[–] notatoad link

This is the HN bubble. They only have this reputation among nerds who are still angry about losing Google Reader. Go ask any normal person if Google has a reputation for discontinuing products, and they won't know what you're talking about.

Also, i don't know who out there is heavily invested in a $35 audio dongle. I love mine, but it still works just as well today as it did yesterday and not being able to order more isn't causing me any anxiety.

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[–] saurik link

I never used Google Reader and never cared much for RSS, and yet as a developer I have been bit by tons of services Google has discontinued, from login mechanisms to web APIs. The shut down tons of things, including things that make them money (Google Checkout). I know end users sad about Picasa, as they had organized all of their photos into that app, and have seen end users concerned about the continual discontinuation of messaging apps.

Where is this storyline / narrative that this is always about Google Reader coming from? It is downright nonsensical at this point, and is clearly false.

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[–] ajeet_dhaliwal link

Agreed, Inbox is the latest one (being shutdown in March) that has me hugely disappointed. I’m a paying customer too with multiple G Suite accounts for my company.

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[–] cmrdporcupine link

Everything in Picasa was migrated into Google Photos, including all the albums.

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[–] prepend link

Picasa was a desktop app that didn’t require you to load all photos to google. So you could manage large libraries.

Photos is not the same although has many similar features.

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[–] y4mi link

And it is just a question of time until photos get discontinued as well...

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[–] kryptk link

Photos requires you allow them to use your data to run their image ML on, so it's not going anywhere it isnt quite what it appears. This was precisely the motivation for shuttering the desktop app.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] gm3dmo link

Seemlessly too.

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[–] CobrastanJorji link

At the time you posted this comment, there was already at least one other hacker news reader complaining about Google Reader in this thread. Check any other thread about Google killing a thing, on this site or any other, and it's always there.

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[–] TeMPOraL link

Well, there was and there will be for foreseeable future, because Google Reader was damn useful and is a poster child of Google's habit of hyping up useful products and then canning them.

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[–] PavlovsCat link

The claim was that this reputation only exists with "nerds" who are "angry because of Google Reader". Just one counter example suffices to refute that. Personally, I think even that is a waste of time because the claim doesn't even pass the smell test. The only useful function it serves is to demonstrate double standards; if someone said "only nerds work for Google" their comment would be dead in 5 minutes.

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[–] ThomPete link

Why havent anyone attempted to take over? Is it only possible for google?

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[–] dsr_ link

There are a dozen services and a hundred run-your-own servers.

People lose detail in older memories; Google Reader did a pretty good job and had few awful problems, so it is remembered fondly. The death notice was a big shock to people who relied on it heavily, so it is remembered vividly.

I set up a Tiny RSS server and have been reasonably content.

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[–] brewdad link

I ran my own Tiny RSS server for a while but found it was just enough hassle when updates would occasionally break minor things. I switched to paying NewsBlur $2/mo to deal with the backend and am much happier.

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[–] ThomPete link

Thanks

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[–] CobrastanJorji link

Feedly is one of my favorite examples of "small company in the right place at the right time." They had an RSS reader website that was, in most respects, exactly like Google Reader. They also supported easily importing Google Reader subscriptions.

The day Google Reader announced it was going away, me and everyone else found Feedly and said "hey, this is basically the same thing and I can switch easily" and bam, they grew like crazy.

Literally a half million users showed up on Feedly in 2 days. http://blog.feedly.com/priorities-keeping-the-site-up-and-ad...

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[–] derp_dee_derp link

I might just be a "nerd" on hacker news but I'm also the guy who just made the decision on which cloud service, email provider, and document sharing service to use at my job.

Guess which company didn't get the contract.

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[–] prepend link

This is exactly the risk that Google doesn’t seem to effectively mitigate.

Choosing GCP over Azure or AWS seems like such a dangerous move. Same with migrating 5k users to gmail. Outlook and others may have weaknesses, but they are predictable.

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[–] CuriousSkeptic link

To be fair. Microsoft isn’t precisely known for providing a stable platform either. While they might not discontinue things out right it’s pretty standard for them to relegate some existing solution to second class status while promoting the next big thing as the replacement, promising way more then it delivers.

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[–] samfisher83 link

Microsoft was all about backward compatibility. They might have changed with windows 10, but before then they tried their best to make sure you could run an old app on windows.

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[–] duality link

The fear is that Google might turn Gmail down? Seems implausible, no?

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[–] pjc50 link

There was at least one story of "our Google account was banned, our small business is inoperable and we can't contact anyone" on HN.

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[–] ams6110 link

Gmail, Docs, Drive seem pretty safe bets. Would not put my money on anything else though.

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[–] vnorilo link

I'm pretty sure the ads will keep working :P

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[–] prepend link

Fine for individuals. But switching a huge org with tons of weird, internal processes and rules seems like a gamble that meeting those requirements will always be important for Gmail (ie, using ie11 for some dumb reason).

I agree with you on drive, but docs is missing lots of features compared to msoffice (macros, excel functions, offline storage and runs) and google hasn’t been building tons of stuff into docs for a while.

I think they are fine for small orgs, but big orgs pay for lots of support and customization.

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[–] nielsbjerg link

They are shutting down inbox though. I know the mail will stay, but I will miss inbox.

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[–] JumpCrisscross link

> Seems implausible, no?

Not really. All it would take would be liability for privacy violations.

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[–] tylerl link

These products have Enterprise customers with long term contracts. Same as core GCP services.

They can't be turned down for any reason. End of story.

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[–] jhall1468 link

And none of those services are going anywhere. If you're given the responsibility to make those types of decisions, I have my doubts that you based it on whether an audio dongle or RSS feed reader were dumped.

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[–] spurgu link

I went through a similar process the other day with a startup. We did pick GSuite at the end but the questionable decisions made by Google in the last 1-2 years made me want to look into alternatives instead of just choosing the one which would've been a no-brainer choice in the past.

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[–] jhall1468 link

They were only questionable because people that used them were pissed off. But Google isn't going to trash a product that's really hitting home. Gmail is the most successful email app ever. Google Reader was a niche product in a niche market.

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[–] guggle link

I can relate. This extends to any technology they offer. Like Go... interesting on paper, but I just won't invest my personal time in it.

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[–] ViViDboarder link

For me, Go Go is a bit different as it’s open source with a strong community. I don’t see it going anywhere.

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[–] ehsankia link

You just compared a 35$ audio dongle, which is pretty redundant when you can instead of the other 35$ dongle that does the same and more, to a billion dollar cloud business.

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[–] NoPicklez link

Not saying you are wrong, but I don't think you would be getting some of the largest companies in the world globally using the Google platform if there was a risk to its future.

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[–] eeeeeeeeeeeee link

Yep, I’ve also completely avoided Google Cloud for this very reason.

Google really is not seeing the bigger picture here at all.

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[–] dehrmann link

I share your feelings about not wanting to commit to Google products, but some (like Gmail) are here to stay. I'd work more about getting support for Gmail than Google closing it.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] burgerboy link

Oh no a few small fish lost

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[–] praneshp link

If you're making those decisions because you're bitter over Google Reader, I think Google's not the one that's hurting.....

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[–] dana321 link

So many successful products canned.

https://killedbygoogle.com/

Also, the Google Search API (not the site search) which was useful was killed off as well.

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[–] geerlingguy link

And Google Search Appliance, Urchin Web Monitor, etc. it’s definitely not just a bunch of people burned by Reader.

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[–] Fnoord link

And GCM [1] which kills microG as there's no FCM implementation.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Cloud_Messaging

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[–] ehsankia link

Again, ask an average person, and they won't recognize even 5 products in that list. The only things in that list they might recognize is Google+ and Inbox, both of which aren't even dead yet.

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[–] dana321 link

I think most people know of Google Wave, Orkut, Google Answers, Google Video (was turned from a service into a search), Picasa and Google Reader.

Most people probably remember Google Labs, iGoogle homepage and Google Answers too.

Google Desktop was pretty popular as well.

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[–] foobiekr link

A few years ago, Google's penchant for abandoning projects was an actual honest-to-god issue for both Go adoption and the use of GCP at a very large company I am deeply familiar with. It's not just nerds, it's also director-level types.

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[–] ehsankia link

Can you name 5 serious products that were abandoned?

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[–] foobiekr link

Google Talk Google Spaces Google Code Reader Google Wave

[ there is a theme here ]

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[–] starpilot link

We all have to remember HN commenters are irrelevant as far as marketing any product. If you see the embarrassing "Show HN" posts for Dropbox, interviewcake and other startups, you can see that being hated by HN has zero relation to the success of a product. Right now Quora is getting a lot of hate here, while they may be on the verge of a $1 billion IPO. We need to realize that our views really don't matter and in some cases are counter productive.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] Fnoord link

You can say that about any website; doesn't make the argument valid or invalid. It simply doesn't describe anything about the impact of the argument _either_ way.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] hmcdona1 link

"Normal" people don't know because they don't use niche software products like an rss reader or Google's latest messaging app.

If something is not an instant mainstream hit, Google might can it. That's a risk if you plan on trying out something new from Google before your uncle is asking you how to set it up.

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[–] pjc50 link

At one point Hangouts was the default messaging app on a lot of Android phones.

Just the other day I was using the adb trick I learned on hn to uninstall the normally unremovable Plus app from my phone..

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[–] vatueil link

And yet after years of speculation about its imminent shutdown, Hangouts still works to this day.

In response to the most recent reports of its demise Google explicitly denied the rumored shutdown date and committed to supporting classic Hangouts until all users transition to Hangouts Chat: https://www.androidpolice.com/2018/12/03/hangouts-executive-...

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[–] tjoff link

Also, i don't know who out there is heavily invested in a $35 audio dongle. I love mine, but it still works just as well today as it did yesterday and not being able to order more isn't causing me any anxiety.

It does give me some anxiety. Because there are no and, unless google ships a replacement, probably will never be anything equivalent.

The chromecasts as devices are quite weird. Their usability for most things are just horrible. But they are simple devices. Once you get over the hurdle of how to use it becomes functional. Everything supports it. It took weeks frustration to get my parents to learn the chromecast, and it requires dedication. Now they love it, but apparently now I have to find something entirely different for audio. And I expect there to be a ton of compromises to even get to the clunkyness of the chromecast.

The value of the chromecast is the software support. Something only few could do not because it is hard but because you need the market penetration. And google does have a tight lid on the software integration.

That way they can sell the chromecast with ridiculous margins. Not sure how they reason canning chromecast audio, it's basically free money.

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[–] drb91 link

I mean it doesn’t really matter what their reputation is when they are the type of company that abandons products with little concern for users.

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[–] mikeash link

Do normal people know that Google even has any products besides Google search and Gmail?

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[–] computerex link

As someone who likes nice speakers, being restricted to bluetooth is a big let down.

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[–] spurgu link

> Go ask any normal person if Google has a reputation for discontinuing products, and they won't know what you're talking about.

These are on the other hand the same people who ask (or are being told by) the nerds which browser to use, which email provider to choose etc, so the collective HN/techie opinion still has far-reaching implications.

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[–] kyriakos link

I'm angry about Inbox too. Inbox is a superior product to Gmail and they are killing it off.

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[–] sumedh link

> Go ask any normal person if Google has a reputation for discontinuing products

The multiple Google chat applications.

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[–] icelancer link

I use Hangouts currently and I literally have no idea what Hangouts Chat is. I have Allo and Duo installed on my phone for calling iOS devices for psuedo-Facetime. I really have no idea what the future is going to be on these products and it's not very clear at all.

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[–] burtonator link

Serious question... is there a list of Google created products vs products they purchased?

The only two successful Google consumer products are gmail and maps... almost everything else they acquired.

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[–] darren_ link

googler.

This one always comes up a lot for some reason (I really don't understand what point is being made), but I'll point out that maps was actually acquired. But, it's been so long since that it's been a) thoroughly ship of theseus-ed such that I'd be surprised if there's more than minor fragments of the original codebase remaining and b) sprouted large new features that are under the 'maps' umbrella but could easily be standalone apps in their own right (example: public transit support in google maps; there's a whole marketplace of apps that just do that).

Similarly for docs, android, etc - maybe they were started with an acquisition but given the amount of change and work done on top of that: so what?

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[–] njarboe link

Forgot Google search/Adwords. Its what "googling" means. :)

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[–] dehrmann link

Half credit for Adwords; Adsense (the other side of Adwords) was an acquisition.

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[–] dragonwriter link

> The only two successful Google consumer products are gmail and maps.

I dunno, Search seems pretty successful.

> almost everything else they acquired.

Android was neither successful nor much like what became successful when they acquired it.

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[–] pxeboot link

Didn't Maps start out as Keyhole?

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[–] acjohnson55 link

On the other hand, it was nerds that popularized Google. Maybe they don't need nerd love anymore, though.

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[–] gonyea link

What? I started using Google in high school (‘99) because the teachers said it was good... and they were right.

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[–] Symbiote link

Teachers using the Internet in 1999 were nerds.

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[–] shay_ker link

I agree with the sentiment, but I take exception at the name calling. No need for that.

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[–] sigi45 link

Yes and its justified!11 Google Reader was great :-)

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[–] diminoten link

Talking about the bubble to the bubble is a tough road to hoe, so good luck.

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[–] kllrnohj link

No projects were canned here.

The 3-something year old hardware dongle is no longer being made, that's it. That's the entirety of the news. The Cast project as a whole is not being canned. Cast-enabled speakers, receivers, etc... are all still widely available from a wide number of manufacturers, that's not changing.

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[–] tjoff link

The only sensible way to cast to your amplifier is canned. That's alarming enough and I have no idea how I will replace that functionality.

Not that the chromecasts are a wonder of ingenuity or anything, it's just that they are stupid enough and big enough to get software support. Nothing else is comparable.

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[–] JelteF link

For 20 bucks you can get an hdmi audio extractor[1]. So for a little bit extra money you can simply connect the regular chromecast to your amplifier.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/slp/hdmi-audio-extractor/xc32yz93wutk...

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[–] tjoff link

Probably the only solution but it isn't pretty. Can't find anything like that locally so it will be easily the cost of the chromecast just for that.

And I can't find anything about whether it will resample the audio (dealbreaker), or how it will negotiate that.

I'm sure there will be a couple of unforseen issues as well. My chromecast occasionally disconnects itself, which means that you would have to rewire the hdmi cable to the TV just to have a clue of what is going on (can my parents or house gets figure that out when I'm not around?).

And yet another device and power brick.

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[–] computerex link

Wonder why I have to use a cast-enabled speaker when I have $2k speakers that I enjoy.

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[–] ehsankia link

If you have $2k of speakers, I assume you have a receiver that you use to connect it to your TV and other audio producing sources. You simply plug a normal Chromecast in said receiver, and not only you can route music, you can also route videos from Youtube, Netflix, Plex and thousands of other sources to it.

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[–] kllrnohj link

Get a cast-enabled amplifier then? Sony's receivers cast built-in, for example.

But you realize how extremely niche your problem is, right? That there clearly aren't enough of people in your particularly situation who also want a dongle that haven't already bought one?

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[–] computerex link

I have a top of the line amp, why do I have to get a "cast enabled" one? I am not sure what the last sentence meant. I already have the dongles, I'm just sad they are no longer going to make them.

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[–] pishpash link

Google already canned Miracast support and will do the same with whatever Chromecast protocol it's using now, meaning these abandoned devices are as good as dead soon. Google breaks device casting capability over and over so for years now Android casting has never reliably worked when AirPlay works perfectly.

How's that for anti-consumer behavior and shooting yourself in the foot?

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[–] kllrnohj link

> Google already canned Miracast support

5 years ago and the entire industry followed suit if they ever even supported it in the first place.

> will do the same with whatever Chromecast protocol it's using now, meaning these abandoned devices are as good as dead soon.

Seeing as Google still sells a handful of products, and just released a brand new product, that uses the Chromecast protocol I'm gonna call bullshit on this claim.

> Google breaks device casting capability over and over so for years now Android casting has never reliably worked when AirPlay works perfectly.

Chromecast has been rock solid for half a decade. It works so well that Vizio uses it nearly exclusively for their TV lineup and has for a few years now. Chromecast has been a massive success. Your claim is wildly out of touch at best, if not just outright FUD.

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[–] azurezyq link

Apple discontinued ipod nano, what's the difference here? Consumer electronics come and go, just following the market trend.

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[–] pugz link

The iPod Nano lasted 12 years. The Chromecast Audio lasted 3 and a bit.

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[–] azurezyq link

iPod is a successful one. Chromecast audio is not. How long do you want to keep a not successful product around if you own the company?

My girlfriend poured so much love in her iPhone SE and it seems like... discontinued.

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[–] jhall1468 link

Judging by the comments here, if anyone uses a service they expect a company to provide support for it indefinitely. And apparently that also applies to hardware.

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[–] Dylan16807 link

They're still supporting this device for now, so no complaints yet.

But when I buy a piece of hardware I absolutely expect it to work for at least ten years. When did that become unreasonable?

The base scenario is that it works standalone and it'll keep working for many years. If you choose to involve a server, then you have a responsibility to keep the server up for an extended period. If it's a legacy product then the number of users will continually drop and the cost to keep a couple servers up will be minuscule.

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[–] jhall1468 link

> But when I buy a piece of hardware I absolutely expect it to work for at least ten years.

Still rocking that iPhone 3G?

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[–] mattlondon link

It probably became unreasonable to expect decade-long support on something that costs $15-$20.

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[–] DanBC link

I have literally hundreds of things that cost $15 to $20, and many of those are over ten years old and still work fine.

Obviously they have a lifespan and the quality of cheap products can be quite poor, so there are items that broke and got thrown away.

But there's nothing that stopped working because the manf told me I couldn't use it any more.

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[–] Symbiote link

It's reasonable to expect it to function until normal wear-and-tear breaks it. After that, it's reasonable to expect it could be repaired at some cost.

However, it depends on a Google service — it won't work without a working Internet connection. This idea is fairly new for consumers.

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[–] fiblye link

Apple discontinues products and replaces them with something else. Google's more in the habit of announcing a new service, saying it's great and revolutionary, then dumping it a few years down the line with a brief notice beforehand.

The iPod line just ended up superseded by phones. Google Wave, Google Plus, Google Code, Inbox (this one I'd get alerts for after every Gmail login saying it's the next step for gmail and I should switch... it just never happened), Google Video, Google Reader, and more just vanished.

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[–] sumedh link

Dont forget the multiple google chat applications.

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[–] virgilp link

You could claim Video was superseded by YouTube

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[–] ViViDboarder link

One relies on server support and multiple clients supporting it. The other does not.

I have an old iPod nano sitting in a box that still works as good as the day it was bought. It’s possible that a few years from now the Chromecast Audio will be nothing more than a paperweight, and it’s a bit light for that.

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[–] teddyfrozevelt link

They're still supporting the Chromecast Audio though. They're just discontinuing an old hardware product, which really isn't out of the ordinary.

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[–] bubblethink link

Heh. These are all paperweights. The nano was one when it was new. You needed itunes to use it. No way to transfer music to it (at least on linux at that time; maybe people hacked it later). I remember I won one in some contest, and was excited until I plugged it in. End of excitement.

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[–] eanzenberg link

Probably the difference between hardware and software. If apple canned airplay I'd be pretty pissed. They discontinued their routers but I still use their airport extreme to good effect.

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[–] dragonwriter link

> Probably the difference between hardware and software

Uh, but it's hardware in both cases; Chromecast Audio is a particular model of hardware Cast receiver.

> If apple canned airplay I'd be pretty pissed.

Yes, that would be like Google killing Google Cast. Which they are decidedly not doing.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] thanatos_dem link

It’s a natural byproduct of always looking for the next big thing, no? You need to take chances and try new things, and not all of them work out.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] disishhsha link

Do they really do this more than other companies? Does the average successful company make a habit of keeping unsuccessful products around?

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[–] jdietrich link

In this case, I don't think it's necessarily a big issue and it certainly isn't the abandonment of a platform. There is now an enormous range of third-party products with built-in Chromecast support. It's entirely plausible that Google looked at the current market for Chromecast devices and concluded that the Chromecast Audio was no longer necessary. It was already a somewhat niche device, but it has only become more niche as third-party support has grown.

https://www.google.com/chromecast/built-in/audio/

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[–] ergothus link

I've steered clear of a few now, both in tech and as a consumer. I've been burned too many times by the same company here.

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[–] pishpash link

Google likes to self-sabotage, what can I say? Chromecast Audio is one of the few products in recent years that added real value to the Android platform and finally made easy, cheap high-quality audio casting possible (vs. shitty Bluetooth casting on Echo). The Home app is shit and needs a simpler interface but the fundamentals are good.

The only problem was it was priced wrong at $30. At $15 it was a no-brainer. Maybe that's a loss for Google but it's one of the best candidates to get the masses into the Google ecosystem, and eventually upgrade to the full Chromecast and other devices. They really blew it here.

The same thing repeats over and over at Google. Great fundamentally well engineered products, only to blow it all at the last moment when it is about to catch on with the consumer. It's like Googlers have an aversion with human contact and prefer to retreat when they get too close.

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[–] Mikeb85 link

Chromecast audio is a casting device. You can still cast to Google Home speakers, or to a Chromecast TV. They're canning a product which is limited and has replacements in the rest of their product line.

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[–] pishpash link

They think there is no cost to this, but there is. The company is losing long-term platform support.

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[–] mmmmmmmmm link

Every company discontinues products. There's a reason you can't buy this thing anymore: https://keyassets-p2.timeincuk.net/wp/prod/wp-content/upload...

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[–] abootstrapper link

Google is really developing a reputation for starting and canning projects. I’d recommend not getting too invested in their products when possible.

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[–] semi-extrinsic link

We have a few around the house, connected to various speakers. Never had any trouble with them. I'll be buying a few more now before the price bumps, don't wanna be stuck in the Logitech Squeezebox misery again.

My only complaint is that they can't be grouped with a regular Chromecast, but AFAICT that's a hardware issue (regular Chromecast doesn't have the bits necessary for synchronising with low enough latency).

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[–] thesandlord link

Regular Chromecast (Gen 2 and above) can now be added to groups too!

https://chromeunboxed.com/news/chromecast-video-and-smart-di...

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[–] semi-extrinsic link

This just makes no sense. A feature the community has been shouting about for years and years (literally hundreds of posts on Google product forums), and then they actually launch it less than two months before discontinuing the product line??

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[–] dragonwriter link

The feature that Chromecast Audio had was added to Chromecast just before Chromecast Audio (but not Chromecast) was discontinued.

Be funny if they soon release a new Chromecast that has HDMI and AUX outs; the thing that always confused me about Chromecast Audio was why it needed to be a separate thing, especially after they went to the hockey-puck with a tail rather than stick format for the regular Chromecast.

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[–] pishpash link

Well if regular Chromecast would have a 3.5mm port then fine, but I wouldn't be holding my breath.

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[–] semi-extrinsic link

Exactly. Although I do see that you can buy a female HDMI to VGA converter with 3.5mm audio out for $4; hopefully that would work. I'm assuming the VGA end isn't detecting whether something is connected or not.

Edit: meh, no, these things are Energy Star compliant so they shut down if no VGA is connected. And they don't support HDCP.

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[–] Roritharr link

In the olden days before the CC Audio I just crammed a wire between two pins in the vga port if the adapter and put some glue on it.

There's guides for this, works flawlessly.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] derefr link

More like, now that regular Chromecasts can do it, why even have Chromecast Audio as a separate product any more? It's all just Chromecast now.

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[–] rkeene2 link

Regular Chromecast outputs to HDMI, Chromecast Audio outputs to 3.5mm analog stereo audio. This (the 3.5mm analog stereo audio) is very much superior for hooking up to speakers around the house.

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[–] karlding link

The Chromecast Audio also supports Optical Out via TOSLINK, allowing you to bypass the built-in DAC and use your own, if you so desire.

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[–] dragonwriter link

Well, regular Chromecast only has HDMI, so there still is a gap without CC Audio.

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[–] thesandlord link

Chromecast Audio is discontinued, not regular Chromecast

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[–] declnz link

Ironically this actually affects some Squeezebox users too (there's a great plugin to use Chromecasts as SB players: https://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?104614-Announc...)

Still, testament to the Squeezebox community how it can outlive both the original hardware's shelf life, and a replacement's...

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[–] pishpash link

You're going to buy more just so that the next version of Chromecast/Cast/Home/whatever drops support for them?

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[–] Roritharr link

At that price point just getting 1-2 years more use out of them would be worth it to me.

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[–] pishpash link

1-2 years is an eternity. I'm thinking 6 months till a breaking update. Google is not Microsoft.

See this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16509834

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[–] vatueil link

The linked comment doesn't seem to have any bearing on how long Chromecast Audio is likely to be supported?

Regardless of whether kuschku's accusations are true (there doesn't seem to be much evidence, and even if it were so I'm not sure why Google should be expected to assist Amazon in reverse engineering Chromecast), unlike an Amazon clone the Chromecast Audio is a first-party product. Google may have stopped producing the standalone dongle, but the tech is still used by Google Home and other speakers with integrated Google Cast support, so it's not disappearing anytime soon.

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[–] Roritharr link

I love my Chromecast Audio Setup. It was amazing to create a very cheap multi room setup for our Office Opening Party, literally orchestrating all the speakers I could find into one large group was like magic. So cheap compared to alternative solutions, i'll try to pick a few up if I can, as I expect them to work for atleast a few more years.

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[–] PascLeRasc link

The other incomparable feature is wifi casting vs bluetooth streaming. You can pick a playlist/album from your phone, hit cast, and ship your phone off to Alpha Centauri without the music disconnecting. Much less battery drain than Bluetooth, and higher quality audio regardless of if you're taking advantage of the optical output to a high-end DAC.

My only gripe is that sometimes you can keep your phone in your pocket and use the volume buttons to adjust the casted volume, and sometimes it doesn't work. Might be an iOS thing though.

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[–] kllrnohj link

Or people just opted for speakers with Chromecast Audio built in than messing with the dongle. There's a ton of cast-enabled speakers on the market and the volume control experience is much better with them, too. There's also an awful lot of cast-enabled receivers on the market as well if you want to drive your own speakers.

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[–] willio58 link

As strategic as it seems, they probably just didn’t sell well enough to justify continued effort.

Also purchasing a gift when it’s price is slashed due to it probably being discontinued is.. risky to say the least.

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[–] fivefive55 link

How is that risky? They're discontinuing the hardware, casting isn't going anywhere. Unless you're one of those people that would be offended by someone getting your gift on sale.

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[–] puzzle link

I agree. It's probably because sales were trending down.

That said, nothing stops another company from stepping in and taking a license for a smart speaker without neither the microphone nor the speaker, in a tiny form factor...

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[–] kllrnohj link

> That said, nothing stops another company from stepping in and taking a license for a smart speaker without neither the microphone nor the speaker, in a tiny form factor

There's already a bunch of audio-only Cast-enabled products without a microphone. There's no need to license google assistant just to get cast. Speakers & receivers with cast built-in has been a thing for a few years now. The dongle was just an upgrade path while the broader ecosystem built up.

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[–] puzzle link

Sorry, I was being silly and I really meant Cast speaker, which is what a stripped down smart speaker is. AFAIK you still need a license or at least some help from Google to get that working, since the protocols are proprietary.

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[–] dstaley link

I can easily see them discontinuing them in favor of releasing an updated version of the Google Home mini with stereo out.

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[–] parched link

I'm really disappointed that Google has decided to do this. I've been using these all over my house for a couple of years now and, at least for Google Play Music and Tune-In Radio, they work really well. When the price dropped recently, and there was speculation they would be discontinued, I bought another four of them for my own use and for gifts.

They're not really comparable to Bluetooth receivers. The killer feature is synchronized multi-room audio without paying exorbitant prices for proprietary speakers (Sonos I'm looking at you...). I have them hooked up to powered speakers (PC 2.1 style) in the bedroom and bathroom, a mini-stereo on the deck, a ghetto blaster in my workshop and my media room AV amplifier. For parties it's fantastic to have seamless audio around the whole house.

I have to wonder why Google did this. It seems like a strategic move to push people towards their "smart" speakers. Personally I really don't want something with a microphone in it, just good quality sound at a good price. Very sad.

By the way, it's easy to cast audio only from YouTube or any other app - just go to the Google Home app and cast your phone's audio to the device or group.

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[–] mattlondon link

Same miniDLNA (running off of a gen1 Raspberry Pi + NAS) and BubbleUPnP. Works great - BubbleUPnP is the only app I've actually bought for my phone.

Recently had an xmas do with the music around the house casting simultaneously via various Cast devices and it worked great.

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[–] Symbiote link

I have one connected to my amplifier and speakers — it's the only thing connected, I don't need any other audio source.

I run miniDLNA[1] which shares all my music, and BubbleUPnP[2] on my phone to browse the music and cast it to the Chromecast Audio.

It's also possible with a Python library[3]; I used this for a while as an alarm clock.

About every 2-3 months I have to reboot the Chromecast, but it's otherwise fine. It doesn't do gapless playback, but I think that's partly because miniDLNA is running on an ultra-low-power ARM board, i.e. is slow.

[1] https://sourceforge.net/projects/minidlna/

[2] https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bubblesoft...

[3] https://github.com/balloob/pychromecast

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[–] yaseer link

I'm also dreading the switch back to gmail.

Inbox is so clean, and gmail is so cluttered. When I first saw Inbox, I thought "finally, Google gives gmail the UI refresh it needs". Now it's gone, and we'll be back to the anxiety-inducing interface again.

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[–] fredley link

It was great with Serif-Google, and the implicit approach of "let's make cool stuff and worry if it makes money never" (since making money is not exactly a problem). Now with Sans-serif-Google cool stuff that doesn't make money must be culled to make way for stuff that does, or at least furthers strategic goals.

Unfortunately that's just the way the game is played at that level, and the CEOs at the top are all playing by the same rules.

I miss Serif-Google.

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[–] fredley link

Google really does have a habit of killing good products to make way for worse ones. Reader killed for Plus. Inbox (to be) killed for Gmail (still dreading this, I'm hanging on to Inbox till the end), and now Chromecast audio killed for Home.

Yeah, the latter products serve Google better, but they serve me worse. I think 2019 will be the year I start really trying to untangle my life from Google to the extent I can delete my account.

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[–] peterwwillis link

Same experience. I tried to get a refund for my Chromecast Audios (that I bought for $45 a pop) to no avail. Documented about 6 different bugs. I sat with support for 5 hours doing the same "reboot your phone, now re-set the device" shenanigans and they still wouldn't admit they were broken.

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[–] glennpratt link

I've used a variety of Cast items for as long as they've been available, and set them up in many homes with success. My experience is your router and/or APs (if separate) are usually the culprit. Wish I knew exactly why though; many TP-Link devices I've used struggled, particularly an Archer C1200.

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[–] pidg link

Yes, I have a TP-Link router and a separate access point (so two different SSIDs in my oddly-shaped home) - no doubt this doesn't help.

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[–] unethical_ban link

I still use mine. Do you use the iPhone or an Android client? I find that Google Home sometimes needs to be started for devices to be seen. I may need to buy a few more before they are gone completely.

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[–] TulliusCicero link

I had the same experience. Also, I used them with standard portable bluetooth speakers, but even plugged in they'd turn off after a bit, which removed the whole plan of "spontaneously broadcast music through the house just whenever".

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[–] AgentME link

A month ago, my regular Google Home (which basically includes all of the Chromecast Audio functionality) would very frequently randomly stop playing music when a song ended. Maybe it would be able to play about 3 songs on average before stopping. It was the main thing I'd do with my Google Homes so I was pretty mad. But the issue suddenly went away about a month ago, sooo that's cool I guess.

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[–] freedomben link

Same. I did some troubleshooting and it had to do with the Google Home thinking another device (my phone) was using my google play music. Luckily they fixed it.

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[–] xd1936 link

Weird, mine works great. What service is your source of audio?

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[–] pidg link

n7player on Android, with Toaster Cast - it used to work better. Could be third party issues contributing to the problem...

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[–] pidg link

I went wild and bought four of these, to have a high-quality multi-room audio setup on the cheap.

The trouble is, it almost never worked - I'd have two rooms working, or it would fall over after one song, or after three songs, or not work at all.

I don't know whether the product was fatally flawed, or Google just didn't put the investment into making it work, but it would have been great if it wasn't so broken.

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[–] kefabean link

Totally gutted, these are amazing devices and great value. After ‘enjoying’ years of hackery with Squeezebox, I eventually plumped for Chromecast Audio as the hassle-free way to get Spotify plus BBC iPlayer radio controlled via native iOS apps. I can also verify they are capable of bit-perfect optical audio out from appropriate flac source files etc, so perfect for the big speakers. RIP.

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[–] amanzi link

That's my hope too. Love my Chromecast Audio.

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[–] adrianmonk link

Well, there are tons of third-party Chromecast target devices, including several speakers. I suppose it's possible one of those companies may step in and develop a similar product to fill the gap.

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[–] ucaetano link

> For example, I can't cast YouTube to it, because it doesn't support video. But what if want everyone in the room to hear what I'm playing and the video is irrelevant?

I'd imagine that's for the same reason why you can't "listen" to a video on mobile with the app in the background: it would qualify as a music stream, and YT doesn't have the rights to stream music in an ad-based model.

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[–] tempestn link

You actually can do that if you pay for YouTube Premium.

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[–] ucaetano link

Exactly, they probably don't have a license for ad-based audio streaming, only subscription-based.

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[–] tempestn link

Could be, or they're just using it to differentiate the offerings.

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[–] flatiron link

You can cast YouTube to it via vlc or what I usually do is YouTube-dL and plex. But yeah. Not directly.

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[–] vldo link

You can use mkchromecast for that: https://mkchromecast.com/#installation Also you can go further with it and cast from airplay devices: https://github.com/philippe44/AirConnect

I have airconnect on a raspberrypi so I don't have to keep my laptop on and I can play songs from my iphone that way, just stream to chromecast audio. It's also worth mentioning it works a bit better than mkchromecast but it depends on your wifi.

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[–] goldenkey link

Someone else posted this tip earlier in this thread - might help you:

"By the way, it's easy to cast audio only from YouTube or any other app - just go to the Google Home app and cast your phone's audio to the device or group."

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[–] dragonwriter link

Not that it should matter too much most of the tine, but that does increase (naively triple) local wifi network traffic since you're streaming from source to your phone, from your phone to your router, and from your router back to the CC Audio instead of straigt source to CC Audio.

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[–] goldenkey link

Makes sense. Others in the thread had said that Chromecast Audio was way better than standard bluetooth or wireless audio solutions because it had wifi capabilities and instead of requiring battery usage from your phone, it simply pulls the data stream itself from the internet.

Small things but they matter depending on use..

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[–] wilsonnb3 link

It works well with Spotify, for the record.

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[–] ndiscussion link

I haven't used mine in over a year due to audio stuttering issues, but you can get a browser extension to cast anything on a desktop.

I believe Firefox on Android may also support casting (along with ad blocking and an extension to play Youtube in the background by removing the page visibility api)

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[–] philsnow link

> I'm considering buying an HDMI->DVI/Audio adapter and just using a standard Chrome Cast.

I did exactly this about 6 years ago, worked fine. Shame to cast all those video bits through your wifi contention just to throw them away at the adapter, though.

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[–] derefr link

In the cases where the video is static, there are relatively few video bits. An MP4 on YouTube that just displays the album art is about the same size as an M4A.

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[–] geitir link

Not really

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[–] mavhc link

My problem is the Chromecast (plugged into AV amp) turns on the TV (via CEC), and if you turn off the TV, the Chromecast stops

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[–] caperfee link

I have a Chromecast Audio and I just choose "cast screen to device" from the Android system tray (the pull-down menu from the top of the screen) and it seems to work fine to stream any audio to the Chromecast

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[–] xahrepap link

Chromecast Audio frustrates me so much. I bought one and hooked it up to my whole-house system combined with a few other fancy things so that people in the house could theoretically cast music or whatever else to whatever room in the house.

Basically, I can only use it with Google Music. I rarely can use it for other things because it will only cast a subset of things that support casting. For example, I can't cast YouTube to it, because it doesn't support video. But what if want everyone in the room to hear what I'm playing and the video is irrelevant?

I'm considering buying an HDMI->DVI/Audio adapter and just using a standard Chrome Cast.

I feel like Google had the right idea here. But just missed the mark.

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[–] chewz link

Chromecast Audio has jack which doubles as optical (same as Macbook's audio jack). And mine is connected to good quality amplifier via optical cable. For a price it would be difficult to replace.

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[–] Marsymars link

> same as Macbook's audio jack

Older MacBooks. Apple dropped optical out/in several years ago, none of their current systems (unless you count the 2013 Mac Pro as current) include it.

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[–] chewz link

Mine is 2015 Retina Pro and still has the optical out. It is the last in the line though and yet one more reason that my paths parted with Apple since.

[1] https://appleinsider.com/articles/16/11/02/new-macbook-pro-d...

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[–] akhilcacharya link

There's also an Echo exclusively for use with the 3.5 mm jack

https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/20/amazon-introduces-the-echo...

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[–] hackam link

You can mod Google Home Mini to have Line in/out using a kit from here: https://www.snektek.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product.... They also have a fully modded home mini: https://www.snektek.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product...

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[–] cbm-vic-20 link

Holy smokes, that's a pricey modification.

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[–] ad_hominem link

The Echo's 3.5mm jack is analog. Chromecast Audio's optical output is digital. The optical output is infinitely more preferable for connecting to my home theater receiver.

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[–] amanzi link

Can you stream to an Echo Dot from any/many music apps on your phone like the Chromecast? Or do you have to control everything by voice?

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[–] zalthor link

I have it set up so that it connects to my phone via bluetooth, and I output audio from whatever service I want on my phone.

Also, you can get it to connect to your phone via a voice command ("Alexa connect <device name>"), when you want to use it.

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[–] evan_ link

I use Spotify, all of my Echo devices show up as different outputs in the Spotify app, along with the groups I've set up ("Everywhere").

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[–] sciurus link

You can.

In the spotify app on my phone or computer I can choose an echo dot (or group of multiple alexa devices) as the output device.

Alternately, you can pair with an echo dot and use it as a bluetooth speaker.

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[–] jenscow link

You can use the Echo as a bluetooth speaker.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] mav3rick link

Google Home also has BT now. So you can play anything over BT. I use it for my Audible.

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[–] sciurus link

One advantage Amazon's Echo Dot has over Google's Home Mini is that the Echo Dot has a 3.mm connector in addition to bluetooth, so you can easily connect it to your existing speakers or receiver.

Right now the 3rd-gen Echo Dot is $30 and the 2nd-gen is $25.

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[–] NicoJuicy link

Don't really know why it's canned though. I thought it was a great iterative product. Before this, didn't think they could do something like the Chromecast again (hardware whise).

But the Chromecast Audio is just so simple and effective. I'm really curious about the sales numbers, to understand why they canned it. Otherwhise, it doesn't make business sense.

I have like 5 chromecast's laying around and dealing them to family/friends for gifts. To some, even just because i think they will love it. Even after a year, suddenly someone starts to use it (this was the normal Chromecast) and they start to love it.

It's one of the reasons i can say a lot: "told you :p"

PS. If anyone of Google would read this, would love to have a license on the Chromecast audio. I'm a small webshow owner that actually recommends quite a lot of Google products as a Software Developer.

PS2. You can't get a yes, if you don't ask it :p

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[–] whyaduck link

I've got 3 of these in my house already, and I was thinking of picking up a couple more as back-ups, but they're already sold out on the Google store. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any other small, "cast-able" device that has a digital output. Hopefully mine last for a while.

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[–] magicalist link

> I would not buy anything from Google at this point.

The only consequence here seems to be if you wanted to buy one but now you can't, but I don't see how not buying something gives a lesson about buying things?

It's not like Chromecast is going away.

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[–] coldtea link

>The only consequence here seems to be if you wanted to buy one but now you can't, but I don't see how not buying something gives a lesson about buying things?

Many people not buying stuff from company who discontinues things gives a lesson about not discontinuing stuff.

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[–] kllrnohj link

All products have a limited lifespan for how long they are manufactured. Products come and go, this shouldn't be surprising or weird.

If you bought it it still works. It still does what you paid for, and that isn't changing. People who paid money for this are no worse off today than they were yesterday.

The only logical conclusion from such a position is to literally never buy anything ever from anyone period. Because it will eventually stop being sold, no matter what it is, or who makes it.

If the cast software was being discontinued yes that'd be worth getting upset over, as it's killing something you have & use. But that's not this. Nothing stops working as a result of this. It's a single product in an ecosystem of hundreds that's being discontinued, that's it.

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[–] coldtea link

>All products have a limited lifespan for how long they are manufactured. Products come and go, this shouldn't be surprising or weird.

DUH! People already know this.

It becomes surprising and weird when it happens at more than the normal rate -- whether it's software or hardware--, which is what we consider Google to do.

If the Chromecast Audio product was the first time Google had pulled this shit, then nobody would be discussing it...

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[–] mavhc link

Well, more like a lesson in not starting to sell stuff

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[–] coldtea link

That's still a lesson. Don't make product promises you cannot keep.

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[–] mavhc link

Did they make any promises?

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[–] coldtea link

The implicit promise that this is a market we want to be in, and buy this stuff, and we'll continue to support it and invest in this ecosystem.

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[–] mavhc link

Seems like not enough people bought it then

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[–] prostoalex link

I, too, prefer a company whose hardware is their core product, not an offshoot developed to supplement other revenue. Learned my lesson the hard way with Apple Airport line.

Even though I probably overpaid, I have a set of Eero routers vs Google WiFi or Netgear competitor, a Roku Stick vs Chromecast or Amazon FireStick, and a Ring security setup vs Dashcam/Nestcam (although my last example is kinda diluted after Ring got acquired).

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[–] ProfessorLayton link

Curious to know what lessons you learned. I've had an Airport Express since they became available, and they've been about the only Apple product that I can basically forget about since it always works.

My AE/ATV combo is connected to a 2.1 setup which allows streaming of anything with or without the TV turned on. I'm bummed Apple dropped support for their Airport line, but the one I currently have will be fine for a very long time — Thanks in no small part for supporting a 3.5mm jack.

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[–] prostoalex link

This is, of course, highly anecdotal, but my extended network setup with 1 Airport Extreme (wired) and 3 Airport Express (wireless) consistently broke every few weeks or so with one Airport Express refusing to see the rest of the network it was supposed to extend. And it was always a different Express, so couldn't be pinned to a hardware issue or location in the house. Apple support on this issue is relegated to an article on the Web site or some forum threads https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5763681, as debugging it in an Apple Store makes little sense, considering the network setup would run smoothly for days.

One thing that was unclear to me is how long the Airport Utility app was going to remain in the App Store and stay maintained to support the latest revisions of iOS, Android, and respective app store policies. The upgrade path for firmware in case of a security vulnerability is also unknown - something that I'd be okay on some other devices, but not the main home router.

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[–] vatueil link

> Eero routers vs Google WiFi or Netgear competitor

Wait, how is Netgear not a company for whom "hardware is their core product"?

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[–] javagram link

FTA “Google says it’ll continue to support Chromecast Audio users for the time being, so if you have already invested in this ecosystem, you should be set for a few more years.”

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[–] joelrunyon link

What are good gmail alternatives? I have fastmail, but to be honest - it's not as good as gmail used to be (although it's better than the "new gmail) is.

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[–] satysin link

In my honest opinion there isn't one. Nothing does everything as good as Gmail does. Some things they might do better but they fall down in other areas so the overall experience isn't as good. And the one thing it does better doesn't make up for the 3 or 4 things it does worse.

It really comes down to how much inconvenience are you willing to put up with to not use Gmail.

Again just my opinion :)

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[–] toasterlovin link

Would love to know how you find their other products unacceptable, but giving them unfettered access to your private communication is okay...

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[–] Walkman link

It's about the stupid trend they kill things which have not enough interest. That's why we can't have nice things...

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[–] akerl_ link

Killing off products that don't have enough interest doesn't seem to be stupid at all. That's how they shift dev effort onto developing new services and extending services that do have sufficient interest.

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[–] colecut link

It sounds like his main concern is the product disappearing, and Gmail is one of the least likely to disappear.

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[–] magicalist link

> It sounds like his main concern is the product disappearing

but it's a physical product and a service that isn't going anywhere...

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[–] zapzupnz link

It remains a technological product, though, and one doesn't like to buy into tech ecosystems without a full assurance of ongoing support. Chromecast Audio being discontinued today is one thing, and Google does promise continued support for the product … but Google's track record may not bear that out.

In the case of some sort of critical security update or a theoretical future update to pick up a hitherto undetected, show-stopping bug, there's little assurance Google would look after its customers — they've too much of a tendency to introduce something then rescind the product not long later, something that doesn't inspire much confidence in whether or not there will be ongoing, high-quality software updates to support the products.

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[–] bearcobra link

It seems just as unlikely that Cast is going to disappear

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[–] Walkman link

I would not buy anything from Google at this point. Definitely will not use anything else except Gmail.

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[–] 1zee link

Just to clarify, that "Ok, Google" feature requires a Google Assistant device like a Home Mini (or your phone) as the Chromecast Audio has no microphone.

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[–] martian link

Bummer. I own one and use it every day for listening to high quality audio on an old stereo setup. The sound quality is so great!

I routinely buy these for friends/family who want better digital audio setups and they tend to work great. I’ve never had any issues.

The best feature is “Ok, Google, play X.” When combined with Spotify’s amazing music index (really good for rare recordings/composers/etc), this is a super powerful mechanism to play any music at high quality. Best of all I can do it without needing to look at my phone and fend off the distractions there.

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[–] goldenkey link

Reposting again - earlier in the thread someone posted a solution:

"By the way, it's easy to cast audio only from YouTube or any other app - just go to the Google Home app and cast your phone's audio to the device or group."

Edit: Would whoever is downvoting me for providing assistance, please explain your reasoning?

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[–] jgrowl link

I was excited to set a bunch of these up around the house a couple of years back. I set them up in every room in the house. Then I realized you could not cast just the audio from youtube videos (without YouTube Red or whatever). I could cast from youtube audio from my desktop computer to all of them through an open source app. It never worked like how I had envisioned in my mind with everything being seamless.

We also ran into the bug where having too many chromecast devices attached to the same network would spam the router, preventing some devices from connecting. It would happen randomly and it took a while to figure out that this was the problem.

There were other reliability issues and other minor annoyances that just made me give up on the idea.

Now I begrudgingly use an amazon firestick on the tv.

The idea was awesome, it's just that Google did not provide a reliable product and pointlessly limited its own hardware's capabilities to sell their monthly service.

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[–] Symbiote link

I have one which I use to play my own music — an open source media server plus an Android app which I think I paid for. (See my other comment.)

However, friends have no problem using it with Spotify, the local public broadcast system app, or a local music streaming app.

I think there just aren't enough audiophiles who were aware this existed. Some friends bought them after seeing my setup, but it wasn't advertised, and most products at a similar price sound awful.

(Also, in my experience people aren't really aware just how bad their Bluetooth speaker sounds, as they haven't compared it to even a cheap hifi system. I used to give away 3.5mm to RCA cables so people could connect their TV to external speakers, no-one failed to appreciate the improvement.)

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[–] SyneRyder link

> Audiophiles aren't going to buy it since it only had a 3.5mm jack on it

Apparently the Chromecast Audio supports optical digital output, but Google never seemed very good at publicizing that feature. They had some instructions hidden under "Compatible cables and plugs" here:

https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/6280276

(That said, I just double-checked my studio monitors & they only have analog XLR & 1/4" inputs anyway.)

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[–] ratling link

I do vaguely remember seeing that in some documentation but yeah, if no one knows it exists and all you see is a generic 3.5mm it essentially doesn't exist.

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[–] ratling link

So I had one of these. I couldn't give it away when I was getting rid of stuff.

The problem with chromecast audio is that pretty much nothing supported chromecast audio. Anything you would potentially use with audio you'd be better off running through a regular chromecast (including spotify which only worked on audio with a premium account, free accounts work on regular chromecast normally and you could always push the web player from chrome).

I don't understand who this was supposed to be marketed to. Chromecast users probably already have a good sound setup on their TV. Audiophiles aren't going to buy it since it only had a 3.5mm jack on it. Anyone else is just going to use bluetooth whatever.

I get why they made it. I also get why it failed.

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[–] jellicle link

The Chromecast audio does one thing and does it (pretty) well. You can connect it to any dumb thing you have lying around.

I am not going to buy an eavesdropping microphone setup for my house, so if that's all Google will sell, I guess I'll find another path for music.

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[–] notatoad link

Hopefully this means an updated Google Home Mini with a line-out jack is around the corner.

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[–] pmx link

That page says Chromecast doesn't do multiroom synchronized streaming but it absolutely does.

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[–] jdietrich link

It didn't do multiroom at the time of writing.

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[–] kingosticks link

What makes that more open?

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[–] squarefoot link

Nothing, sorry. I was lurking around and got the wrong impression by reading other articles. The Audiocast does indeed offer more than Chromecast Audio, but doesn't seem open at all.

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[–] squarefoot link

Probably doomed to die anyway since there already was a better and much more open competitor:

https://www.cnx-software.com/2016/01/11/audiocast-m5-is-a-ch...

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[–] veesahni link

As an alternative: Google Home Mini can pair with bluetooth aux receivers ( https://www.amazon.com/s?k=bluetooth+receiver+aux ) which can be connected to dumb speakers. End result is similar to chromecast audio (but not audiophile grade).

Maybe a future version of Google Home Mini will add an audio out.

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[–] r2ut3u link

may be now is the time we stop discussing about google canning different projects

google has already developed a reputation for abruptly stopping services

google reader google plus allo google talk hangouts

here is a list of projects google abandoned https://gcemetery.co/

it's a shame they do build products half-heartedly

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[–] hashkb link

This is a real shame. And shameless... I want to keep using Google smart things but I don't want to give up my high quality analog gear.

Being able to Chromecast to a channel on my band's mixing board is super handy for practice. I hope the handful I have don't die.

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[–] dsr_ link

It's not that it won't receive updates. It's that when Google turns off some support servers somewhere, they will all stop working.

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[–] bootloop link

Chromecast Audio is the same as Chromecast built-in. There are tons of devices, this ecosystem is not gonna die anytime soon. Doesn't matter if Google ships their own hardware or not.

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[–] radus link

Unfortunately, I didn't really know I wanted one for myself and also for family until right now, especially at the $15 price point.

It seems like these are selling out in a lot of stores, but I wonder if it's smart to buy one when they'll probably no longer receive updates.

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[–] newman314 link

I use the Express in wired only mode and it’s the best solution that I have found so far for an easy $25 (aggressive negotiation on Craigslist :)

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[–] turdnagel link

I would love an AirPlay 2 receiver equivalent of the Chromecast Audio. I know the ancient Airport Express can do it, but it's wireless capabilities are lacking (802.11n or g might be the best it can do.) Anyone know of one?

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[–] rickcogley link

Maybe it means that they are coming up with something else new? It's their right to stop producing something or kill ("sunset") whatever product, but it doesn't make it any less crappy.

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[–] snthd link

I hope Google enables the possibility of third party firmware before eventually bricking them.

Streaming (even locally) is impossible without Google blessing the connection initialisation.

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[–] i386 link

I’ve just adopted Google Wifi (love it) but I’m afraid that they will get bored and discontinue it.

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[–] justatdotin link

sad: I had a really good thing going with these to a miniDigi/miniDSP/miniAmp stack for power-efficient portable speakers.

was gonna build more using beocreate; not quite sure now which way to jump... anyone know of a similar device that includes TOSlink out?

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[–] ladon86 link

Yes, I have 3 Chromecast audios and 2 Google Homes and they all play in sync throughout the house.

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[–] mattlondon link

Same sort of set up here. You can even adjust a delay (e.g. +/- 10ms etc) if the timing is slightly out as well as individual volumes for each speaker individually from the home app.

The multiroom audio really is superb. Shame it is going away - hopefully it will be replaced by something else decent.

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[–] bedros link

if two adjacent rooms playing chromecast or dlna client, is there any synchronization of played sound, so you don't hear delay of music between of the two rooms

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[–] drtz link

I had planned on building out a home audio system using Chromecast Audios w/ small amplifiers distributed around the house. I even did a test run with my patio speakers and it worked out great. Now I'm going to have to rethink things.

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[–] notatoad link

Did the one you bought suddenly stop working?

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[–] ericd link

Haven't tried it, was going to give it as a gift. Now I'm wondering if it's going to be maintained, since it's a pretty cloud-dependent device.

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[–] amelius link

Support did ...

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[–] notatoad link

from the article: " Google says it’ll continue to support Chromecast Audio users"...

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[–] amelius link

Support for Google's current products like Android is already abysmal, so I can't even imagine what support for a discontinued product looks like ...

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[–] ericd link

Dammit, just bought one of these with their holiday 75% off sale.

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[–] dbcooper link

A lot of amplifiers are integrating Chromecast these days.

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[–] geephroh link

Bummer -- sold out already...

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[–] luckydata link

Good, that was the dumbest thing Google ever produced, and I'm writing this comment from a Pixel 3.

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[–] glennpratt link

This is one product in a large line, not an entire service.

There are also tons of competitors in this space.

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[–] laurynas-s link

Google is getting worse and worse with each new news headline.

They have completely lost my trust of using their non-primary services.

However, the monopoly is so high that's it's difficult for other companies to compete.

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[–] TheRealWatson link

The only Chromecast Audio I've owned was a mistake. I thought I was buying a real Chromecast at a very good price. I was so disappointed that I just dropped it in the trash immediately.

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[–] ucaetano link

I'd imagine not enough owners of those old stereos cared enough to buy the product and keep it viable over the past 3 and a half years.

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[–] achamayou link

There are a bazillion of Bluetooth receivers out there, Google neither invented those nor was particularly good at making them.

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[–] foobarandgrill link

Not really the same. With chromecast audio I could cast google play music, spotify, etc. to it from my device and the chromecast itself would be streaming the music. With bluetooth you have to stream music to it from your device so it uses up the device's battery life and also the audio quality would be degraded.

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[–] vinw link

It's not a bluetooth receiver

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[–] hammock link

How of those old stereo systems still exist?

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[–] PeanutNore link

My stereo is from 1979. For the last 30 years mainstream audio equipment has been in a race to the bottom on BOM cost and build quality. A well made stereo receiver from 1975-1985 will, when paired with the right speakers, greatly outperform the majority of modern listening devices.

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[–] ghaff link

A friend of mine is still using a ~1976 Pioneer receiver I "loaned" her ages ago when I got a receiver I could use in a home theater setup. My supposedly high-end Sony receiver died and then died again 30 days post-repair. And I'm on my second receiver after that.

(She's also using speakers of mine of the same vintage that I didn't need after I upgraded.)

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[–] BeniBoy link

People forgot about the quality of those stereo systems. Each time I go back to my family house, the first thing I do is to sit for a couple of hours in front of the system my dad bought in 88. Still works perfectly. No modern setup comes close! I ended up buying a vintage Technics set for my flat, for the cost of a couple of bluetooth amplified speaker. Not great but miles away from any system I could buy new!

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[–] JorgeGT link

Not only the quality of the system itself, people forgot the documentation! I still use my father's TEAC AX-55 MkII amplifier: the service manual includes full PCB printouts, block diagrams, schematics, and component list with all the part numbers and description: http://www.vintageshifi.com/repertoire-pdf/pdf/telecharge.ph...

In the rare case something fails, you can literally keep rebuilding the damn thing just like Theseus' ship. This level of documentation is just completely alien for today's consumer electronics.

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[–] atomi link

You're right. What an incredible shame...

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[–] PascLeRasc link

A ton. I have a 1980s Pioneer receiver with a CC Audio hooked up to it and it's incredible [1]. I love the silverface/wood look and the knobs/switches feel great, so much better than modern receivers. I'm thinking of getting another CCA for my mom's 70's Sansui system.

[1] https://i.redd.it/eahkkdt33xf11.jpg

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[–] Insanity link

High end audio equipment lasts a long time

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[–] Thriptic link

Yup, my parents had many in wall / ceiling speakers wired up to a receiver that they sort of forgot about because the system only received input from a 30 pin ipod dock and no one ever bothered to figure out how the receiver was configured. I pulled that interface out and replaced it with a chromecast audio and it blew their minds. It was probably the biggest ROI I've ever gotten out of any tech project I've ever done for them.

I'm very sad they are discontinuing this product. I was actually about to buy one for my new apartment. It looks like they are sold out everywhere already :(

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[–] pjc50 link

> 30 pin ipod dock

This was one of Apple's great inventions, it became widespread in hotels, every base station used it - so having achieved massive adoption they obsoleted it.

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[–] jessaustin link

The things that big firms do over and over, they don't do by mistake...

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[–] flavor8 link

Couple it with this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0071HZ5LE/ and you've got a great low profile audio system that anybody can connect to with their phone for around $50. We've got that pair in our gym in the basement.

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[–] cranberrycrush link

I'm using a Chromecast audio on a 1960s record cabinet. Sounds and looks great. I'm sure many people have built similar things.

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[–] jbob2000 link

This is disappointing. This device would have allowed millions of old stereo systems to enter into the modern age. Now? They will be thrown out, can't compete with the Google Home!

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