Plexamp, the music player originally incubated by the Labs division of media company Plex, is now free, the company announced today. The project was first launched in 2017 as Plex’s own spin on the classic Winamp media player app, offering visualizations to accompany your tunes, tools for programming mixes, and more recently, a ChatGPT-powered “Sonic Sage” feature that builds unique playlists from users’ music libraries. However, after its expansion from desktop to mobile, Plexamp was only available to subscribers.
Now, Plex says the Plexamp app will become free, allowing users to play tracks from their own library or the TIDAL music streaming service with high-quality audio and support for lossless audio. The app also includes gapless playback, loudness leveling, and smooth transitions between tracks, among other things.
In addition to Library Radio, a feature used to rediscover your music, users can create playlists with Plexamp to match their current mood: like “brooding, cathartic, confident, intense, playful, poignant, swaggering, and wistful,” the company says.
Another feature, Decade Radio, lets users play tracks from a given decade, while Time Travel Radio lets you discover older tracks from your library.
However, with the shift to make the app free, Plexamp will keep its more advanced features exclusive to its paying subscribers. That includes the AI-powered Sonic Sage playlist builder, plus downloads, and artist and album mix builders. To access these features, users will need to pay for a $4.99/month Plex Pass subscription. The subscription includes a variety of features to enhance the Plex service itself, including things like DVR recording of Live TV, downloads, the ability to skip movie and TV show credits and intros, premium music features, and other advanced and technical features.
The Plexamp app has been well-received following its debut, maintaining a 4.8 out of 5-star rating on the App Store and a 4.7 rating on Google Play. Plexamp also runs on macOS, Windows, Linus and Headless.
Media software company Plex has always dabbled in side projects and with the 2017 launch of Plex Labs, its internal incubator, it aimed to provide more exposure for its passion projects. Along with Plexamp, Plex Labs features Plex Dash, a dashboard for keeping an eye on your Plex server and Webooks, a way to configure things to happen — like dimming the lights when movie playback starts or automating posts to Twitter.
Unfortunately, Plex, too, has not been immune to the economic downturn impacting startups. The company last month laid off 20% of its workforce, citing the advertising slowdown as the main factor.