This is what can be done by those who have a music collection after Google Play Music is turned off.
Google Play Music is currently the best music streaming service for people who have their own music collection. This service allows users to upload 50,000 of their own music files, then access audio on various streaming devices. It’s a great way to access your own music files from anywhere, and it doesn’t cost a penny.
Unfortunately, the free trip is almost over. At the end of this year, Google will stop Google Play Music and push users to YouTube Music as a replacement. But while YouTube Music now supports music uploads and offers easy migration tools for Google Play Music users, the transition comes easily: YouTube Music Uploads can’t be played in the Google Home Loudspeaker dongle and Chromecast streaming tales, at least not without paying $ 10 a month for a complete YouTube Music Premium subscription.
In an ideal world, Google will continue to support free playback on Google Home and Chromecast devices as a good gesture for old users, or at least offer a subscription rate that only uploads cheaper. Instead, those who have a collection of MP3, FLAC, or other digital music should start considering other ways to play music through Google Cast.
Google music collector to digital: Pay to play your own music on your Google-centric speaker system.
Let’s explore options for keeping music alive on the Google Home speaker after Google Play Music disappeared in December.
Before we go into the alternatives, keep in mind that there are no options below that support the launch of music through sound through the Google Home loudspeakers. You can ask Google to pause, resume, or stop playback, but you can’t choose music, fast forward, or rewind. That means you need to use your cellphone, computer or tablet to start listening sessions and skip tracks.
However, the good news is that all the solutions I will describe support multi-space audio. If you have set up several groups in the Google Home application, you will be able to continue casting music to those groups as before.
Option 1: Plex
Plex is a popular program to host media files on one device and stream them to another person. If you have a desktop computer, Nvidia Shield TV Pro, or compatible NAS device, you can install the Media Plex Server software and save your music files in it, then play music through the Plex streaming device. IOS, Android, and the Plex desktop web application all support casting, so you can use it to send music to Google Home speakers or Chromecast devices. This even works with the Google Home speaker group created.
Even though it doesn’t support voice commands other than playing and stopping, Plex lets you use external speakers.
Regarding the cost, the Plex desktop web application is free to use, even with Chromecast devices, but iOS and Android applications are worth $ 5 each to clear playback time restrictions.
If you subscribe to Plex Pass, which costs $ 5 per month, $ 40 per year, or $ 120 for life, all Plex applications are free. It also unlocks a number of additional features, such as artist metadata, volume leveling, crossfades between tracks, and visualization.
The setup is somewhat buried in the hardware involved, but it’s a good idea if you want to access your music from various streaming devices. You can access your remote library through a server at home, and even support lossless audio formats such as FLAC. Although it is not related to Chromecast, Plex also supports Android Auto.
Here’s how to scroll:
- Download Plex Media Server for your desktop computer (Windows, Mac, or Linux) or NAS, then follow the installation process and press “Launch.”
- Create an account if you don’t have one. If you really don’t, you can click “What’s this?” then select “Skip and accept limited functionality.
- When prompted, specify the folder where your music files are located. This will allow Plex to scan music files and stream them to your other device.
- To change where Plex looks for music files on your computer, open app.plex.tv. Find the “Music” section in the sidebar, press the vertical “…” button, then select Manage Library> Edit> Add folder.
Nvidia Shield TV
- Download the usual Plex application, which should detect your Shield and offer to install a media server. (Detailed Shield installation instructions are available on the Plex website.)
- If your music files are on an external hard drive, set Plex to scan those files by visiting app.plex.tv. Find the “Music” section in the sidebar, press the vertical “…” button, then select Manage Library> Edit> Add folder.
The Plex web application lets you manage your music library, even with TV Shield.
Directions for NAS setup vary depending on the manufacturer, but you can start by visiting the Plex download page to get the appropriate software. Be sure to read the device pages and Plex restrictions too.
Use Plex with Chromecast and Google Home
After you deal with all of those settings, using Plex is quite easy. Just visit app.plex.tv or download the Plex application for iOS or Android, then log in with the same account that you used to set up the server. Plex will find your media server automatically, and you will see the Cast icon on the screen. Select one of your Google Home speakers, speaker group, Chromecast device, then choose some music to start playing.
If you are a Plex Pass customer, I also recommend checking out Plexamp, an exceptional alternative application that is very focused on music rather than all types of media. Chromecast support is currently under development.
The Plexamp application will be a better way to play music once it has Chromecast support.
Option 2: Hi-Fi player for Android
For Android users who don’t want to deal with all of the Plex settings, the Hi-Fi Cast application is a good alternative, especially if your phone has sample storage or a MicroSD card slot for storing large music collections. This application supports seamless playback on Chromecast devices for MP3, AAC, FLAC and WAV files stored on your mobile, and it’s free to use. (A one-time in-app purchase of $ 3 per year or $ 9 removes ads and unlocks Android Auto support.)
Cast Hi-Fi is a great option for Chromecast and Google Home music if your phone has enough storage.
Once installed, Hi-Fi Cast automatically detects all music on your device and allows you to browse by artist, album, genre, or playlist. To start casting, just press the “Playing to this device” button at the bottom, and select Google Home speaker, speaker group, or Chromecast from the device list.
One more thing to consider: If you pay enough cloud storage to store your MP3 collection, you can use the Autosync application for OneDrive, Dropbox, or Google Drive to synchronize some or all of your music collections to your phone automatically.
Option 3: Music Caster for Windows
If you want to play music from your laptop, but have not yet set up a Plex server, Music Caster can help. It has its own music player, supports casting for speakers or groups, and works without problems in my experience. Open the download page, select the “Portable.zip” option, then extract it anywhere on your computer.
Now, open Music Caster.exe, and you will see a white Cast button on the taskbar. Double-click the icon to open the music player, or right-click and highlight “Select Device” to select the speaker or Chromecast device from the list.
With a little luck, Google will see the light and provide a way for YouTube Music users to continue to display their own record collection. But if that doesn’t happen, at least you will have an exit plan.