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Thread: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

  1. #1

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    simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    I did a search and read through the ten threads that mention Chromecast.....but didn't find the rudimentary recommendation I seek.

    Unlike some clients, the Chromecast can't really do anything without a control app to "cast" to it.

    I'm curious whether other users have found a playback app or control app for iOS they like, that can browse all the content on the Asset UPnP server, and then "cast" it to a Chromecast?

    (Apologies if I am stating this incorrectly, or if there is such a simple common known way to do this on iOS that I'm wasting bandwidth even asking!)

  2. #2

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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Update: After some testing with "Google Home" I can confirm that app (while interesting and probably very useful for other things) doesn't tackle this particular task.

    I don't see any other first party apps related to the chromecast, but am sifting through the third party apps (which seem to be focused on video) to see what I can find.

  3. #3
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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    You could always install BubbleUPnP server and proxy the chromecast to an OpenHome or DLNA renderer.
    If you have an OpenHome compatible control point (I think Lumin is available on ios) then OpenHome is the way to go as it also holds and advances the playback queue, otherwise choose DLNA.

    Although on Android we have options to control chromecast directly, I still prefer the BubbleUPnP route for the queueing it offers, and it's been rock solid for years.

  4. #4

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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Thanks for the ideas. Yes the LUMIN app is exactly the kind of control app I am seeking&*8230; with the exception that it controls what is streamed to a LUMIN device and I want to control what is streamed to a chrome cast device.

  5. #5
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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    It's not restricted to Lumin devices, but it does only talk the OpenHome protocol, so with BubbleUPnP proxying the chromecast you should be good to go.

  6. #6

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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Thanks.

    I downloaded VLC for iOS, and using it's "network" section I was able to browse my Asset UPNP library, and start playing content directly to the Chromecast.

    Not the most elegant interface for browsing the collection, especially because if I browse away from the currently playing selection it stops casting, but as a proof of concept, it is impressive. No need for any additional software on the server side, which is nice.

  7. #7

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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    This solution has proved to be a bit tedious. I'm wondering what other folks are using to control their Asset UPNP server from their phone or tablet?

  8. #8
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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
    This solution has proved to be a bit tedious. I'm wondering what other folks are using to control their Asset UPNP server from their phone or tablet?
    I'm not sure if this can be terribly stable. ChromeCast is finicky at the best of times. But using a mobile app to fetch audio through a DLNA server, then turn that around and stream that audio back out to a CC device of any kind is probably going to have a ton of hiccups best case. I don't know of any ideal app for this.

  9. #9

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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Quote Originally Posted by GBrown View Post
    I'm not sure if this can be terribly stable. ChromeCast is finicky at the best of times. But using a mobile app to fetch audio through a DLNA server, then turn that around and stream that audio back out to a CC device of any kind is probably going to have a ton of hiccups best case. I don't know of any ideal app for this.
    Conceptually the mobile app doesn’t fetch audio. The audio is passed from the server to the renderer. The mobile app is just the control, selects the audio, and tells the Chromecast the URL to play. Sonos does this nicely but I’m not excited about buying another streaming device when the rack already has PlayFi, Chromecast, an ATV4K, and a Panasonic ub420 disk player.

    PlayFi is super flakey, so I gave up on that one. Chromecast has actually been pretty stable. The trouble is the control app. I haven’t found one that has a nice friendly interface. And I’d love to not have to select “cast” but just directly control what is rendered out to one of these clients.

    So maybe this thread is misnamed because I would be happy to have another solution

  10. #10
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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
    Chromecast has actually been pretty stable. The trouble is the control app. I haven’t found one that has a nice friendly interface. And I’d love to not have to select “cast” but just directly control what is rendered out to one of these clients.
    What are you currently using to send music from AssetUPnP to Chromecast?
    The problem - as you probably know - is that it isn't DLNA/UPnP so there are very few apps out there that will talk directly to the chromecast, even fewer on ios I would guess.

    I assume for some reason you don't want to use BubbleUPnP server?

  11. #11

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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Quote Originally Posted by simbun View Post
    What are you currently using to send music from AssetUPnP to Chromecast?
    I haven&*8217;t found a great iOS solution, hence this thread. VLC will do it but it&*8217;s clunky. So on the good side, almost anything can cast a url to the Chromecast. On the bad side no one seems to make a nice app for browsing the contents on the media server on a iPhone and managing playback on the Chromecast.

    So I&*8217;m happy to find an app the works with an ATV, or something else I already have in place. (The one thing I had to give up on was PlayFi since it actually does it wrong, moving the music through the iOS device instead of streaming direct from server to renderer, which is remarkably unreliable.

    The problem - as you probably know - is that it isn't DLNA/UPnP so there are very few apps out there that will talk directly to the chromecast, even fewer on ios I would guess.
    Yes I think you are right. The most compliant dlna renderer I have is a Panasonic ub420, or a Sony uhd player x800m1. So instead of struggling with the Chromecast, or the ATV, I should use one of those. If so, what perpetual license control app would be best?

    I assume for some reason you don't want to use BubbleUPnP server?
    I&*8217;m confused by Bubble. The marketing says it&*8217;s not a upnp server, which is good because Asset is my upnp server

    Bubble is a control point, not a renderer, right? Sort of seems like it can do those functions.
    But I can&*8217;t use it on iOS to test it out.

    3307D259-77A3-4F6F-8C09-25F5B04D28C8.jpeg
    Last edited by nathan_h; 08-29-2022 at 11:42 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
    (The one thing I had to give up on was PlayFi since it actually does it wrong, moving the music through the iOS device instead of streaming direct from server to renderer, which is remarkably unreliable.
    Isn't that how AirPlay works as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
    I&*8217;m confused by Bubble. The marketing says it&*8217;s not a upnp server, which is good because Asset is my upnp server

    Bubble is a control point, not a renderer, right? Sort of seems like it can do those functions.
    But I can&*8217;t use it on iOS to test it out.
    BubbleUPnP Server is a piece of software that can add features to servers and renderers alike, whereas 'BubbleUPnP' is a control point for Android.

    With BubbleUPnP Server installed you can turn your renderer/Chromecast into a DLNA or OpenHome device so it'll work natively with other DLNA/UPnP control points. In the interface you simply choose your rendeder and then tick the 'Create an OpenHome renderer' and in your control point you'll see the renderer named with a suffix of '(OpenHome)'.
    Once you've chosen the OpenHome renderer in your control point, it's essentially talking to BubbleUPnP Server as though it were a native renderer, which then passes the commands onto the actual renderer/Chromecast itself.

    The other main benefit of using BubbleUPnP Server is that the playback queue is held (and advanced) on the server, and not on the control point, so you don't need your phone awake to advance the tracks, and you can access the queue from other devices. This is why, once you've got it working I expect you'll turn all your devices into OpenHome renderers :-)

    The only limitation of using the OpenHome functionality is that the control point also needs to support OpenHome, so something like Lumin should work on ios.

  13. #13

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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Quote Originally Posted by simbun View Post
    Isn't that how AirPlay works as well?
    Not anymore. They have divided the functionality between mirroring content and casting a url, and mostly the latter is what it does now.

    BubbleUPnP Server is a piece of software that can add features to servers and renderers alike, whereas 'BubbleUPnP' is a control point for Android.

    With BubbleUPnP Server installed you can turn your renderer/Chromecast into a DLNA or OpenHome device so it'll work natively with other DLNA/UPnP control points. In the interface you simply choose your rendeder and then tick the 'Create an OpenHome renderer' and in your control point you'll see the renderer named with a suffix of '(OpenHome)'.
    Once you've chosen the OpenHome renderer in your control point, it's essentially talking to BubbleUPnP Server as though it were a native renderer, which then passes the commands onto the actual renderer/Chromecast itself.

    The other main benefit of using BubbleUPnP Server is that the playback queue is held (and advanced) on the server, and not on the control point, so you don't need your phone awake to advance the tracks, and you can access the queue from other devices. This is why, once you've got it working I expect you'll turn all your devices into OpenHome renderers :-)

    The only limitation of using the OpenHome functionality is that the control point also needs to support OpenHome, so something like Lumin should work on ios.
    I&*8217;ll look more at Bubble. Thanks for pointing out the details and specifics.

    Yes something like the LUMIN app is what I seek. It doesn&*8217;t find my renderers but a non proprietary app like that is what I seek.

  14. #14

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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Thanks for the explanation. I think I understand better, now.

    Well, before taking on Bubble server, I think I need to find a control point app for iOS. Lumin seems proprietary, as so many others. Since I'm not beholden to Chromecast as the renderer, I would think I could simply go for a "generic" DLNA or UPNP control point app that is optimized for music discovery (versus all those that seem focused on video content).

    THanks.

  15. #15
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    Re: simple iOS control app for controlling ChromeCast access/playback of content?

    Lumin works with any UPnP music server and any OpenHome renderer, and is purely audio. On the ios side you seem to be quite limited with generic UPnP control points and from what I've heard on other forums Lumin seems to be the best option.

    You seem to be making this hard for yourself :-)

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