Plex users find a lot of weird stuff to complain about, but everything they say about the service’s Sync feature is completely, unequivocally true. Plex Sync is supposed to let you download media files for offline use, but it doesn’t always work and sucks to use. The solution? Well, Plex is replacing Sync with a new feature called Downloads.
Hey, that has a nice ring to it! Downloads works the way that Sync was supposed to work—you just tap to download what you want or “subscribe” to shows for automatic episode downloads. Expanded format compatibility and progressive conversion reduce the need for transcoding, thereby increasing download speed. Plus, you don’t need to fish for offline content anymore. A dedicated Downloads pane lets you see all of your offline content in one pretty list.
Power users can still tweak the hell out of Downloads. The Plex Settings let you choose download quality and file size, for example. But for the most part, Downloads is as simple as salt. It looks like the feature that Sync should have been.
Downloads and Sync will coexist for the time being, though future app updates will kill the Sync feature once and for all (you should convert offline content to Downloads before Sync dies, by the way). Bear in mind that Downloads is a Plex Pass feature, so only subscribers can use it.