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Casting YouTube to speakers is worth so much to Google that they killed Chromecast Audio to stop it competing with their music hardware & services.

Luminair

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I was reading about what happened to Chromecast Audio: it was high-quality and affordable hardware that now sells for $100 (used) because it was TOO good. Google has removed stereo output from its entire product line to incentivize buying Google speakers and subscribing to YouTube Music. Casting normal YouTube videos to audio devices is blocked. Music and hardware companies do multi-million-dollar licensing deals to decide who can play what music where, so a cheap device like Chromecast Audio that allows casting any audio anywhere is TOO POWERFUL TO BE ALLOWED TO EXIST. Thus why everyone on this forum is inventing custom casting solutions with UPnP DLNA, of course.

But there's something to be said for the convenience of using the built-in casting feature of YouTube and Chrome rather than something custom.

The regular Chromecast devices thankfully still support casting anything anywhere, but only with HDMI, not with stereo output. To use a regular Chromecast as if it were a Chromecast Audio, you need to use an HDMI audio extractor to access the digital audio signal, and then a DAC to create an analog signal, and then an amplifier to gain a usable signal for connection to your audio system. See more detail in threads like this:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...cast-with-google-tv-as-audio-streamers.29078/

The problem with using a bunch of random no-name boxes for this Chromecast->audio conversion process is that you are getting poor quality. You end up spending money and time trying various products to end up with something that barely works. I know because I tried.

Every part of this audio chain is solved. Companies know how to make an "all-in-one" adapter for this. They can afford to buy one of every Chromecast device to guarantee that a line-level signal comes out of this adapter with low noise. And we KNOW that there is money to be made in such an adapter because the $10 or $20 of parts in the old Chromecast Audio sell for $100 on ebay, and Google sells YouTube Music for $10/month, and they only let you cast that service to one of their $100 speakers. This adapter concept would let you do that PLUS cast normal YouTube videos to any speaker system using a regular Chromecast with HDMI.

My message here is to all the affordable audio manufacturers we know and love from Amazon and Aliexpress: you can (and should) make an unofficial Chromecast audio adapter. Maybe name it "Hifi HDMI Music Adapter", and list other compatible HDMI devices in the product description so Google doesn't feel targeted lol. Put an HDMI passthrough output on it to pretend that it's a video device. I don't care about the details, just make it output a clean signal at a proper voltage. NOTHING I've tried from Amazon or Aliexpress has done the job right; everything either sounds like crap or is too big and expensive with too many features. This is a really simple device: HDMI to stereo with good enough parts so it doesn't sound like a microwave. Let's get it done.

If anybody DOES find an affordable, powerful, and transparent-sounding HDMI-to-stereo adapter that isn't a pile of boxes and knobs, please bump this thread with a reply. And forward this message to your favorite audio manufacturer! If Chromecast Audio was good enough for Google to strangle in its crib to stop it from competing with their speakers and services, then it's good enough to reproduce with an enthusiast-level HDMI-to-stereo adapter for regular Chromecasts.
 
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Trell

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You should recall that Google is an ad-company first and foremost, and that company is very well known for abandoning services and products while leaving their users in the dust.

Personally I generally avoid Google products, but I do use a few like Chrome (for my old Chromecast), YouTube, search and gmail (not for my main e-mail accounts, though). No longer do I buy any Android mobile phones, and of what I use can be replaced easily.
 
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LF78

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Put an HDMI passthrough output on it to pretend that it's a video device. I don't care about the details, just make it output a clean signal at a proper voltage.

Please add also the TOSLINK digital out! :) I have my Chromecast Audio connected with TOSLINK to a MiniDSP and it works like a charm... I'm always praying it will not break, otherwise I would need to rethink my entire chain :(
 
D

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Please add also the TOSLINK digital out! :) I have my Chromecast Audio connected with TOSLINK to a MiniDSP and it works like a charm... I'm always praying it will not break, otherwise I would need to rethink my entire chain :(
Me too. Exact same use case. I have three CCA though so many years of substitutes.
 

LF78

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Me too. Exact same use case. I have three CCA though so many years of substitutes.
The thing is: Chromecast Audio works only when connected to the internet (also when streaming local media), because it works using cloud services from Google. Apart from hardware failures, Google could decide to make all Chromecast Audio devices useless in one second. Scary thought, I know :)
 
D

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The thing is: Chromecast Audio works only when connected to the internet (also when streaming local media), because it works using cloud services from Google. Apart from hardware failures, Google could decide to make all Chromecast Audio devices useless in one second. Scary thought, I know :)
You're right and I just don't wanna think about that too much..
 

Gadgety

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I was reading about what happened to Chromecast Audio: it was high-quality and affordable hardware that now sells for $100 (used) because it was TOO good. Google has removed stereo output from its entire product line to incentivize buying Google speakers and subscribing to YouTube Music. Casting normal YouTube videos to audio devices is blocked. Music and hardware companies do multi-million-dollar licensing deals to decide who can play what music where, so a cheap device like Chromecast Audio that allows casting any audio anywhere is TOO POWERFUL TO BE ALLOWED TO EXIST. Thus why everyone on this forum is inventing custom casting solutions with UPnP DLNA, of course.

But there's something to be said for the convenience of using the built-in casting feature of YouTube and Chrome rather than something custom.

The regular Chromecast devices thankfully still support casting anything anywhere, but only with HDMI, not with stereo output. To use a regular Chromecast as if it were a Chromecast Audio, you need to use an HDMI audio extractor to access the digital audio signal, and then a DAC to create an analog signal, and then an amplifier to gain a usable signal for connection to your audio system. See more detail in threads like this:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...cast-with-google-tv-as-audio-streamers.29078/

The problem with using a bunch of random no-name boxes for this Chromecast->audio conversion process is that you are getting poor quality. You end up spending money and time trying various products to end up with something that barely works. I know because I tried.

Every part of this audio chain is solved. Companies know how to make an "all-in-one" adapter for this. They can afford to buy one of every Chromecast device to guarantee that a line-level signal comes out of this adapter with low noise. And we KNOW that there is money to be made in such an adapter because the $10 or $20 of parts in the old Chromecast Audio sell for $100 on ebay, and Google sells YouTube Music for $10/month, and they only let you cast that service to one of their $100 speakers. This adapter concept would let you do that PLUS cast normal YouTube videos to any speaker system using a regular Chromecast with HDMI.

My message here is to all the affordable audio manufacturers we know and love from Amazon and Aliexpress: you can (and should) make an unofficial Chromecast audio adapter. Maybe name it "Hifi HDMI Music Adapter", and list other compatible HDMI devices in the product description so Google doesn't feel targeted lol. Put an HDMI passthrough output on it to pretend that it's a video device. I don't care about the details, just make it output a clean signal at a proper voltage. NOTHING I've tried from Amazon or Aliexpress has done the job right; everything either sounds like crap or is too big and expensive with too many features. This is a really simple device: HDMI to stereo with good enough parts so it doesn't sound like a microwave. Let's get it done.

If anybody DOES find an affordable, powerful, and transparent-sounding HDMI-to-stereo adapter that isn't a pile of boxes and knobs, please bump this thread with a reply. And forward this message to your favorite audio manufacturer! If Chromecast Audio was good enough for Google to strangle in its crib to stop it from competing with their speakers and services, then it's good enough to reproduce with an enthusiast-level HDMI-to-stereo adapter for regular Chromecasts.
Chromecast Audio cancellation was due to a patent infringement by Google. They had to remove the product from market. https://www.notebookcheck.net/Google-fined-over-US-30-million-for-patent-infringement.720649.0.html This is the second time Google has been ordered to pay for infringement. The first time it was $50 million. I understand Google has appealed and counter sued.
 
OP
L

Luminair

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Chromecast Audio cancellation was due to a patent infringement by Google.
Chromecast Audio was discontinued and on clearance sale in 2018, BEFORE Google was forced to mitigate those infringed patents in other products.

Google's official explanation to Android Police basically says they discontinued Chromecast Audio because they have speakers to sell now.
 

RosalieTheDog

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I recall too that shortly after it was axed, many receivers came out with Chromecast audio integrated. It goes without saying that a dumb amplifier + a 30 $ CCA was a whole lot cheaper than these 'smart' receivers ....
 

LawrenceL

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If anybody DOES find an affordable, powerful, and transparent-sounding HDMI-to-stereo adapter that isn't a pile of boxes and knobs, please bump this thread with a reply. And forward this message to your favorite audio manufacturer! If Chromecast Audio was good enough for Google to strangle in its crib to stop it from competing with their speakers and services, then it's good enough to reproduce with an enthusiast-level HDMI-to-stereo adapter for regular Chromecasts.
There are already such devices. Look at the Wiim and Wiim Pro family of streamers. They extract Chromecast stereo streams from many services like Tidal, Qobuz, AM, etc. over SPDIF and COAX to your stereo amplifier of choice. Cheap and bit-perfect to 96kHz - 24bit Chromecast.
 
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-Matt-

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There are already such devices. Look at the Wiim and Wiim Pro family of streamers. They extract Chromecast stereo streams from many services like Tidal, Qobuz, AM, etc. over SPDIF and COAX to your stereo amplifier of choice. Cheap and bit-perfect to 96kHz - 24bit Chromecast.

I've just been looking into this a bit and apparently the problem with wiim etc is that they only accept audio streams. If you try to stream from the youtube app on android this is a video stream. In the past when a chromecast audio device received a video stream it would happily play just the audio part. This has been changed by google and a chromecast audio only device will now refuse to play any part of a video stream - crippling playback from youtube music.

(I don't have a device here to test with so I'd be happy if someone could confirm or deny that that is still the case. Otherwise, I'd be tempted to buy a wiim).
 

Jimbob54

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There are already such devices. Look at the Wiim and Wiim Pro family of streamers. They extract Chromecast stereo streams from many services like Tidal, Qobuz, AM, etc. over SPDIF and COAX to your stereo amplifier of choice. Cheap and bit-perfect to 96kHz - 24bit Chromecast.
Just to point out the Wiim mini isnt Chromecast capable. The Pro and above is.
 

LawrenceL

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Just to point out the Wiim mini isnt Chromecast capable. The Pro and above is.
I was aware. My reference to "Wiim" was to the company, the way I would say Look at the Apple and the iPhone series of Smartphones. I chose the Wiim Pro and not the "Wiim mini" device because I knew it did not support Chromecast. Regards.
 

sam9s

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I know that Google removed the support to play YouTube videos via Chromecast audio, but to my astonishing surprise when I mistakenly played the video on my laptop, I saw a message at the top right corner to cast the audio, reluctantly I did, with almost an affirmation that it might just play the audio with no video on my laptop. But as I said to my astonishing surprise, Chromecast audio played the audio while YouTube also played the video with perfect sync. I was like WTF, :O ... did Google bring back the support for CCA for YouTube videos? I tried on another application to cast and do the same but was unsuccessful, so I don't know it might be that Google has opened the doors finally for us to play YouTube videos on your laptop/desktop/mobile and stream audio via CCA. Let me know if anyone is able to do the same.
 

NiagaraPete

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I’ve put Google on my do not use list just like I did with Microsoft. There are many better services that don’t steal your data.
 

RosalieTheDog

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I know that Google removed the support to play YouTube videos via Chromecast audio, but to my astonishing surprise when I mistakenly played the video on my laptop, I saw a message at the top right corner to cast the audio, reluctantly I did, with almost an affirmation that it might just play the audio with no video on my laptop. But as I said to my astonishing surprise, Chromecast audio played the audio while YouTube also played the video with perfect sync. I was like WTF, :O ... did Google bring back the support for CCA for YouTube videos? I tried on another application to cast and do the same but was unsuccessful, so I don't know it might be that Google has opened the doors finally for us to play YouTube videos on your laptop/desktop/mobile and stream audio via CCA. Let me know if anyone is able to do the same.
Works for me too, with some microstutters though. I also don't really see a use case for that. Why do you want to see video's on your laptop while casting the audio?
 
D

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I know that Google removed the support to play YouTube videos via Chromecast audio, but to my astonishing surprise when I mistakenly played the video on my laptop, I saw a message at the top right corner to cast the audio, reluctantly I did, with almost an affirmation that it might just play the audio with no video on my laptop. But as I said to my astonishing surprise, Chromecast audio played the audio while YouTube also played the video with perfect sync. I was like WTF, :O ... did Google bring back the support for CCA for YouTube videos? I tried on another application to cast and do the same but was unsuccessful, so I don't know it might be that Google has opened the doors finally for us to play YouTube videos on your laptop/desktop/mobile and stream audio via CCA. Let me know if anyone is able to do the same.
Yeah, Google is beyond repair. This here is one of the reasons I don't miss android phones. One day it had this new function, the next it was gone.
 

sam9s

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Works for me too, with some microstutters though. I also don't really see a use case for that. Why do you want to see video's on your laptop while casting the audio?
Because mostly I see youtube videos on my laptop only, the desktop is mostly for intensive work and gaming, and laptop speakers even by today's standards are crap. so getting the audio out via my Morel speakers gave me another experience altogether while watching HD Video songs on my laptop. For movies, I obviously rely on my Shield TV, but youtube I mostly watch on my laptop.
 

Godataloss

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I have a couple chromecast audio's in a drawer some place. Guess I'm going to have to dig them out and peddle them, lol. I went the mini pc to this touchscreen route for about $400. Initially it was more about playing my local files, but I've been a Google Music guy since they first launched and you could upload your entire collection to them. This touch screen has really made browsing Youtube Music much more enjoyable for the whole family.
touch pc and turntable.jpg
 
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