Corner Geeks 9: Live Streaming setup for Ran8adidas

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Show Notes

What we wanted

  • Live streaming of the event
  • Video
    • multiple cameras if possible
    • perhaps one overview shot
    • one on-the-go camera following events like the Twitter hunt. Follow contestants around “Amazing Race” style
  • Sound
    • clean sound from the mixer for opening ceremony / speeches
    • also want to capture atmosphere/sound around the camera
  • Internet
    • need for streaming
    • simplest of them all. 3G dongle
  • Master control at the laptop controllilng the stream / switching audio and video accordingly

Mobile video

  • DSLR / camcorder approach:
    • Possible but need wireless transmitters making it cumbersome
    • DSLR sensor limited time
  • Keep-it-Simple-Stupid approach:
    • Use smartphones with Wifi and cameras
    • Small, simple, only need wireless access point if needed
    • Possible to attach external microphone to device for interviews
    • Advantages
      • Can move around freely
      • Requires no additional hardware for video capture hardware on computer.
      • Fairly cheap and easy to setup if you already have the devices (more people have smartphones now)
    • Disadvantages
      • Latency
      • Lower quality?
      • Potentially unreliable connection vs wires? Wireless inteference. Network going down?
      • No zoom!
    • Mobile Video apps

      • IP Webcam
        • Android
        • Free
        • Starts a webserver on camera device. Accessible from any computer on the network. View and listen in a browser
      • PocketCam (Desktop software)

        • iOS / Android
        • US$4.99 / BND$6
        • Windows or OS X software to be installed on the host
        • Creates video and audio device driver on host. Once connected access like a webcamera and USB mircophone
        • Audio lag!
      • WebCamera
        • iOS / Blackbery / WinMo / Symbian
        • US$2.99 / US$19.95 / US$19.95 / US$9.95
        • Works similar to PocketCam: Windows or OS X software to be installed on the host
        • Used iOS version that can take video and photo from camera and it will send it to host computer
      • There are other apps for Android and iOS but many do not provide audio which is what we wanted
    • Multiple Camera feasibility study
      • IP Camera: separate VLC instance for each video and each audio for each camera. Gets complicated very fast
      • Pocket Camera / WebCamera: only one PocketCamera / Webcamera host software allowed to run at one time on one machine
      • Not possible to use multiple cameras using only one app. Mixer and match is possible
      • Needed proper communication between in-the-field camera user and master control


  • Input from mixer via line-in on laptop (not don’t have get a USB sound card)
  • LadioCast for audio mixing and piping of audio. Can even monitor sound without sending it to live stream


  • Needed wireless coverage
  • Used iPod Touch as a WiFi signal monitor. Activated voice control, tap the wireless signal to hear the strength level (probably there is an app for this but did not explore)
  • To forgoe a 3G router: OS X Internet sharing ( for Windows)

Other things we used

  • Phone holder to tripod mount
  • Tripod: can place camera in certain places. Can extend tripod to get different angles
  • Charging cables! Must remember to charge mobile devices. iPod Touch 4G lasted about 2 hours of streaming

Final Setup

  • iOS Webcamera easiest to work with
  • CamTwist to add overlays
  • Ladiocast to pipe audio. Connected to mixer when needed. Add microphone from the mobile cameras when interviewing / asking questions
  • Tripod to place camera so no need to be there
  • uStream to send out stream and record it

Other Considerations

  • Phone upgrades:
  • Have a sign that says, “we’re streaming live”. While recording I was thinking of the implications of this for privacy
  • Have a dedicated chat room to interact with the viewers. At least had a screen of some hashtag that we could sometimes show on twitter.
  • Get better upstream for better video and audio
  • Have a dedicated screen / projector / laptop on our booth showing what’s streaming.

Corner Geeks 7: Live Streaming – Part 2

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We get back into podcast producing and we resume our topic on “Live Streaming” (part 1 here) giving details of how to set up a more advanced live streaming system. Some related links on the topics we covered are listed below. Feel free to add your own links in the comments with regards to tools you use for live streaming

Live Streaming Services

  • uStream (Free): has co-hosting, recording features and mobile client (iOS, Android, Windows Phone)
  • (Free): has desktop and mobile clients(iOS, Android)
  • Livestream (Free)
  • Stickam (Free): co-hosting and mobile clients (iOS, Android, J2ME)
  • Vokle (Free): new and modern with good co-hosting feature and recording. Latency was an issue when we used it. No mobile client
  • Google Plus (Free): not really live streaming but can have up to 10 people video chat but latency was good
  • Vidyo (commercial)
  • Bitgravity (commercial)
  • Wowza: set up your own streaming server (i.e. make your own

Live Streaming Utilities

Video Effects

  • uStream Producer (Free: OS X, Windows): easy transitions and allows output of webcam/pictures/movies/screen/music and also has PIP support. No text overlays
  • CamTwist (Free: OS X): powerful with many video effects. can do screen casting, slideshows, movie playback, changing of video sources, text and image overlays and so much more
  • ManyCam (Free: OS X, Windows): easier than CamTwist to use, has screen casting, displaying of images (slideshow), movies, text overlays
  • Webcam Studio for Linux (Free: Linux): seems like a CamTwist for Linux which advance functionality

Other Hardware

  • Eye-Fi: an SD card with wireless capabilities for wireless transfer from camera to computer
  • Zoom H1: used as a line-in recorder

Video Switching

  • BoinxTV (Commercial, Software): software is to be installed on a Mac to provide TV studio like functionality. Check out Daniel’s video of how it used it for the Making of Gear 65 #28
  • Tricaster (Commercial, Software & Hardware)
  • Sony Anycast (Commercial, Software & Hardware)

Audio Effects

  • Line-in (Free, OS X): simple tool that sends audio from one sound device to another
  • LadioCast (Free, OS X): an Icecast client but has the ability to do audio mixer and piping
  • Soundflower (Free, OS X): creates 2 sound devices which can be used as streams to pipe audio from one app to another
  • JACK (Free, Linux, OS X): Jack OS X – similar to Soundflower
  • VACard (Free, Windows)

Pilihan FM Online Streaming – Part 2

So after the ‘failure’ in Part 1 the next step was to roll my own solution. I’ve been listening to the network since Leo Laporte started it many years back and I noticed that they were running an Icecast server at that streams their audio. Perfect, a great place to start off so do a simple search for icecast on my Ubuntu box which gave the following results.

Went ahead and installed icecast2 and ices2 and after Google searching and fussing about I managed to get Icecast running and went on to configuring ices2. It took me some time to understand that Icecast streaming involves 2 components: the Icecast server (which is the machine people connect to in order to listen) and a source client which connects to the server and provides the audio source to the server to be streamed out. Started off with the typical playlist configuration as I did not have a radio at hand. Managed to get OGG streaming to work but then tried it on my sister’s iPad and was reminded that Apple doesn’t really like OGG and would probably only work with an MP3 or AAC stream. So I started fussing around with MP3 files and only to find out that ices2 didn’t support MP3 streaming (I tend to skip over things in my brain’s weird attempt to speed read and thus glossed over this fact: it’s even stated in the screenshot above that it is for “Ogg Vorbis streaming”). Oh well. Then for a reason I thought that I’d try a solution on Windows (I think I blame my possible ADDnes).

It was during this adventure in WIndows Icecast server setup that I discovered ezStream via the Icecast forum’s “Common Source Client List” and was able to configure MP3 re-enconding. The problem I ran here was that I could not hook the line-in input from my phone acting as a radio. I switched back to Linux and managed to get ezStream working but did not find a way to get it to stream from the line-in audio port as perhaps my Linux / gstreamer fu is not good enough yet. In a stroke of luck (or proper research and reading) I finally found darkice which solved my Linux streaming (for those who don’t like the command line there is darksnow that provides a good GUI interface for the darkice source client).

On yet another whim, I decided to tried setting up an Icecast server in OSX (I think it’s one of those ‘because-I-can’ syndromes, that I tried doing this). I managed to get Icecast running easily thanks to
MacPorts using a simple “sudo port install icecast2” but getting a source client was a bit more troublesome. I started with trying darkice due to my success using it in Linux. The problem? It required JACK audio connection kit which I could not get working in OS X. I have to say that JACK documentation seems severely lacking and I’m still left wondering how to use it. There is an OS X implementation of JACK called Jack OS X. I tried to understand how it works and how to use it using this YouTube video embedded below (turn on close captions, CC, for English subtitles) but new interfaces did not show up when starting applications so still no dice.

There was also a darkice Mac OS X branch build that I got the source (svn checkout darkice-macosx) for, but it seems that I do not have the necessary tools to compile it . So finally I found LadioCast which was the same saviour for OS X as darkice was for Linux. So I managed to get a Linux and OS X implementation running and there goes @mfirdaus managing to get it all working on his N900 with some gstreamer magic of “gst-launch pulsesrc ! audioconvert ! lame quality=9 ! shout2send mount=/listen.mp3 port=8000 password=password ip=”.

Now while the reception on the N900 wasn’t fantastic, it is a great self-contained solution: no external radio or external monitor / keyboard to for configuration. So right now we have 3 implementations but still no proper Windows stand alone solution. I know there is Winamp with a shoutcast plugin, but I’m not sure how to pipe audio from a line-in port into Winamp.

So as I tinker and try to get a proper Windows configuration, I have set up an Icecast server at whose playlist can be accessed at This URL should work for all platforms (tested with iOS, Android and VLC). You can just click the link and open the m3u file in the default player. This is my own server so may not be up all the time if there is some weird configuration issue / power outage, but hope it helps those who want to listen when they don’t have a radio at hand or for those overseas. Trying to get MFN to get a hold of the IT people at RTB to see if they can implement this on their own servers, but in the meantime self-hosting

TLDR: Click and listen to my server streaming Pilihan FM