If your Xmas present recipient is like me, and probably most of the broadband-connected world, they probably listen to most of their music on [insert streaming service here] via their phone, tablet, laptop or (heaven forbid) desktop personal computer.
If they’re like me, they probably play that music through their device’s terrible little speakers or a free set of earphones or one of those bluetooth speakers are surprisingly good, but still not that good.
If they’re like me, they probably have an okay-to-pretty-good stereo that sits in the corner of their living room, gathering dust so they can maybe play one or two measly LPs on a Sunday afternoon.
So what are they, who we’ve established probably are in fact like me, to do?
Stop using streaming services and get back to buying music and actively putting on music so we care about it a little more and listen to it a little closer, so it all sounds a little better? (Okay, that actually sounds pretty good and we all should probably do that.) Just get used to listening to music through terrible speakers and crappy earphones? Or, should we stream all that nearly-free music to our dust-gathering stereos via Google’s new Chromecast Audio?
The Chromecast Audio is the audio-only version of Google’s Chromecast, a little thumbdrive-sized device you plug into a TV's HDMI input so it can stream video – YouTube, Netflix, Lightbox, whatever – over the home wifi. But because it doesn’t have to bother with video, the Chromecast Audio sounds better, and works faster, than its video equivalent.
All your lucky recipient would need to do is plug this little thing into the back of their stereo, and they can stream great sounding music over their phone till their heart’s content. And because it’s streaming over wifi, they can still take calls, check Facebook or whatever else people do on their phones these days, without interrupting those sweet, sweet tunes.
Doesn't that sound like a great Xmas present? We're thinking pretty much anyone who streams music and has a stereo they’d like to stream music on would love it.
And hey, if they don't, send it to us and we'll find a good home for it.