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.
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.
Photos is not the same although has many similar features.
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.
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...
Guess which company didn't get the contract.
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.
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.
Not really. All it would take would be liability for privacy violations.
They can't be turned down for any reason. End of story.
Google really is not seeing the bigger picture here at all.
Also, the Google Search API (not the site search) which was useful was killed off as well.
Most people probably remember Google Labs, iGoogle homepage and Google Answers too.
Google Desktop was pretty popular as well.
[ there is a theme here ]
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.
Just the other day I was using the adb trick I learned on hn to uninstall the normally unremovable Plus app from my phone..
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-...
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.
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.
The multiple Google chat applications.
The only two successful Google consumer products are gmail and maps... almost everything else they acquired.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
How's that for anti-consumer behavior and shooting yourself in the foot?
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.
My girlfriend poured so much love in her iPhone SE and it seems like... discontinued.
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.
Still rocking that iPhone 3G?
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.
However, it depends on a Google service — it won't work without a working Internet connection. This idea is fairly new for consumers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Edit: meh, no, these things are Energy Star compliant so they shut down if no VGA is connected. And they don't support HDCP.
There's guides for this, works flawlessly.
Still, testament to the Squeezebox community how it can outlive both the original hardware's shelf life, and a replacement's...
See this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16509834
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.
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.
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.
Also purchasing a gift when it’s price is slashed due to it probably being discontinued is.. risky to say the least.
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.
I run miniDLNA which shares all my music, and BubbleUPnP on my phone to browse the music and cast it to the Chromecast Audio.
It's also possible with a Python library; 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.
Recently had an xmas do with the music around the house casting simultaneously via various Cast devices and it worked great.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."
Small things but they matter depending on use..
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)
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.
Right now the 3rd-gen Echo Dot is $30 and the 2nd-gen is $25.
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.
Also, you can get it to connect to your phone via a voice command ("Alexa connect <device name>"), when you want to use it.
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.
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
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.
Many people not buying stuff from company who discontinues things gives a lesson about not discontinuing stuff.
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.
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...
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).
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.
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.
Wait, how is Netgear not a company for whom "hardware is their core product"?
It really comes down to how much inconvenience are you willing to put up with to not use Gmail.
Again just my opinion :)
but it's a physical product and a service that isn't going anywhere...
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.
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.
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.
Edit: Would whoever is downvoting me for providing assistance, please explain your reasoning?
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.
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.)
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:
(That said, I just double-checked my studio monitors & they only have analog XLR & 1/4" inputs anyway.)
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.
Maybe a future version of Google Home Mini will add an audio out.
google has already developed a reputation for abruptly stopping services
here is a list of projects google abandoned
it's a shame they do build products half-heartedly
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.
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.
Streaming (even locally) is impossible without Google blessing the connection initialisation.
was gonna build more using beocreate; not quite sure now which way to jump... anyone know of a similar device that includes TOSlink out?
The multiroom audio really is superb. Shame it is going away - hopefully it will be replaced by something else decent.
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.
There are also tons of competitors in this space.