I want you to think really carefully about how happy you are right now, because as soon as I describe the killer features of the latest iteration of the Plex media center software, you’re going to be plunged into deep despair. Despair over the fact that you don’t have the new Plex installed on your computer right now, and may in fact have to wait until the end of the business day to get it.

That’s how I felt, anyhow, as soon as the Raised Eyebrow team started to regale me with its benefits during a recent meeting. I raced home, got the software up and running, and have been nothing short of dazzled.

I’ve been a huge Plex fan since David Drucker put me onto it a year ago, but the new version of Plex — and its flagship innovation, myPlex — take the app to a new level. With version 9.5 and the advent of myPlex, your media collection gets a home on the web. Here’s what that means in practice:

  1. Anytime, anywhere access. If I forget to run a video transfer with Klexi, I have a tendency to skip my morning workout because I don’t have anything fresh to watch on my iPad because I . With myPlex, I can use my iPad’s 3G connection to stream anything on my home media server to my iPad, with no pre-planning. (I fear that if this is good news for me, it’s even better news for the people who make money on my data overages).
  2. Watch it later queue. Login to your myPlex account from any computer, and you can add a browser bookmarklet that lets you store any web video for later viewing via Plex. Found an intriguing TED talk? Dying to watch that cute kitten video again and again? With one click, you can add them to your Plex queue, and you’ll find them waiting for you when you get home (or online) to catch up on your viewing.
  3. Sharing! Maybe you never offer to help your friends move, or bring them chicken soup when they are sick in bed. You will nonetheless be counted as the best friend in the world when you give your pals access to your myPlex media server, and to your complete collection of all 4 seasons of Mad Men episodes. Whoever said food isn’t lot had it right: data is love.

If you have thus far resisted the siren song of Plex, it is time to get serious (and to get torrenting) with this how-to. A used Mac Mini sells for about $100 more than Apple TV, and with the glory that is Plex and myPlex, you are going to be delighted that you’ve rolled your own home media server.