Plex is a media server and player that lets users organize, stream, and share their media content across different devices. It lets people organize their movies, TVs shows, music, photos, and other digital media files to make their own media library. Plex also has features like transcoding for compatibility, remote access, live TV, DVR capabilities, and plugins for more features.
On the other hand, Infuse is an app for Apple devices like the Apple TV apps, iPhone, and iPad that is mostly used as a media player. Its main goal is to provide a clean and easy-to-use interface for playing media files locally. Infuse supports a wide range of video formats and has features like automatic metadata fetching, customizable subtitle support, and integration with trakt.tv for tracking and syncing media across devices.
Plex vs Infuse Comparison Table
|Media Server||Acts as a media server, organizing and streaming content||Requires a separate media server or cloud storage service|
|Media Player||Includes a media player for playback on various devices||Functions as a media player for local playback|
|Supported Devices||Available on a wide range of devices and platforms||Primarily focused on Apple devices and Apple TV|
|User Interface||Offers a user-friendly interface with a customizable layout||Provides a sleek and intuitive interface|
|Streaming Options||Supports local and remote streaming over the internet||Primarily focuses on local streaming|
|Content Management||Provides robust content organization and metadata retrieval||Relies on metadata provided by the media files|
|Transcoding||Offers transcoding capabilities for compatibility||Supports direct playback of various file formats|
|Subtitles||Supports subtitles with customizable settings||Provides subtitle support with customization options|
|Price||Offers a free version with premium subscription options||Provides a one-time purchase or subscription model|
|Additional Features||Live TV and DVR capabilities, plugins and channels support||Automatic metadata fetching, library syncing, trakt.tv integration, and more|
|Official Link||Visit Website||Visit Website|
Plex vs Infuse User Interface
The app’s skeuomorphic interface, which looks like a wooden shelf and reminds me of Apple’s iBooks app, caught my eye as soon as we opened it. My media artwork was on the top half of the screen, and thumbnails of my media files were on the bottom half. One thing we liked about Infuse was that it could use information from The MovieDB and TVDB to pull poster art and fan art from the web. The app looks at both the file name and the metadata underneath it to find the best movie thumbnail. It does a great job and is very accurate.
The theater mode is another great thing about Infuse. When we turned my phone upside down, the app changed into a theater mode where the video teaser took up most of the screen and thumbnails lined up along the bottom.
Plex vs Infuse Features
Infuse has all the features you’d expect from a media player that can also act as a server: smooth playback, access to subtitles, some streaming options, and controls for changing videos that are pretty advanced. Infuse also chooses album art for your videos automatically, but sometimes this art has nothing to do with what the file is about, which can be funny. Infuse works with most common and a few less common video file formats.
Plex has a few more features than Infuse, but there is an asterisk next to each of them. There aren’t many subtitle options in Plex, and some iOS devices have been said to have bugs. Plex does let you stream TV shows and movies, and if you have the right information, you can also get cable access. This is something that Infuse doesn’t have right now. Plex’s support for MKV files is also a big plus, and users can pay $4.99 per month for Plex Pass to get a lot of control over how streaming works.
Plex vs Infuse Video performance
When it comes to playing videos, Infuse stands out from Plex because it works much better than many other options on the market. We found that Infuse was better than Plex in some ways, especially when it came to playing certain formats and music without skipping. Even though Plex has gotten better at this over time, Infuse is still better. Infuse also lets you watch high-quality 4K HDR videos, decodes h.264 and h.265 well with hardware, and downloads subtitles from OpenSubtitles.org quickly.
Plex vs Infuse Compatibility
Only Apple devices can use Infuse, as it is only available on macOS and iOS. Infuse does work well on these devices, and being able to sync them is a nice feature that other media server apps can’t quite match. Plex, on the other hand, is available on almost every platform you can think of, including Smart TV operating systems. This makes Plex more useful, but it also lets bugs and security problems in that weren’t there in Infuse.
Elmedia is currently only available for macOS, just like Infuse. But this makes Elmedia an app that only works on Macs, which cuts down on the number of bugs and makes the player easier to use. This is most clear from the fact that Elmedia can work with your Mac’s default system settings, such as the size of the window and how dark the theme is.
Plex: Pros and Cons
- Comprehensive media server with remote streaming capabilities
- Wide range of supported devices and platforms
- Live TV and DVR capabilities
- Extensive features like plugins and channels
- User-friendly interface with customizable layout
- Can be complex to set up for some users
- Requires a separate media server or cloud storage service
- Premium features may require a paid subscription
Infuse: Pros and Cons
- Sleek and intuitive interface for Apple device users
- Supports a wide range of video formats for local playback
- Automatic metadata fetching for organized content
- Customizable subtitle support
- Integration with trakt.tv for media tracking and syncing
- Primarily focused on Apple devices and Apple TV
- Lacks the full media server functionality of Plex
- Limited support for remote streaming and transcoding
Which one should you consider?
In the end, your choice will come down to which of the above factors and which of the three video players we talked about best fits your needs. If you need to be able to stream videos from your Mac to your iPhone and vice versa, Infuse will work better for you than Plex, unless you also want to be able to stream shows and movies without having to download them illegally. In that way, neither of these two players will let you down.
But of the three, Elmedia’s user interface is the easiest to use. Infuse is close behind, and Plex is far behind. Elmedia plays more types of videos by default, doesn’t need much setting up, and is usually the easiest of the three to use. Elmedia is much more useful than either Infuse or Plex. It may not be able to stream across devices like Infuse and Plex, but it is better in every other way.
Plex gives you a single place to find all the media you care about and get to it. From personal media on your own server to free and on-demand movies and shows or live TV to streaming music, you can enjoy it all in one app, on any device.
In a nutshell, Emby’s free software doesn’t have as many features as Plex’s. Plex is a good choice if you use Apple and don’t want to pay for extra features. But if you want to use all of the features, Plex and Emby are both good choices.