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The Chromecast is a nice and easy way to send videos to a local TV, and you can't argue with the price. But right now it's limited to just a few apps streaming directly from existing video and music services. Bubblesoft, makers of the BubbleUPnP media server, are showing off features of an upcoming version that would make Chromecast a lot more useful: streaming nearly any file on your smartphone or cloud drive.

The development build of the BubbleUPnP local streaming app becomes a media source for the Chromecast, allowing it to connect to the phone (via a local WiFi network) instead of a web-hosted service like Netflix. The app can then serve up local media files in a variety of formats, or connect the Chromecast directly to a cloud storage service like Google Drive. This sort of functionality could expand the utility of the Chromecast by an appreciable margin.

Bubblesoft isn't the only developer testing out this sort of app. ClockworkMod developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta is already showing off concept apps for streaming from local files, Dropbox, and RSS feeds.

Unfortunately we're quite a way from seeing this kind of functionality come to BubbleUPnP or similar apps. At the moment Google isn't allowing distribution  - the video demonstrations are using a preview API and whitelisted Chromecasts on a developer build. Google is waiting for a stabilized API before it allows devs to publish or update apps. But the SDK is already in the hands of app developers, so it's only a matter of time before we'll see this kind of expanded streaming hit the Chromecast. Nice going, guys.

Source: Bubblesoft Google+, Koushik Dutta Google+ - thanks to developer Bubbleguuum for the tip!

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • http://www.thewordofjoe.com/ z3ro

    This sounds great. I plan on picking one of these bad boys up eventually.

    On another note... best typo ever.

    • David Marion

      Twit TV? It's not a typo, I just checked. I was confused also.

      • http://www.thewordofjoe.com/ z3ro

        I was referring to the typo in the title earlier. Look at the URL closely and you'll see what I mean.

  • Jonathan VĂ©ricain

    This Key is magical !!

  • samizad

    Sweet. I will be following both Koush's method of streaming personal video from Dropbox/Google Drive and also the BubbleUPnP app for beaming local video.

  • Simon Belmont

    This looks really cool. Hopefully Google builds this functionality in at some point, but you have got to hand it to the third-party developers on getting this working so fast.

    By the way the title of this article reads "ClowckworkMod" above. I think you meant ClockworkMod.

    • skitchbeatz

      I think it's actually spelled clowckwkwckworkmod

      • Simon Belmont

        Oh. I always thought that was the sound that Apple folks made when they realized that Chromecast was a lot cooler than Apple TV.

        Carry on, then. Cheers.

  • GlennStile

    I bought BubbleUPnP about a year ago, its one of the best apps I have purchased, not only because of its great functionality, range of supported devices and services but also due to the speed of the developers. I'm not surprised to see them with working chromecast support this soon.

    Ok Google, get the worldwide shipping going NOW!

  • alvester

    Yes! The sooner the better! If BubbleUPnP allows streaming of lossless audio from within my home network to the Chromecast this will be exactly what I need. The mp3s from Google Play Music sound merely decent but they don't sound nearly as good as the lossless stuff already ripped on our home server. If this works out then I'll have no need for a $300+ Squeezebox or other streamer in my home theater setup. (the built-in one in my receiver is pitifully undependable) This little Chromecast device with the right app could finally make HDMI extremely useful in an audiophile setup.

  • http://www.talltechtales.com/ Mattias

    Great news! I'm looking forward to this functionality as well as all the stuff by Koush. It's pretty exciting what a little thing like the CC can actually do and the future potential.

  • Mastermind26

    Mmmmmmmm. Imagine streaming games from your device. Imagine streaming livefeeds. Imagine what this little thing has the potential to do!

    I'm excited.

  • Matthew Fry

    Got a Chromecast but I'm not sure why... maybe this is why?

  • vwbeetlvr

    Will these allow for 24p? I can't watch my videos at 30p now that I've been spoiled by the 24p support of WDTV Live.

  • Kent Andersen

    My coworker and I are developing something similar. It'll work with dropbox and drive on the chromecast and roku.

  • a.d.AM

    Dropbox should be all over this building it into their app.

  • Nick Marshall

    Dude, Plair has had this for 8 months now. No need to hack anything, local content from phone or laptop is natively supported.

    • CA719

      Yes, at almost 3x the price.

    • smithj33

      AAC / MP3 only = Fail

  • Sergio

    Any hope it could stream through WIFI Direct or any other way without a local WIFI network?

  • Chromecast

    Geez! What a horrible accent!