Google Chromecast update breaks local media streaming

August 25, 2013

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It seems our happiness last week was premature when developer Leon Nicholls announced the public availability of his Fling Java app that lets users stream media directly from their PCs to a TV via Chromecast. Google has apparently released an update to the device that effectively kills Fling and other apps like it.

Cyanogenmod developer Koushik Dutta made this otherwise unpublicized update known over at Google+. Koush was in the process of developing AllCast, an app that would allow users to stream media on local Android devices via Chromecast, bypassing the official methods. According to Koush, the update removed support for "video_playback", an API in the ChromeCast app that was previously exploited to make local streaming possible.

Koush further says that this is not the first time Google has made a move that would indicate the company's overall goal for the device. Currently, Chromecast only supports a limited number of video streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play Movies, with more coming in the future. Although it is also possible to play local content, it would have to be done indirectly by mirroring a Chrome browser tab using a plugin. It seems that Google will be curating Chromecast media sources, with a preference towards the big media companies.

While the direction probably makes sense on some business level, it is still disappointing to hear about Google pushing away third party developers and hackers. It's still a bit early though and it would be wise to wait and see if Google will reconsider its position given the possible developer backlash they might receive from this.

SOURCE: Koushik Dutta

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  • Verizon

    Had I known this before receiving my chromecast I would’ve cancelled my order. Total d!ck move on Google’s part. We’ll see how much more interest people have in the product after they learn about this. Granted, regular consumers don’t really pay much attention to tech/android blogs so they probably would be clueless.

    • Juan Carlos Torres

      It does feel as if Google is taking advantage of the popularity around the Chromecast that was primarily built-up by developers and hackers and the geek community who praised and hyped the device. Still hoping Google makes a u-turn on this one.

      • Verizon

        Exactly. If it wasn’t for the early developer interest then I wouldn’t really have cared for the device. However, there was a lot of praise/interest from well known devs which in turn contributed to my interest. If enough people become vocal then I sure hope Google fixes it.

  • disqus_fGsnqWD8Ti

    “While the direction probably makes sense on some business level, it is still disappointing…”

    I don’t see how this makes sense at all. Doesn’t Apple’s products allow for local media playback through AirPlay? ( I honestly don’t know).

    • Barnassey

      Yes they do so long as the media is visible to the Itunes library.

      • Marsg

        Better than no local media playback at all.

  • Marsg

    Just cancled my Amazon order, my smart TV already has Netflix, HuLu, Amazon prime and all that, the only reason I wanted the chromecast was because of the local video playback and the community support, if i wanted a locked down device I would have gone with Apple.