If you use Plex, you’ve probably noticed that their Channel ecosystem is a little…lacking. A third party app store can help.

Plex is emphasizing channels less and less lately, burying the option completely in the latest version of the Windows client. And a lot of the channels offered simply don’t work. In a way, this makes sense: most people use Plex on platforms like Apple TV or Roku, which offer their ways to watch content from major online providers. This means Plex is best served by focusing on things like offering live TV. But it’s a little disappointing if you were hoping to add a lot of streaming sites to your Plex setup.

Enter Webtools, a third-party plugin for Plex that adds an unofficial app store. It has over one hundred plugins, which you can manage from a web browser.

Installing WebTools and the Unofficial App Store

Installing WebTools is simple: download the latest release and unarchive it. Now head to the Plugins folder on your Plex server. If you’re running it on Windows or macOS, simply click the tray icon and choose the “Open Plugins Folder” command.

Drag the folder “WebTools.bundle” from your downloaded folder to Plex’s plug-ins folder and you’ve installed WebTools.

You’ll find that you can’t use the plugin from inside Plex, however.

Instead, you have to open a web browser and go to a specific local URL. The URL shown inside Plex might not work, but if you’re configuring things on your server you can simply use localhost:33400.

If you want to access this from another computer, simply find your server’s IP address and put :33400 at the end. Log in using your Plex account and you’re ready to go.

Using The Universal App Store

Now that you’ve logged into WebTools you can start browsing the Universal Web Store. Look for the “UAS” option it in the sidebar.

You can start exploring right away. As of this writing there are over 170 channels available.

There’s a lot to sort through, so here are a few highlights I noticed:

  • Common Sense Media: Adds age recommendations to TV and movie metadata.
  • TuneIn2017: lets you listen to local and international radio stations.
  • Plexpod: adds podcast support to Plex. Official support for Podcasts in Plex is coming, but this is cool for now.
  • Internet Archive: lets you watch old films from IA’s extensive collection.
  • Porn: I can’t get around this: there is so much porn here, you guys. Maybe don’t let your kids access this thing.

One nice thing about this setup: you can quickly install updates using it. This means that if a plugin breaks you can quickly patch it from this interface, rather than having to download and install the update yourself.

Scan For Missing Files, and Files Not Currently Being Used

The App Store is the banner feature in the WebTools plug-in, but another feature worth checking out is FindMedia. It scans your folders and points out any files currently not included in your Plex database. It also points out any missing files that are included in your database. It’s a useful tool for making sure all your stuff is showing up, so check it out if you’ve got a large collection.

Upload Subtitles To Your Plex Server

Another tool work checking out: the subtitle browser. We’ve shown you how to automatically download subtitles in Plex, but WebTools lets you look at which files in your collection currently have subtitles, and even upload subtitles to your server.

There are more features we could dig into here: access to your Plex logs, for example, and a few tools for managing playlists. If you’re an advanced Plex user there’s no reason not to give this a spin.

Profile Photo for Justin Pot Justin Pot
Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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