If you've ever used Chrome's casting functionality, you've likely come across one of its more frustrating shortcomings. While it works great for casting an online video, a tab, or even your entire screen, Chrome simply cannot cast a local audio or video file natively, forcing you to resort to using a third-party extension or standalone app. Fortunately, the Chrome team is currently experimenting with adding the ability to cast local files directly from within the browser, according to the well-known Googler and 'Chromium evangelist,' François Beaufort.
For now, the feature is only available in Chrome's beta channel, and the option should show up when selecting 'Cast...' in the browser menu and choosing 'Cast file' from the dropdown list. After that, users can simply select an audio or video file and stream it to any Cast-enabled device as they normally would. However, the functionality is only available "if you're lucky," meaning that not all users will be able to see the option.
Luckily, there's a way to force the experiment on your browser, and it's fairly straightforward — provided you're not afraid of a simple line of code or two. All that's needed is to restart Chrome with the --enable-features=EnableCastLocalMedia switch enabled and you're done. The process for doing so varies a little depending on the operating system you're running, but you can find all the instructions you need right here.
- François Beaufort