plexamp, but that's okay - I'm fine with the mini view. If I was more dedicated to audio on Plex, I'd be all over it. :)

  3. Pravin
    December 25, 2017 at 3:19 am

    Hote it is different from Plex music section?? All these features aste already available in regular Plex music.

    • Pete
      December 28, 2017 at 2:55 am

      I think you're missing the point - it's a desktop APP, not browser-based. ;)

  4. Alan
    December 23, 2017 at 2:45 am

    I look forward to giving it a try, but hopefully these capabilities will be rolled up into the PLEX player for Roku and other streaming players.

  5. likefunbutnot
    December 22, 2017 at 6:16 am

    Plex is for this purpose the least competent tool for managing music. It is capable of recognizing a full set of metadata tags, unlike many online services, but even when it's configured to only accept local metadata, it won't make use of valuable information such as Composer, Soloist or Conductor. My data is technically correct for every album in my music libraries, but Plex won't even use the data I have, which actually hinders my ability to search and access it that way.

  6. Dan
    December 22, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Nice idea but deal breakers for me are that you can’t resize the tiny window and you can only move the window when it’s in certain states - bring it up and I can’t move it until I start playing music!

  7. Keith
    December 21, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    I'm struggling, too. I installed, signed in to my Plex account, and made sure my Plex server is running, but I got nothing to play. I have 3 different Players: Local, my specifically named Mac, and Plex Web; I tried all 3 but still nothing. The Source item in the menu has nothing to choose from. The website help is worthless.
    Then I minimized all my windows and noticed a hidden window that said something about not being able to connect to a server, so I clicked "Retry," and it connected to my server, which then showed a Recently Added playlist.
    So far I'm not impressed. I can't seem to minimize or maximize the player window, so once I switch to another window I lose it again. I could keep it always on top but I don't want to do that with minimal screen real estate.
    So one important key seems to be to make sure your Plex server is running (and has your local music folders in the Library) and that Plexamp connected to the server.

  8. H.Ades
    December 21, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I just want the server to serve me gapless audio. I don't want to have to rely on yet another desktop application to serve the audio I carefully migrated to Plex in a way that is useful.

    I want to set a server-side option for a play list, album or everything on my server to be played gapless.

  9. Nobruca
    December 21, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    I tried to give it a try, but since I need to log in to play local files, I gave up. Winamp is still the best audio player.

    • Yusuf Limalia
      December 21, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      It really whips the llama's ass!

    • Pete
      December 28, 2017 at 2:59 am

      I switched to Mac several years ago for work, and I used to LOVE me some WINAMP! Especially with CD Cover Art Display - it was so minimalistic and AMAZING sounding and looking. :) I wish I had something akin to CDAD on my Mac to use with jRiver Media Center (it really whips Winamp's ass for features and stability).