Desktop Audio Streamer

Photo of Google Chromecast Audio dongle

While clearing out my flat I found an old amplifier and set of speakers that used to be connected to the TV in my living room. Rather than sell them I decided to set them up in the spare room.

I use the spare room as a workspace and have a desktop computer there as well. It would be nice to play the audio out from computer through the speakers but they’re too far away to directly connect the two.

I had an old Chromecast Audio lying around which I thought I’d attempt to use to connect them before I went about buying a Bluetooth receiver. A quick search of the internet and I found an Windows desktop application called Desktop Audio Streamer.

Screenshot of the GitHub page for Desktop Audio Streamer

Installation and setup

The was nice and easy to follow – just download the application and install.

Screenshot of Main menu of Desktop Audio Streamer

My Chromecast devices were found straight away but if you need you can edit the config file ChromeCast.Desktop.AudioStreamer.exe.config in the install folder (e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Desktop Audio Streamer\Desktop Audio Streamer) . Just add your Chromecast devices in IpAddressesDevices.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
        <supportedRuntime version="v4.0" sku=".NETFramework,Version=v4.5.2" />
    <!-- IpAddressesDevices:,DeviceName1;,DeviceName2 -->
    <add key="IpAddressesDevices" value=",Spare room speaker" />
    <!-- ShowLagControl: true or false -->
    <add key="ShowLagControl" value="false" />

There’s also an Options menu were you can change additional settings in the app.

Screenshot of Options menu for Desktop Audio Streamer

Testing everything out

In the app I pressed the play button on the Chromecast device in my spare room. I loaded up my web browser and started playing music video on YouTube… there was a large pause of around 5-10 seconds before I heard any sound come out from my amplifier.

I tried changing the Stream format in the Options menu from Mp3 (320 kbps) to WAV (44100 Hz) thinking that the encoding time that may have been causing the delay but there wasn’t much improvement. When you press play there is bit of time when the app says buffering… this could be the problem but I’ve not looked at the source code or investigated this further so I’m not sure.

When using the app you also have to be careful to make sure the Recording device is the same one that is being used by Windows or you won’t hear anything.

Screenshot of sound menu on Windows desktop

Could I live with it?

I’m impressed that someone was able to put together an application like this but it couldn’t replace a Bluetooth receiver for me. There’s just too much delay. I’m not sure if that’s inherent to the way streaming to a Chromecast device works or if this comes from the application itself.

Now I’m off to find a cheap Bluetooth receiver…or maybe I’ll build one from a Raspberry Pi? That could be an interesting future post. Signing off.