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Old 22nd March 2017, 19:00   #14
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 4
Chromecast Audio Support workaround that works

This quest has been the holy grail for me since I have not found anything to replace WinAmp which has the functionality I have come to expect. Unfortunately, I'm afraid WinAmp has turned into a program which has been largely abandoned, so it is up to us, the FANATICS, to make it work with new technology.

When I first looked at the Chromecast Audio dongles, it was with the intention of adding synchronized audio to speakers throughout my home, all powered by WinAmp audio. I was hoping to replicate a SONOS-type system with my household WIFI using existing amplified speakers.

I have a low power 1.6ghz thin client PC dedicated to playing music from a couple large USB flash drives using WinAmp with a crossfading plugin and a volume DSP. It has been my personal radio station at my home and my office since the early 2000s, playing 24/7/365 without a single commercial. This is nothing cutting edge, but I have literally used it for years and it works so well.

I first tried Chromecast Audio dongles using WinAmp and the Chrome browser to mirror the desktop audio to the Chromecast and the results were disappointing. I was not able to make it work with the Chromecast Audio dongles, but I did have some success with the regular Chromecast units, but the overhead to make it work with audio/video was more than the computer and my network could handle.

Then I tried TVersity Screen Mirror for the audio and that worked, but had a bit of a chop, every now and then, which was annoying and the computer overhead to run WinAmp, TVersity and Chrome was close to maxing out my little computer.

The best solution I found to this problem to date has been AirParrot 2. It bypasses the need for the Chrome browser and doesn't take a lot of machine resources to work. Basically it mirrors and streams all the audio or audio/video to any Chromecast as well as other similar devices. They have a free demo and a single license is less than a pizza.

The audio quality is very good and seems to be synchronized. It allows my WinAmp crossfading plugin to provide near professional mixed audio to any audio device with a AUX input.

My only concern is that Google has been known to update these dongles and sometimes break their functionality with third party solutions, but so far, so good. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I can now wirelessly stream WinAmp through my home using Chromecast Audio and with the addition of WinAmp Playa Control plugin, I can control many features of WinAmp right from my Android phone and my Android tablet. Very cool!

If anyone is interested in the names of the WinAmp plugins I use to make this work, please respond here. I believe they are all still available online and free with the exception of Air Parrot 2.

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