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The Computer Audiophile

Chromecast Audio is Dead

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Get them while they last. Google has killed the Chromecast Audio. 

 

Google:

Our product portfolio continues to evolve, and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio. We have therefore stopped manufacturing our Chromecast Audio products. We will continue to offer assistance for Chromecast Audio devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more.

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Yes, just snapped up two of them, because for the price it's worth having them around even if I'm not yet sure exactly what I'm going to do with them.

 

Google store already was out of stock, but Staples has them (as of this comment, anyway).

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12 minutes ago, mansr said:

No matter how cheap, I fail to see the appeal of a device that can't do gapless streaming.

 

It does gapless from Google Play Music and apparently from Roon. And from Spotify, if you disable volume leveling.

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9 minutes ago, Daccord said:

It does gapless from Google Play Music and apparently from Roon. And from Spotify, if you disable volume leveling.

I don't use any of those. The limitation can obviously be worked around by having a proxy, such as Roon, join the files and feed the device a continuous stream. I'd rather have something that supports UPNP gapless playback directly.

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18 minutes ago, Daccord said:

 

It does gapless from Google Play Music and apparently from Roon. And from Spotify, if you disable volume leveling.

 

And your own library (UPnP) using an app like HiFi Cast.

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16 hours ago, Daccord said:

 

It does gapless from Google Play Music and apparently from Roon. And from Spotify, if you disable volume leveling.

And gapless from Tidal.

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Good to know, need to go and shop for few spare ones...

 

Another one after Apple nixed Airport Express.

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53 minutes ago, Miska said:

Good to know, need to go and shop for few spare ones...

 

Another one after Apple nixed Airport Express.

 

The slow death of popular networked TOSlink sources.

 

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23 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

The slow death of popular networked TOSlink sources.

 

I think it's time for me to finally get one BlueSound Node 2i's and see how it fares...

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29 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

I think it's time for me to finally get one BlueSound Node 2i's and see how it fares...

 

It’s very good. Capable of 24/192kHz on TOSlink output (as long as your TOSLink cable and input play nice at 24/192 also).

 

The BluOS app is ok - not as good as the “native” apps of the streaming services (in my experience) but ok.

 

Spotify Connect gets around this though (and Airplay 2 for Apple Music users).

 

So both of the most popular streaming services can play direct to the Node 2i using their native apps, which is cool.

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41 minutes ago, Miska said:

 

I think it's time for me to finally get one BlueSound Node 2i's and see how it fares...

 

Maybe also wait, potentially for an Amazon Echo Input competitor (that keeps TOSLink output that CCA had hopefully...)

 

"Chromecast Audio as we know it could never keep up with today’s smart speakers, as it lacks Google Assistant capability. This could be a good opportunity for Google to launch a similarly affordable Google Home device that turns an older speaker system into a proper Assistant smart speaker, similar to the Echo Input."

 

https://9to5google.com/2019/01/11/google-discontinued-chromecast-audio/

 

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3 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

 

Maybe also wait, potentially for an Amazon Echo Input competitor (that keeps TOSLink output that CCA had hopefully...)

 

"Chromecast Audio as we know it could never keep up with today’s smart speakers, as it lacks Google Assistant capability. This could be a good opportunity for Google to launch a similarly affordable Google Home device that turns an older speaker system into a proper Assistant smart speaker, similar to the Echo Input."

 

https://9to5google.com/2019/01/11/google-discontinued-chromecast-audio/

 

 

I suspect they'll drop the Toslink...

 

While Amazon is coming with their more interesting Echo Link:

https://www.amazon.com/Echo-Link-Stream-stereo-system/dp/B0798DVZCY

 

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@Miska

 

Any idea if the native Spotify/Apple Music apps on iOS/Android/Mac/Windows can play direct to Echo Link?

 

It doesn't say "Spotify Connect" specifically, so I wonder if it means you need to go through another app?

 

352852610_ScreenShot2019-01-13at9_52_31am.thumb.png.872185181c7704899057a198e0d46d94.png

 

Or is it ONLY controlled via Alexa by voice?  That would suck.

 

https://newsroom.spotify.com/2018-12-14/how-to-set-up-spotify-on-your-amazon-alexa-enabled-device/

 

https://www.spotify.com/is/amazonalexa/

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I'm not sure, I have couple of Amazon Echo devices. But Amazon's service availability in Finland is quite limited. In Germany on friend's system Spotify was working fine through Alexa/Echo, and probably through Amazon Alexa/Music App too. But not here...

 

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2 minutes ago, Miska said:

In Germany on friend's system Spotify was working fine through Alexa/Echo

 

So not working like 'Spotify Connect' then, where you can use Spotify's own iOS/Android/Mac/Windows app?

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

So not working like 'Spotify Connect' then, where you can use Spotify's own iOS/Android/Mac/Windows app?

 

I guess not, the integration I've seen so far has been through Alexa. Not too bad, just different. But I'd need to get it working on my own system with something like Echo Link to verify that all paths have the same result as Spotify Connect.

 

In it's own way, asking Alexa for music is a lot of fun especially with guests! The overall experience when everybody in their own turn ask Alexa for something related to discussion topic to play is so much fun.

 

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5 minutes ago, Miska said:

But I'd need to get it working on my own system with something like Echo Link to verify that all paths have the same result as Spotify Connect.

 

It isn't so much paths (and associated SQ) I don't like about these 3rd party methods. It's moreso that Spotify's own app has the best graphical/touch user interface (in my experience), compared with using Spotify via 3rd party methods, so that's where Spotify Connect is great.

 

5 minutes ago, Miska said:

In it's own way, asking Alexa for music is a lot of fun especially with guests! The overall experience when everybody in their own turn ask Alexa for something related to discussion topic to play is so much fun.

 

This is a great point and something I haven't experienced yet - I need to try. My above point is about the Spotify graphical/touch user interface being best for me, but I guess that becomes irrelevant when using voice commands. I need to try it.

 

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17 minutes ago, Em2016 said:

 

It isn't so much paths (and associated SQ) I don't like about these 3rd party methods. It's moreso that Spotify's own app has the best graphical/touch user interface (in my experience), compared with using Spotify via 3rd party methods, so that's where Spotify Connect is great.

 

 

This is a great point and something I haven't experienced yet - I need to try. My above point is about the Spotify graphical/touch user interface being best for me, but I guess that becomes irrelevant when using voice commands. I need to try it.

 

 

Yesterday I wanted to move Spotify party music from one system to another. What I ended up doing is to start Spotify application on Mac Mini in listening room. MacOS default output going through AES output to HQPlayer Embedded server.  Spotify desktop client also works as Spotify Connect endpoint in local network, so I could easily just tell Spotify client on iOS to start playing to that one instead of the living room system.

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Hi Chris,

A little off topic but the Auralic Mini has also been discontinued. I really like this piece of kit and purchased 3 of them, with a 500g SDD installed in 2. You can pick one up for around $US350 or Euro300 on the second hand market so a lot more expensive than the Cromecast Audio but still quite cheap in audiophile terms.

You reviewed it in September 2016 and I can assume you that the Lighting DS software has come along way since then and is very stable and enjoyable to use.

https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/reviews/auralic-aries-mini-and-lightning-ds-review/

I use it as streamer only in my main system feeding a Devialet Pro 200 via USB and in my second system feeding a Marantz Integrated PM 5005 via a coaxial input, but could just as easy use the internal DAC with an SBooster upgraded power supply.

Really versatile and user friendly as it provides me with his res and Tidal and the family with Spotify connect. Sounds very good as well.

Features:

Streams Tidal and Spotify Connect

High-resolution music over WiFi at virtually any sampling rate, including Quad-Rate DSD and DXD.

Decodes a vast spectrum of audio formats, including AAC, AIFF, ALAC, APE, DIFF, DSF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV, WV and WMA.

Built in DAC uses an ESS Sabre DAC chip: ES9018K2M plus digital out via USB, Optical & Coaxial for an external DAC

Ethernet, 802.11ac dual-band WiFi, USB input and optional internal storage such as 2.5’ hard disk or solid-state drive

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13 hours ago, Miska said:

 

Yesterday I wanted to move Spotify party music from one system to another. What I ended up doing is to start Spotify application on Mac Mini in listening room. MacOS default output going through AES output to HQPlayer Embedded server.  Spotify desktop client also works as Spotify Connect endpoint in local network, so I could easily just tell Spotify client on iOS to start playing to that one instead of the living room system.

 

Have you found this to be true with Chromecast + Spotify (for example feed HQPe):

 

89683806_ScreenShot2019-01-14at12_17_53am.thumb.png.62df4e51bf41b48691e12395578f7d0a.png

 

or this?

 

1309725670_ScreenShot2019-01-14at12_11_53am.thumb.png.f884b1a64c269b505c9e9be9d3ba4a27.png

 

 

https://www.xaprb.com/blog/spotify-audio-quality/

 

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