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Digital media is king these days. No matter where you look, movies and TV inundate nearly every aspect of our day to day lives. Digital media follows us everywhere we go, be it on our smart TVs in our bedrooms, our cellphones when we go out, or our Alexa devices in our kitchens. You cannot escape it.
Personally, I think this is a great thing. As technology becomes more and more of an extension of humanity, things become easier. Knowledge is more conveniently learned, we are never not entertained, and we are in constant connection with friends and family. Some people like to criticize the inundation of technology in our lives, but I say embrace it! This is precisely why I get excited to learn about new ways to interact with the digital space like streaming software suites and media centers.
What is a media center and software suite? Well, I am glad that you asked. It is actually almost exactly what it sounds like. A media center allows you to access all of your digital media sources in one convenient location. So, instead of having to go back and forth between all of the streaming services that you subscribe to, for example, some media centers allow you to simplify – they present all of your media in a single organized quasi operating system of sorts that can be accessed on your computer, mobile device, smart TV, or Roku.
I don’t know about you, but I hate having to constantly switch between menu after menu and put up with remembering all the little design and functionality quirks of every streaming and media platform that I use. Because, of course, none of them is uniform. Going from Hulu to Netflix, for instance, sometimes makes me feel like I have to relearn each app every time I revisit. Media Centers, however, like Kodi, Plex, or the one we will be taking a look at today, Stremio makes life so much simpler when it comes to streaming video or accessing pictures and music.
Why have all of your content spread out among 5, 10, or 15 different digital locations when you can have it all organized in one convenient and easy to use a spot that can be accessed on any device? Once I started using a media center, I never looked back. I was amazed, actually, at how much easier things became. I never considered how much brain power I was using when it came to keeping track of which videos were on which drivers and which movies and shows were currently on which streaming services. Thanks to services like Stremio, I no longer have to worry about it.
Why, then, should you consider a significantly lesser-known media center like Stremio over a more popular one like, say, Kodi? Well, for starters, going back to the convenience factor, Stremio was specifically designed to be as user-friendly as possible, whereas Kodi can be a little clunky by comparison. That is the main complaint that people have with Kodi – it can offer extremely powerful performance, but it takes quite a bit of time and effort to learn how to use it to its maximum potential.
Secondly, the addons that Stremio offers do not install directly on your device or computer. They install onto the Stremio servers. That means that Stremio is taking on all the risk – in case of a malicious third-party developer that wants to try and hide viruses or tracking software into their customized addon. Media centers like Kodi or Plex, however, put that risk on the user. So, Stremio, then, can be a bit safer to use.
And lastly, although some may see this as a hindrance, it can also be a blessing … Stremio does not allow customizable skins or builds to be uploaded. Sure, this can be a bummer to a tech-savvy individual who wants to be able to make his or her interface reflect his or her personality in some way. But the upside to this is the fact that there will be no risk of accidentally breaking the installation (which is something you will want to be careful of with uploading customized skins onto a piece of software such as this one).
So, all in all, it is beginning to look like Stremio, although it may be a less popular media center, could be the perfect route for anyone who is just beginning to entertain the idea of using media centers in general. Its user-friendliness and intuitive nature make it perfect for anyone and everyone to use with ease. But let’s take a closer look at Stemio, shall we, and see if it is truly the right media center software for you.
As I have already alluded to a bit, Stremio’s design is extremely intuitive. In fact, I almost prefer it to the designs of, say, Netflix or Hulu. It is very easy to use and, more importantly, it is tailored to your tastes. Upon installation, for example, you will be asked to choose at least three main categories of different types of content. From these selections, Stremio will learn what to suggest to you.
The main screen of Stremio (technically referred to as a board), you will find a long list of videos, picked out for you based on the categories you chose earlier on. You should know, though, not all of these videos will be available to stream; they are merely suggestions that Stremio thinks you could be interested in. If you would rather use the search bar to find a specific movie or TV series, you can do so, of course, by making use of the search bar at the top of the screen.
On the left-hand side of the board, you can also browse content by genre and category. Filter content with ease by clicking on any of the following: Movies, Series, Channels, TV Channels, Top, Oscar Winners, and then a list of genres. Here, you will also be able to conveniently access your own addons. So, for instance, if you have Netflix, Vodo, Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, or Twitch account – once they have been linked, you can quickly switch between them here.
In addition to providing users with a nearly comprehensive database of titles (TV series, channels, movies, etc.), Stremio also offers a few addons for you to choose from. Here, however, I am afraid I do need to emphasize the word “few.” Nowhere near as vast as the addon library of, say, Kodi or Plex, Stremio’s offerings are dwarfed. They do, though, have some very useful ones – such as the p2p torrent network RARGB, Vodo, and Watch Hub.
Other cool features that Stremio offers include the ability to sync watched content with Trakt. This will allow you to, assuming you have already created and linked your Trakt account with Stremio, keep track of all of the content that you watch. It is a fun and convenient way to remember what you’ve already seen and to make recommendations to friends and family.
Plus, there is the built-in Stremio calendar. Follow your favorite shows in order to keep track of which ongoing series air new episodes and when. This way you never have to miss your favorite shows again.
Desktop and Mobile Experience
Stremio is conveniently available on just about any operating system and device on the market. Enjoy a streamlined and intuitive experience whether you are using Stremio on your smartphone, PS4, Xbox, Roku, Chromecast, Roku, Mac, Windows, or Linux. If you can watch stuff on it, chances are you can use Stremio on it to do so.
One thing that I love about Stremio is the fact that, no matter what device you access it on, it offers, more or less, an equally user-friendly and dependable experience.
Pricing and Plans
Stremio itself is 100% free to use and open-sourced. So, in order to browse the library (without watching anything) and access the media center itself (which can still be used to organize and archive your own video files), you won’t have to pay a dime. However, of course, to get the most out of Stremio, you’ll have to have at least one streaming service to your name. So, that will cost you. And, personally, I find that Stremio becomes the most useful when you have numerous services to link together – after all, that is kind of the point!
Suggestions that I have for Stremio
I would like to see Stremio offer more addons than they currently do. If Stremio wants to truly compete with media centers like Kodi or Plex, I think they could easily do so simply by offering a comparable number of add-ons – seeing as it is already so much safer and easier to use than any other media center that I have seen.