Show Pictures on a Laptop or Desktop on Chromecast

You’ve got friends and family round and you just want to show photos from your laptop or desktop computer on your Chromecast as a little slideshow. Piccastr is for you. Piccastr is a simple little program that runs on a desktop computer and casts a folder of pictures to your Chromecast.

Piccastr is written in java so it should run on Windows, Mac, or Linux computers. First things first though, it runs in Java 1.8 – so if you don’t have it already or you’re not sure then:

Install the appropriate Java 1.8 for your computer from this link.

Great. Got that. Then use the following link to start Piccastr

Start Piccastr

 

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If you’re computer mentions a “Firewall” permission then you may need to click Yes or Allow to let the program run.

(Note: If you like then you can right click that link and you should be able to save it to your desktop or computer and run it without visiting this page again in the future).

Operating the program is trivial. Choose the folder that contains your pictures. Choose how long each picture displays for. Then choose the Chromecast you want to send them to from the list given.

 

If you’re wanting to use this on Windows then you might want to look at Chris’ Chromecast Console (just released) that does this and more.  Click HERE

45 comments on “Show Pictures on a Laptop or Desktop on Chromecast”

  1. Alexiel Mejias says:

    Good day Chris,

    You application is awesome and it is 95% what I need for my home use.
    Essentially I want to transform my big TV into my family photos digital frame.
    I just need few modifications to your app:
    – Running as a windows service inside my windows server.
    – No UI; A config file will define source folder, chromecast IP address and delay betwwen pictures.
    – The root folder will contain subfolders with more than 50k pictures; all of them to be randomly displayed.

    What would it take for you to lend me your source code? Or i for you to make modifications that I need to your code.

    1. Chris says:

      I have something planned along those lines that’ll probably be in the early part of next year.

  2. ken cheung says:

    I have installed Java & piccastr as instructed. However, in the box I can choose the chromecast to cast is empty. Is there something I missed in the installations. Thanks

    1. Darren says:

      I have installed Java & piccastr as instructed. However, in the box I can choose the chromecast to cast is empty. Is there something I missed in the installations. Thanks

      1. Chris says:

        Is your laptop or computer and the Chromecast on the same wifi network?

  3. Peter says:

    Im using Windows7 Desktop, Java installed Paccastr installed, app runs, I select a folder and then time, select my Chromecast but nothing happens….. where am I going wrong? DO I have to have Google Chrome Running?

    1. Chris says:

      No, you don’t need Google chrome. You could, however, try using Chrome to Chromecast first. This will help determine if there’s a problem between your computer and Chromecast.

  4. upi says:

    my laptop cannot open this “jar” file? running windows 8.1 64 bit

    1. Chris says:

      You need to ensure you have java installed.

  5. Rhonda says:

    I am using a MacBook and when I try to choose the IPhoto folder in Picaster, it is not selectable. Any suggestions?

    1. Chris says:

      I’ll need to test this. iPhoto isn’t a normal folder as such so it’s possible Java doesn’t understand it.

  6. Rhonda says:

    I am trying to use Chromecast on a MacBook. I have downloaded as instructed on your website but when I use Piccastr to choose the file to cast, it will not allow me to choose IPhoto. Any suggestions?

    1. Chris says:

      I’ll need to test this. iPhoto isn’t a normal folder as such so it’s possible Java doesn’t understand it.

  7. Alison says:

    Your Piccastr is brilliant to transmit photos from my Windows 8.1 laptop to the TV thank you – only problem is that the portrait pictures are showing as landscape on the TV. Any theories on how I can solve this problem please?

    1. Chris says:

      Hi Alison, the program transmits the pictures as is. I wonder if they’re rotated on the computer but whatever you’re viewing them with is auto-rotating them to the correct orientation. This might be more likely if you’re trying to show pictures that were originally taken on something like a mobile phone?

  8. Albert says:

    There is a corruption in the file, thats what it tells if I try to unpack

    1. Chris says:

      Hi Albert, I’ve double checked – the file from the server is uncorrupted. It’s probably cacheing a failed downloaded. Try clearing your browser cache, wait a bit, and then retry.

  9. Albert says:

    Thanks for the quick reply, I tried your sugestions, no success, any ideas.

  10. Albert says:

    I have got a win 7 32 bit version AMD Phenom II X4
    810 processor 2.6 GHZ

  11. Alison says:

    Thanks Chris. The pictures were taken on a camera and downloaded via the SDHC card into Windows 8.1, which as you suggest is auto-rotating them (ironically older versions of Windows didn’t auto-rotate them). Presumably this auto-rotate information does not transmit when the picture is cast to the TV. Looks like I need to try to find a solution in Windows!

    1. Chris says:

      You’re correct – the rotation doesn’t transfer (the Chrome that the Chromecast uses won’t handle it). You could try using an autorotate program to correct them based on the orientation data that the image will put in the camera. A quick google search came up with this: http://savolai.net/software/JPEG-EXIF_autorotate . Not that I’ve used it so I’m not necessarily recommending or not this particular one. But it is the kind of thing that should do the job.

  12. Albert says:

    Chris, is it possible to put the file in another format online? So I can try your program. It is the one I am looking for.

    1. Chris says:

      Yes, I’ll try and do it later this evening and get a couple of file sizes and md5s so you can confirm the download is correct.

    2. Chris says:

      I’ve zipped up the jar file. I’m guessing your browser is trying to unzip the jar. So I’m hoping you’ll either get a jar file after the download or a zip file to unzip to get the jar. It’s here: http://www.chrisridings.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Piccastr.zip

      File details if you want to check for corruption are:
      Piccastr.jar – 779,637 bytes 9b999213409ce086e35bcffbde435d19
      Piccastr.zip – 727,831 bytes 9a283cfbc4a9da2fc648f93f789838a6

  13. Albert says:

    Thanks Chris, I try tomorrow and let you know

  14. Albert says:

    Hello Chris,
    Thanks alot for the effort, but it seems that if I click on the .jar it tries to decompress, I have no idea how to solve that, do you?

    1. Chris says:

      Probably a decompression program has taken the file association for .jar files. Try re-installing Java and hopefully it’ll take it back.

  15. Darren says:

    yes my laptop and Chromecast are on the same wifi. I’m using the Chromecast from my laptop no problems

    1. Chris says:

      How odd. A couple of people have had that. I wonder if your firewall is blocking it, are you using anything other than the windows firewall?

  16. Darren says:

    Not that I know of. How could I check? Thanks

    1. Chris says:

      You’d probably know if you had. It’s a bit complicated to diagnose. If it’s a Windows machine then hopefully I’ll have a demo out of the next version of this within a week or so. It fixes a few issues and handles the image orientation mentioned elsewhere in these comments. Might be best to wait for that.

  17. SJ says:

    Hi Chris, Followed all your instructions however no photos are being displayed just shows me a blue screen – STREAM FROM YOUR PC with your website…currently running windows 7

    please can you help

    1. Chris says:

      The firewall on your computer is blocking the connection back to it. If you’re using Norton or something then I’m not sure about the changes, if your not then it’s just windows so go to control panel, Windows Firewall. You can go to Customise Settings and check that Block all incoming isn’t ticked and that notify is ticked. Then try and run again. If that fails, go back and there should be an option “Allow an app” through the firewall – choose Piccastr and try again.

      Failing that the setup in for the Chromecast Console (linked in the red box) changes requests firewall changes for it. So it might be worth giving that one a go.

  18. Susie says:

    Thank you so much, love it and it makes the casting so simple. One question, I do not want my slides to be played in random order but that is how they are playing. Any suggestions on how to change this?

    1. Chris says:

      Sorry, there is no way to choose the order of the files.

  19. Mukesh says:

    Is there a way to disable the auto-rotation? I have a TV setup vertically and no matter how I rotate the image, it tries to auto-rotate.

    1. Chris says:

      From the console program?

      If so, no. It always corrects the image to put it the right way up. Which is the wrong way if the TV isn’t the right way 🙂

      Best option is to change the EXIF orientation header in the photos.

      I find this program useful:

      http://www.photome.de/download_en.html

      Open your image. In the “Image” section, change “Orientation of image”. You might need to try a few possible options as it depends which way round your TV is.

  20. Kevin says:

    Does this program have a time limit? It shuts down after being in for a few hours.

    1. Chris says:

      No time limit, but I’ve previously had reports of some people’s chromecasts dropping out at about the 3 hour mark. Although mine never seems to. I think it’s an odd chromecast thing. The PC program I made here: http://www.chrisridings.com/chris-chromecast-console/ has an option to reconnect if the chromecast drops.

  21. Clive Morgam says:

    Great little App Chris. My new Apple TV v4 will only show the same 100 photos and this has now been acknowledged by Apple as a feature with no plans to lift the restriction. The chrome cast with you little photo app have completely solved this for me. Thank you for your efforts

  22. John says:

    Thanks for the app Chris! It looks just like I would want it – simple and quick. However, I’m using Linux and it appears that your file concatenation does not take this into account. I keep getting errors such as the following:
    Feb 19, 2017 1:24:54 PM piccastr.g run
    SEVERE: null
    java.nio.file.NoSuchFileException: /path/to/picturesPICTURE_NAME.JPG
    at sun.nio.fs.UnixException.translateToIOException(UnixException.java:86)
    at sun.nio.fs.UnixException.rethrowAsIOException(UnixException.java:102)
    at sun.nio.fs.UnixException.rethrowAsIOException(UnixException.java:107)
    at sun.nio.fs.UnixFileAttributeViews$Basic.readAttributes(UnixFileAttributeViews.java:55)
    at sun.nio.fs.UnixFileSystemProvider.readAttributes(UnixFileSystemProvider.java:144)
    at sun.nio.fs.LinuxFileSystemProvider.readAttributes(LinuxFileSystemProvider.java:99)
    at java.nio.file.Files.readAttributes(Files.java:1737)
    at java.nio.file.Files.size(Files.java:2332)
    at piccastr.g.run(Unknown Source)
    at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:745)
    My guess would be that you manually concatenate the file string with a “”, as it should for Windows systems – but not for Linux systems. I can’t find the source code anywhere to verify this – but could you please look into this? I guess a simple library use to get to the files in a folder would mitigate this issue and give support for all systems.

    Then again, I could be wrong 🙂

    1. John says:

      I’m sorry – it looks like the previous post has filtered out backslashes \\ – but the error is java.nio.file.NoSuchFileException: /path/to/pictures *BACKSLASH* PICTURE_NAME.JPG without any spaces in between 🙂

      Thanks again for this piece of software!

      1. Chris says:

        Yes, I see what you mean (I got an email of your comment and that had the backslash in).

        I think you’re probably right. It’s a multi-stage process though. i.e.

        1) The java program iterates files in a folder and tells the Chromecast receiver the filename(s)
        2) The Chromecast receiver asks for the filename from an http server in the java program
        3) The http server in the java program sends the image

        It’s been a while but I suspect that (1) sends the filename and not the whole path [simple security measure to prevent access outside of the path that you’ve chosen] and that in (3) the program has to recreate the full path and I’ve concatenated [as you suggest]

        I’ll try to take a look a bit later.

      2. Chris says:

        I’ve just uploaded a new version that uses Java libraries for the file concatenation.

        So hopefully that should work for you.

        1. John says:

          Wow, what a quick reply! Thanks for looking into this. I will test it when I’m back home later today.

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