Originally noticed by a Reddit user on Monday and noted by GigaOm today, a file called Chromecast.xml was spotted within a release of the Plex Media Server software. While Plex representatives have already mentioned that support for Chromecast was in the works, the inclusion of the new file could indicate that the release is imminent.
If you are unfamiliar with Plex, the software allows users to stream movies, music and television shows from a desktop or laptop computer. Plex also offers real-time transcoding which eliminates the need for format compatibility on the destination device. The Plex software is typically popular with people that have large, DRM-free media collections stored on hard drives.
According to the details of the Chromecast.xml file, support for 1080p playback is included in the documentation. It’s possible that the Plex developer is simply waiting for the go-ahead from Google to release support officially for Chromecast. Up to this point, Google has been stringent with applications that attempt to stream local media to the Chromecast. During August, Google released an update for the Chromecast that disabled the ability to play media from external sources using an app called Allcast.
In the meantime, Plex did release support for iOS 7 devices this week. Detailed on the Plex site, the update to the iOS application includes a new layout as well as updated video and music players. While the Plex application is sold at a premium on the App Store, the app allows users to watch stored videos over a Wi-Fi or cellular connection regardless of location.
However, it does not support ISO images, files stored within a VIDEO_TS folder or media that’s protected by DRM. In order to transcode video at 1080p to stream to devices like the new iPad Mini, users will need at least a 2.4GHz Core i5 or Core i7 processor in their home computer.