When thinking about the Chromecast, most people will automatically picture themselves streaming video to their television.
But Chromecasts are about more than just video content. They can also stream music. The regular Chromecast you have plugged into your TV will work, but Google also sells a dedicated device called Chromecast Audio, which is designed specifically to turn your old “dumb” Hi-Fi into a Sonos-esque wireless speaker.
If you want to listen to music through your traditional Chromecast or Chromecast Audio, which apps should you be using? Here are our top 10 picks to help get you started.
Given that YouTube is a Google company, it should come as no surprise to learn the YouTube Music app has been afforded seamless integration with the Chromecast.
Unlike the regular YouTube app, YouTube Music is specifically designed for listening to music and enjoying the accompanying videos.
As soon as you start playing one song, the music will never stop — it’ll give you an endless stream of your favorite genres. Even better, the app will run in the background of your mobile device, so your phone won’t be out of action while you listen.
Spotify is the original music streaming app. Despite the disastrous update to its web player, Spotify is arguably still the best streaming service: it has the biggest selection of songs (almost 35 million) and the largest number of users (more than 100 million at the time of writing).
The mobile app will automatically recognize any Chromecasts on your local network, prompting you to connect via a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen.
As Spotify continues to strip away features — often with only limited ways to get them back — many users have made the jump to Deezer instead.
Like Spotify, it offers music streaming on-demand. However, where it really shines is in its radio station offering; there are more than 30,000 to choose from.
The app is available in 180 countries. The basic premium package costs $9.99 per month.
Pandora is a personalized internet radio station. The more time you spend using the app, the more it learns about your personal preferences. Eventually, you’ll get a non-stop ad-free playlist packed with the songs you love.
And if you fancy a change of pace, don’t worry. It also offers hundreds of curated stations based on genres, artists, or countries.
Sadly, it’s only available in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Google Play Music is Spotify’s biggest rival. Like YouTube Music, it’s an official Google product, so the app integrates with your Chromecast device seamlessly.
Google was a bit late to the music streaming party, but its service has rapidly closed the gap to Spotify. Aside from the vast choice of songs, its best feature is the 50,000-song upload limit. Even non-subscribers can take advantage and listen to any of their locally-saved tracks from anywhere in the world.
6. TuneIn Radio
I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have TuneIn Radio installed on their phone. It’s been around since 2002 and now offers more than 100,000 radio stations from around the globe.
AM, FM, HD, LP, digital, and internet broadcasts are all supported, and it also includes a small selection of the world’s most popular podcasts.
TuneIn even has deals in place with ESPN and TalkSPORT, meaning users can even listen to sports broadcasts that would ordinarily be geo-blocked.
Tidal was founded in 2009 but was given a reboot in 2015 when rap superstar Jay-Z and a consortium of 16 other music artists bought the company.
If you’re an audiophile, it’s probably the best service for your needs. That’s because its focus is on high fidelity music streaming, a type of lossless compression that gives a provides a much higher quality sound than lossy formats.
8tracks is filling the hole left by Spotify when it decided to remove social features from its product.
The app revolves around user-generated playlists, each of which must have at least eight tracks on it. Users can add songs from their personal music collection or from 8tracks’ library. The app reveals one song at a time, thus frequently forcing you to discover new music. You need to skip three songs before you can jump onto the next playlist.
If you want to remove the ads, a six-month subscription will set you back $25.
Although some of the streaming apps I’ve discussed offer a few concerts and live songs, Qello Concerts puts these front and center.
Qello’s stated aim is to help you relive (or experience for the first time) some of the most influential, iconic, and important concerts in music history.
Best of all, it doesn’t just offer audio; some concerts have an accompanying video of the event. There are even some documentaries, letting you learn the backstory to the audio you just listened to.
Qello Concerts costs $7.99 per month.
Do you want to turn your lounge into a karaoke bar? Then you need to download Musixmatch Lyrics.
It works with YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, Deezer, and more. It automatically casts a song’s lyrics onto your TV screen so you can sing along in perfect harmony. Or not.
Interestingly, it can also translate lyrics from foreign songs, letting you finally understand the meaning of that regional Mexican ballad you love so much.
Which Apps Do You Use With Your Chromecast?
In this article we have listed our 10 favorite apps for listening to music on your Chromecast, but there are loads of other things you can do with the device, including play mobile games on your Chromecast.
Do you prefer podcast apps rather than streaming apps? Have you found an excellent radio app that everyone should know about? Do you feel like one of these apps doesn’t deserve its place on the list? Please leave your suggestions, feedback, and recommendations in the comments below.
Image Credits: Syda Productions/Shutterstock