I recently created a digital mix of some of my favourite progressive/trance tunes from the days of when I used to go clubbing. What started of as a project to compile my own version of ‘classics’ because I already had so many classic albums/mixes by others, that while, hit the spot were not perfect, after all we all have our own preferences, so more often than not these mixes would often not have tracks on I loved, or they would have a few tracks on that despite their popularity in that dance music community, I just plain right hated (I’m talking about you Bullet In The Gun, Wizards of the sonic and Kamaya Painters)
It all ended up getting out of control, and turned into a 3 month project and the mix file ended up being 3 hours long, and a 3gig file size. With my Dropbox folder almost full, and my Apple/Google/Microsoft spaces being used for backing up purposes I had nowhere to put this mammoth mix. Although it was never intended for public consumption anyway, after all, this was my classic mix, but where could I put it if I wanted to get at it, and get at it quickly.
In the end a friend with a business Dropbox account offered to host it as he wanted to listen to it, apparently any mixes under 4 hours are just not cool!
Despite my problem being solved there was another method I was already looking into, and that was to live stream the mix on YouTube. This had it’s drawbacks for that particular project anyway, but going forward this was something worth exploring.
What annoyed me, was the only guides I could find to get this up and going, were in fact YouTube videos. Now don’t get me wrong YouTube videos can be extremely handy when you need to follow something and seeing what someone is doing can be great, but sometimes, you just want it in written format too, and this was one of those guides that I would have benefited from much better in written form, instead of having to keep pausing a video, or scrubbing backwards and forwards, or making the video bigger to read the selections that he was actually doing.
So here goes, a written guide to doing a YouTube Live 24/7 Music Playlist complete with what’s playing information.
- Log into YouTube and enable your account for live broadcasting in the live streaming section of the creator studio. It can take 24 hours for this to be authorised, so make sure you do this part well before plan to live stream.
- Download and install OBS Studio if you don’t already have it: https://obsproject.com/download
- Download and install VLC Player if you don’t already have it if you want to stream music files you have created or downloaded: https://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.en-GB.html Or if you want to stream from Spotify you can use that, install the client for your OS from your OSes app store. You can also use iTunes, but I recommend VLC because it’s lightweight, if you’re using files on your computer.
- Download and install 7-Zip if you don’t already have it: https://www.7-zip.org/download.html
- Download Snip and extract the file with 7-zip to somewhere on your computer, ideally somewhere you’ll remember! https://github.com/dlrudie/Snip/releases/latest
- Run snip from the location you extracted the files too. It will load into the system tray as a small blue/purple circle. Right click it, and select the program you will grabbing playing music from, in my case. VLC.
- Run OBS Studio. If it’s the first time you’ve run OBS you should have a blank canvas, if not, choose the + under scenes to create a new scene.
- In the sources section, click the + and select add text (GDI+)
- Give it a name, such as now playing and select OK
- Choose a font, and make it quite big such as size 72, write some text, such as now playing, change the colour if you feel the need too, but I find white works quite well with most backgrounds and click OK when happy:
- If you’re happy with where the now playing text is, leave it there, or select it and drag it to where you want it on the screen.
- In the sources section, click the + and select add text (GDI+) again
- Again give it a name, this time something like track title and click ok.
- Choose the same font, size and colour as before, but this time tick the read from file box, and select the snip.txt file, which will be in the location of where you extracted the snip files. Click OK.
- Open VLC media player/Spotify or iTunes
- If VLC, select media > open folder. Select the folder in that has the music files you want to stream. If using Spotify or iTunes start playing the album or playlist you want to stream. The music should start playing
- Go back to OBS Studio. You should notice the second text box we created is now filled in. If its overlapping the now playing box, simply drag it down slightly.
- If there is no mixer showing in the central bottom area with a green/red bar, then in the sources section, select + and select audio output capture, then click OK, and OK again
- Next I’d recommend you load some images to show in the background, ideally a few and set them up as a slideshow. Or you may just want the one static image if you’re trying to showcase your own show with a varying self created playlist.
To add images in the sources section click the + button and select image slide show
- Give it a name such as ‘stream slide show’ and click OK
- I would change the time between slides to something longer such as 20000 as otherwise they don’t stay on the screen for very long
- Scroll down to select the + and then select add directory to add the folder which has the images in you want to showcase. Click OK, and the images should now be displaying as well as the music playing.
- Your images probably aren’t displaying correctly, so right click the Stream Slide Show property in the sources box and select transform -> fit to screen
- The pictures are also now probably above your existing text entries, simply drag the stream slide show property in the sources box to below the text files.
- Select the settings button on the far right hand side, and then choose stream
You need to find out what your YouTube stream key is and enter it here
- Log back into Youtube and go to your creator studio and click live streaming.
- Fill in the basic information about your live stream and change any stream options you need too (e.g. you might not want it to create an archived version of your test runs, if you already have subscribers you don’t want them getting loads of random notifications). Click the reveal next to the stream key to reveal your code and copy and paste it into the text field as seen in step 25 above.
- That’s it. When you’re ready to go live press the Start streaming button in OBS.
- Go to your YouTube live dashboard, and it should show that you are broadcasting live.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page to get your share link to post on Twitter/Facebook etc or to put in your other devices to test it’s working ok
Windows 10 has an annoying habit of stopping playing music if the screen goes blank, to disable this either set up a screen saver or change your power setting options to never turn off the screen.
if you wanted to create an illusion of doing a live radio broadcast, record mp3 files of yourself introducing the next tracks, or talking random crap, and add them to your playlist between the music. The hard part is scheduling the broadcast to end!