The Audio Hijack 3.7 Live Stream block can send via RTMP to Facebook Live, Twitch, YouTube Live, and more. It’s different from Rogue Amoeba’s earlier released Broadcast block; that one can only power an internet radio station by streaming MP3 or AAC to a remote server.
Paul Kafasis, Rogue Amoeba’s founder and owner, made it clear to me that the focus of the Live Stream block is on audio streaming, although the block automatically creates supplementary video. It’s the video component that enables it to work with video-focused services like YouTube Live, but the audio portion is the key.
And yet, Audio Hijack’s Live Stream block allows for more than its focus allows for. For example, it has a feature that, when streaming from a music app like iTunes or Audirvana, you can use the album artwork automatically so that, when you switch to a next song, the artwork automatically switches with it. What, then, will stop you from recording a series of tutorials, adding some relevant graphics in the right aspect ratio and size, inserting those as album art into iTunes and streaming the entire series live?
You can also use a simple metadata text file containing a Title, Artist, Song and Album field and a link to a local image alongside the animated spectrum or oscilloscope to spruce up the live audio.
Even more interesting is that you can update the image from the logo field by dragging an image into the field while streaming. With Audio Hijack costing 72 USD and many streaming solutions using a subscription model that is many times more expensive, at the very least it opens perspectives for things like simple ad hoc live presentations that don’t require your face or recording location to be shown without further ado.
Although Rogue Amoeba’s CEO advises against it, I tried out some of these ideas and my experience has been that it works well. The only problems I encountered were related to up-streaming delays due to an ISP who either throttles back live streaming video or offers slow connections to the Internet (I suspect the latter).
“I’m not sure it will appeal to many users when you use it this way, Kafasis told me. “This is really aimed at folks doing audio streams, with no video necessary. The video it creates is intended to be entirely supplemental,” he added.
Of course, as the developer of audio software that fills a good few market niches with apps that have no equivalent in terms of design and user experience, who am I to argue with him? Because, you know, using the Live Stream block as it is intended makes live streaming so easy and efficient that it lets you focus on the content 100% and forget about the complexities behind the scenes. It’s almost boringly efficient, even still in beta.
Precisely for that reason, I personally wouldn’t hesitate to also use Hijack Audio and its new Live Stream block for small non-camera live presentations and pre-recorded image-based live-chat-capable tutorial series. The only thing is, if your presentation goes wrong, you shouldn’t go complaining with Rogue Amoeba, because it’s meant for audio and audio only. Yes, we do understand that.