Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bitcasa Adds Chromecast

Tonight, I launched the Bitcasa app on my Android tablet to look at some photos that I uploaded earlier in the day. I noticed that the Bitcasa app has the iconic Chromecast button in the upper right hand corner. Out of curiosity, I tried it and, surprise, surprise! Bitcasa now displays to the Chromecast, which evidently is not news. But, it's news to me!

My results, while exciting, given that I have cast my lot with storing my files in Bitcasa, are a bit disappointing. I think they could improve the experience, and probably will. Perhaps they got caught up with throwing something together quickly and fixing the kinks later.

Previously, I had to use another app named Aria, which required downloading a file locally to my tablet so that it could cast to the TV. But, with Bitcasa taking over, it is much less troublesome.

All is not smooth, however. Some of the movie types had trouble loading, and others loaded quickly, without a hitch. I could now say why some worked and others did not. I have a 50 Mbps Internet connection, so it's not bandwidth on my end.

Photos have a lag between showing the photo on your tablet and showing it on the TV. I'm not talking about a one or two second delay. There is a several second delay between changing photo on your tablet and the Chromecast mirror of your action.

I tested the ability to cast music from Bitcasa to Chromecast. Playing one item at a time seems to work OK. Using the Play Album option crashes the app on Chromecast, requiring you to reconnect. I have not worked out how to make a playlist on Bitcasa. Using the shuffle feature freaked the app out, it just jumped from song to song instantly before even having a chance to play.

Of particular use to me are the photo and video casting. The former works well enough, the latter needs a little work; but, may serve its purpose. The music casting definitely needs work. However, I did not see myself using Bitcasa to stream music. Most likely, I'll save podcasts there and stream those. I use Google Play Music and am satisfied with that; but, don't wish to clutter that up with podcasts.

Overall, I'm excited that Bitcasa took the leap. Bitcasa on Chromecast will definitely serve me well. I do expect that the feature will improve in time, I hope.

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