If you’ve finally decided to start live streaming, the first thing that comes to mind is what software you should use. For sure, the process of choosing the right software option might be tricky. You’ll surely want to get powerful, feature-rich software that ideally fits your needs and enables an easy live streaming setup in just a few minutes. However, live streaming is not as difficult as it might seem at first and, in this article, we’ll prove that!
Today we’ll discuss the main characteristics to know about live streaming software and explain how to choose the right streaming tools to get started in that field.
What Are the Main Characteristics of Live Streaming Setup?
Before you dive into comparing different software solutions for live streaming, it’s essential to understand what characteristics you should look for in each. This will help you to get an overall idea of the essential features in live streaming applications, as well as evaluate whether or not it’s worth trying.
While there can be tons of different tools streaming software can offer, there are only a few critical aspects each must provide:
- Compatibility. In most cases, people are using the live streaming software with social networks and streaming websites that utilize RTMP, or the Real-Time Multimedia Protocol. However, if you’re planning to use alternative networks, it’s recommended to check the streaming software for server ingest compatibility issues beforehand.
- Advanced Features. Just like most other software applications, live streaming software usually comes with many different features, like consistent app updates, plugin utilization, stream recording and editing, and many more. The common trick of newbies here is to fall in love with their quantity, not quality. Basically, it implies overpaying for the premium characteristics you never use. For this reason, it makes sense not just to review the features each software includes, but also to analyze whether or not they’ll come in handy for your live streaming.
- Pricing. Apart from what was mentioned previously, another thing about the live streaming software is that it commonly comes at no charge at all. Of course, you might need to pay for the pro features and advanced improvements, so if you’re ready to invest in the professional streaming software to boost the quality of your live stream – this criterion can help you to find the most decent option at reasonable costs.
There also might be some other important aspects you can’t miss, such as the technical requirements of your OS, or the advanced video editing tools included, like those in the top-rated solutions from Movavi, Shotcut, or Lightworks. Nevertheless, the better you’ll understand your needs, the easier it will be to make the right choice.
Top Software Options for Live Streaming
Once you’ve learned the basic criteria of any streaming app, it’s time to analyze the options offered on the software market today. Below, we’ve covered the most popular solutions that are widely used for live streaming.
#1 OBS Studio – Your Best Free Streaming App
The Open Broadcaster Software Studio is a top-rated streaming solution that ideally fits those who’re new to this industry. It features an intuitive, user-friendly interface, is compatible with the basic platforms, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, and is fully customizable. Another thing that makes it a great starting point for beginners, is that it’s free of charge! The app also has a large and engaged community that can help you out at the start, but if professional support is important for you – it’s probably better to consider other options.
#2 vMix – Your Best Professional Streaming Option
vMix app is a really good option for experienced users. It comes in a variety of plans to provide the streamers with the exact set of tools for professional live streams. Different pricing points help to ensure you’ll pay only for what you need – that’s one of the best features of this application. This software also offers 4K live streaming and provides first-class support, which makes vMix a sound choice.
Some of the probable drawbacks of this tool are the high system requirements and the big price tags. Additionally, the tool is only available for Windows, so you won’t be able to stream from macOS or Linux machines.
#3 Switcher Studio – Your Best Streaming App
Switcher Audio is a decent option for the streamers that make their content on iOS devices. The best and most notable advantage of this software is the ability to set up your live streams directly from your iPhone or iPad, which means better mobility. For this reason, it can be used for multiple purposes, including virtual selling, live events, and internal communications. Switcher Studio also offers the ability to live broadcast to Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, and many other streaming options. Finally, you can store up to 250 pieces of media to use in the live editing of your streaming (you’ll no longer need to use the third-party editors, like FXhome, to make first-class streams!)
The app is not free of charge but offers a two-week trial, after which you’ll be offered 3 subscription offers, starting from $20 for a 7-day pass to $400 for annual access.
#4 Zoom – Your Best Webinar Tool
With the rising popularity of remote work, there can hardly be anyone who hasn’t used the Zoom app. This is a perfect streaming tool that enables accessing streams through mobile, desktop, or browser, provides RTMP support, and even records the live streams on your machine. Another useful feature you’ll surely need for streams is live chat and a so-called “lobby” where attendees can interact away from the event.
However, since Zoom charges for attendees, it might not be your option if you have a large audience.
It’s pretty easy to pick up the right software for live streaming with a detailed analysis of your main needs and a thorough market overview. Having reviewed the best streaming apps presented above, you’re sure to find the one that ideally fits your needs and empowers every single stream of yours.
Still uncertain about that? Download the app and check it yourself!