Being able to broadcast live on the internet is nothing new, but a new crop of streaming apps (and the fact our internet connections are getting faster all the time), have meant that there has been something of a resurgence in live video in recent months.
Live streaming your life (or ‘life-streaming’ if that’s your bag), be it day-to-day goings on or extra special events, is all the rage at the moment with apps like Meerkat and Periscope blowing up almost overnight. Given the current penchant for sharing, it’s understandable that we’d want to broadcast exciting or interesting moments in our lives via video and current mobile tech allows us to do that really well.
Live in Five is an app from AVerMedia that plugs into YouTube to offer live streaming via Google’s own video platform. The the free app’s premise is simply allowing you to begin a live broadcast on your YouTube channel as quickly as possible. The benefit of using your YouTube channel is that your videos are automatically saved post-broadcast too.
It’s simple to use. When you first open Live in Five you’ll be required to log in with the Google+ account that is linked with your YouTube channel and you’ll then be prompted to go into the settings of your YouTube account in order to enable the Live Stream feature if you haven’t already. Once you’ve completed the initial set up, broadcasting live to your YouTube channel is as easy as hitting the big blue button.
As far as features go, Live in Five is pretty simplistic but that also makes it easy to use with just a few on-screen settings. When you start a live stream, you’ll be given a 5 second countdown (hence the name) before your stream begins. You can use the rear- or front-facing camera for the video and toggle between them with a tap during a steam. Viewers do not need to install Live in Five and instead tune into your broadcast via the YouTube apps for Android and iOS or on the web.
You can share a link to your live stream from within this app via all the usual social apps as well as SMS, email and the like. While broadcasting, you’ll see the number of live viewers and the thumbs up or down you have received coming in.
Across the top of the screen, or left if you’re filming in landscape mode (recommended for YouTube consumption), you’ll see in-video settings for the volume of your microphone, turning on or of the LED flash, and a panel for setting the broadcast title and video quality.
The video quality of your stream will be dependent on the strength of your internet connection. On LTE or fast Wi-Fi, this shouldn’t cause any problems but on 3G connections or slower you might see some buffering and pixelation. By default, Live in Five automatically adjusts the bitrate based on your connection to keep the video as smooth as possible, or you can manually set the bitrate and resolution. I had a couple of issues where the video stream was delayed somewhat, by up to 10 seconds or so, when my upload speed as poor. But the better your connection seemingly the shorter this delay is.
Videos can be set to Unlisted, Private or Public, determining who can access the stream and the resultant YouTube video. Whichever setting you pick at the start of your broadcast will be the setting used when the video is saved to your YouTube channel, although this can be altered later.
The real advantage to Live in Five is this direct integration with YouTube. Other apps like Periscope and Meerkat require you to have that app installed to view the video live or are limited in their features on the web. They also make it a little more difficult to export your video and upload it to YouTube — not to mention their emphasis on portrait video for mobile. If you’re after a ephemeral live video that is only to be enjoyed on device and in the moment, maybe that’s just fine. But if you’d like to make your live stream available to watch later, something like Live in Five is better suited.
One negative aspect of the app in comparison to other streaming apps is the lack of live comments. While viewers can comment on your live stream if you’ve enabled it in your YouTube account, there is seemingly no way for the broadcaster to see those comments via Live in Five. Other apps allow this type of interactivity which is especially good for Q&A type videos.
However, Live in Five makes it easy to pick and start broadcasting live. The UI is simple and self- explanatory, and its integration with YouTube makes it well suited to live broadcasts that are worth saving for later. It lacks in some areas — viewer interactivity in particular — but is an easy way to capture and share a live moment.