Is Infuse really better than Plex? With the increasing popularity of streaming media, many people are looking for the best option for their media library. Two popular options are Infuse and Plex, both of which offer a great user experience and powerful features.
Infuse and Plex are two of the most popular media players available today, each with its own set of features and capabilities.
In this post, we will review Infuse (firecore) and compare Infuse to Plex to help you decide which one is better for your video requirements.
Related: 13 Best Video Players for iPad Pro and Air
We’ll look at the features, user interface, pricing, and more to determine which one offers the most value. Ultimately, we’ll let you decide which one is better: Infuse or Plex?
Related: 10 Best Video Players for iPhone
- Plex vs Infuse: Should you pay for infuse or just use plex?
- What is Infuse?
- What are the benefits to using Infuse?
- What are the disadvantages to infuse?
- Infuse Review: Is it better than Plex?
- Optimal settings for infuse
- Infuse compared to other options
Plex vs Infuse: Should you pay for infuse or just use plex?
If you’re trying to decide between Infuse and Plex, the choice ultimately comes down to your individual needs and preferences. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors to consider.
- Infuse has had issues with handling large libraries and metadata refreshing, although this has improved over time – Plex is generally more efficient than Infuse when handling large libraries.
- Infuse offers superior subtitles with a better font and a darker, more comfortable color for HDR content. Plex’s white subtitles can be overly bright, which may be uncomfortable for some users.
- Infuse provides mini thumbnails for easy video scrubbing, allowing for easier navigation during playback. Plex seems to not have this feature, which makes it more difficult to find specific parts of the video (or moments) during playback.
|Handling Large Libraries||Has had issues in the past, but has improved over time.||Generally more efficient.|
|Subtitles||Offers superior subtitles with a better font and a darker color.||White subtitles can be overly bright and uncomfortable for some users.|
|Mini Thumbnails||Offers mini thumbnails for easy video scrubbing.||Does not appear to have this feature, making it harder to navigate during playback.|
What is Infuse?
Outside of being a great look app, there is a lot under the hood of Infuse. Infuse supports playback of 4K (Ultra-HD) HDR video, with efficient hardware decoding of h.264 and h.265. It can also download subtitles from OpenSubtitles.org.
Infuse lets you go beyond iTunes and helps you avoid wasting hours converting or transcoding files. Infuse’s powerful playback engine supports jalmost every video file format. These include: MKV, MP4, AVI, ISO, DVD, BDMV, and many others.
Related: 21 Best Video Players for Mac
If you aren’t running a media server, you can load video from AirDrop, iTunes, FTP, or a web browser. It also supports native Split View and Picture-in-Picture on supported devices. It works with versatile zoom, crop, aspect ratio, and alignment options in high-end theater environments.
Related: How to get New Movies on Plex
What are the benefits to using Infuse?
Infuse is a very well known media player that offers several benefits for users, including:
- Stream from several devices and apps: Users can stream content from various devices and apps, making it easy to access your favorite movies and shows no matter where you are.
- Supports nearly every video format: Infuse supports almost all video formats, which means that users don’t have to worry about converting files before playing them.
- Handles metadata of movies and shows: You’ll be able to automatically downloads and displays metadata for movies and TV shows, providing users with information about the plot, cast, and crew.
- Syncs to additional devices: Infuse makes it easy to sync your media library and playback progress to other devices, ensuring that you never miss a beat.
Related: Jellyfin vs Plex vs Emby: Which is better?
What are the disadvantages to infuse?
Infuse, like many other media players, offers some additional features through a pro subscription, which requires an annual in-app purchase.
However, if you are not interested in paying for the pro features, you will still have access to the basic functionalities.
- One limitation of Infuse is that users are not able to manually edit metadata or thumbnails for home videos, which can be frustrating for some.
- Infuse’s device-side metadata fetching can be slow at times, causing some delays when searching for information on your media library.
- I didn’t like that there wasn’t much information regarding small errors I had when using the app on Apple TV and iPhone.
Infuse Review: Is it better than Plex?
In this review, we will not only review Infuse, but also compare it to Plex to determine which media player is the better option.
Features: Free vs paid features
One of my favorite features is a variable speed playback, though. If you are trying to work through a big backlog of content, you can speed your video up to 1.5x or 2x playback.
Here’s a table we researched of all the features in the free version and what they do:
|Infuse Media Software Free Version Features||What it does|
|High-Performance Playback||Provides smooth playback of 4K HDR and HDR10+ videos with efficient hardware decoding of h.264 and h.265 codecs.|
|Easy Subtitles||Makes adding subtitles easy by allowing users to bring their own or download from OpenSubtitles.org with just one tap.|
|Drag-and-Drop Transfers||Enables quick and easy transfer of videos using AirDrop, iTunes, FTP, or a web browser (iOS only) without the need for cables.|
|Trakt Integration||Seamless integration with Trakt, a popular media tracking service, allows users to keep track of watched history and ratings.|
|Custom Collections & Playlists||Enables users to create customized collections and playlists of favorite movies, TV shows, and home videos.|
|Videos on the Go||Allows users to stream their favorite content on the go by using Wi-Fi travel drives such as AirStash® and SanDisk® Connect.|
|Dolby Vision and Atmos||Supports high-fidelity Dolby Vision (Profile 5) and Dolby Atmos (E-AC3) audio for an immersive experience.|
|Home Theater & Projectors||Versatile zoom, crop, aspect ratio, and alignment options allow for use with high-end theater environments.|
|Advanced Video Upscaling||Smart video upscaling feature makes lower resolution videos look amazing on larger screens.|
|Plex, Emby, and Jellyfin Integration||Integrates with popular media server apps such as Plex, Emby, and Jellyfin to play videos and keep watched history and ratings in sync.|
|UPnP & DLNA Support||Enables users to browse, stream, and download videos with ease using UPnP/DLNA apps like Kodi (XBMC) and Serviio.|
|Additional Storage||Adds up to 256GB of external storage with the SanDisk® iXpand drive, which is fully compatible with Infuse Media Software.|
|Parental Controls||Configurable parental controls restrict access to certain types of content based on ratings or folder settings.|
|Variable-Speed Playback||Allows users to adjust playback speed for different viewing scenarios, enabling them to speed up or slow down videos as needed.|
Related: VLC Media Player: Is it still the Best Video Player?
Below is a list of all the paid features:
|Infuse Media Software Features||What it does|
|Additional Video Formats||Supports a wider range of video formats, saving users time from having to convert files.|
|HD Quality Audio with Spatial Audio||Provides added support for high-resolution Dolby and DTS-HD audio, allowing users to hear every detail of their content.|
|AirPlay & Google Cast||Enables users to stream videos with surround sound and subtitles to the big screen via AirPlay and Google Cast.|
|Stay in Sync||Keeps library, playback progress, and watched history in sync with other devices.|
|Cloud Streaming||Allows users to stream videos directly from cloud file services like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, pCloud, Yandex.Disk, and MEGA.|
|Lifetime Updates (7.4 Now Available!)||Provides access to all future updates, including major releases like v8, v9, etc., with a subscription to Infuse Pro|
Related: VLC vs Windows Media Player vs PotPlayer
Upon launching Infuse, I was immediately struck by the app’s skeuomorphic interface, which features a wooden shelf design reminiscent of Apple’s iBooks app. The top half of the screen was dedicated to displaying my media artwork, while the bottom half showed the thumbnails of my media files.
One of the things that impressed me about Infuse was its ability to pull poster art and fan art from the web, using information from TheMovieDB and TVDB.
Related: 13 Best Video Players for iPad Pro and Air
The app uses both the file name and underlying metadata to find the best movie thumbnail, and it does an impressive job with remarkable accuracy.
Another great feature of Infuse is its theater mode. By turning my device upside down, the app transformed into a theater-like mode where most of the screen was occupied by the video’s teaser graphics, with thumbnails lined up along the bottom.
In terms of settings, Infuse provides a range of options to customize the user experience.
I particularly appreciated the ability to show synced videos, display full filenames instead of titles, and adjust the default sort order for browsing files. Other settings included toggling light/dark mode, allowing metadata and artwork to be fetched from The Movie Database (TMDb), and enabling the app to download subtitles automatically for local content.
Overall, I found Infuse’s user interface to be intuitive and well-designed, with a range of settings that allowed me to customize the app to my preferences.
The app’s attention to detail and ability to fetch metadata and artwork from the web made for a seamless and enjoyable media viewing experience.
I’ve done an extensive amount of research to figure out the compatibility of Infuse. Below we’ll cover every aspect of this in 4 different charts (Devices, video formats. subtitles and audio)
Infuse Compatibility Chart: Devices
|Device||Operating System Required|
|iPhone||iOS 13 and later|
|iPod touch||iOS 13 and later|
|iPad||iPadOS 13 and later|
|Apple TV||4th gen and later|
|Mac||macOS 11 and later|
Infuse supported: Video Formats
Infuse supported Audio Tracks
Infuse supported Subtitle Formats
When it comes to video playback, Infuse stands out compared to Plex with its exceptional performance, surpassing many other options on the market.
I found Infuse to outperform Plex in some cases, particularly with seamless playback of certain formats and seamless audio.
While Plex has made improvements in this area over time, Infuse still has an edge. Additionally, Infuse supports high-quality 4K HDR video playback, efficient hardware decoding of h.264 and h.265, and quick subtitle downloads from OpenSubtitles.org.
Optimal settings for infuse
Best settings for Apple TV 4K and Infuse to play downloaded content (always be sure it is your own content and it is legal).
For optimal performance on Apple TV 4K and Infuse, it’s recommended to enable the Match Content option on your Apple TV. This will allow Infuse to adjust the video output to match the content being played, providing the best possible viewing experience.
With Match Content enabled, you can choose from any of the available video output options, such as HDR 60Hz and SDR 60Hz, without having to worry about default settings impacting your playback.
However, some users may prefer to have menus displayed in SDR, while others may prefer everything in HDR – ultimately, this comes down to personal preference.
Infuse compared to other options
While Infuse is optimized for iOS 12 and has powerful streaming options, subtitle support, and trakt sync, there are over 50 alternatives available across multiple platforms, including VLC Media Player, Kodi, AIMP, Jellyfin, and Plex.
Infuse alternatives mainly include media servers, media centers, or media players, and users can filter by specific functionality to find the best alternative.
Infuse and Plex are two media players that offer distinct advantages depending on the user’s specific needs and preferences. Infuse boasts features like superior subtitles and mini thumbnails, setting it apart from Plex in terms of usability.
However, it’s worth noting that Infuse requires an annual in-app purchase for access to pro features, which may be a drawback for some users. While Infuse has some limitations, it still offers a powerful and compelling option for those seeking a media player with advanced features and smooth playback capabilities.