The Chromecast add-ons just keep coming, don't they? The latest tool to take advantage of Google's dirt-cheap media streamer is called Fling, from Plano, Texas developer Leon Nicholls. Unlike most of the tools from Koushik Dutta and others, this one expands Chromecast's desktop streaming powers. The Fling Java tool streams local video and audio files directly to Chromecast, and uses the popular VLC media player to transcode the ones that Chromecast doesn't support.
Chromecast can only stream a Chrome tab from a desktop out of the box, but Fling uses the Java Runtime Environment for quick and dirty direct streaming. There's no need to set up a web server, just make sure you're on the same LAN as your Chromecast TV and it should pop up. Drag and drop your media into Fling and it will start playing on the Chromecast. The dongle supports an extremely narrow range of video and audio formats, so to get around it, the developer has tied Fling into the impressive transcoding power of the open-source VLC media player. The tool is still being developed and a few early users are having trouble, but Nicholls is releasing updated versions quickly.
Fling doesn't use the Google Cast SDK, so it can be distributed freely. (Nicholls has also made it open-source - here's the GitHub.) Since both the Java Runtime Environment and VLC are cross-platform, Fling should work equally well on Windows, OS X, and Linux. VLC is not technically required, but if you don't have it installed on your system, you're limited to the officially-supported video and audio formats. Here's everything you'll need to try it out on your PC:
- Lean Nicholls' Google+ Fling Post (check the text for a link to the latest version)
- Java Runtime Environment (under "JRE")
- VLC Media Player