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Hydrogenaudio Forum => Validated News => Topic started by: rajas on 2015-09-30 21:58:19

Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: rajas on 2015-09-30 21:58:19
Google released a new version of their Chromecast hardware today dedicated to audio.

From the website (https://www.google.com/chromecast/speakers/):
Quote
Chromecast Audio is a small device that plugs into your speaker for streaming music over Wi-Fi. Once set up, simply use your iPhone®, iPad®, Android phone or tablet, Mac® or Windows® laptop or Chromebook to cast your favourite tunes to the best speakers in the house.
Speaker inputs supported: RCA, 3.5 mm, Optical

Supports an optional Guest mode that lets nearby guests cast without joining your WiFi network.
Multiroom casting (like Sonos) is expected in a future update.
Casting music from a Windows PC is apparently possible using third party software like AirParrot.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: audiophool on 2015-09-30 22:25:57
While the Chromecast Audio is indeed new, it's release is not entirely surprising. Google Cast for Audio devices such as the LG H3 or the Sony SRS-X77 have popped up here and there over the last few months.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: Hotsoup on 2015-09-30 23:30:08
I ordered the (regular) chromecast 2 today after hearing it will support Spotify. My squeezebox touch requires a premium membership and the PS3 interface is pretty off-putting. According to this article, even the older chromecast will eventually support casting Spotify after a firmware update:
http://venturebeat.com/2015/09/29/how-to-s...new-chromecast/ (http://venturebeat.com/2015/09/29/how-to-stream-spotify-to-your-new-chromecast/)

Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: greynol on 2015-10-01 01:33:38
Our original Chromecast was replaced by an Apple TV, though the Roku 3 is still the most highly regarded.
After seeing this topic I discovered the JoyDrone and in light of chromecast audio, now wonder what will become of this $19 add-on. Surely $19 is cheaper than another $35 if I ever decided to put together another speaker system that didn't have streaming capability already built-in; otherwise, the chromecast will remain in the junk electronics drawer.
Regardless of my situation, $35 is an attractive solution for adding wireless to an audio system.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-01 07:55:53
The Chromecast Audio sounds (haha) like exactly what I need. I don't use a TV, everything is already on my PC and its 27" monitor, so I have no need for the full-blown Chromecast.

But the Audio is perfect as an addon to my stereo, so I can play music from my NAS without having to fire up the PC. And in my bedroom, I've been using a kinda crappy Internet radio with DLNA capabilities along with an old compact power amp and some spare speakers. Replacing that radio with a Chromecast is definitely going to happen, because it absolutely sucks UI-wise and chokes on some FLAC files for no reason at all.

Chromecast Audio + BubbleUPNP on my phone will be a much better solution.

E: Just checked out the Joydrone that greynol mentioned. Since I already have a Chromecast that I bought for messing around with, maybe I'll just use that combination. However, it requires initial setup using a TV, I assume the 'proper' Chromecast Audio has a streamlined process for that, without using a TV.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: audiophool on 2015-10-01 08:01:50
Regardless of my situation, $35 is an attractive solution for adding wireless to an audio system.

The Chromecast Audio looks nice and the WAF is probably decent. Nevertheless, with Google, it's a chance that you're not only paying with your dollars but there's an additional non-monetary compensation involved (you're giving them your personal data).

I don't wanna give away my data. I also want maximum flexibility. So, for now, I'm sticking to Raspberry Pi's. The WAF is lower, sure. But for $35 (or, in my case, €), I can get an A+, a Wifi dongle, and a cheap case from one of the CN stores. And PSUs are free--I have plenty from old phones and such. Then I put mpd or squeezelite on the Pi and it works great for audio over HDMI. (Analog audio with the Pi is another story for which I would add a DAC so the solution gets more expensive.)

For me, the most tempting part about Google Cast for Audio are the all-in-one wireless speakers. There, I don't have a neat open hardware alternative. Of course, nice about Google Cast devices such as the new LG Music Flow or Denon Heos speakers is that you stream audio over WiFi. Thus, the solution doesn't involve A2DP Bluetooth with the less-than-stellar SBC codec.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-01 08:22:23
I have no problem with Google knowing what music I listen to, perhaps that will even bring a tiny bit of attention to some of the more obscure artists

Sure, I understand why you're hesitant to fork over too much personal info, but I've made my peace with how much (or how little) the Internet at large knows about me.

I have tried a bunch of different solutions for streaming audio into an old-fashioned stereo with no built-in streaming. Internet radios, dedicated DLNA adapters, Bluetooth and so on. All of them suck in their own particular way. But the Chromecast that I bought (and which is currently plugged into a TV at work to test some apps) just works without a hitch, it's just a much more elegant solution.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2015-10-01 08:53:37
Chromecast Audio + BubbleUPNP on my phone will be a much better solution.
Any news on format support, gapless, ReplayGain, etc?

Is BubbleUPnP always sitting in the audio pipeline, or can/does it just pass URLs to Chromecast?

Cheers,
David.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-01 08:58:18
Chromecast Audio + BubbleUPNP on my phone will be a much better solution.
Any news on format support, gapless, ReplayGain, etc?

Is BubbleUPnP always sitting in the audio pipeline, or can/does it just pass URLs to Chromecast?

Cheers,
David.


I'll update you as soon as I get mine and give it a test drive

I figure it also depends on your audio source. I don't think my DLNA server supports gapless playback. And I don't think BubbleUPNP supports replaygain yet.

But the way Chromecast works, it should take over completely once you start playback, so you don't need your phone in the chain, except for controlling.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-01 11:45:18
Google Play Music definitely supports gapless playback, even on the old Chromecast. So that should be fine. Still no replaygain, though

E: I had a look at the specs, it supports MP3, Ogg Vorbis, HE/LC-AAC and FLAC. You can both cast from specific apps as before and mirror all audio from your device.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: rajas on 2015-10-01 14:31:49
Replaygain support and gapless are two features that I really really need. I know that the original Chromecast and Google Music combo recently gained gapless support. Not sure about Replaygain though. And no idea how any of this will work with local (as opposed to cloud) streaming.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: RonaldDumsfeld on 2015-10-01 14:48:49
I've had an old Chromecast for a while and it is good for streaming video to a larger screen if a little lunky to use.

Never use it for audio on it's own though. Bluetooth dongles are so much more convienient. Smaller, cheaper, easier to use and you don;t need to be on a working network.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-01 16:53:32
Bluetooth is still using lossy aptX compression for streaming, unless you're using aptX Lossless (which I'm not sure if you can get dongles for yet) and requires the phone to be on and transmitting while listening.

Chromecast lets you start playback and the turn off the phone while the music keeps playing, so it's a much smaller drain of battery life.

Bluetooth was never really made for high-quality audio streaming. It's nice for mobile usage and phone headsets etc. and can stream MP3 just fine, but it's very much not ideal for lossless streaming to a home stereo.

Also, the Chromecast Audio is $35, hardly a fortune.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: saratoga on 2015-10-01 17:08:48
I've had an old Chromecast for a while and it is good for streaming video to a larger screen if a little lunky to use.

Never use it for audio on it's own though. Bluetooth dongles are so much more convienient. Smaller, cheaper, easier to use and you don;t need to be on a working network.


Problem with bluetooth is that you have to be near the device and powered or you lose audio.  The nice thing about the Chromecast is that the initiating device just starts playback, and then is no longer needed*.  You can turn it off to save battery, walk outside to take out the trash, etc and it keeps working. 

* You can also use it like bluetooth where you can directly from the device, but this is not as commonly used.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: audiophool on 2015-10-02 04:10:00
The nice thing about the Chromecast is that the initiating device just starts playback, and then is no longer needed.

This can be done using DLNA (and it has been done using DLNA quite some time before the Chromecast was released). It's not a unique feature the Chromecast brings to the table.

I have no problem with Google knowing what music I listen to, perhaps that will even bring a tiny bit of attention to some of the more obscure artists

I doubt that only data about the content being streamed is collected. Data about when and where you stream may be just as valuable as the 'what'.

And Google's terms allow it to share the collected data across services so these are things Google knows in addition to your web searches, the contents of your email, your Google Health data, etc. (assuming you use all underlying Google products).

Also, it's not just that Google knows (and can use the data to annoy you with ads and the like), there are further issues (e.g., there's a risk data gets leaked and your government, employer, or ex-GF finds out what, when, and where you stream). Btw, I'm not trying to troll. I honestly believe this product is not just about the audio technology. We also need to think if we want to live in the type of world laid out by Dave Eggers in which everything we do becomes public information. And if we don't want something to become public information, we shouldn't be doing it.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-02 09:03:29
The nice thing about the Chromecast is that the initiating device just starts playback, and then is no longer needed.

This can be done using DLNA (and it has been done using DLNA quite some time before the Chromecast was released). It's not a unique feature the Chromecast brings to the table.


Absolutely, and in theory DLNA is an awesome local streaming protocol.

However, in practice it is severely flawed. There are very few affordable standalone renderers available and the two I've tried (Terratec Air Beats HD and Clint H3) are unstable and choke on FLAC files, even on a 54mbit/s wifi (the highest rate they support). There are some FLAC files they simply will not play. Playback on my phone is fine, but as soon as I try to push them to the other renderer, playback just stops.

It seems that to get good DLNA playback, you have to buy either a full-blown receiver with the streaming built in, or get one of those all-in-one Internet radios. But I've had one of those, and it sucked too, with the same issues as the dedicated renderers. Or maybe it works great on the AV streamers in contrast to the audio-only streamers. But I have no use for those, I just want to stream music.

The Chromecast Audio costs £35 (cheaper than all of the above options) and will be running an instance of BubbleUPNP, which I know can handle all of my music. It really shouldn't be that hard to stream music from a NAS to a stereo without having to spend a fortune. I'm hoping the Chromecast Audio can make the happen, because the other solutions I've tried so far have failed to make it work easily and reliably.

The old Chromecast certainly works great for video (I use it a lot at work, for testing some of our apps with casting integration and even to cast the occasional web page or presentation. So far, we've seen no issues that weren't simply bugs in our applications, it's as reliable as an actual video cable).

Quote
I doubt that only data about the content being streamed is collected. Data about when and where you stream may be just as valuable as the 'what'.

And Google's terms allow it to share the collected data across services so these are things Google knows in addition to your web searches, the contents of your email, your Google Health data, etc. (assuming you use all underlying Google products).

Also, it's not just that Google knows (and can use the data to annoy you with ads and the like), there are further issues (e.g., there's a risk data gets leaked and your government, employer, or ex-GF finds out what, when, and where you stream). Btw, I'm not trying to troll. I honestly believe this product is not just about the audio technology. We also need to think if we want to live in the type of world laid out by Dave Eggers in which everything we do becomes public information. And if we don't want something to become public information, we shouldn't be doing it.


I fully understand where you're coming from, and I fully support your right to choose alternative products, to opt-out and avoid tracking by various companies etc.

Personally, I've made my peace with it. I use Google's etc. opt-out functions, disable targeted ads, and I run the uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger plugins (in Chrome, maybe that's kinda ironic). I also opt-out of all anonymous usage statistics etc.

What's left after that, I consider a price I pay for the convenience their apps etc. bring me, after all I am just a nobody, and if someone thinks my information is worth anything, they're completely deluding themselves. But I also fully support your right to take the opposite choice.

Of course no Google product is just about the primary function it offers. Google is an ad company first and foremost. It just happens that many of the ad-related algorithms are also useful for other purposes, such as spam filtering in Gmail etc.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: probedb on 2015-10-02 09:04:10
Oh no, Google knows I was listening to Enter Sandman before I went to bed....oh dear God nooooo, what will that mean for me? Oh wait, nothing. Please stop being so paranoid and keep this thread about the device not about your thoughts about Google.

The device looks really cool, if I didn't already have piCorePlayered RPis around the house it'd be great
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-10-07 03:02:00
I am actually really interested in this little baby, so I can use it as speakerphone in my house.  I currently use a Bluetooth speaker, and have a lot of problems understanding people with Indian and Russian accents on conference calls (I'm American).  Soon as I turn off the speaker and go to headphones, things are much clearer.  I'm curious to see if I can understand people better using wifi, which doesn't have lossy compression as part of the protocol.

What would really be nice is if you could have multiple chromecast audios and they all can stay in sync.  So, if you have one in the living room and dining room and one set of speakers don't sound like they're a little off from the other pair.  Cheap whole house audio would be pretty nice.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: greynol on 2015-10-07 04:16:24
I am actually really interested in this little baby, so I can use it as speakerphone in my house.

I don't think it works this way.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-07 08:17:40
Yeah I'm not sure it could even effectively cut out the speaker->mic feedback loop, so you would get a lot of echoing and feedback, it would be unusable.

And that's before you get into the issue of delay etc. Chromecast Audio is not designed as a low-latency real time audio system, because sound quality matters more than a second or two of delay when you're just listening to music, but not for telephony.

A dedicated Bluetooth speakerphone is still the best option, but you'll have to hunt around for one with better sound quality. Most basic Bluetooth headsets etc. use the base-level Bluetooth audio compression, which has terrible sound quality. You need to find a speakerphone that supports the later and better audio protocols.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-10-07 18:43:44
Yeah I'm not sure it could even effectively cut out the speaker->mic feedback loop, so you would get a lot of echoing and feedback, it would be unusable.

And that's before you get into the issue of delay etc. Chromecast Audio is not designed as a low-latency real time audio system, because sound quality matters more than a second or two of delay when you're just listening to music, but not for telephony.

A dedicated Bluetooth speakerphone is still the best option, but you'll have to hunt around for one with better sound quality. Most basic Bluetooth headsets etc. use the base-level Bluetooth audio compression, which has terrible sound quality. You need to find a speakerphone that supports the later and better audio protocols.


A bought a Voyager Edge bluetooth headset that support "HD Voice (Wideband Audio)" and that doesn't cut it for me.

I don't want to hijack this thread with my issues, so to bring it back around...

I love idea of buying some good low end powered speakers such as the Micca P42X, and plugging this in, and you have a room full of music for less than $150.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: Hotsoup on 2015-10-07 18:50:24
I received the new Chromecast 2 yesterday and got it set up. Once I updated the Spotify app on my Android tablet, I was able to cast to it. Worked beautifully, and I had a great workout with Janet Jackson's Control, lol...

With the PBS app, we watched an episode of Rick Steve's Europe with dinner. The picture was really clear and nice, but I'm not sure if the older one streamed HDTV as nicely. Supposedly the new Chromecast has a better antenna.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-07 19:00:14
I don't know if this is specific to the Chromecast Audio, but if you're using a stereo that's even halfway decent, go into the settings in the Chromecast app and turn on "High Dynamic Range". The setting is bit confusingly named, because what that actually does is turn off dynamic range compression, which I assume is there for the average low quality portable speaker that a lot of people are probably going to use these with.

If you're using the optical output, it turns off the compression automatically. I sort of fear this will lead to a bunch of reviews saying "the Chromecast Audio DAC is shit, it sounds much better when I use the TOSLINK connection to my $fancy-pants-expensive-DAC!"

I couldn't find the option on my first-generation Chromecast, probably because the video Chromecasts only have digital output.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: Hotsoup on 2015-10-07 19:19:01
I don't know if this is specific to the Chromecast Audio, but if you're using a stereo that's even halfway decent, go into the settings in the Chromecast app and turn on "High Dynamic Range".
Googling around, it seems like this only relates to Chromecast Audio, but I will check my settings tonight and see if the regular Chromecast has something similar.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-10-07 20:46:13
I don't know if this is specific to the Chromecast Audio, but if you're using a stereo that's even halfway decent, go into the settings in the Chromecast app and turn on "High Dynamic Range". The setting is bit confusingly named, because what that actually does is turn off dynamic range compression, which I assume is there for the average low quality portable speaker that a lot of people are probably going to use these with.

If you're using the optical output, it turns off the compression automatically. I sort of fear this will lead to a bunch of reviews saying "the Chromecast Audio DAC is shit, it sounds much better when I use the TOSLINK connection to my $fancy-pants-expensive-DAC!"

I couldn't find the option on my first-generation Chromecast, probably because the video Chromecasts only have digital output.


Don't the record labels do this for us already?  :-)

I'm going to order one on Friday and set it up next week.  For $35,it will be nice to have wireless speakers in the bedroom.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: rajas on 2015-10-07 20:54:45
https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Chromecast+...+Teardown/50189 (https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Chromecast+2015+Teardown/50189)

Here's the iFixit teardown. The DAC is an AKM AK4430 192kHz 24-Bit Stereo DAC. I assume it should be fairly transparent.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-07 21:02:44
Yeah, I don't really see how anyone can reasonable argue against the quality of that DAC chip, not even the high-res delusionists.

Or maybe they can. It doesn't do DSD, after all...

dynamic range compression


Don't the record labels do this for us already?  :-)


Yeah, they do. Maybe it's something to do with the output levels, too. The AKM DAC can do full 2V RMS output, maybe cheap portable speakers can't handle that, since they're designed for smartphones and other devices that put out significantly less power.

It'll be easy to test whether the overall output level is also lowered when compression is enabled.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-08 21:22:47
A bought a Voyager Edge bluetooth headset that support "HD Voice (Wideband Audio)" and that doesn't cut it for me.

The phone/device shoud also have wideband audio support, specifically HFP 1.6. I don't think HD audio is mandatory in that profile, but that profile seems to be what brings support for it. Pretty sure all current and relatively old iOS devices support it, but on Android support is sketchier. I know the Nexus 6 does, but something as recent as the Nexus 5 doesn't. I'm not sure if the app also has to support it, with Skype for instance I got much clearer audio on the iPad mini 2 than on my Nexus 6, with the same Sony headset, but that can be due to other things.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-08 21:31:01
I got one of these a few days ago. It's doing pretty good, and it's freed one of my scarce HDMI ports in my old-ish AVR from the old Chromecast which besides the audio part, it was being redundant for video duties, since I also got a PS3 which has better Netflix and an HTPC which has better everything else.

I think the device mirroring function is not so much like Bluetooth, but more like Airplay. They should make it easier though to set it up, with something like WiFi Direct or just use the WiFi network that the Chromecast creates for setup, for outdoor use or otherwise where there's not a WiFi network available. I assume it would work with just a WLAN with no internet, but that's cumbersome. This should be ideal for those scenarios since Android now supports being connected to an internet-less WiFi network while still connected to mobile internet.

BTW, multiroom support is coming in a firmware update "later in the year".
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: bawjaws on 2015-10-08 23:27:07
What would really be nice is if you could have multiple chromecast audios and they all can stay in sync.  So, if you have one in the living room and dining room and one set of speakers don't sound like they're a little off from the other pair.  Cheap whole house audio would be pretty nice.


They've been talking about this feature for a while (apparently demo'ing to people working on chromecast apps), I was assuming it would be announced with the launch of the new device, but instead they just said it would be available "later this year".

edit: should really read all the comments before replying, to save repeating stuff that's already been said.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-10-09 15:48:52
A bought a Voyager Edge bluetooth headset that support "HD Voice (Wideband Audio)" and that doesn't cut it for me.

The phone/device shoud also have wideband audio support, specifically HFP 1.6. I don't think HD audio is mandatory in that profile, but that profile seems to be what brings support for it. Pretty sure all current and relatively old iOS devices support it, but on Android support is sketchier. I know the Nexus 6 does, but something as recent as the Nexus 5 doesn't. I'm not sure if the app also has to support it, with Skype for instance I got much clearer audio on the iPad mini 2 than on my Nexus 6, with the same Sony headset, but that can be due to other things.


From the research I did last night, Wideband Audio is not a feature of bluetooth, it's a feature of the phone and the carrier.  I'm in the US, and the only carrier supporting Wideband Audio is Sprint.  AT&T is planning to support it in the future, and Verizon has no plans whatsoever.  Meanwhile, the rest of the planet has wideband audio everywhere...  Sigh...
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-10-09 16:15:38
I got one of these a few days ago. It's doing pretty good, and it's freed one of my scarce HDMI ports in my old-ish AVR from the old Chromecast which besides the audio part, it was being redundant for video duties, since I also got a PS3 which has better Netflix and an HTPC which has better everything else.

I think the device mirroring function is not so much like Bluetooth, but more like Airplay. They should make it easier though to set it up, with something like WiFi Direct or just use the WiFi network that the Chromecast creates for setup, for outdoor use or otherwise where there's not a WiFi network available. I assume it would work with just a WLAN with no internet, but that's cumbersome. This should be ideal for those scenarios since Android now supports being connected to an internet-less WiFi network while still connected to mobile internet.

BTW, multiroom support is coming in a firmware update "later in the year".


If they nail multi-room support that would be awesome.  If I was Sonos, I'd be real nervous right now.  Here's hoping multi-room support doesn't require their router.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-09 22:08:01
From the research I did last night, Wideband Audio is not a feature of bluetooth, it's a feature of the phone and the carrier.  I'm in the US, and the only carrier supporting Wideband Audio is Sprint.  AT&T is planning to support it in the future, and Verizon has no plans whatsoever.  Meanwhile, the rest of the planet has wideband audio everywhere...  Sigh...

They're two separate things, actually. If your carrier doesn't offer wideband audio then you won't see much benefit from BT wideband on carrier calls. Sprint is not the only one though, Verizon and t-mobile also offer it on compatible phones, but I think they only work within network. It comes with VoLTE.

But that's not the only way to take advantage of BT wideband, pretty much all VoIP apps use wideband codecs so you'll hear a benefit in Skype, Hangouts, Viber, etc.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-10 10:15:29
Does anyone know how Cast for Audio works when doing audio mirroring? For instance, Airplay streams all audio losslessly through ALAC to be decoded in the Airport Express. I presume it's different than sending audio with screen casting with a regular video Chromecast, since I think this applies lossy compression and possibly low-ish bitrate. I've read at Android Police that the Chromecast video sends noticeably poorer audio than the Chromecast Audio (and I presume other Cast for Audio thingies), but they aren't exactly audio reviewers. From a quick comparison with the old Chromecast and Chromecast Audio, I couldn't really tell any super noticeable differences.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: audiophool on 2015-10-10 11:11:55
^^^ I think it depends on the sender and receiver app. The Chromecast supports WAV (EDIT: and FLAC, see link below). So it's possible to stream lossless audio.

EDIT: Supported Media for Google Cast (https://developers.google.com/cast/docs/media)
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-10 13:43:03
I'm talking about mirroring though. Besides "casting" from the cloud, you can also do screencasting with the Chromecast,, and with the Chromecast Audio, audio mirroring, which would be functionally the same as Airplay. Lossless would be welcome to cast from apps that don't support the Chromecast natively or if there's no internet available, avoiding a second lossy compression. (Though I'm not sure if the Chromecast would do mirroring without internet.)
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: audiophool on 2015-10-10 15:39:28
I'm talking about mirroring though.

Yes, I'm aware of apps such as AllCast or BubbleUpnp. From what I understand, it doesn't matter whether you stream music from, say, Spotify or mirror the audio playing on your phone. In both cases, apps can make use of the media player library provided by Google. What I was referring to in the previous post is that the library supports WAV and FLAC.

So, if the apps you run make use of Google's library functionality, lossless transfer is doable. But, once again, it depends on the apps, as apps are not required to use Google's library. You know, it's conceivable in theory that an app transcodes any audio stream to lossy WMA initially and passes that on to the Chromecast.

Quote
(Though I'm not sure if the Chromecast would do mirroring without internet.)

I think I've read that the Chromecast doesn't work without an internet connection. I believe that may present a difficulty when trying to install a Chromecast Audio in a car. But I can't say for sure, I haven't tried using a Chromecast without internet access...
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: greynol on 2015-10-10 15:49:15
Speaking of cars, I stream music to my car stereo using Bluetooth and do not have problems with the audio that are anywhere near the extent earlier implied by apastuszak.
Regarding mirroring, is chromecast audio capable of streaming phone calls?
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-10-11 05:16:14
Speaking of cars, I stream music to my car stereo using Bluetooth and do not have problems with the audio that are anywhere near the extent earlier implied by apastuszak.
Regarding mirroring, is chromecast audio capable of streaming phone calls?


I have no issues streaming music at all.  With music I can't tell a difference.  Well, I think I might be able to, but since I can't ABX it, I refuse to admit to there being a difference.  If it even exists, it would be so slight that it would not even be noticeable without serious critical listening, which takes away from enjoyment.

It's only spoken word (podcasts, audiobooks, and phone calls) where I am hearing a difference.  With podcasts and audiobooks, it's not too bad, because we're over A2DP.  I do listen to these things at 1.5x speed with pitch correction.  But I do rip my audiobooks to 128K.  I have older rips I made at 32kbps (back when storage space was at a premium), and I have trouble understanding some words at times over bluetooth.  But now you're looking at 32K MP3 + Bluetooth compression.  That may just be too much compression to keep the spoken word clear to my ears.

But Bluetooth phone is less than ideal.  I'm sure it's a combination of the lack of Wideband Audio in the US, along with the compression Bluetooth does on top of that.  American, British and Canadian accents are fine.  Soon as anyone with an Indian or Russian accent joins, I'm screwed.  Which is odd, because I grew up my whole life with 2 parents with Ukrainian accents, and spent 8 years in grade school with Indian kids with incredibly thick accents.  I'm used to both those accents and can understand them just fine in person.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-10-11 05:21:47
From the research I did last night, Wideband Audio is not a feature of bluetooth, it's a feature of the phone and the carrier.  I'm in the US, and the only carrier supporting Wideband Audio is Sprint.  AT&T is planning to support it in the future, and Verizon has no plans whatsoever.  Meanwhile, the rest of the planet has wideband audio everywhere...  Sigh...

They're two separate things, actually. If your carrier doesn't offer wideband audio then you won't see much benefit from BT wideband on carrier calls. Sprint is not the only one though, Verizon and t-mobile also offer it on compatible phones, but I think they only work within network. It comes with VoLTE.

But that's not the only way to take advantage of BT wideband, pretty much all VoIP apps use wideband codecs so you'll hear a benefit in Skype, Hangouts, Viber, etc.


I think I am going to try a Hangouts call on my iPhone for my next conference call.  I'll need to do it at home over wifi, since VoIP violates Verizon's TOS on their LTE network.

I'll be happy when VoLTE gets here.  It's not in my area yet.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-11 09:17:05
Speaking of cars, I stream music to my car stereo using Bluetooth and do not have problems with the audio that are anywhere near the extent earlier implied by apastuszak.
Regarding mirroring, is chromecast audio capable of streaming phone calls?

As far as I understood, he was talking about he hands-free or headset profile, which non-wideband cuts off at lower than 4kHz (at 8kHz sampling). Wideband audio in HFP 1.6 doubles that, the audio calls are much clearer, provided that your carrier also provides "HD Voice", and usually the person you're speaking to also has to have the ability, and be in the same carrier. Or, you can use a VoIP app that supports wideband audio which is all of them pretty much.

Regarding Chromecast, it can't do audio calls, and even if it did, the lag would be too much.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-11 09:22:07
I think I am going to try a Hangouts call on my iPhone for my next conference call.  I'll need to do it at home over wifi, since VoIP violates Verizon's TOS on their LTE network.

That sounds ridiculous even for Verizon, I'm pretty sure you can use any VoIP app, are they blocking the protocol or something? Imagine the outrage if that were true just from iOS users unable to use Facetime. IIRC AT&T tried something like that in the early Facetime days but that was a long time ago and everyone was pissed off.

BTW, only calls within Hangouts are "wideband". Voice calls between Hangouts and regular phones are regular phone quality.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-11 09:36:41
I'm talking about mirroring though.

Yes, I'm aware of apps such as AllCast or BubbleUpnp.

Android has native mirroring since Lollipop, though, those apps aren't needed anymore for mirroring to Chromecast, at least.

Quote
From what I understand, it doesn't matter whether you stream music from, say, Spotify or mirror the audio playing on your phone. In both cases, apps can make use of the media player library provided by Google. What I was referring to in the previous post is that the library supports WAV and FLAC.

So, if the apps you run make use of Google's library functionality, lossless transfer is doable. But, once again, it depends on the apps, as apps are not required to use Google's library. You know, it's conceivable in theory that an app transcodes any audio stream to lossy WMA initially and passes that on to the Chromecast.

That's my question though, how does it work. Does it mix and compress all audio to be sent to Chromecast/Chromecast Audio, like Airplay does, or...?

Also, bear in mind that mirroring regular video Chromecast and audio mirroring with "Google Cast for Audio" may be different, that's what I was also wondering, if they are, how are they different?
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-10-11 17:38:29
OK, after getting home and testing I can add a few observations. Internet-less screencasting and mirroring work within the LAN, if there is no mobile internet, so you can't use mobile internet while screen/audio mirroring from the phone. I don't know if this is a limitation of Android (6.0 on Nexus 6), or a bug that doesn't let the phone communicate with the LAN and mobile internet simultaneously. This would make it very crappy for car use, for instance, even though just by having to set up a WLAN in the car it would be very cumbersome in the first place even if it worked well.

Also, I have a network monitoring app, and while mirroring to Chromecast Audio, the upload throughput stays pretty steadily at 160kbps, even if there is no audio playing. I think the device just mirrors and outputs audio at that bitrate, who knows which codec though.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-12 10:41:41
I've been playing around with my new Chromecasts for about a day now, and unlike the DLNA renderer devices I had before, the Chromecasts are rock solid and play everything I've thrown at them so far through BubbleUPNP. Google Play Music also works flawlessly, as you'd expect.

Half the price of the cheapest DLNA device I had before, and the Chromecast actually works.

Even if Party Mode never becomes a reality, I'm very satisfied.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: 2Bdecided on 2015-10-12 12:18:07
Gapless from BubbeUPnP? If yes, what are you using for a server?

Thanks,
David.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-12 16:06:38
Unfortunately, I do not have gapless playback using BubbleUPNP, probably due to the NAS I'm using. It's a ZyXel NSA 310 provided with custom firmware for cloud backup by my ISP. So maybe the OEM firmware (or an alternative) will work.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-13 19:39:07
I've been playing around with my new Chromecast Audios some more, and I've come to the conclusion that High Dynamic Range should be switched off in the Chromecast app for the majority of setups. From what I can tell, it does not do any dynamic range compression, it is simply a function to switch the Chromecast into full-power 2V RMS output mode, as opposed to a slightly weaker signal (1.4V RMS?) that is safer for equipment of unknown capability.

So unless you're not getting enough volume from your Chromecast'ed speakers, don't touch that setting. There may be a tiny SNR benefit to using the stronger signal, but that's kinda irrelevant when 90% of your volume dial is unusable because it's just way too fucking loud.

I've recorded some music off my stereo while playing the same song with HDR on/off. Aside from the obvious level difference, the waveforms are the same when amplified to 0dB peak amplitude. There is even a hint of compression in in the track I recorded with HDR on, which points in the direction of a tiny bit of clipping due to overloading. I don't know whether that's down to my system or the Chromecast, but I don't think it's my system since the NAD preamp I use accepts up to 10V RMS input. The waveform *looks* better with HDR off, for what that's worth.

Of course, turning HDR on is widely touted as the #1 most important thing to do for sound quality when setting up a Chromecast Audio, because people are making the same mistaken assumption that I was, about dynamic range compression.

It is literally nothing more than a level boost.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KumarK on 2015-10-14 13:44:15
It is literally nothing more than a level boost.

I have one on order for using with a legacy 2 channel amp, that worked fine with 2V output level CDP.

On the other hand, some amps can clip with that level of signal, so a level cut may help.

I suppose the way to select this is to see what gives a more usable range for the combined volume controls - the one on the app and the one on the amp?
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-14 15:37:08
My preamp etc. also works just fine with the 2V RMS output from my DAC and various CD players etc., which could mean that the Chromecast can't quite output a 100% clean 2V signal.

Either way, selecting the lower setting gives me more usable range on the volume control, which is nice.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KumarK on 2015-10-15 02:21:07
Understood, thanks. So the only thing that the HDR is doing is the louder is better effect on sound quality, at the expense of possible clipping at times. Why Google used the HDR name for this setting is a mystery - I can't see they need to call it that to increase sales.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: greynol on 2015-10-15 05:57:46
Why Google used the HDR name for this setting is a mystery - I can't see they need to call it that to increase sales.

It seems like you're confusing compression/limiting for dynamic range.

If the noise floor stays the same and a signal can be played back at a higher amplitude without an increase in distortion on the device  with the setting enabled then it is indeed providing higher dynamic range.  Until measurements are made available, I see no reason to assume the switch doesn't do exactly what the name implies.

Whether or not your content will make use of it is another issue entirely.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KumarK on 2015-10-15 06:18:49
It seems like you're confusing compression/limiting for dynamic range.

I was only responding to the comments in post#48 - I still have to hear it in use.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: greynol on 2015-10-15 06:32:25
I was only responding to the comments in post#48

Post #48 suggests the HDR setting provides an increase in dynamic range.

Why Google used the HDR name for this setting is a mystery.

There shouldn't be any mystery.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KumarK on 2015-10-15 07:38:38
I was only responding to the comments in post#48

Post #48 suggests the HDR setting provides an increase in dynamic range.

Why Google used the HDR name for this setting is a mystery.

There shouldn't be any mystery.

You are saying that the increase in dynamic range would not be seen in the output wave form?
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-15 08:20:57
I was only responding to the comments in post#48

Post #48 suggests the HDR setting provides an increase in dynamic range.

Why Google used the HDR name for this setting is a mystery.

There shouldn't be any mystery.

You are saying that the increase in dynamic range would not be seen in the output wave form?


If you take the two waveforms and amplify the weaker signal to the same amplitude as the louder one, they should be identical. However, I did see a little more visible clipping in the HDR signal that I recorded, I'll have to test that some more.

Higher dynamic range simply allows the voltage swing from 0 to be larger, in this case 2V RMS instead of maybe 1.2V or 1.4V RMS (I'm guessing, I don't know the exact output level in non-HDR mode). This can give you a slightly higher signal-to-noise ratio, if your equipment can handle it, but in practice the difference is very small for ordinary playback.

2V RMS is the de facto standard output level from CD players and similar equipment since basically forever, so any even halfway competent amp or receiver should be able to handle it just fine.

I also made the mistake of equating "high dynamic range" with "disable dynamic compression", but when you think about it, the name they chose for the option makes sense.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KumarK on 2015-10-15 08:34:56
I also made the mistake of equating "high dynamic range" with "disable dynamic compression", but when you think about it, the name they chose for the option makes sense.

You did however say that compression is visible with the HDR enabled and not visible when the HDR was turned off?

The question really is - if precise level matching - as would obviously be necessary -  was done for a blind AB test, could you say which mode was in use?
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-15 09:16:57
I also made the mistake of equating "high dynamic range" with "disable dynamic compression", but when you think about it, the name they chose for the option makes sense.

You did however say that compression is visible with the HDR enabled and not visible when the HDR was turned off?

The question really is - if precise level matching - as would obviously be necessary -  was done for a blind AB test, could you say which mode was in use?


No compression, just a few clipped peaks. I doubt I would be able to successfully ABX the difference.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: bubbleguuum on 2015-10-15 14:15:09
Unfortunately, I do not have gapless playback using BubbleUPNP, probably due to the NAS I'm using. It's a ZyXel NSA 310 provided with custom firmware for cloud backup by my ISP. So maybe the OEM firmware (or an alternative) will work.


BubbleUPnP does not support gapless playback on the Chromecast Audio.

The exact Gapless support of the Chromecast Audio is a bit of an unknown even
if Google Music can be played gaplessly to it. Surprising, as mp3 is not inherently a gapless format,
and Google Music mp3 are tagless (no presence of the lame specific headers for gapless).
So whether it would be able to play FLAC gaplessly is a bit unknown although there is
a good chance it can.

EDIT: after verification, Google Music is not gapless: there's a very short 50 or 100ms gap (playing a gapless album of course).
This largely reduces the chance for Chromecast Audio to support true gapless playback (vs just reducing the time it takes to play next track, which
for Google Music is very low).
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: greynol on 2015-10-15 15:04:38
You are saying that the increase in dynamic range would not be seen in the output wave form?

I said nothing of the sort; rather, I suggested that a proper measurement is in order.

Please review the technical definition of dynamic range; the one that was in place long before the it became confused with dynamic range compression.  If you still think I'm wrong then I'll be happy to discuss it further.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: greynol on 2015-10-15 15:13:03
If you take the two waveforms and amplify the weaker signal to the same amplitude as the louder one, they should be identical. However, I did see a little more visible clipping in the HDR signal that I recorded, I'll have to test that some more.

Higher dynamic range simply allows the voltage swing from 0 to be larger, in this case 2V RMS instead of maybe 1.2V or 1.4V RMS (I'm guessing, I don't know the exact output level in non-HDR mode). This can give you a slightly higher signal-to-noise ratio, if your equipment can handle it, but in practice the difference is very small for ordinary playback.

2V RMS is the de facto standard output level from CD players and similar equipment since basically forever, so any even halfway competent amp or receiver should be able to handle it just fine.

I also made the mistake of equating "high dynamic range" with "disable dynamic compression", but when you think about it, the name they chose for the option makes sense.

I suggest you also review the technical definition of DR and then compare it to the technical definition of SNR.  I'm not saying you're entirely wrong, just that the precise term in the situation is DR, not SNR.

Anyway, I thank you for looking into this.  I too had initially thought the HDR setting was a DRC control that was improperly named for marketing reasons.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they may have gotten it right (assuming higher dynamic range is actually achieved with the setting).  If the switch still doesn't work as advertised then maybe they should have gone with the more traditional line level nomenclature.

This kind of reminds me of the "Dynamic Range" switch on the Marshall Vintage Modern.  When switched from "low" to "high" it inserts a parallel triode gain stage for the sole purpose of providing additional clipping in the preamp.  To this day I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the decision making behind naming this switch.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KumarK on 2015-10-16 03:46:48
It really shouldn't be that hard to stream music from a NAS to a stereo without having to spend a fortune. I'm hoping the Chromecast Audio can make the happen, because the other solutions I've tried so far have failed to make it work easily and reliably.

Were you able to do this with CC Audio? Could you explain how, in some detail, if you have?
Thanks!
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-16 06:30:20
I suggest you also review the technical definition of DR and then compare it to the technical definition of SNR.  I'm not saying you're entirely wrong, just that the precise term in the situation is DR, not SNR.


I know, and I actually looked it up before posting this time ;-)

My point is simply that a higher DR signal is more resistant to received noise and the base thermal etc. noise floor of any given device, and that can result in a higher SNR. In practice, line level signals are strong enough that it doesn't make that much of a difference, unless you're recording things through multiple steps where the cumulative noise can be a factor.

The most extreme example in general use would be the signal from turntables with MC pickups, where the signal is maybe 0.5mV compared to the common 1V or 2V from less archaic devices, which is of course why turntables are sensitive to signal cable quality and length, and normal line level signals generally aren't, outside of more extreme cases.

So for the Chromecast the option is kinda irrelevant for most people, but useful if you just can't get enough volume out of your setup otherwise. Personally, I prefer having a bit more usable range on the volume knob, so I use the "low" setting.

It really shouldn't be that hard to stream music from a NAS to a stereo without having to spend a fortune. I'm hoping the Chromecast Audio can make the happen, because the other solutions I've tried so far have failed to make it work easily and reliably.

Were you able to do this with CC Audio? Could you explain how, in some detail, if you have?
Thanks!


Yes, it works beautifully. The only issues I've run into seem to be app-specific. For instance, TuneIn tends to lose connection with the Chromecast after a while when the phone screen turns off, and I've managed to get Google Music confused about which track is playing, by spamming requests for next/previous track and play/pause. If you don't do that, there are no issues.

The app I'm using on my phone is BubbleUPNP. As mentioned before, it unfortunately doesn't support replaygain, but it does just about everything else. Maybe Foobar Mobile will turn out to be the best option when it's finished, assuming it will support DLNA and Chromecast.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KumarK on 2015-10-20 02:54:46
How stable is music play over wifi using CC? I ask because music stuttering/stopping is a killjoy that will make the CC a non starter in my book.

In 2011 I used Airport Express for some time, but switched platforms to Sonos to address just this. In 4 years, Sonos has provided very stable music play at home using the dedicated to audio SonosNet. It isn't as stable as legacy wired kit of course, but over four years these issues caused by occassional RF interference have been few and have been far outweighed by Sonos convenience and features. And if these too are to be eliminated, there is the admittedly inconvenient option of ethernet wiring the Sonos units to the wifi router. But I haven't felt the need for doing so.

CC does not provide that option, and since interrupted music play will make it a non starter, is why this question.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-10-20 06:09:03
I haven't had any issues with stuttering, except when all of my Internet bandwidth is being used for other things and I try to stream from Google Play Music or other Internet sources. Local playback from a DLNA server using BubbleUPNP is always fine.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KumarK on 2015-10-21 08:11:42
Thanks for that update, and I have also recently come across the neat little optional power supply cable that can now be bought if needed, that allows for the CC to be ethernet wired to the router for such places where the WiFi environment is too noisy/busy. Inconvenient yes, but that may be the only way to get interruption free music in some places.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: likescookies on 2015-10-31 12:14:27
EDIT: after verification, Google Music is not gapless: there's a very short 50 or 100ms gap (playing a gapless album of course).
This largely reduces the chance for Chromecast Audio to support true gapless playback (vs just reducing the time it takes to play next track, which
for Google Music is very low).


Thanks for that. Chromecast Audio was tempting for me, but not if gapless is impossible.

I recently switched from a WD NAS to a Synology NAS, but I haven't been able to achieve true gapless playback on either over DLNA. The only reliable gapless solution I've found is to play albums over SMB using Neutron.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: Xenion on 2015-11-09 12:46:28
https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Chromecast+...+Teardown/50189 (https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Chromecast+2015+Teardown/50189)

Here's the iFixit teardown. The DAC is an AKM AK4430 192kHz 24-Bit Stereo DAC. I assume it should be fairly transparent.


When using SPDIF optical the wordclock locks into 48k while using the Spotify App via Chromecast. So the Chromecast Audio probably resamples everything to 48k unless Spotify streams are in 48k which would make no sense to me.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: binaryhermit on 2015-11-15 04:01:03
If I recall correctly the 48khz thing has been acknowledged as a bug by Google and a fix is reportedly coming in a firmware update.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: jtmiller on 2015-11-27 23:32:21
I'd like to do something pretty simple:

Using an Android tablet or phone and use the Google Play "local" feature to play music from a USB drive located and accessible on our home network.

Cast the result to Chromecast audio which I would hope would also be able to use the same USB drive network accessible file to continue playing when the tablet/phone was put to sleep.

All of the above would be using FLAC encoded files.

Should this work?

Would the result be the same if a Chromecast was used instead of a Chromecast Audio?

Thanks!

Jim
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: jtmiller on 2015-11-28 04:02:30
After doing a bunch of reading on Google Play I'm getting the impression that it won't play anything that it hasn't already uploaded.

"Local" appears to mean it downloads it again. I was hoping for a truly local play with no intervening upload/compression/download cycle.

Am I missing something?
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-11-28 09:08:00
For playback of local files, I don't think Google Play Music will work. You'll need something like BubbleUPNP (for DLNA or music directly on the device), or a similar app that supports playback of music on an SMB share and Chromecasting the playback.

Localcast (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?...lcast&hl=da (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.stefanpledl.localcast&hl=da)) seems to be a very popular solution.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-12-06 16:39:31
It just occurred to me that I didn't put up any kind of proof that the HDR option is a simple line output level switch.

Well, here it is (I had to learn/use Ardour, as Audacity refuses to run for some reason):

(https://i.imgur.com/uEZsXFq.png)

It's not precisely sample-aligned, but I think you'll agree that both recordings are identical once amplified to the same peak level, and that there's definitely no compression going on.

And yet reviewers and forums users keep going on about how switching on HDR is an ABSOLUTE MUST for sound quality with the Chromecast Audio. At best, it'll buy you a little more SNR, but that's about it.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: greynol on 2015-12-06 17:02:34
And again, if the SNR improves then the switch does indeed provide an increase in dynamic range.  Of course people will continue to erroeously equate it with compression; that just goes with the territory.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-12-11 00:48:14
What would really be nice is if you could have multiple chromecast audios and they all can stay in sync.  So, if you have one in the living room and dining room and one set of speakers don't sound like they're a little off from the other pair.  Cheap whole house audio would be pretty nice.


They've been talking about this feature for a while (apparently demo'ing to people working on chromecast apps), I was assuming it would be announced with the launch of the new device, but instead they just said it would be available "later this year".

edit: should really read all the comments before replying, to save repeating stuff that's already been said.


Looks like there's a new update for the Chromecast Audio that adds snake oil and cool new features.

Multi-room is here!  You can now stream to multiple Chromecast Audios at once!  Nice!

And they added support for 24/96 "hi-res" audio.  All placebophiles rejoice!

http://chrome.blogspot.com/2015/12/even-mo...-audio.html?m=1 (http://chrome.blogspot.com/2015/12/even-more-to-love-about-chromecast-audio.html?m=1)
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: audiophool on 2015-12-11 09:09:51
One should note that generally, new features such as multi-room audio are available exclusively on Google devices. It seems third-party hardware such as as LG Music Flow is lagging really far behind (not just in terms of features, many people are also complaining about buggy firmware).

But yeah, we're getting there. Give us gapless playback and I might be getting a few of those just for kicks.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-12-11 12:15:07
I'll have to try out the multiroom functionality when I get home, it's the big feature I'm really looking forward to using.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-12-11 12:49:03
If I was Sonos, I'd be a little worried right now.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-12-11 21:22:39
I've been playing around with the multi-room feature for a couple of hours now, and it seems to work really well. The only snag I hit was that I had to reboot my phone before the "Create group" option showed up in the app's dropdown menu for each device. When the group is created you can just stream to it like you would to a specific device. There's also a new option to add delay to the signal going to each Chromecast if the sound isn't completely in sync.

It also seems to be quite robust, if you switch off one Chromecast, the stream obviously continues on the other devices. When the disconnected Chromecast starts up again, it'll rejoin the group stream by itself.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2015-12-11 21:51:19
Yep, this makes the 2x$55 offer Google is currently running that much more enticing. Luckily I took advantage  of the 2x$50 offer they put out on Thanksgiving weekend.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-12-28 23:08:47
After doing a bunch of reading on Google Play I'm getting the impression that it won't play anything that it hasn't already uploaded.

"Local" appears to mean it downloads it again. I was hoping for a truly local play with no intervening upload/compression/download cycle.

Am I missing something?


A couple of ways to do this:

1. Stream from your phone locally.  I have the Android app Shuttle installed and Shuttle will stream any local file on the phone to Chomecast Audio.

2. Stream from a Subsonic/Ampache server. I have a Subsonic server (http://www.subsonic.org) running at home and D-sub (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=github.daneren2005.dsub) on my phone.  Each connection to the Subsonic server makes a new "player" on the server.  Dsub makes a player called DsubCC.  I went into the properties for that player and turned off all transcoding.  Now when I tell Dsub to cast something, it simply streams the FLAC to the Chromecast audio.

I used the Chromecast audio all day today with my subsonic server with zero issues, once I turned transcoding off.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2015-12-28 23:12:54
Similarly, my NAS functions as a DLNA server, and I can play back music on my Chromecasts using BubbleUPNP on my phone. It's 100% local, no internet connection needed.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-12-30 14:27:30
You can also use Plex to do it, but I think Plex is going to transcode.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: JTW on 2015-12-31 18:06:58
This works well playing FLAC fiules from my Synology NAS but does not do gapless so is useless to me.
I have two other devices playing from the same Synology source / streamer. One an Onkyo mini system will not play gapless and Onkyo have stated that they do not plan to update the software to allow gapless, their newer kit apparently does. My second (main) player is a Yamaha CDN 500 which does gapless and does most of what I need other than not being able to seek (FF and Rew) within track.

Maybe Google will upgrade their firmware to allow gapless in future?

Ian
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: apastuszak on 2015-12-31 19:40:43
This works well playing FLAC fiules from my Synology NAS but does not do gapless so is useless to me.
I have two other devices playing from the same Synology source / streamer. One an Onkyo mini system will not play gapless and Onkyo have stated that they do not plan to update the software to allow gapless, their newer kit apparently does. My second (main) player is a Yamaha CDN 500 which does gapless and does most of what I need other than not being able to seek (FF and Rew) within track.

Maybe Google will upgrade their firmware to allow gapless in future?

Ian


Wouldn't  you need a buffer on the device to do gapless?
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: audiophool on 2016-01-01 09:13:39
Similarly, my NAS functions as a DLNA server, and I can play back music on my Chromecasts using BubbleUPNP on my phone. It's 100% local, no internet connection needed.

I can't confirm that. I don't have a CC Audio, but when I block my CC device from accessing the internet (via my router's settings), I can't get playback to start.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2016-01-01 13:30:12
Similarly, my NAS functions as a DLNA server, and I can play back music on my Chromecasts using BubbleUPNP on my phone. It's 100% local, no internet connection needed.

I can't confirm that. I don't have a CC Audio, but when I block my CC device from accessing the internet (via my router's settings), I can't get playback to start.


Which apps are you using? Obviously anything streaming needs direct Internet access for the Chromecast, but I've used my CC Audio for purely local playback before, with no internet connection.
Title: Chromecast Audio
Post by: audiophool on 2016-01-03 10:08:11
Which apps are you using? Obviously anything streaming needs direct Internet access for the Chromecast, but I've used my CC Audio for purely local playback before, with no internet connection.

You're right, I was wrong. The app I tested with doesn't do purely local streaming.
Title: Re: Chromecast Audio
Post by: rajas on 2016-01-20 15:06:17
Just an update, I got one for Christmas. ;D

I've been using it as a MediaRenderer with BubbleUPnP on Android as the ControlPoint and foo_upnp on an old laptop as the MediaServer. The combination works pretty well. I've enabled ReplayGain post-processing on the server side and it actually works - the decoded stream gets broadcast as a WAV and Chromecast handles it with no issues.

However, it is not gapless. If anyone can figure out how to get gapless working it would be a Christmas miracle!
Title: Re: Chromecast Audio
Post by: KozmoNaut on 2016-01-20 22:48:58
I don't think there's anything we can do, it's a limitation in the Google Cast protocol, as far as I'm aware.
Title: Re: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2016-01-21 07:47:32
Just a heads up for people in the US, I think some in this thread might be interested. Google has an offer right now for Android Pay until the end of Feb., if you use it 10 times (contactless payment) you get a Chromecast (video), and for the 1st, 2nd and 6th taps you get a free song from Google Play Music. To use Android Pay though you need a new-ish phone with NFC and the app or course, and your bank has to support it, which I think most of the major banks do, except notably Chase. Right now there are not many stores that accept contactless payments though, but some major ones like McDonalds, Rite Aid and Walgreens do. You can check a contactless-ready store list here http://www.apple.com/apple-pay/where-to-use-apple-pay/
Title: Re: Chromecast Audio
Post by: rajas on 2019-01-14 15:49:17
Since I was the one who started this thread, it's only fitting that I'm the one reporting the death of Chromecast Audio. More details here: https://www.xda-developers.com/google-discontinuing-chromecast-audio/

Are there any other cheap receivers/renderers that can be plugged in to existing audio equipment?
Title: Re: Chromecast Audio
Post by: andy o on 2019-01-17 01:23:37
There are a couple of car adapters (https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2019/1/8/18168678/anker-roav-bolt-car-charger-google-assistant-jbl-link-drive-hands-free-ces-2019) that have been announced at CES, which if pretty much the same electronics were put in a home-friendly form factor, could replace the Chromecast Audio and add Asssistant functionality to boot. Amazon already sells a device like that, but you've gotta be into the Alexa ecosystem, and I don't think you can Google Cast to it. Also I'm gonna go on a limb here and predict that Google is not going to give these car Assistant adapters the ability to multi-room, so hopefully instead of having to modify one of these for home use, Google comes up with a proper Home product with an aux output.
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