Plex is a media server application that lets you store all of your personal media content in one place and play it from anywhere in the world. It’s a great way to store, manage, and enjoy all your movies, TV shows, music, and photos.
It’s simple to install, and you can use it on any device. However, it does have some limitations – especially for Mac users.
For one thing, Plex isn’t compatible with Apple TV. This means that if you want to access your Mac’s media library from your Apple TV, you won’t be able to do it unless you use an alternative method like AirPlay.
Besides, you need a fast Internet connection to enjoy it to its fullest. This is because it consumes a lot of bandwidth – which can slow down your connection and affect the quality of your streams.
In addition, Plex’s user interface is not very intuitive at first glance. It takes a little time to get used to it, and if you have no technical know-how, you’ll find yourself struggling with the software.
The good news is that there are some great media server apps similar to Plex but with better functionality and more features for Mac users. If you want to explore them, stay on this article.
Jellyfin is one of the best substitutes for Plex. It’s an all-in-one media server that lets you stream your videos, music, and photos from any device.
The app has been designed with simplicity in mind and offers a user-friendly interface that lets you easily add media files from your Mac computer or external storage devices such as USB drives, NAS boxes, or other network drives.
It’s also simple to install and update, so you can spend less time fussing with your system and more time watching what you want to watch.
Besides, Jellyfin lets you watch on up to five devices at once so that you can enjoy your favorite content with family or friends without having to share accounts or logins. And like Plex, it includes an integrated DVR for recording live TV and broadcasts.
Plus, the software comes with several useful features such as support for subtitles, multiple audio tracks, and automatic system updates.
In addition, Jellyfin is extremely customizable – you can choose your own themes and change the way the interface looks. You can even add on new features by installing plugins and extensions, which gives you access to more than 100 different add-ons!
Emby is a free, open-source media server that allows you to organize and share all your files from any device. Like Plex, you can use Emby to organize your media library into customizable categories, like movies, TV shows, and music, and then stream them from anywhere in the world.
It has an elegant interface and supports video transcoding so you can play high-quality streams on older Mac devices. You’ll also find support for streaming to Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, and DLNA devices.
It also has extensive metadata support so you can quickly find what you are looking for without having to scroll through long lists of content.
In addition, Emby uses fewer system resources than Plex, and it offers support for many more file formats.
In fact, its premium version offers unique content personalization options like Cinema Intros and Cover Art. If you have a large library of media, these features can make your viewing experience even more enjoyable.
Stremio is a free app that lets you stream your media files to your computer, tablet, or smart TV, and supports virtually any format and codec you can throw at it, which makes it an excellent alternative to Plex.
The app itself is incredibly lightweight, so it won’t bog down your Mac computer with unnecessary bloatware or slow down its performance when running multiple tasks simultaneously.
Like Plex, Stremio helps you organize your video files by adding information like meta-data, tags, and descriptions to them. It also supports subtitles, and the video playback speed is much better than other similar applications.
What’s more, it lets you create playlists of different media files and organize them into folders within the app’s interface.
You can even create a playlist of your most recent downloads so they’re always accessible without needing to search through your library every time you want something new to watch or listen to.
Besides, the software is available in several languages, and it features an automatic recommendation system to help you find what you want.
Furthermore, Stremio offers support for plugins if you want to customize how your experience looks or behaves within the app itself.
Finally, the app works also as a media center. It allows you to stream content from different online streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Amazon Prime Video.
Universal Media Server (UMS) is another fantastic choice. It’s a home media server for your Mac that lets you play and stream media files on all of your devices.
The software supports streaming over DLNA and UPnP devices, but it also has support for Chromecast, AirPlay, and other methods of streaming.
You don’t need to worry about compatibility either. Universal Media Server will work with just about any device out there, including iPhones and Apple TVs.
The interface is easy to use as well. It features a simple design that makes navigation simple even for beginners who aren’t familiar with this type of technology yet.
Besides, when setting up Universal Media Server on your Mac, you’ll find the process extremely easy.
It only takes a few minutes, and once it’s completely installed, it’ll automatically scan all of your files and create an organized library of all the content on your computer.
It’s also compatible with all kinds of file formats, including MKV, MP4, and AVI, and supports subtitles and multiple audio tracks.
Additionally, unlike Plex, UMS is 100% free. It relies on a donation system to continue providing services to its users.
On top of that, it’s small and lightweight, which means it won’t take up much space on your system.
Kodi is also a great substitute for Plex if you are a Mac user. It’s an open-source media player that allows you to stream movies, TV shows, and live events from all over the world.
Kodi works with almost any file format you can think of, including common formats like AVI and MP4, so you can watch whatever you want without having to convert it beforehand (or worry about losing quality).
One of Kodi’s biggest advantages over Plex is that it lets you stream content from any source – whether it be local storage devices like hard drives or other external drives connected via USB on your Mac computer, or networked storage devices like NAS servers.
Since it supports third-party add-ons, you can even watch content from streaming services like Netflix, Hulu+, or YouTube.
Additionally, these plugins allow you to customize your Kodi experience by adding popular scripts and web services, or changing how your interface looks. There are even widgets that let you control Kodi from another app or website in your browser.
And if you are looking for something more than just watching videos on your TV, Kodi is exactly what you need. Its community offers tons of game emulators and indie games you can play directly on the app.
As a result, it has a much steeper learning curve but also provides far greater control over how you experience your media.
Plus, it’s free!
Serviio is another excellent choice. It’s available on Mac OS X 10.5+, and it’s one of the more flexible media servers out there, with a wide range of options for how you want to manage your media files.
Besides, it doesn’t only play videos from local and network sources but also has support for media servers like NFS, SMB/CIFS, FTP, SFTP, and WebDAV-S3.
In addition, the app’s intuitive interface allows you to find your favorite movies and shows easily.
You can also access your library on other devices right from within the Serviio app or web interface, and you can even stream your content from your Mac to an iPhone or iPad using AirPlay.
Furthermore, Serviio can play just about any video or audio format you throw at it, automatically grabs metadata from the web to fill in details like cast members and plot summaries, and supports third-party plugins for even more functionality.
Additionally, this software is compatible with Alexa devices, which means you can use voice commands to access your media library.
Ampache is a solid alternative to Plex for Mac users because it’s easy to set up and use, and provides all the features you’d expect from a top media server application.
With Ampache, you can organize your media library by genre or artist name, view metadata about each file, sort by date or media type, and search for specific files within seconds.
Ampache works best with music files, but it can also be used with photos, videos, and other file formats as well.
The interface is very simple, so it’s easy enough for beginners but also offers lots of advanced features like transcoding videos into different formats or serving them up via HTTP/S ports instead of just HTTP port 80.
The software also supports multiple user profiles and, as far as the quality of playback goes, it comes with a built-in equalizer that lets you adjust settings based on your preference
On top of that, there are many ways you can customize Ampache to meet your needs.
For example, let’s say you want to watch something in 4K resolution but don’t want it to take up all of the bandwidth on your home network.
You can easily set up an instance with just enough bandwidth for streaming in 4K while still allowing other devices on your network access at normal speeds as well!
Video Hub App is also a fantastic option. It supports up to 4K Ultra HD video resolution and it has a sleek user interface that makes it simple to manage your media files and stream them from your Mac.
In a nutshell, it takes your media library and turns it into a personal cloud service that lets you access all your files no matter where you are. Plus, it supports both DLNA and Airplay, allowing you to stream videos directly from the app.
You can drag files into the app from your desktop, choose whether to use them on your phone, tablet, computer, or smart TV, create beautiful libraries, organize them into categories, and add tags.
As far as the main interface goes, you’ll notice Video Hub App has a cleaner layout than Plex that’s easier to read. You can also adjust how the app looks by changing things like the background color or font size.
Like Plex, Madsonic is a client-side application that allows you to stream music and videos from your Mac computer to any DLNA-compatible device such as smart TVs, game consoles, mobile phones, and tablets.
It can also be used as a way to organize your media library by tagging files with metadata and creating playlists, and it supports many different file formats, including MP3, WAV, APE, FLAC, and WMA.
Furthermore, the app is designed with simplicity in mind. You can easily set up your own personal media server in just minutes by following the step-by-step tutorial.
Plus, it has an interface similar to iTunes which makes it easy to use if you are familiar with that program.
It’s also easy to customize how Madsonic looks by changing themes or adding custom backgrounds from your own pictures library.
Additionally, you can install new plugins in order to add more functionality to the app, such as support for more file types or other streaming options.
MediaChips is another great substitute for Plex, with a lot of features that can help you organize and access your media on your Mac computer.
Its media file manager lets you sync files across your devices, and supports third-party add-ons so you can import content from other websites or services.
While its interface looks similar to Plex’s, mediaChips has a cleaner and more intuitive design with buttons and icons made to work well with your Mac’s trackpad or mouse.
The setup process is also easier. When you sign up for mediaChips, it asks you to identify the type of content you have – movies, television shows, or music.
It then scans your iTunes or computer library and automatically adds all the relevant content along with posters, descriptions, and other metadata. From there, you can change the artwork and add custom descriptions.
MediaPortal is a multimedia software center that lets you play videos and music, as well as organize and manage your files. It’s lightweight and easy to use, and it has a number of features that make it a great alternative to Plex.
First of all, it’s completely free and does not require any subscription fees or accounts.
Second, it supports DLNA devices like Chromecast and Apple TV so you can stream content from your Mac computer onto your TV screen with ease.
Finally, MediaPortal lets you stream from network drives or play DVDs (including Blu-ray discs), which means that you won’t need to convert anything before watching them on your TV.
Additionally, you’ll find all sorts of plugins available in their official repository, which makes this app more versatile than Plex!
Subsonic is another well-rounded option. It offers an easy-to-use and navigable interface that’s accessible to anyone who wants to start their own digital library on a Mac computer.
The app also has some features that make it unique from Plex.
For example, it has an integrated jukebox and library manager that helps you organize your music and movies into playlists and libraries respectively.
When it comes to managing your music files, you can add metadata such as album art or artist info so that each song will display properly when played back on another device (like an iPhone).
Subsonic is also open source, meaning that anyone can contribute code to help improve it over time. This is a great feature if you want something that will stay up-to-date with modern technology trends!
Medusa is a free and open-source multimedia server written in Python that works very well on Mac OS devices.
The software includes a built-in media player that lets you stream all of your media from any device, whether it’s an Apple TV, an iPhone, or an iPad. You can also use Medusa with your browser on any other device that supports HTML5 video streaming.
In addition, it supports many file formats and streaming protocols, which makes it ideal for both beginners and advanced users alike.
Like Plex, Medusa’s player has features like parental controls and support for subtitles. But one big difference between both services is that Medusa also helps you stay up-to-date with your favorite shows, while the other doesn’t.
When new episodes are released, the software automatically downloads and uploads the content so you can watch it instantly on the app.
Furthermore, Medusa has a built-in search engine, so you can find exactly what you are looking for without having to scroll through all of your files.
TVersity is also a great choice. It’s a robust media server app that’s easy to set up on Mac computers and offers a wide range of features.
Unlike Plex, it can be used as an iTunes server and it supports UPnP and DLNA streaming protocols, which means that it can stream content from other devices like smartphones or tablets.
Also, TVersity offers more customization options than Plex does.
You can choose how much metadata gets sent with each file, which can help ensure your streams don’t get interrupted by buffering or other issues and control the quality and speed of your streams.
The app is available as a free download on the developer’s website, but there are also paid versions that offer additional features such as support for subtitles and multiple languages.
JRiver Media Center is another good option. It’s a powerful media server application that allows you to play, view, and organize all your media in one place.
You can watch live TV and schedule recordings while using it as a PVR or with XMBC. It also lets you stream all your personal content to DLNA-compatible devices, so you can stream content across your home network without any extra software or hardware.
JRiver’s user interface is much more user-friendly than Plex’s. It has been updated over time so that it looks modern and sleek, but it’s also really easy to navigate.
The software supports all kinds of audio files including MP3, OGG Vorbis, FLAC, WMA, AAC, APE, WAV, AIFF, and WMA Lossless Encoding among others.
As far as video goes, JRiver Media Center is also compatible with most formats, including MPEG-2 Transport Streams, MPEG-4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.264/AV, and AVI.
While there are many excellent applications out there, Jellyfin is the best Plex alternative for Mac users.
The software is free to download, supports most file formats, and provides all of the media streaming and management features you would expect from a well-rounded media server.
Jellyfin offers ample flexibility when it comes to organizing your files. It has an easy-to-use interface with a wide range of customization options to suit your needs.
You can even add 100+ plugins to your Jellyfin server to extend its functionality. With these add-ons, you can change your content’s quality, tweak your theme’s background color, or add streaming services like Netflix and Hulu+ to your personal library among many other things.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.