This adds one more method to stream local media files to Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.
Please note, Google Home, Google Hoem Mini, and Google Home Max also support Chromecast. This means you can also use VLC media player on PC to stream music to those Google Home devices. Therefore, this guide also applies to Google Home devices.
The advantages of using VLC media player on PC to stream music and video to Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, and Google Home
If you have an extensive collection of music and movies in the hard drive, you can stream them to TV with Chromecast or Chromecast Audio with various methods.
Chromecast is officially supported in VLC media player 3.0. So, you have one more method to stream local media (music and video) to Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.
Compared to other six methods of streaming local music and video to Chromecast and Chromcast Audio, the VLC media player method has several advantages including:
- Open source. If the development stopped or went in the wrong way, anyone (there is always someone) can continue to work on it or fork it.
- The VLC media player supports all formats that can be played on your PC. Chromecast and Chromecast Audio were designed for streaming, and therefore the number of codecs supported is very limited. When streaming local media files to Chromecast, transcoding is often needed. Prior to VLC 3.0, we recommended Plex and Videostream because they can transcode.
- You do not need any other software. For Plex users, a Plex server is required to transcode (and to manage the media). Videostream has basic transcoding capabilities. VLC media player has excellent built-in transcoding capabilities.
- 4K support. If you have a Chromecast Ultra and some 4K contents, the VLC media player is your best option to stream 4K contents to Chromecast Ultra. Plex is the other option.
- HDR 10 support. Again, only VLC media player and Plex media server support HDR when you stream local movies to Chromecast Ultra.
Compared to Plex media server, VLC media player is easier to use without needing any setup. Except managing the media library, VLC media player offers a better solution for transcoding and streaming.
So, if you need to manage the library of your collections, you should still use Plex media server. VLC media player does not manage your collections.
Otherwise, you should try VLC media player.
Steps to use VLC media player on PC to stream music and video to Chromecast and Chromecast Audio
The VLC media player is free and available in most operating systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, UNIX, Android, iOS, and ChromeOS.
This guide assumes you are a new user of the VLC media player with a Windows 10 PC. If you are using VLC for Android, you may check this guide.
Step 1: Download VLC media player for PC
As an open source project, anyone can compile and distribute the software. You should download VLC media player from the official site: https://www.videolan.org/
The official VLC media player is free. There are no ads or bloatware. It is very clean.
As shown below, if you visit the official VideoLAN site (marked as 1), you can find the download link (marked as 2).
For Windows users, by default, if you click Download VLC, you will start to download the 32-bit installer of VLC media player as shown in next screenshot.
Please note, the 32-bit installer is the best option for most users. You do NOT need to download the 64-bit installer, although you can (read on).
If you do not want to install programs on the PC, you can download the portable version (for which you just need to unzip). If this is the case, click the down arrow (marked as 3) in the screenshot, then click other systems (marked as 4) as shown below.
After clicking other systems, you are now directed to the official download page of the VLC media player as shown below.
For Windows users, click Get VLC for Windows (marked as 5 in the screenshot below).
Personally, I would not recommend you to get VLC media player through Windows store unless you have no options (for example, you are using Windows 10s).
In VLC for Windows page, click the down arrow in the right side of Download VLC as shown below.
You now have a few options:
- Download 32-bit installer (if you click Download VLC directly).
- Download 7zip package. This is a portable package in 7zip format. You just need to download, unzip it. Then you can use VLC media player without installation. BTW, 7zip also a free and open-source program. You should install it if you haven’t done so.
- Download Zip package. This is a portable package in zip format.
- Download 64-bit installer. If you want to run 64-bit version of VLC media player, you can download and install this one.
Please note, the installers require installation. Zip or 7zip packages are portable versions.
Step 2: Install VLC media player on PC
If you downloaded the 32-bit or 64-bit installer, you need to install it just like installing other programs.
If you downloaded the 7zip or zip packages, you just need to copy it to any folder then unzip it. You can even unzip the VLC media player to a USB thumb drive.
Step 3: Start VLC media player on PC to stream video and music to Chromecast
When you run VLC media player the first time, you need grant the network permission as shown below.
As mentioned, VLC media player is a clean and open-source app; it is safe to grant such permissions.
Tap allow access as shown below. Otherwise, you may have some problems in using the VLC media player.
If you are using other firewall software, you need to grant permissions similarly when you see the pop-ups.
There are no particular firewall settings for the VLC media player for most anti-virus and firewall software.
Before you can access VLC media player, you are prompted for the privacy and network access policy window. This appears only for the first time use.
You can check or un-check the two options: allow metadata network access and regularly check for VLC updates, then click Continue as shown below.
Unlike the firewall permissions, unchecking these two options does NOT affect the program. You only create some inconvenience for yourself.
Step 4: Choose Chromecast or Chromecast Audio device to stream to
Instead, VLC media player just treats Chromecast (or Chromecast Audio) as an output device (renderer).
So, you choose Chromecast or Chromecast Audio devices in Playback—Renderer as shown below.
Local is the default option. It means your PC’s monitor and speaker.
To use VLC media player to stream music or movies to Chromecast, you need to choose a Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, or Google Home device.
All Chromecast and Google Home devices in the same network should be shown here. Connecting through an Ethernet cable or wirelessly does NOT matter, as long as they are connected to the same router as the PC.
If VLC media player does not detect any specific Chromecast or Google home devices, you can check it in Chrome browser.
Step 5: Stream video and music to Chromecast and Chromecast Audio
After choosing the Chromecast or Chromecast Audio device, you can now select any media files that can be accessed from the PC.
You can open a file or a playlist.
For example, if you want to play a video file, go to Media — Open File to open it.
The movie should be played on the TV now.
If the movie or music is being played in Chromecast, Chromecast Audio or Google Home, you can see the title of the media file in the top of player as shown below.
In this example, Big Buck Bunny is being played on a TV.
The VLC media player icon is shown in the player window.
You can control the playing just like playing to your monitor or speaker.
Step 6: Stop casting
As mentioned earlier, there is no casting icon in VLC media player.
So, to stop casting, you can just switch the renderer to Local as shown below.
Of course, you can also just close the player.
Adjust audio and video effects when using VLC media player to stream video and music to Chromecast and Chromecast Audio
When using VLC media player to stream local media files to Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, or Google Home, you can use all video effects and audio effects offered by the player.
You just click the effects icon as shown above.
Then you can adjust:
- Audio effects
- Video effects
, as shown below.
Can you use VLC media player on PC to stream music and video to Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, and Google Home?
If you have any questions or encounter any problems with using VLC media player on PC to stream music and video to Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, and Google Home, please let us know in the comment box below.
The community will try to help you find the solution.
For more Chromecast Audio guides, please visit Chromecast Audio guide page.
If your question is on Chromecast including both 1st generation Chromecast, and new Chromecast (aka Chromecast 2015), please visit Chromecast how-to guides page.