Third-party Chromecast apps stream local movies, pics and more from PCs, Macs, Androids

MyCast

Google’s Chromecast is the newest way to wirelessly stream media from the cloud to an HDTV, but it’s capable of more. One developer has already created two new applications that let you stream local files from a PC, Mac, Linux computer or Android device, bringing far more value to Google’s $35 HDMI dongle. What’s the catch? Google has yet to approve the apps.

Koushik Dutta, aka Koush, is the developer behind the two software titles. MyCast for Android adds support for streaming local content from a phone or tablet, while the MyCast Chrome app does the same for any device running Google’s Chrome browser.

Here’s a short video demonstration of his Chrome app which will be found in the Chrome Web Store:

How did Koush do this? On his Google Plus post about the software, he says:

“This is highly efficient, as there is no encoding/decoding taking place. It streams at full quality, with no lag. And since it is a Chrome app, it works on all platforms. No binary installation necessary; it will be available on the Chrome store.

I spent tonight writing a mini HTTP server in JavaScript that runs in Chrome. Full featured enough to handle requests and stream movies. Yes, that means there is a web server running in my web browser. I’m insane.”

What might you use this for? Streaming a movie that you ripped from a DVD to watch on your computer, for example. Or perhaps you want to easily share photos from your phone to the big screen. Maybe you want to hear the latest podcast — here’s a Chrome-centric one we can recommend — on your surround sound system.

Apps such as MyCast will help overcome a big limitation found in the Chromecast today. It’s great that for $35 we can wirelessly stream YouTube, Netflix, Pandora and content from a few other online media sources but local content is a big oversight right now. Google could certainly be working on adding support but in the meantime, third-party developers such as Koush are taking the lead.

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