Sticking a Chromecast dongle is one of the cheapest ways to teach a dumb TV how to stream your favorite content. The downside is that Google's little media stick is heavily tied into the company's ecosystem. If your Android device lacks Google Play Services, you're not casting.
Here in the States, only a minority of Android devices have this issue. The majority of them are Amazon Fire tablets, with a few belonging to folks who either try to avoid or can't install Google Play Services for one reason or another. Then there are all those Chinese phones and tablets that get apps from alternative app stores.
Bubblesoft, the developers of the popular BubbleUPnP app, have published a server equivalent for Android. Previously, you could run a BubbleUPnP Server on Windows, Mac, Linux, Raspberry Pi, or a NAS. Then you could use the player app on Android to access or share your local media. Now your Android devices can also be used as a server, but with several important caveats. At least if you know where to find the app.
As you might expect, it's pretty minimalistic and not made for hand-holding. And, even to the extent you might know what you're doing, you do not want to be using your daily driver devices as BubbleUPnP servers.
Bubblesoft's BubbleUPnP is fast becoming a one-stop shop for streaming to media centers and set-top boxes. In addition to a wide range of features which we've already highlighted, today's 1.8 update adds native streaming to Google's Chromecast. The app can stream Chromecast-supported file formats (P3, AAC, Vorbis, MP4 and MKV H264, images) almost instantly and without any sort of limit. Transcoded files for the Chromecast will require a desktop app on your local network.
Playing native formats is completely unrestricted, even in the free version of the app. If you use the transcoding server to stream media in non-supported formats, there's a 20-minute limit on continuous streaming.
Chromecast streaming is all the rage right now, but BubbleUPnP has been reliably streaming local audio and video to compatible devices like the Xbox 360, PS3, XBMC, or any Universal Plug and Play or DLNA devices for months. Today the app has been updated with a special treat for root users: an "Audio Cast" mode that expands BubbleUPnP's streaming capability to include most third-party apps like Spotify or Google Play Music. Check out the demonstration below:
With the Audio Cast feature, BubbleUPnP can stream nearly any audio (local or otherwise) to a wide range of receiver hardware and software. If you're a home stereo buff, this is a big deal - it's a viable alternative to Bluetooth or wired playback.