A few weeks back I lamented that there is no truly elegant way to enjoy Microsoft Groove content in the living room unless you invested in an Xbox. But here’s a new solution. It’s not particularly elegant, but it is literally 1/10th the cost of an Xbox One.
I am referring, of course, to Google’s Chromecast.
I know, I know. But hear me out.
I examined the new Chromecast—and its audio-only sibling, Chromecast Audio—about three weeks ago, noting that these devices were affordable (#$35 each) must-haves for anyone with an Android device. But both devices also work with the Chrome web browser on Windows, using the Google Cast browser extension. And that means you can “cast” any content your (Chrome) web browser can display to your HDTV (Chromecast) or speakers (Chromecast Audio). Including Groove, which is available on the web.
Note: Sadly, you cannot use this approach to cast Movies & TV content to a Chromecast, as Microsoft no longer offers a web player, as it did for Xbox Video.
The Groove Web Player is available at music.microsoft.com. It should work just fine in Chrome, though it’s never worked for me, and I suspect a rogue Chrome extension. But no worries, you can still get it to work if the Groove Web Player throws up an error in Chrome: Navigate to Menu, More Tools, Extensions in Chrome and configure the Google Cast extension to work in incognito mode.
Then, open an incognito and load up the web player: It will work just fine.
I’ve tested this with both Chromecast and Chromecast Audio. So if all you’re looking for is a way to access your Groove content in the living, you can do so for just $35. You just need to control the playback from a Windows tablet or portable PC. Not ideal. But better than nothing.
Now if we could just get Movies & TV to work reliably. There is a way to access your Movies & TV content on the web but when you use it in Chrome (with or without incognito mode) it tries to load the Windows 10 Movies & TV app, which of course can’t cast to Chromecast. I guess Miracast is the only inexpensive route in this case, but that is of course even less ideal than Chromecast.
Tagged with Chromecast