Thursday , October 19 2017

Latest Chromecast update breaks thirdparty local streaming apps

Chromecast
If the latest developments from Koush like AirCast or from other developers like Leon Nicholls and Fling had you excited for local media playback on Chromecast then unfortunately the latest update to the device and the SDK has killed both apps.

Koush has come out on Google+ and advised that the latest update to Chromecast has broken the ability of Chromecast to stream local content to the device :

Heads up. Google’s latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast. They disabled ‘video_playback’ support from the ChromeCast application.

Koush advised that he and other developers have been using part of the ‘Slideshow’ capability in the Chromecast SDK to get around having to ‘Whitelist’ devices with Google in order to have Chromecast stream content over to them. But a new update in the SDK :

if(“mirror_tab” != a) {
return null;
}

Means that what has been happening is no longer happening, the only usable ability in Chromecast is to mirror tabs. Koush advised that he may try transmitting content using WebRTC as the only way to stop this would be to stop Tab mirroring altogether. He also advised that due to the nature of the Chromecast SDK being in Beta that

I’d strongly suggest holding off on buying a Chromecast until we can see how Google chooses to move forward on third party applications.

Obviously if you only want Google Play Music/Movies, YouTube and Netflix, then go ahead, but if third party development is what you’re interested in, then you may want to wait.

Leon Nicholls, the developer of the Java based Windows App, Fling, has also taken to Google+ to announce that the latest update has broken compatability with his application as well :

Due to a change Google made, it is no longer possible for the general public to use Fling for local media playback with ChromeCast.

He has been looking into the changes that have been implemented and reverted his code back to requiring a whitelisted device in order to use Fling. Futhermore, he has taken a fairly bleak outlook with regards to short term development for third party development for Chromecasting local content advising :

There is no feasible workaround for the general public, so your versions of Fling will no longer work.

Long term however, he is taking the same stance as Koush – Wait and see what Google intends to do. His original work, utilised an undocumented ability to cast to a page that Google was using for their own apps.

This latest update is fairly bad, PR wise at least for Google. In the last few weeks, Koush and Leon Nicholls have been doing some pretty cool stuff with Chromecast, basically giving people the ability to play local content back on Chromecast. But the fact that the Chromecast SDK is in Beta still with no eta for it to come out of Beta is going to surely hurt Google as a whole.

At this stage, Chromecast has momentum – they’re selling out non-stop in the US and at $35 a pop, who can blame them – but how long will this last? If people are still not getting anything new in 6-12 months, at $35 it’s very easy to just unplug the thing and cast it aside as a bad idea, the very cheapness of the device means that doing so can be done with barely a second thought.

I still have a couple of Chromecast dongles coming from the US and have no plans to cancel them> I am still optimistic that at least Tab Casting and YouTube will be enough for me to get through until something truly original comes out in terms of third party apps, but at this stage, it appears that Google is very much aiming at companies like Hulu and HBO in the US as partners rather than trying to build functionality for local streaming.

Will you still purchase a Chromecast if it’s released in Australia?

 

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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6 Comments on "Latest Chromecast update breaks thirdparty local streaming apps"

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TT
Valued Guest

Japan will have new nexus 7 on 28th this month via google play. However there is still no news for aussie. WTF Google

Fred
Valued Guest
Fred
As I said back on day 1, if they didn’t include a basic DLNA server with their chromecast, its fairly obvious that they don’t want non-paying content being sent to it. It was such a simple thing for them to have implemented, the fact that it wasn’t there spoke volumes. The only question now is if business concerns will force them into providing the capability. This is something of a cutthroat marketplace at the moment and its perfectly possible for an Amazon to come out with their own version that does allow generic stream rendering (as well as their own… Read more »
Member

Its already in the post, looking forward to just giving it a whirl… always like using different ways to get youtube on the tv… twonky beam worked well, but the cast button right in the app is great… might even encourage me to try Google Movies.
Will see how it goes, but likely still pick up a second when they release them locally.

Member

Google is killing my desire for one.
If they are deliberately blocking the ability to stream local files, then the thing is useless to me.

chris
Valued Guest
chris

Will I buy one ? Probably not unless I travel a lot more. I am buying an Asus VivoPC for my media centre and it will do all I need. I can’t see a need for it myself.

chris
Valued Guest
chris

Will I buy one ? Probably not unless I travel a lot more. I am buying an Asus VivoPC for my media centre and it will do all I need. I can’t see a need for it myself.

wpDiscuz

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