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How to get the most out of your Chromecast: get around restrictions to get local files playing

Door: switchboy op: 2017-01-12, 483 views

ArtikellogoChromecast is a wonderful and cheap device that you can hook up to any device that either has an HDMI, analog or digital audio port to spare. Doing so will enable to stream just about anything that is on the internet to said device. Sounds wonderful! There is however a little pitfall. If you wanted to stream your own music from a local source or just route the audio from your PC/laptop to your Chromecast you would find it impossible to do so out of the box. That is until now.

This is because out of the box the Google Chromecast only supports proprietary software that is able to cast to the device. Simply put the device was designed to stream content from the internet on its own from a select number of compatible sources. Therefore Chromecast sadly does not support DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance), a method to stream to all kind of devices, on its own. But now thanks to a piece of software called ‘BubbleUPnP Server’ you can make the Google Chromecast compatible with all the software out there that is compatible with DLNA. This means you will be able to cast any audio file on your computer to Chromecast by either using the built in feature in Windows Vista (or greater) or stand-alone software like Winamp or Foobar2000. The best part is, setting this up is quite easy to do.

Setting things up:
- First off you’ll need the ‘BubbleUPnP Server’ and install it
- Once the installation has finished direct your browser here: http://localhost:58050/
- Click on ‘Media Renderers’
- Click on your Chromecast or Chromecast group
- Tick the box in front of ‘Create a DLNA renderer’
- Click ‘Ok’
- Now you are done and can cast audio files to this newly created renderer with whatever software you want.

Be aware that Windows Media Player offers support for DLNA right away. If you would like to use foobar2000 you need this plugin foo_unpnp and for Winamp you can use ml_upnp.

It is also possible to route all of the audio you hear to a DLNA compliant device. A great piece of software for this is Stream What You Hear.

For the audio purist: be aware that this last solution will transcode all of the audio and this can lead to quality loss. Streaming a file directly usually doesn’t require this transcoding step unless the Chromecast doesn’t support the audio format. Leading to better sounding music. Also if you plan to stream audio for a movie this way you should be aware of a latency of 1-2 seconds. This means that you have to set the right delay for the image in your media player. Otherwise the audio will be totally out of sync.

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