Plexamp, the music player originally incubated by the Labs division of media company Plex, is tapping into ChatGPT with its latest update. The company announced today a new feature called “Sonic Sage,” powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, that will build unique music playlists by scanning users’ libraries and leveraging their TIDAL subscription.
The update follows other efforts around using AI interfaces to program users’ music selections. Spotify, notably, launched an AI DJ to both introduce and select music for its streaming app users, while other third-party apps like Petey are now using ChatGPT to make Apple Music playlists.
In Plex’s case, it’s using the feature for its music player side project for the time being, not its main media player app.
First launched in 2017 as the debut project from Plex Labs, Plexamp was introduced as Plex’s spin on the classic Winamp media player app, even offering visualizations to accompany your tunes. It later expanded from the desktop to iOS and Android, and got an overhaul, becoming a subscriber-only service.
In addition to being a way to enjoy music in a classic interface aimed at audiophiles, the app has also served as a way for Plex to experiment with different technologies. For instance, in 2021, it was updated with a “Super Sonic” feature that would match songs that were “sonically similar” to one another, instead of using metadata alone for programming mixes.
Now, Plexamp will add support for ChatGPT, the company says.
The new feature, dubbed Sonic Sage, lets users create their own playlists by using natural language to describe what they want to hear. For example, the company suggests users could ask for things like “mellow ballads by heavy metal bands,” “upbeat electronics tracks from The Chainsmokers and other DJ duos,” “psychedelic indie rock like Pink Floyd,” “70s grooves by powerhouse women,” and more.
To use the option, users must be a Plex Pass subscriber and they must also subscribe to TIDAL’s streaming music service, which is Plex’s music partner. They’ll then need to create an OpenAI account in order to enter an OpenAI API key in Plexamp settings to enable Sonic Sage. The company notes you can limit its results only to music in your own library via a setting next to the API key.
In addition to the new AI offering, the app has several other music discovery options, including the ability to use a variety of DJ modes, go on machine-learning “sonic adventures,” use “mood radios,” travel back in time to rediscover oldies and more.
Plexamp now works across iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux and Headless, the company notes.