The increase in popularity of user-generated streams, driven by Starcraft II and several of the games in the moba genre, has given rise to an enormous expansion of streaming providers such as Twitch.tv and Own3d.tv. Unfortunately, to enjoy these streams, you’re usually tied to a browser window and the flash player to enjoy these streams. You can name the upsides of this solution all you want, but the obvious downsides remain:
- doesn’t work on systems that don’t have the flash player (like those heinous i-devices)
- introduces horrible usability, e.g.:
- no volume adjusting by scroll wheel or multimedia keys
- no clicking onto the video to bring focus to it (without it redirecting you to some page)
- no small window-borders, instead you have the cluttered browser ui where it’s completely unnecessary
- no way of viewing the actual resolution of the stream’s video data
- high cpu load when VLC can playback h264 using the GPU’s video decoding unit to do this more efficiently
… i guess you catch my drift.
Sadly, streaming providers such as the aforementioned ones don’t provide a portable, universally usable address that users can just plug into their system’s favorite video player to playback these streams. This is where this article comes in.