Plex for Chromecast: new clues hint at imminent launch

One of the most-requested features for Google’s (S GOOG) Chromecast streaming stick has been support for local file playback, and it looks like Chromecast users won’t have to wait much longer: Media center app Plex could get support for Chromecast very soon, as traces of Chromecast code can already be found in Plex’s software.

A Reddit user first spotted a file called Chromecast.xml in a recent version of the Plex Media Server software this week. Upon closer inspection, it looks like the file is one of a number of device profiles that the software uses to determine whether it has to transcode a video file before streaming it to a media player. I asked the makers of Plex about it, but haven’t heard back.

chromecast plex profile

The Plex team has long hinted at Chromecast support, but kept quiet on details, with a spokesperson only telling me back in July that the company was “actively investigating and optimistic.” However, Plex has since taken steps to support DIAL, the multiscreen protocol that is at the core of Chromecast and that could be used to add the ability to control Plex with your phone to other platforms as well.

For its part, Google seems to be gearing up to allow more apps on Chromecast. The company is hosting a hackathon this weekend to preview the Google Cast API, which developers will be able to use to build their own apps for the platform. Google also just announced a firmware update for Chromecast that includes a “refreshed home screen,” hinting at further changes ahead.