Google Play Music is at the moment one of the best streaming music service for individuals who have their very own music collections. The service lets customers add 50,000 of their very own music information, then entry the audio on a variety of streaming gadgets. It’s an effective way to entry your individual music information from wherever, and it doesn’t price a dime.
Sadly, the free experience is nearly over. On the finish of this 12 months, Google will discontinue Google Play Music and push customers over to YouTube Music as a alternative. However whereas YouTube Music now helps music uploads and gives a straightforward migration instrument for Google Play Music customers, the transition comes with a catch: YouTube Music’s uploads aren’t playable on Google Dwelling Audio system and Chromecast streaming dongles, no less than not with out paying $10 monthly for a full-blown YouTube Music Premium subscription.
In an excellent world, Google would proceed supporting free playback on Google Dwelling and Chromecast gadgets as a goodwill gesture to longtime customers, or no less than supply a less expensive upload-only subscription tier. As a substitute, those that have in depth MP3, FLAC, or different digital music collections should start thinking about different methods to play music by way of Google Forged.
Let’s stroll via the choices for holding the music alive on Google Dwelling audio system after Google Play Music goes away in December.
First, a disclaimer
Earlier than we get into the options, understand that not one of the choices beneath assist launching music by voice by way of Google Dwelling audio system. You’ll be able to ask Google to pause, resume, or cease playback, however you may’t choose music, quick ahead, or rewind. Which means you’ll want to make use of a cellphone, pc, or pill to begin a listening session and skip tracks.
The excellent news, nonetheless, is that every one the options I’m about to explain do assist multi-room audio. Should you’ve arrange some teams within the Google Dwelling app, you’ll find a way hold casting music to these teams similar to earlier than.
Possibility 1: Plex
Plex is a well-liked program for internet hosting media information on one machine and streaming them to others. If in case you have a desktop pc, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, or compatible NAS device, you may set up Plex’s Media Server software program and host your music information on it, then play the music via Plex’s streaming devices. Plex’s iOS, Android, and desktop internet apps all assist casting, so you should utilize them to ship music to your Google Dwelling audio system or Chromecast gadgets. This even works with any Google Dwelling speaker teams you’ve created.
As for the prices, Plex’s desktop internet app is free to make use of, even with Chromecast gadgets, however the iOS and Android apps price $5 every to take away playback time limitations.
Should you subscribe to Plex Move, which prices $5 monthly, $40 per 12 months, or $120 for all times, all of Plex’s apps are free. This additionally unlocks some additional options, comparable to artist metadata, quantity leveling, crossfades between tracks, and visualizations.
The setup’s a bit burdensome given the hardware concerned, but it surely’s definitely worth the effort if you wish to entry your music from a variety of streaming gadgets. You’ll be able to entry your library remotely via your server at residence, and it even helps lossless audio codecs comparable to FLAC. Whereas not Chromecast-related, Plex helps Android Auto as nicely.
Right here’s the best way to get rolling:
- Download Plex Media Server on your desktop pc (Home windows, Mac, or Linux) or NAS, then observe the set up course of and hit “Launch.”
- Create an account in the event you don’t have one. Should you’d actually relatively not, you may click on “What’s this?” then choose “Skip and settle for restricted performance.
- When prompted, specify the folder the place your music information are situated. It will permit Plex to scan for music information and stream them to your different gadgets.
- To alter the place Plex seems to be for music information in your pc, head to app.plex.tv. Find the “Music” part within the sidebar, hit the vertical “…” button, then choose Handle Library > Edit > Add folders.
Nvidia Defend TV
- Download the regular Plex app, which ought to detect your Defend and supply to put in the media server. (Detailed Defend set up directions can be found on Plex’s website.)
- In case your music information are on an exterior arduous drive, arrange Plex to scan these information by visiting app.plex.tv. Find the “Music” part within the sidebar, hit the vertical “…” button, then choose Handle Library > Edit > Add folders.
Directions for NAS setup differ relying on the producer, however you can begin by visiting Plex’s download page to get the suitable software program. You’ll want to learn Plex’s devices and limitations web page as nicely.
Utilizing Plex with Chromecast and Google Dwelling
When you’ve handled all that setup, utilizing Plex is pretty simple. Simply go to app.plex.tv or obtain Plex’s apps for iOS or Android, then sign up with the identical account with which you arrange the server. Plex ought to discover your media server robotically, and it is best to see the Forged icon on the display. Choose any of your Google Dwelling audio system, speaker teams, Chromecast gadgets, then select some music to begin taking part in.
Should you’re a Plex Move subscriber, I additionally recommend trying out Plexamp, a superb various app that’s strictly targeted on music as a substitute of all media sorts. Chromecast assist is at the moment in growth.
Possibility 2: Hello-Fi Forged for Android
For Android customers who don’t need to take care of all of Plex’s setup, the Hi-Fi Cast app is a high quality various, particularly in case your cellphone has ample storage or a MicroSD card slot for holding a big music assortment. The app helps gapless playback on Chromecast gadgets for any MP3, AAC, FLAC, and WAV Information saved in your cellphone, and it’s free to make use of. (A $Three-per-year or $9 one-time in-app buy removes ads and unlocks Android Auto assist.)
As soon as put in, Hello-Fi Forged robotically detects all of the music in your machine and allows you to browse by artist, album, style, or playlist. To begin casting, simply hit the “Taking part in to this machine” button on the backside, and select your Google Dwelling speaker, speaker group, or Chromecast from the machine record.
One different factor to contemplate: Should you’re paying for sufficient cloud storage to carry your MP3 assortment, you would possibly use the Autosync apps for OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive to sync some or all your music assortment onto your cellphone robotically.
Possibility Three: Music Caster for Home windows
If you wish to play music out of your laptop computer, however haven’t arrange a Plex server, Music Caster may also help. It has its personal music participant, it helps casting to particular person audio system or teams, and it really works with out problem in my expertise. Head to the download page, choose the “Moveable.zip” choice, then extract it wherever in your pc.
Now, open Music Caster.exe, and it is best to see a white Forged button in taskbar. Double-click the icon to open the music participant, or right-click and spotlight “Choose Gadget” to decide on your audio system or Chromecast gadgets from the record.
With a bit of luck, Google will see the sunshine and supply a means for YouTube Music customers to maintain casting their very own document collections. But when that doesn’t occur, no less than you’ll have an exit plan.