This guide will show you how to use an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast. It is intended mainly for streaming contents saved in your Android devices.
Using an Android app to stream local media files (on your Android device) is one of the 5 major methods of streaming local media files for Chromecast. For a detailed comparison (advantages and limitations) of these 5 local media streaming methods, please check this guide: Comparison of 5 methods for streaming local media files to Chromecast.
Update (Jan 2018): VLC for Android now also supports Chromecast. It offers a better way to stream local media in Android to Chromecast. You may check the guide here. It also supports 4K streaming to Chromecast Ultra.
How to find an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast?
There are many Android apps that can stream local media contents to Chromecast. In other words, in Google Play store, you can easily find an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast. But some work poorly. Normally, if the average review score is less than 3, you should avoid that app.
Google Play store now has a special Chromecast section (as shown below). Most Chromecast compatible apps can be found there. So, it is very convenient to find apps for your Chromecast, of course including an app to stream local media files to Chromecast.
You can tap Chromecast as shown below to navigate to the Google cast app page. Don’t be confused by the name Google cast, which is essentially Chromecast.
Most of the apps that can stream local media files to Chromecast can be founded under “More Google Cast Apps”. In this guide, we will use the LocalCast app as an example to show you how to use an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast.
How to use LocalCast app to stream local media files to Chromecast
LocalCast (Media 2 Chromecast) is a free app streaming local media files to Chromecast. It is relatively simple to use and quite stable. You can get it from Play Store. You can install it just like any other apps. No special requirements, no special procedures.
Once installed, you can easily use this app to stream local media files to Chromecast.
Tap the folder, then navigate the file you want to play as shown below.
Tap the Chromecast icon to connect to the Chromecast device in range. Once the connection is successful, you can play the selected media file on the TV. That’s it.
In the background, the LocalCast app creates a LocalCast server in your Android device to pass the file to Chromecast. In the notification area, you should be able to find the messages of “LocalCast server started”.
When you use the app to stream local media files to Chromecast, the notification will be created as well. So, you can control (e.g., pause, stop…) the media play in two different locations: 1) inside the LocalCast app; and 2) from notification area (just as that for normal media player).
LocalCast also supports playing queue and playlist when you use the app to stream local media files to Chromecast.
To add a file to the queue, in the folder view, simply tap and hold the file for more than about 3 seconds.
You can add multiple files to the queue. You can even do this when you are streaming to Chromecast.
You can save the queue (tap the save icon as shown below) as a playlist so that you can use it in the future without navigation to individual folders/files.
In addition to media contents saved in your Android device storage, LocalCast can also stream media contents saved/served in/by:
Of course, the app has the settings for you to play with. You need not touch them if the app works as expected.
What are the pros and cons of using an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast?
The advantages of using an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast include:
- It is available almost everywhere. Android device is available in most families. Most apps only require Android 2.3.
- It is simple to use. Most of such apps work out of box. No settings.
- Most of the apps support playlist and playing queue.
- More and more people use Android device to replace a point-and-shoot camera. This means the Android app may be the fastest way to enjoy photos and home-made videos on TV.
The disadvantages of using an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast include:
- The media files you can stream is limited by the format supported by Chromecast itself. So, you may find you cannot play some files, e.g., rmvb files.
- Most apps are still not as stable as the PC solutions. Some apps may not work on some devices.
Will Android screen mirroring replace such Android apps for local media streaming to Chromecast?
As explained in this post, screen mirroring with Chromecast is available in some selected mobile devices.
Update: Android screen mirroring is available in all Android devices with KitKat 4.4 or later versions of Android.
This may eventually replace Android apps that stream local media files to Chromecast to some extent. The screen mirroring with Chromecast can even do more: it can mirror everything (not just media contents) on your phone to the TV.
Nexus 4 Nexus 5 Nexus 7 (2013) Nexus 10 Samsung Galaxy S4 Samsung Galaxy S5 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition HTC One M7 (not M8, I don’t know the reason.) LG G Pro 2 LG G2 LG G3
This means if you own any of these devices, it is probably not necessary to install the Android app to stream local media contents to Chromecast. You can mirror everything on the TV without such apps.
But if you don’t own any of these devices, Android app is still a viable solution for you to stream local media contents to Chromecast.
Do you have any questions on using an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast?
Please leave your questions, comments, and feedback in the comment box below, if you have anything on using an Android app to stream local media files to Chromecast to share with other Chromecast owners.
For more Chromecast tutorial, you may check our Chromecast how-to guide page.
For Chromecast Audio guides, please visit Chromecast Audio guide page.