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As a followup to this question: How do I use different audio devices for different apps in Windows 8?

I can play music from the XBox Music app on a different computer or network speakers via the devices charm in windows 8, but different audio devices attached to the local computer don't show up there. Is there a driver that can be installed, or a way to a configure local audio device to show up as a "play-to" device in the device charm?

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My less than ideal solution so far:

  • Get a second copy of Windows 7 or 8 running in a VMWare VM.
  • Attach the USB speakers to the VM.
  • Load up Window Media Player, enable streaming to it.

It will then be detected by the host computer as a play-to device, and you can play all non-drm'd music on it. Obviously a bit of overkill for what seems like it should be an easy problem.

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Play To only seams to work with some certificated devices:

Devices: The Play To experience in Windows 8 is designed to work with Windows certified Play To devices. Certified devices provide a consistent and reliable experience. There are a number of consumer electronics companies working on Play To certification for their devices spanning multiple device categories. This includes TVs, set top boxes, speakers and audio receivers. As disclosed at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) earlier this year, Play To receiver support is a new feature that’s been rolled out to about 70 million Xbox 360 consoles as part of this year’s fall dashboard update. Keep an eye on the Windows blog for more device announcements!

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What I'm hoping for is a software solution to wrap a regular sound-card as a play-to device. – Eclipse Nov 20 '12 at 15:20
this is a good question, but I have no idea. – magicandre1981 Nov 20 '12 at 15:21

According to reports, Windows 8 play-to works reliably with only a few high-end devices. Other devices may work or not, some days yes but others not, according to no discernible rule.

It seems that your solution is the only reliable one (besides downgrading to Windows 7).

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