Remember Seagate’s new Personal Cloud drive, which my colleague Kevin Tofel wrote about earlier this week? Turns out the device, which can already play content on Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV and other devices, has another ace up its sleeve: It is getting a Plex Media Server app through Seagate’s NAS app store, the company revealed at the Pepcom Digital Experience show at CES Monday.
This is huge news for Plex fans: Plex, which is a long-time favorite of people with a large collections of personal media, has had playback apps for all major mobile platforms as well as a long list of streaming boxes, smart TVs and other connected devices for some time.
But to use Plex, you also have to run a Plex Media Server app, which either means always leaving your laptop or a dedicated media PC up and running 24/7, or buying one of a handful of supported network-attached storage drives. Plex has media server apps available for just a few NAS models, with prices generally starting at $500 and up, not even including the necessary hard drives.
Seagate’s Personal Cloud drives on the other hand start at $170 for a 3TB connected drive, with the option to spend a little more on a 4TB drive or a 5TB drive. Users will also be able to buy a 2-bay drive with 4TB, 6TB or 8TB capacity for added security via RAID.
Seagate’s Simple NAS Products Product Line Manager Charles Ribaudo told me that the Cloud Drive won’t be able to transcode media for Plex in real-time, but that the device will be able to transcode in advance to have the media ready in the formats you’ll need. He added that Seagate will be adding a bunch of other apps to the device, including BitTorrent Sync and Owncloud.