Chromecast and Chromecast audio have been launched together this October. Chromecast has been out from a lot of time due to ease of Chromecast setup, however this year with Chromecast audio Chromecast version 2.0 has been launched. This version has bumped up hardware.
Chromecast has a lot of features once you setup Chromecast. It is a small device which is very ergonomic. It has HDMI and USB flat lined cables. It means that even if you’re USB and HDMI is behind TV and it is wall mounted, you can still connect to it since cables let you connect.
It is also very robust and modular. It is very cheap and competitive. It has very humble hardware but that does not affect its performance. It makes use of wireless network to stream content from smartphone and internet to bigger screen.
It also saves battery of your smartphone since it just takes up the link from smartphone. Basically you can switch off your smartphone once you start streaming. However, if you are streaming local content then it will not be the case since then the source is smartphone according to Chromecast help.
How Chromecast and Audio operate:
Chromecast has a support of Google cast app, formerly known as Chromecast companion. This app allows you to control Chromecast. Not only basic functions but also functions like streaming are done using this app. If Netflix supports Chromecast, simply install google cast app, then open Netflix app and you will see an overlay icon clicking on which you can stream content.
This app is available for android and iOS devices. Android devices running on KitKat and lollipop have added advantage. You can use miracast and stream your entire smartphone on Chromecast on bigger screen. You can also stream content which is not supported by Google cast app.
Chromecast audio is prodigal sibling of Chromecast. It has extended audio capabilities. It cannot stream video files according to Chromecast support. It can convert any basic speaker into a smart speaker. Just install the hardware using a 3.5mm jack into any speaker, power it up with a power brick and you will not need sonos audio for theatre experience.
Chromecast audio has a lot of features. It supports a variety of audio. It has added support for 24 bit lossless audio files. Not only 320kbps files but files up to 650kbps can be streamed. Chromecast audio also has a audio sync mode in which various Chromecast audios in a house on a same Wi-Fi network can play a single audio in sync.
Chromecast audio, though a cheap device has support of a variety of apps. YouTube audio, Spotify and Pandora are some of the most popular apps which have jumped aboard for Chromecast audio. Just open your google cast app, then open these Chromecast audio supporting apps, play music and hit the cast button to cast music to your favourite speaker.
Spotify Crossfade on Chromecast audio:
Since it uses wireless internet and not Bluetooth, audio is not compressed. As we know Bluetooth has a low bandwidth hence low audio quality however Wi-Fi uses a modem service so it has higher audio quality.
Fade in fade out, popularly known as crossfade is also supported. It means that continuous playback of music is done while one audio gets ended other starts playing before ending of one song. This feature once came for Spotify premium before it jumped to free version.
Due to hardware limitations and Spotify’s negligence towards the platform this feature was not on Chromecast audio and Chromecast. However now both devices and apps for both support crossfading.
This feature was first introduced by win amp in 90s and now it has reached to one of the most popular platform for music streaming. Though it needs a bit polishing up, like songs cut short by a few seconds due to crossfading but it surely is a positive step.