21
Aug
chromecast icon

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:

Source: Leon Nicholls via Ausdroid

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.
  • William

    Im hoping that sooner or later this will be used in a way to use the chromecast to display as a second monitor window. Still very cool.

    • Cory_S

      I think perhaps version 2 of Chromecast with a 5ghz WiFi chip (hopefully AC) that may be possible...but I doubt the current version can handle it.

      • William

        Since all the Chromecast has to do is decode the stream(which can be anything), i assume you dont believe it can handle the bandwidth? Where do you believe the bottleneck is?

        • Cory_S

          I don't think it can handle the latency more so than the bandwidth. But bandwidth can also be an issue depending on strng the signal is.

          • William

            Ahh yes very true. Latency would be a big issue. I wonder if anyone has done any kind of tests to see what it is now. When people cast a webpage, does it also cast mouse pointer? If so, it should be capable, not a huge setup from going from a webpage to a full monitor.

          • Cory_S

            There is actually an experimental cast full desktop mode. I haven't used it but I've heard it doesn't work well.

  • Robert Grimm

    That's it. That's the one thing I was waiting for. Plex is working on support. I can play local media that isn't in Plex with this. I'm ready to get one. Get them back in stock, Google!

    • Nathaniel Mosher

      They are back. Yesterday they were shipping by September 2nd. You may be able to still nab one.

      • my95z34

        Yeah, mine is in the mail right now. =]

    • James Heyneman

      The Best Buy near me got 25 of them last Friday and still have them in stock. Comes with Netflix code still as well!

    • Matthew Fry

      Best Buy has them in stock with free shipping and the Netflix code shipping tomorrow. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Google---Chromecast-HDMI-Streaming-Media-Player/9071056.p?id=1219013308425&skuId=9071056

    • spydie

      You could already do it by playing your videos on your computer in a browser page. Been doing it for weeks.

      • Danmon

        yes I can do that with simple formats avi, mp4, etc. However, is there any extension, add-on, etc, that could play .ISOs in the browser? or at least .vob files or .IFO?

  • my95z34

    Even though I know it'll never happen, I'd love for the Chromecast to be able to run XBMC. Although IDK why... I've already got a RPi in every room running it, lol.

  • Greyhame

    SWEET!!

    Side note: that's an interesting "Texas" accent he has. ;)

    • Cory_S

      This place is a melting pot. I haven't heard a Texas accent in months after moving to Houston.

  • Cris

    wow! It actually works! Good to know this little stick was worth it!

    A little bit of advice though, make sure you download the 64bit experimental version of vlc for it to work!

  • ddh819

    i wonder if this will work with subtitle files

    • wilmah

      I second that.

  • moelsen8

    this just keeps getting better and better.

  • Matthew Fry

    Still waiting for non-pixel chromebook support :(

  • Hary Ayala

    Someone just made my day!

  • Vibrunazo

    Doesn't work with subtitles yet. Other than that it worked flawlessly on Ubuntu.

    • PhineasJW

      It can't find my VLC install on Ubuntu, even though VLC was installed through the repository.

      Did you have to do anything special for it to see VLC?

      Where did you put the Fling JAR file?

      • Vibrunazo

        I got VLC through the Muon package manager on KDE. I just downloaded the JAR, moved it to my ~/programs folder, right click, properties, set as executable, open with openjdk 7, it showed up the window, I dragged a video to it, and it started playing.

  • Anonymous

    >vlc

  • PhineasJW

    Texas developer? Cool Texas accent! :)

    But seriously -- this guy absolutely rocks! Awesome and amazing that people are figuring this stuff out.

  • gojimi

    Interesting to note that this developer also had code on github 23 days ago that handled android to chromecast activities as well.... "similar" to what the recent Koush selfdestruct app uses.

  • Jim Reed

    Does G capture "metadata" on all items viewed through the CC device?

  • Jack

    Could this work with an ace stream vlc broadcast?

  • Heath

    i like it doesn't seem to lag, but still doesn't like seem to like avi files.

  • spydie

    doesn't work. Downloaded latest JRE and VLC but it can't find my ChromeCast

  • mekave

    any updates about subtitle?

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