Livestreaming is Easy

I was just at Computers in Libraries 2011, a great conference that happens every spring in Washington, D.C.

Besides giving and attending some cool presentations (and hanging out with some awesome people), I was able to help out by livestreaming parts of the event.

Here’s what I livestreamed:

Guess what? Livestreaming is really easy these days! Here’s how I did it:

  • I used – it’s a really nice livestreaming service that’s free to use.
  • I used their Ustream Producer app to do the livestream. It provides a slightly easier way to adjust the controls and options for the stream, rather than using the web-based version.
  • I used a camera from work – a Canon GL2, and plugged it into my Mac with a Firewire cable. For cameras, you have many options – here’s more info from ustream on compatible cameras
  • For audio, I ran a feed from the hotel’s sound board to a small preamp (shown in the picture). This gave me a lot of control over the audio signal. I could have simplified, and used the video camera’s audio – but the separate feed gave the livestream some great sound.

And that’s basically it! Once everything is set up, there’s basically two things to do – click the Broadcast button to go live, and click the Record button to record.

Problems? Yeah – I had a couple:

  • I wasn’t paying attention on Monday, and didn’t get that Record button pushed right at the beginning of the talk.
  • I compensated for that the next two days by hitting record way before the talk started, and caught some “on stage only” banter. Nothing embarrassing, but still…
  • Looks like someone bumped the camera in part 1 of James Cameron’s talk – he’s slightly off-screen at the beginning. I didn’t notice that, because I was running around like crazy, trying to deal with the next problem …
  • … Audio – someone had accidentally unplugged a cable (probably inadvertently, with their foot). In the video, you can actually see the audio guy (who was great!) plug it back in, and then hear the audio turn on.
  • The hotel’s internet connection (not sure the Washington Hilton was ready for 1600 geeks with gadgets).

So there you go. Livestreaming is easy (even though it can be tricky at times). Do any of you use livestreaming in your libraries or organizations? I’d love to hear from you!

  • Marylyn Wright Eubank

    Thanks so much for this! I missed the Digital Natives talk on Tuesday, and now I can still see it!

    p.s. I voted for you for LITA board.

  • davidleeking

    Cool – thanks for the vote! And I hope you enjoy the digital natives talk –
    it was a good one.

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  • gwyn

    Thanks so much. This was all so very helpful to me during the week!

  • Elizabeth Henry

    So that’s what you were doing! Did you, by any chance, catch the interpreters?

    While I appreciate the idea of livestreaming, I generally avoid them like a plague because… simply put: no captions. (Yes, I’m that deaf gal with the interpreters)

    Wish I was able to make it to your presentations, but there were so many to choose from! Perhaps next year.