With streaming apps, you have it easy when it comes to casting to Chromecast. All you have to do is press a button in apps like Rdio or Pandora and music starts playing on your TV. Local media is a whole different beast though.
If you have a large music library on your PC and a lot of music on your Android/iOS device that you want to stream to Chromecast in some way, I’ve got some solutions.
Chromecast doesn’t advertise itself for playing local content, but it can. Chromecast is hackable, you see. With the combination of the right tools, you can have your 320 kbps MP3s playing on the big speakers attached to your giant TV in no time.
1. Use Google Play Music
If you live in the US or another supported country, you really should just use Google Play Music. The service allows you to upload up to 20,000 songs from your personal collection to Google’s cloud – all for free. You can then stream those songs to Google Play Music apps for iOS and Android or on the web.
Both the iOS and Android apps have Chromecast support. So while the Android app won’t stream songs you have locally to Chromecast, it will do so for the ones you have on the cloud.
If it’s supported in your region, I cannot recommend it enough.
2. Using Plex for PC and Mac
Plex is a media center with lots of Android and iOS controller apps. Basically, you create a media server on your PC/Mac and add your whole music library (you can do this for movies and TV shows as well) to Plex.
Now, when the media server is running and you’re on the same Wi-Fi network, you can either use the Plex official app or one of the countless other third party apps to stream the media to said devices. And of course, tapping that Cast button will send the media to your TV. After all the media is loaded up and scanned, open Plex on your PC/Mac and browse through the media. A Cast button will let you stream the media directly to Chromecast. No need for iOS or Android controller apps.
More on Plex: To know how to set up a Plex Media Server, visit our guide. But here’s a quick run-down.
Step 1: Choose Music from the Add Library menu.
Step 2: After choosing the Add Folder option, navigate to the root of your Music collection folder and select Add.
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The media will now be scanned and cataloged.
You can then play anything from the Media Server interface to Chromecast or by using one of the apps listed below.
Cinch ($1.99) for iOS is a simple, ad free app that lets you stream your entire music collection from your iOS device to Chromecast. If you have playlists, they’ll show up here as well.
4. AllConnect for Android
AllConnect is like Cinch but for Android. It supports streaming local music, pictures, and videos to Chromecast easily.
5. Shuttle+ Media Player for Android
While AllConnect is good for basic playback, Shuttle+ Media Player gives you a lot more for $1.75. It lets you create playlists, import metadata, integrate lyrics and a lot more. And all this can be streamed to Chromecast by the tap of a button.
6. AllCast, LocalCast, or BubbleUPnP for Android
AllCast, LocalCast, and BubbleUPnP are the all-in-one media streaming apps. All of them can serve as an end point or a controller for media stored on Plex or on shared folders on your PC.
All of them can let you stream locally stored music. LocalCast will even let you build playlists on the fly. AllCast lets you log in with Dropbox and Google Drive. So you can stream music that you have stored in one of those cloud accounts.
All three apps are free but ad supported. You can pay to remove ads and obtain premium features. And in AllCast’s case, to remove the persistent logo while casting media.
How Do You Listen to Music?
Will the above ideas be enough to get your content from your PC/phones to Chromecast or other connected devices like the Apple TV? Or did you find something better? Let us know in the comments below.