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AirCast Streams Local Videos to Your Chromecast

Koushik Dutta, the developer behind ROM Manager and ClockworkMod, recently revealed his AirCast Android app for streaming local content from your Android Gallery, Dropbox, or Google Drive to your Chromecast.

Though the app is set to “self destruct” tomorrow, Dutta’s work fills a large hole for many folks with their own digital libraries. In our first look at the Chromecast, we showed off the at-launch support for YouTube, Netflix, and casting tabs through the Chrome extension; but being able to stream your own content from your personal media library was nowhere to be seen.

There’s speculation that Google left out this functionality to ease negotiations with content providers worried about piracy, and Dutta has indicated that his app gets around the Chromecast’s whitelist for apps through reverse-engineering the device’s protocols.

Whether or not Google patch this workaround and ultimately prevent apps like AirCast from functioning at all in the future, there’s nothing in the SDK to suggest that streaming local content is a technical limitation – AirCast’s existence being proof after all.

An MP4 video that failed to play.

AirCast’s popup when casting from the Gallery app.

Streaming video using the AirCast app proved rather problematic, however, as the breadth of codec support is fairly narrow.

Two Xvid-encoded videos refused to play in either Android’s Gallery app or the Chromecast. An MP4 video played in the Gallery app and seemingly loaded on the Chromecast, but ultimately refused to play. Lastly, an M4V video played on both devices perfectly, from both the Gallery app and streamed directly from Dropbox.

No doubt your mileage will vary when AirCast and other similar apps are released. For some users, converting your digital collection for the Chromecast may be worth the trouble, but for others, the Chromecast will still fall short.

But if the AirCast piques your interest, don’t be alarmed by the beta’s self-destruction. Dutta plans on releasing more betas as he receives feedback and crash reports.

AirCast on Google+

  • alvaro guzman

    i haven’t tested it yet, because i do not have my own chromecast right now, but i was thinking… you can actually start a remote desktop session with the same computer (if you already have two pc). Then you begin to display your own desktop through chrome web browser. If that is the case, maybe you can cast it to the tv, that will give you the possibilty to see your own media, or even play a game. It will be cool to test it, if it has a good refresh ratio or not, but i’m sure its possible.

  • Chuck Cortes

    I understand the whole piracy concern, but considering GoogleTV, AppleTV, Roku and other devices can already play local content thanks apps like Plex, I don’t understand why this would be concerning enough to prevent the Chromecast from doing it at all. Either way, someone will simply hack the damn thing and remove any restriction it may have because being unable to play local content makes the Chromecast the best smart TV alternative I will never bother to get. Even my current TV can play local content from a thumbdrive.