Put it all online – your favourite games, your media collection, desktop, or even your life. By Alex Cox
Put your games, your media and your life online and access them anywhere
We’ve relied on end-to-end streaming for longer than we’ve relied on computers. Where would society be without the influence of radio or cable TV? Would we be quite the same if Major General George O. Squier hadn’t developed Muzak’s earliest tech, a 1930s system of sending inoffensive music along electrical wires directly to elevators and stores? Well, probably. We might even be slightly more sane. But that’s not the point: Streaming has long been hugely important, and the Internet has completely democratised it.
You’re now free to send whatever you want wherever you want. You can push data, making it available to anyone who wants it, or pull streams from a private source. You can work with audio, video, live cameras, or any other data that suits. You can use streaming for entertainment, for profit, or for practical benefits. And you can do it all, for the most part, for free. All you really need is a quality broadband connection on either end of the streaming path. You might not even need that, if your server hardware is robust enough to transcode media on the fly, converting it to a lower resolution that reduces bandwidth demands.
In this feature, we take you through as many different content streaming situations as possible, from games to sounds, and beyond. It’s all very situational and personal. Everything you might want to stream has slightly different methodology, unique software, and technical considerations to take into account. Many of the tools we talk about can be used for more than one thing, and the specific one you use is, at the end of the day, up to you.
We talk public and private streaming, and give a few suggestions as to how to take advantage of the former to increase your online profile. While it’s going to take a lot of work and a special kind of charisma to top Twitch’s 200,000-viewer record for a single streamer – and, indeed, its all-time stream record of over 1,000,000 for a Counter-Strike: Global
Offensive tournament match – there’s nothing to stop you from trying.