Spotify and Apple Music don’t officially support Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, but Mac owners can now use a clever work-around to send music from their favorite streaming services to their living room TV, or any other device equipped with a Chromecast.
A new OS X app called Soundcast can send any audio from a Mac — including from apps like Spotify and iTunes, but also from any web browser — to a Chromecast dongle. The app is completely free; it does require users to install an OS X audio utility called Soundflower first, but the installation is otherwise painless.
Upon launch, Soundcast adds a “cast” symbol to the Mac’s menu bar, which can then be used to send any audio playing on the computer to a Chromecast within the same network. In a first test, Soundcast was able to send audio from iTunes, Spotify’s desktop app and Safari to Chromecast.
Apps like Soundcast help consumers to make their devices work together, but the need for them also shows an increased fragmentation as companies like Apple, Google and Spotify compete for the living room.
Apple uses AirPlay to send media from Macs and iPhones to Apple TV devices and Airplay-compatible loudspeakers; Google has struck some partnerships with consumer electronics manufacturers to bring casting to connected loudspeakers, and Spotify is pushing its own “Spotify Connect” technology for the same use case. The results are often apps that only work with some speakers or connected devices, forcing consumers to find creative solutions like Soundcast.