Originally Posted by ahard
I'm not knocking what you've stated. I'm just saying that Chromecast is kind of platform agnostic. I have an Iphone X, 2018 Ipad and an Samsung tablet. Most apps having the casting feature built in, so it doesn't matter if you're team Android or Apple. It works with any platform and it's built into the Chrome browser if you need to cast from a browser tab.
Again, not to dispute what you're saying but I want people to have the full picture. I have the Nest Hello doorbell. I get announcements through whichever Google Home I designated and I limit the hours for which the announcements play. If someone rings the doorbell, certain lights in the house come on, the tvs in the masterbed and living rooms turn to the input that the Chromecast video is connected to and the video from the doorbell is available depending on which mode my automation system is in. It's a clean setup that isn't complex. My 79 year old mom actually knows how to cast or use her voice. She's done it before.
As far as streaming audio to Chromecasts, in reality you will go to one app if you go to an app. It's the music app from which you want to play a playlist or what have you. But no one should be going into any app if you use Chromecast. If the person with Chromecast is doing it right, 98% of the time you're not going into any app to cast. I use voice to get a playlist going or scenes from my automation system that will kickoff music when I wake up or end music when I start a movie or leave to go to work. When I want to watch Netflix I tell the Google Home in a particular room to stream season 2 of Stranger Things or Birdbox or whatever show or movie and it knows to stream to the Chromecast TV I've specified in the Google Home app. If I want to play my discover weekly playlist from Spotify I ask the Google Home to play discover weekly and it play on either the default 'All' zone or the zone I specify. I say all of to say that there's no hopping between multiple apps. You're in one app or no apps. You can even use your voice to adjust the volume or stop or pause the stream.
ahard is exactly right. That's the beauty of the Cast approach - the source of the audio stream should be where the control is. You should be able to control playback from the msuic app itself, and have the phone's volume controls be the zone volume control (which you are in the app), and cast allows you to select which group of speakers you want to output to, even if there are multiple zones. No intermediaries.
Cast is the only platform agnostic solution out there that I know of where the spotify app, or plex etc... can control the playback seemlessly on both apple, android, and PC or Mac platforms. That's what ahard is saying. And with the castbridge app running on a mac somewhere in the network, even native Apple music can stream to chromecast groups of speakers easily.
Unifying control in one app where you don't need to go back and forth to select what zones or what volume is being streamed should be aim of any WHA system. And with voice control, you don't even need that.
i realize that this is a different model than what normal integrator solutions have provided. It made sense when you had just one CD changer with music on it, or one DVD player that you had to share. You had to have a matrix switch of some sort - no one was going to have a CD player for every zone in the house. Now, with all the music being streamed, either from shared NAS storage or from the Internet, coupled with ultracheap digital devices for each input zone or TV, you don't need switching anymore. In the matrix model, you had to have a separate control app or piece of hard that selected a source (keypad, touchscreen, etc...). That C4 app is just the logical extension of the keypad or touchscreen in the old model. Now in the software driven model, at least with Cast, you don't need control apps anymore (or keypads, etc...), because each endpoint or set of endpoints can be controlled directly from the content source, a mobile device or a voice controlled assistant.
It's a different model, but one kids get right away - they play everything back on their phones or tablets normally. Being able to cast from that to a big screen or a big set of speakers is a natural addition to them. They never used a separate app or keypad or player. It's a mobile dominated ecosystem, and that is the future of all this stuff.
Again, you should try it. Chromecast audios were going for $15... I think you'd like it, or at least see why its appealing to many of us...