Help me get my head around the point of Infuse - I want to love it, but

Okay, so. I’ve heard of infuse here and there through the Plex subreddit (I’ve been an avid Plex Pass user for 5+ years and have a library consisting of 30,000 movies and 160,000+ episodes.

From my understanding, each device I sign into Infuse with has to download my entire library’s metadata for all the TV shows and movies. Eg: My iPhone’s Infuse app, my iPad’s Infuse app, and my Mac’s Infuse app, all have to download the metadata themselves, and can’t pull it from one central location, such as my Plex server? Is this an accurate statement, or am I misinterpreting it?

I read up on iCloud Sync, which is said to not be used when a media server is acting as the source for content. I believe pointing Infuse directly at the source of content and using iCloud Sync would share the metadata amongst my devices rather than force each individual device to download the entire library’s metadata. Does this sound accurate?

One more thing, transcoding. I am able to play large files well when my internet connection is suffice, but when it isn’t, I need transcoding. (My server is installed on a VPS using cloudbox config. Is it not possible for Infuse to send a request to Plex to transcode at a certain bitrate when required?

Either is possible. You can connect to your Plex, (Emby or Jellyfin) server in which case Infuse in effect becomes an alternative client for Plex (although a far, far more capable one than Plex offers.) It still uses the metadata provided by Plex. It still reports in the Plex & Tautulli dashboard as a Plex client.

Or infuse can be a serverless client not slightly connected to Plex, Emby. Jellyfin etc…

Infuse does not transcode or tell Plex to transcode. It’s a direct play client.

Personally I use Infuse connected to Plex whilst viewing at home on a 55” screen. On the few occasions I watch media while out and about I use the official Plex client.

Infuse fully supports Spatial Audio for those with AirPods Pro or Max. Plex doesn’t.

Infuse supports direct play of HD Audio for those using surround sound systems. Plex transcodes the audio to Flac.

Infuse does video scrubbing with thumbnails on the fly. Plex has to create those thumbs which can take several months hammering the CPU and easily take up 300-400GB of space in the Plex database.

Infuse works with Trakt natively. Plex have no idea what Trakt is.

That’s not in any way a complete list. But they are the ones that come to my mind as they are the reasons I use Infuse.

If none of the above reasons are or will in the future be relevant/applicable to you, then perhaps you don’t need Infuse.
If you’re happy using the native Plex clients for your use case then you most certainly don’t need Infuse.

But for me it’s a no brainier for my “personal reasons” given above.

As a general rule of thumb if you don’t know why you need something different…you probably don’t.

I hope it’s helped clarify a few things but feel free to ask if you have any more questions. :grinning:

1 Like