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Infuse vs Plex: A Detailed Comparison (Which is better)

Infuse vs Plex: A Detailed Comparison (Which is better)

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?

Infuse Review Is it better than Plex 1

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 has this feature, but it seemed more difficult for me to find specific parts of the video (or moments) during playback.
Handling Large LibrariesHas had issues in the past, but has improved over time.Generally more efficient.
SubtitlesOffers superior subtitles with a better font and a darker color.White subtitles can be overly bright and uncomfortable for some users.
Mini ThumbnailsOffers mini thumbnails for easy video scrubbing.Scrubbing felt harder to navigate during playback.

What is Infuse?

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

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?

What are the benefits to using Infuse

Infuse is a very well known media player that offers several benefits for users, including:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

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?

Infuse Review Is it better than Plex 2

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

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 FeaturesWhat it does
High-Performance PlaybackProvides smooth playback of 4K HDR and HDR10+ videos with efficient hardware decoding of h.264 and h.265 codecs.
Easy SubtitlesMakes adding subtitles easy by allowing users to bring their own or download from with just one tap.
Drag-and-Drop TransfersEnables quick and easy transfer of videos using AirDrop, iTunes, FTP, or a web browser (iOS only) without the need for cables.
Trakt IntegrationSeamless integration with Trakt, a popular media tracking service, allows users to keep track of watched history and ratings.
Custom Collections & PlaylistsEnables users to create customized collections and playlists of favorite movies, TV shows, and home videos.
Videos on the GoAllows users to stream their favorite content on the go by using Wi-Fi travel drives such as AirStash® and SanDisk® Connect.
Dolby Vision and AtmosSupports high-fidelity Dolby Vision (Profile 5) and Dolby Atmos (E-AC3) audio for an immersive experience.
Home Theater & ProjectorsVersatile zoom, crop, aspect ratio, and alignment options allow for use with high-end theater environments.
Advanced Video UpscalingSmart video upscaling feature makes lower resolution videos look amazing on larger screens.
Plex, Emby, and Jellyfin IntegrationIntegrates with popular media server apps such as Plex, Emby, and Jellyfin to play videos and keep watched history and ratings in sync.
UPnP & DLNA SupportEnables users to browse, stream, and download videos with ease using UPnP/DLNA apps like Kodi (XBMC) and Serviio.
Additional StorageAdds up to 256GB of external storage with the SanDisk® iXpand drive, which is fully compatible with Infuse Media Software.
Parental ControlsConfigurable parental controls restrict access to certain types of content based on ratings or folder settings.
Variable-Speed PlaybackAllows 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 FeaturesWhat it does
Additional Video FormatsSupports a wider range of video formats, saving users time from having to convert files.
HD Quality Audio with Spatial AudioProvides added support for high-resolution Dolby and DTS-HD audio, allowing users to hear every detail of their content.
AirPlay & Google CastEnables users to stream videos with surround sound and subtitles to the big screen via AirPlay and Google Cast.
Stay in SyncKeeps library, playback progress, and watched history in sync with other devices.
Cloud StreamingAllows 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

User Interface

User Interface 2

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.


Settings 1

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.


Compatibility 2

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

DeviceOperating System Required
iPhoneiOS 13 and later
iPod touchiOS 13 and later
iPadiPadOS 13 and later
Apple TV4th gen and later
MacmacOS 11 and later

Infuse supported: Video Formats

Video FormatCompatibility

Infuse supported Audio Tracks

Audio FormatCompatibility

Infuse supported Subtitle Formats

Subtitle FormatCompatibility

Video performance

Video performance 2

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

Optimal settings for infuse

Optimal settings for infuse 1

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

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.

Bottom Line

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.


Saturday 21st of October 2023

Plex has had thumbnail/scrub mode for at least four or five years.

Paul Michael

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Thanks for this – I just re-tested the scrubbing feature on Plex and updated the article; we're continually updating this post. For context, We just name infuse first to make scanning the comparisons easier, I'm a bigger fan of Plex personally.


Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

Long time Plex fan but let down by bad audio sync on 4 HDR movies. Infuse plays these perfectly.

Using Apple TV 4K latest gen (2023 purchase) with Benq W2700i.

Paul Michael

Wednesday 3rd of May 2023

Did you try "experimental mode" or the equivalent of that since Plex was upgraded? It seems to run well for me on my apple TV. I will say – Infuse quality is significantly better. We actually have a post on this exact topic too infuse vs plex

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ