Ask Flo: Casting Music to the Google Home
Sometimes, devices and their companion apps aren’t particularly intuitive. I’d venture to say you can usually tell by how many support pages there are attached to a single device. Or in the case of Google’s smart home products, it’s that there’s so much that you can do that it’s exhaustive and you have no idea where to start looking to try to do something that would seem incredibly straightforward on any other platform. (Please, do not bark at me about how Apple products don’t make you feel this way. That’s not what we’re here to do!)
I have an easy fix! If all you want to do is cast locally-stored music to your Google Home (is it still known as that?) or the Google Home Mini/Nest Mini, you can use an Android app called Pulsar Music Player. It’s a full-featured music playback app with tag editing, Last.FM scrobbling, colorful themes, and a sleep timer. And it’s a mere 4MB!
However, if you think you want to use your smart speakers as Bluetooth devices, you can do that, too. In the Google Home app on your mobile device, tap on the specific smart device you want to stream to, then tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner. On the next page, scroll down and tap on Paired Bluetooth devices, then select Enable Pairing Mode from the bottom-right. This option will activate the Bluetooth-pairing mode on that specific device. Go back to your mobile device, head into the settings panel, and pair it with the smart speaker as you usually would a pair of headphones or any other Bluetooth-connected device. You’ll hear a melody when it’s successfully paired.
Then, head to your favorite player app. Pulsar is quite popular in the Play Store. Load up the songs you have locally stored on your device, then press play. If Bluetooth is connected, you’ll hear audio come through with no delay.
You mentioned subscribing to Spotify. I wanted to quickly address the fact that the Android app does not allow for playing locally-stored music unless it’s synced through the desktop app. You’ll also need to be on the same WiFi network as the desktop app to make this work.
As for the situation in your car: I don’t know if you have Bluetooth built into your car stereo, but the app I suggested should help you play those tracks with ease. Pulsar also supports Android Auto.
Click through to download the app from the Google Play Store.