If you've ever tried playing an odd video format on your phone, chances are you've used one of a couple of well known video players like MX or VLC. After a slow start, the latter has been receiving rather frequent updates and improvements that keep pushing it forward. VLC also has an active beta program (of which you can be a part by joining this Google+ community and then becoming a tester on the Play Store) and its latest release is version 1.9.0 which is actually a beta for version 2.0.0. Let's pretend that's not unnecessarily convoluted and move on.
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.
It should come as little surprise that many of us who own multiple Android devices trust Google to tend to much of our music streaming needs. Even if you don't subscribe to All Access, Google Music offers one of the easiest ways to access your personal collection across multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs. But what about your TV? Your Xbox 360? If you want to stream music from Google on devices that aren't officially supported, Cast To UPnP/DLNA For GMusic, from the developer of BubbleUPnP, has you covered.
As the screenshots show, this app makes streaming music to supported UPnP/DLNA devices as simple as connecting to a Chromecast device.