Devices nowadays come with rules, restrictions and other things that the hacking community isn’t too keen on. Developer of AllCast AKA AirCast Koushik Dutta made an announcement stating the following regarding his app and Chromecast:

Heads up. Google’s latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast. They disabled ‘video_playback’ support from the ChromeCast application.

Given that this is the second time they’ve purposefully removed/disabled[1] the ability to play media from external sources, it confirms some of my suspicions that I have had about the Chromecast developer program:
The policy seems to be a heavy handed approach, where only approved content will be played through the device. The Chromecast will probably not be indie developer friendly. The Google TV team will likely only whitelist media companies.

I’d strongly suggest holding off on buying a Chromecast until we can see how Google chooses to move forward on third party applications. There are also other (open) platforms and stacks that one could buy/support as well. (LeapCast, NodeCast, etc)

Here’s the apk, but please note it probably won’t work.
http://download.clockworkmod.com/test/Cast.apk

[1] There used to be a sample app that provided similar functionality.

AllCast / AirCast was using unapproved APIs to pull off this feat and in doing so Google patched this most likely in an act of security.

Back when Dutta finished developing this apk he posted the following:

I spent a couple hours yesterday reverse engineering the Chromecast protocols. Great success! I am now able to get around all the developer whitelist restrictions. I’m actually not using the Chromecast or MediaRouter SDKs at all anymore.

AirCast is an Android app that lets you share videos from your Gallery, Dropbox, or Drive, straight to your Chromecast enabled TV.

He also posted a video about it on YouTube:

Interestingly enough he also posted on Reddit about this, here is an excerpt on his feelings about devices like Chromecast:

The Chromecast is just a Google TV in a smaller form factor. Yet another box from your TV that delivers the same old tired array of big media apps that you can find on any other cable/tv box. I already have 5 of such boxes (2 Xbox, 2 Apple TV, 1 Roku).

I don’t need another box to do this. I want a mainstream, open platform, that I can connect to my TV. That would be new. That would be different.

The motivations behind this behavior are obvious. Google needs to do this to placate media companies, who will perpetually push stringent requirements before granting access to their coveted content. This will not change until content delivery companies (Netflix, Amazon, and Google) start creating their own content. And in fact, this is starting to happen already. [Source]

On the Chromecast site the following notice is on display:

Warning: The current Google Cast SDK is a preview SDK intended for development and testing purposes only, not for production apps. Google may change this SDK significantly prior to the official release of the Google Cast SDK. We strongly recommend that you do not publicly distribute any application using this preview SDK, as this preview SDK will no longer be supported after the official SDK is released (which will cause applications based only on the preview SDK to break).

Applications using this preview SDK will work only on Chromecast receiver devices that are whitelisted for development. Google will provide whitelisting for Google Cast receivers for development and testing purposes until the final SDK is released. [Source]

Google isn’t afraid of having their software and hardware in beta so it will only be a matter of time when this sort of API call will be made available for developers. For the time being, enjoy what you are able to do with it on your Android device and using the new iOS Chromecast app for the iPhone and iPad.

Chromecast: stream local content? Not yet. originally appeared on Stabley Times on August 28, 2013.

Author information

Jason Tucker

Web Developer at Tucker Pro

Jason Tucker is a web developer, systems administrator and a father of three. Jason owns Tucker.Pro a web development company and is host of WPwatercooler a weekly WordPress web development and design YouTube channel and podcast. Jason also blogs over at WPMedia.Pro where he talks about working with audio and video on the web.

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