For a few years now I’ve been live streaming stuff on YouTube, mostly Dungeons and Dragons play sessions as a part of the Total Party Kill podcast. For a while I was using Gameshow, Telestream’s dedicated game-streaming app, and it was okay, but it was discontinued and I ended up using Wirecast, a behemoth of a product that lists for $599.
So a funny thing happened earlier this month: Streamlabs OBS, one of the leading video-streaming apps on Windows, arrived for the first time on the Mac. (It’s powered by the OBS engine, an open-source streaming system I’ve tried a couple of times and always felt way too rough for me to want to use.) Streamlabs OBS is open source, free, and I think I like it better than Wirecast.
Does Streamlabs OBS have rough edges? Sure it does. But it somehow seems better integrated with streaming services like Twitch and YouTube than Wirecast does. While it doesn’t offer some of the precision layout tools that Wirecast does—I’d like to be able to specify the exact size of objects on the canvas—it’s got some nice shortcuts that make it easy for me to create a new layout in a hurry.
Audio capture can be an issue. I use Rogue Amoeba’s Loopback to create a custom audio input for use by OBS, but Streamlabs also suggests that you can use the free iShowU to do much the same thing.
The results are pretty good! And given that my Wirecast license is about to run out, I think I’m going to move to Streamlabs OBS permanently—and save a whole bunch of money.