Tag Archives: nexus q

Moto Stream

Moto Stream

Turn any speaker wireless by connecting Moto Stream to its receiver, which lets you stream music from smartphones, tablets and computers within 300 feet / 90 meters.

Up to five people can be connected as a collective DJ. Hiest it if you don’t like the music that is playing.

The streaming is done by either Bluetooth or NFC. Moto Stream is connected to the receiver by 3.5mm – RCA or 3.5mm – 3.5mm.

As a Bluetooth and NFC adapter, it simply plays what the connected device is playing without the need for any specific app or in app functionality.

Moto Stream looks a bit like Googles failed Nexus Q. In fact both Moto Stream and Chomecast can be seen as better priced and niched offsprings to Nexus Q (Google owns Motorola that makes Moto Stream).

Motorola sells it here.

Google Chromecast

Follow this link to read about the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.

Maybe you remember the failed Nexus Q device and wonder how the redesign of it is going? Well, here is your answer, the Google Chromecast. It´s a device that is attached to an HDMI port and plays content from you android device or you PC. The price is 35$ which is 1/10 of the previous Nexus Q.


It is capable of playing Youtube, Netflix, Google Play music and most content that can be played in a Chrome PC tab. The intended usage scenario is to attach it to a TV.

So how could this be used for playing music in a multiroom setting? Lets say that you have receivers in two rooms with HDMI input (and decoding). You could then attach the Chromecast to those ports and then send content to it that would be played through the receiver.

For now, the music sources are limited to Google Play Music, Google Play Music All Access, Youtube music videos and anything that could be played through Chrome on a PC, like Spotify web player.

From a music only perspective, it would have been better if Google also had a dedicated audio output like a toslink or a standard 3.5mm. But most TVs has audio out options that can be inserted into a receiver that can’t handle HDMI decoding. There are also a myriad of converters that can be used depending on the requirements. Like this HDMI to VGA & Audio Cable if you just want audio or have an old display without HDMI.

Chromecast has sold very well and that will probably make more third party providers want to incorporate support for it in their apps.

Google has the Google Cast API for developers that want to incorporate support in their existing apps or new software solutions. Google claims that in some cases it can be as little as 200 lines of code to get it working.

Google Chromecast is powered by the Marvell ARMADA 1500-mini chip that is capable of handling the following formats (Which does not mean they are activated in Chromecast):

-H.264 high profile @ Level 4.1, 4.2 and 5
-VP6/8 SD & HD

-Dolby Digital (AC3)
-Dolby Digital Plus
-Dolby TrueHD
-DTS digital surround
-MPEG1 Layer 1/2/3, MPEG2 Layer 2, AC3, E-AC3, HE-AAC v1L2 & v2L4, MPEG2-LC
-MP3, MPEG audio
-AC3 & DTS encode over SPDIF

Update Mars 2014
The Android app for the  music service Rdio now supports Chromecast. You can also play local network files on the Chromecast through the android apps AllCast and LocalCast.

Update May 2014
Spotify is supported through the Android app Spoticast.

Google listens to Nexus Q critique, halts launch and plans a remake

The critique against Nexus Q has been unison. It has to few ways of playing music for its price tag. And even if it where half the price, who would want a audio player that only can play content from Googles online services? There are such things as mp3s, music services like Spotify and Internet radio out there that many would consider a base requirement for what the Nexus Q should be able to play.

Google has drawn the right conclusions from the critique and halts the product launch in order to add more features before it will launch again. No new release date has been presented and it will probably take a while to implement new features that will please the crowd.

Possible new features:

Ability to play different audio files (like mp3) from the local network.
Ability to transfer audio files to the device storage.
Support for Internet Radio.
Support for more online services. Hopefully Spotify.
Upgraded OS version to Jelly Bean. Because it will take a while before relaunch, an upgrade is necessary to avoid negative critique for an outdated OS version.
Ability to play a few video formats from the local network.

Everyone that has pre ordered Nexus Q from Google Play will get it for free, which is a nice gesture from Google to the brave few that has planned to fork up 299$ for it.

It should be pretty clear to Google what people want from the device by now so it is up to Google whether they want to be a serious contender for the multi-room audio (and video) throne or not.

Googles new multi-room streamer, Nexus Q

There has been rumours of a Google streamer since the Android@Home presentation last year and now it has finally arrived in the shape of Google Nexus Q.

The Google Nexus Q can play Music and Video. A song can be sent to multiple rooms at once or separate songs to separate rooms/zones. All controlled from you various Android devices. It has a 25W integrated amplifier (Sonos Connect:AMP style), a OMAP 4460 dual core CPU, NFC, Bluetooth, 16 gig RAM, HDMI and Optical out. So far so good.

Problem one is that it seems to be very focused on streaming content from various Google cloud sources, like Youtube and Google Music. No third party services like Spotify at launch. It is even unclear if it can stream music from local shares on the network.

Problem two is the price, 299$. Why would anybody pay a Sonos pricetag when it can only play a tiny fraction of what a Sonos can?

From a hardware perspective, you get quite a lot, if it would be a mobile phone. But from a multi-room perspective the hardware is irrelevant if the functionality is missing. Who cares what CPU Sonos uses as long as their system works like a charm? So the Nexus Q has much to prove before it can be taken as a serious multi-room alternative to Sonos and Squeezebox.

Hopefully an eco system will evolve around the Android@Home API that will bring a better multi-room experience. Android usually has that advantage in the long run.