How To: Stream Music from your Android Device to XBMC AirPlay-style

Those who know me personally know that I am a huge Android advocate. I am a proud owner of the Samsung Galaxy S3, one of the latest phones out in the market. My brother (who owns an iPhone 4S) and I often argue about which platform is the better of the two. We each have good arguments, and no one ever convinces the other.

However, I do have to give Apple credit for AirPlay. It is one of the features that I wish Android had natively. There’s something about being able to control music throughout your home with sleek touchscreen device. Currently, there are workarounds (i.e. Doubletwist Player), but they only work with the Apple TV, which doesn’t help me argue with my brother. Recently, however, I found an Android app that allows you to stream songs directly your HTPC running XBMC: Music Pump XBMC Remote, developed by Millencolin007, a member on the XBMC Support Forums.

Requirements

* Wireless home network
* HTPC Running XBMC (Eden)
* Android Device (phone or tablet)

Setup

Here’s a quick tutorial that will get streaming to music to XBMC in no time:

Step 1: Make sure XBMC’s network settings allow for HTTP control of the program. Your settings should look like this:

Step 1 - Check XBMC Settings

Step 2: Download and install Music Pump XBMC Remote from Play Store.

Step 3: Open app and select “Change XBMC Server”

Step 3 - Select Change XBMC Server

Step 4: Select plus sign icon in upper-right hand corner.

Step 4 - Select Plus Sign

Step 5: Input all pertinent information into the fields. Usually, this means IP Address, port (use 8080), name of server (whatever you want), and username and password (if your XBMC network settings have a username and password already. If you look in my screenshots, you can see that all I have is a username (“XBMC”) without a password. Once you are done inputting all the information, make sure you save your settings (upper-right hand corner).

NOTE: If you selected “announce this services to other systems via Zeroconf” option (refer to screenshot for Step 1), you shouldn’t have to input the IP address. Your XBMC system should be automatically detected. If that doesn’t work, then go ahead and input the information manually.

Step 5 - Input Server Information

Step 6: Go back to the main menu of the app and select “Play Local Files.”

Step 6 - Select Play Local Files

Step 7: Choose a song. The song should start playing on your device. In the upper-right hand corner, select the icon with the speaker. A list of your XBMC servers should show up. Select the XBMC server you wish to stream the song to. It should automatically start playing on XBMC.

Step 7 - Select XBMC Server

XBMC Playing Music

Pros

* With the app being developed continuously, we can expect other great features and bug fixes in the near future.
* Doubles as a remote for XBMC, although I prefer the official XBMC remote app.
* The volume buttons on your device control the volume level on XBMC.
* Allows you to pause and change tracks from the lock screen.

Lock Screen Controls - Music Pump XBMC Remote

Cons

* No internet radio. As far as I know, I can’t send an audio stream from Spotify or Pandora to XBMC. One workaround for this is to use the Pandora add-on for XBMC.
* I don’t believe there is an option to stream the same song to two different XBMC servers simultaneously. I am hopeful that this feature will be implemented in the future.

Conclusion

Overall, Music Pump XBMC Remote is a great app that allows you to stream music saved on your Android device to any XBMC server on your home network. Considering the fact that the app has only been in development for a few months (it’s still in beta), it has been a huge success, and hopefully, other great features will be added. You can keep up with the development on the app thread in the XBMC forum.

More XBMC Tutorials

* Cinema Experience Add-on
* ESPN Add-on
* Pandora Add-on

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