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miguelito

Streamers with Chromecast?

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Google discontinued the ChromecastAudio dongle, but has not abandoned Chromecast. There are a host of solutions coming out (eg a new Cambridge streamer, Primare's NP5, etc) that incorporate Chromecast inside. This looks to be the code implemented:

 

https://support.google.com/chromecastbuiltin/answer/6121012?hl=en

 

Any devices I can plug a USB DAC into that support this? Something like a microRendu would be ideal.


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48 minutes ago, miguelito said:

Google discontinued the ChromecastAudio dongle, but has not abandoned Chromecast. There are a host of solutions coming out (eg a new Cambridge streamer, Primare's NP5, etc) that incorporate Chromecast inside. This looks to be the code implemented:

 

https://support.google.com/chromecastbuiltin/answer/6121012?hl=en

 

Any devices I can plug a USB DAC into that support this? Something like a microRendu would be ideal.

 

I guess that's the (L)GPL licensed code they've used in the firmware and not Chromecast implementation...

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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14 minutes ago, Miska said:

I guess that's the (L)GPL licensed code they've used in the firmware and not Chromecast implementation...

Ok, I am not an expert here, but I can see that Google has not abandoned Chromecast - as there are many new implementations as I mentioned -  but it is unclear to me whether the code is under an open source license and can be used by anyone who wishes to. Like I said I am not an expert but it is at least reasonable to assume that if the NP5 can implement it so can other similar devices.


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48 minutes ago, miguelito said:

Ok, I am not an expert here, but I can see that Google has not abandoned Chromecast - as there are many new implementations as I mentioned -  but it is unclear to me whether the code is under an open source license and can be used by anyone who wishes to. Like I said I am not an expert but it is at least reasonable to assume that if the NP5 can implement it so can other similar devices.

 

AFAIK, it is fairly easy to get API keys to send audio to a Chromecast device. But to implement a Chromecast device you need custom hardware with DRM facilities, and for that you need to have a special deal with Google.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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1 hour ago, miguelito said:

Ok, I am not an expert here, but I can see that Google has not abandoned Chromecast - as there are many new implementations as I mentioned -  but it is unclear to me whether the code is under an open source license and can be used by anyone who wishes to.

 

I thought we sorted that one out a few weeks ago, Miguel - it isn't unfortunately:

 


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-- Jo Cox

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I bought a Chromecast Audio just a few weeks ago. They were still available in various places on the net. If you like the tech, probably worth picking one up before they really disappear. Did the same a few years ago with the announcement that the SB Touch was being discontinued. Another good decision.


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

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22 minutes ago, firedog said:

Did the same a few years ago with the announcement that the SB Touch was being discontinued. Another good decision.

 

Ironically, Squeezebox type player code is open source and is available on the microRendu!


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6 hours ago, Cebolla said:

 

I thought we sorted that one out a few weeks ago, Miguel - it isn't unfortunately:

 

Get but my point is there are a bunch of devices coming out now with Chromecast, so I was wondering if something had changed. Maybe what changed is those device manufacturers agreed to something with Google. 

 

It is interesting - and in my opinion pretty bad - that the NP5 does not have a USB DAC interface. This might be part of the deal.

 

I do have a ChromecastAudio dongle, connected over toslink to my Rossini. Sound is NOT great.


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1 hour ago, miguelito said:

I do have a ChromecastAudio dongle, connected over toslink to my Rossini. Sound is NOT great.

 

It can only be jitter, as it is electrically de-coupled.

 

So Rossini doesn't do well with jitter on TOSlink input?

 

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2 hours ago, miguelito said:

Get but my point is there are a bunch of devices coming out now with Chromecast, so I was wondering if something had changed. Maybe what changed is those device manufacturers agreed to something with Google. 

 

It is interesting - and in my opinion pretty bad - that the NP5 does not have a USB DAC interface. This might be part of the deal.

 

I do have a ChromecastAudio dongle, connected over toslink to my Rossini. Sound is NOT great.

I'm guessing you're using roon? 

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10 minutes ago, Rexp said:

I'm guessing you're using roon? 

I am. I want ChromecastAudio to stream things like SoundCloud, Mixcloud, etc to the Rossini as cleanly as possible.


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44 minutes ago, asdf1000 said:

 

It can only be jitter, as it is electrically de-coupled.

 

So Rossini doesn't do well with jitter on TOSlink input?

Has nothing to do with Rossini. Toslink has more jitter than coax - this is a known fact. Other higher end optical interfaces might be better, not Toslink.

 

The way the SPDIF interface works is the source determines the timing of the bits. If you have a source with a very unstable clock, the timing of those samples is going to have variations over time, sometimes faster sometimes slower - this is called “jitter” and this produces distortions in the DAC. To see how distortion is created, think of a little part of the signal going straight up. Each PCM sample is larger than the previous one by the same amount. If the time of those samples is not constant it will produce “wiggles” in the signal and timing errors. You could argue: what if I buffer on the DAC side for a long time, recover all bits, and reclock it with a good clock? The issue is your DAC buffer can never say to the source “you’re going too fast, slow down” (SPDIF does not allow this, USB does, but has other issues) so buffering always runs the risk of running out of space or running out of samples, depending which clock is fastest. I understand PS Audio does buffering like this, but it is not the norm, and they are not immune to the "run out of memory" problem. When you rip a CD, jitter is a not an issue at all because you’re just recovering the bits exactly regardless of timing. However, when you play the ripped file, jitter comes back into play of course, as the DAC always needs proper timing of PCM samples.

 

People really need to understand what “jitter”, “SPDIF”, etc. means. Jeez.

 

More importantly, anyone that has tried all interfaces on a high end system would have experienced how far apart they are in quality. I have never heard Toslink sound great in any high end system.


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12 minutes ago, miguelito said:

Toslink has more jitter than coax - this is a known fact.

 

That's not relevant here though. I never mentioned coax...

 

Toslink may have more jitter than other interfaces but if the DAC (Rossini in your case) can handle it, it should be a non-issue (apart from sample rate limitation of course)?

 

So it does come down to Rossini, perhaps? You even mentioned the DirectStream DAC jitter rejection, so you acknowledged TOSlink performance may be DAC dependant, right?

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Just now, asdf1000 said:

That's not relevant here though. I never mentioned coax...

 

Toslink may have more jitter than other interfaces but if the DAC (Rossini in your case) can handle it, it should be a non-issue (apart from sample rate limitation of course)?

 

So it does come down to Rossini, perhaps?

Jitter from the Chromecast dongle is exactly the problem. If you read my description above you’ll see it is not really possible to correct a bad clock using an SPDIF interface. The rate is not a limitation.

 

No I don’t think it’s Rossini. Toslink out of the Chromecast dongle sounds bad with every DAC, assuming you have a decent enough system to tell the difference.


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3 minutes ago, miguelito said:

Toslink out of the Chromecast dongle sounds bad with every DAC

 

A bit of a generalisation.

 

3 minutes ago, miguelito said:

assuming you have a decent enough system to tell the difference.

 

Ouch.

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41 minutes ago, miguelito said:

I am. I want ChromecastAudio to stream things like SoundCloud, Mixcloud, etc to the Rossini as cleanly as possible.

Since 'everything matters' try using the mconnect app, it also makes a difference which smartphone/tablet used. 

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8 hours ago, Rexp said:

Since 'everything matters' try using the mconnect app, it also makes a difference which smartphone/tablet used. 

 

Really? Doesn't make any sense given that Chromecast supporting apps are supposed to only instruct the Chromecast device to stream the selected audio directly from the server supplying it.

 

A very simple test is to kill the app (so not close the app normally) / power down the smartphone/tablet / get the smartphone/tablet out of WiFi range, immediately after playback has started and see if the Chromecast device carries on playing to the end of the selected track - potentially 'forever' if it's playing an 'endless' stream such as internet radio.

 

 

Also, the SoundCloud & Mixcloud apps mentioned by the OP control the playback from their own cloud servers, so it won't be possible to use the mconnect Player app as a substitute for those apps since it doesn't support the SoundCloud & MixCloud online servers.


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

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22 minutes ago, Cebolla said:

 

Really? Doesn't make any sense given that Chromecast supporting apps are supposed to only instruct the Chromecast device to stream the selected audio directly from the server supplying it.

 

A very simple test is to kill the app (so not close the app normally) / power down the smartphone/tablet / get the smartphone/tablet out of WiFi range, immediately after playback has started and see if the Chromecast device carries on playing to the end of the selected track - potentially 'forever' if it's playing an 'endless' stream such as internet radio.

 

 

Also, the SoundCloud & Mixcloud apps mentioned by the OP control the playback from their own cloud servers, so it won't be possible to use the mconnect Player app as a substitute for those apps since it doesn't support the SoundCloud & MixCloud online servers.

Agree!

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19 hours ago, Miska said:

AFAIK, it is fairly easy to get API keys to send audio to a Chromecast device. But to implement a Chromecast device you need custom hardware with DRM facilities, and for that you need to have a special deal with Google.

So are you saying that all these devices have a chip that allows them to be a ChromecastAudio endpoint - ie not implemented in software?


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11 hours ago, miguelito said:

I want ChromecastAudio to stream things like SoundCloud, Mixcloud, etc to the Rossini as cleanly as possible.

 

22 hours ago, miguelito said:

Any devices I can plug a USB DAC into that support this? Something like a microRendu would be ideal.

 

Assuming you have an Android device, did you try using Share on those apps with the BubbleUPnP app, I also mentioned in your other thread? If it works, it would allow you to stream from their cloud servers via UPnP/DLNA rather than Google Cast, so you wouldn't need the microRendu to support Chromecast built-in:

https://bubblesoftapps.com/bubbleupnp/tips2.html#other_apps

"Interacting with other apps

 

Using the Share/Send action in other apps

 

This premium feature is limited to 3 Share/Send per app launch in the free version of BubbleUPnP.

BubbleUPnP includes extended support to play to the current renderer audio and video streams provided by the standard Share/Send action found in Web browsers and other apps (Youtube, Dailymotion, SoundCloud, MixCloud... and much more!). Simply tap the Share/Send icon or menu item in these apps and select BubbleUPnP as the target. BubbleUPnP will immediately play the media if nothing is playing on the renderer or propose to enqueue the media in the Playlist tab if the renderer is currently playing."

 


We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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1 hour ago, Cebolla said:

 

 

Assuming you have an Android device, did you try using Share on those apps with the BubbleUPnP app, I also mentioned in your other thread? If it works, it would allow you to stream from their cloud servers via UPnP/DLNA rather than Google Cast, so you wouldn't need the microRendu to support Chromecast built-in:

https://bubblesoftapps.com/bubbleupnp/tips2.html#other_apps

"Interacting with other apps

 

Using the Share/Send action in other apps

 

This premium feature is limited to 3 Share/Send per app launch in the free version of BubbleUPnP.

BubbleUPnP includes extended support to play to the current renderer audio and video streams provided by the standard Share/Send action found in Web browsers and other apps (Youtube, Dailymotion, SoundCloud, MixCloud... and much more!). Simply tap the Share/Send icon or menu item in these apps and select BubbleUPnP as the target. BubbleUPnP will immediately play the media if nothing is playing on the renderer or propose to enqueue the media in the Playlist tab if the renderer is currently playing."

 

That’s too much of a pain in the butt. I want the ability to do Chromecast because it both routes the music between the Chromecast device and the servers AND still allows me to control the music via the iPhone/iPad apps, which is a nice user experience. I am willing to put up with the ChromecastAudio dongle’s non-stellar audio quality just to get the use of those apps.

 

I do have an Android device (a tablet that I don’t use) — If I could make that tablet a Chromecast receiver that would also work.


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Fair enough - it can be a bit of a pain switching between apps to control the playback.

 

Did you actually notice any improvement in sound quality using the microRendu? Just read that the highest quality audio SoundClound streams at is 256kbps AAC, even if the uploaded tracks are lossless!

https://help.soundcloud.com/hc/en-us/articles/360010227514-High-Quality-Streaming


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55 minutes ago, Cebolla said:

Fair enough - it can be a bit of a pain switching between apps to control the playback.

 

Did you actually notice any improvement in sound quality using the microRendu? Just read that the highest quality audio SoundClound streams at is 256kbps AAC, even if the uploaded tracks are lossless!

https://help.soundcloud.com/hc/en-us/articles/360010227514-High-Quality-Streaming

Good question on checking sound quality. The answer is no... But I could try for example connecting my iPhone to the Rossini via USB and play directly. I imagine this is as good as it would get.

 

Having said this, I have played Spotify to Rossini via Spotify Connect (rate is 320kbps) and this is miles away better than Soundcloud over ChromecastAudio dongle. 


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

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On 10/12/2019 at 1:04 AM, miguelito said:

Good question on checking sound quality. The answer is no... But I could try for example connecting my iPhone to the Rossini via USB and play directly. I imagine this is as good as it would get.

 

Having said this, I have played Spotify to Rossini via Spotify Connect (rate is 320kbps) and this is miles away better than Soundcloud over ChromecastAudio dongle. 

For point and play convenience you can get a bluetooth receiver with optical out like this, SQ should be on par with spotify connect. 

http://www.the-ear.net/news/bluetooth-attains-enlightenment

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14 minutes ago, Rexp said:

For point and play convenience you can get a bluetooth receiver with optical out like this, SQ should be on par with spotify connect. 

http://www.the-ear.net/news/bluetooth-attains-enlightenment

Actually, I would get one with coax out. This one is coming out soon:

 

https://ifi-audio.com/products/zen-blue/

 

Ha! That's the same one!


mini+Roon > dCS Rossini DAC + Rossini Master Clock >

Audio Note Kondo Ongaku > Avantgarde Duo Mezzo G2

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