There's nothing like Google's Chromecast Audio – a small disc that lets you wirelessly loop music to virtually any stupid speaker. Also, create multiple room audio configurations as a bad person's Sonos setting, just by connecting to its 3.5mm line-out and adding a little power over the Micro USB.
And that's why it's so bad Google ends the dongle today. The company gave The Verge (and Android Police earlier) with this statement:
Our product portfolio continues to evolve and now we have a variety of products for users to enjoy audio. We have therefore stopped manufacturing our Chromecast Audio products. We continue to provide help for Chromecast Audio devices, so users can continue to enjoy their music, podcasts and more.
What makes it more tragic is that Google does not have cheap options that do the same thing. While the Amazon Echo Dot, which is often sold for $ 30, has a 3.5mm line-out so that it can play audio and don't take your voice assist commands, the usually prized Google Home Mini card does not. [1
The good news is that you can still find Chromecast Audio when you shut out today, and at a pretty attractive price: $ 15 (usually $ 35). Here it is on Google, and it looks like most major online retailers (save Amazon, of course) still have stock as well.
I buy one now. And judge by Verge s internal chat room, maybe I am not alone.