Twitch Mobile Stream API /2

Twitch has changed their Android authentication scheme to a more straight forward (iOS) way. I applaud their engineers, they certainly do look more employable now! If only they’d allow Windows users to use their HLS/HTML5 players, too… But I digress. Let’s look at what they’ve created.

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Watch twitch.tv/justin.tv/own3d.tv streams in VLC

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.

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Netgear WNR3500L, Tomato und T-Home Entertain über VDSL

So. Lange (über ein Jahr) ists her, dass mich mein VDSL-Anschluss in ungeahnte Bandbreitensphären befördert hat. Für das erste halbe Jahr hatte ich ‘nen WRT54GL mit Tomato dran laufen – da lief Entertain nicht. Nach besagtem halben Jahr stellte ich ‘nen zweiten WRT54G hin – per Switch zusammen mit dem WRT54GL ans Modem (Speedport 300hs) angeschlossen – und hatte dann auch nach einiger Konfigurationsarbeit den Media-Receiver am Laufen. Nach viel Arbeit hab ich in diesem Jahr nun endlich eine Lösung für Tomato-Liebhaber, die einen in jeder Facette glücklich machen dürfte.

Das Ganze benötigt immer noch einiges an Konfiguration, aber läuft stabil und beinahe alles funktioniert.

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Guide to a clean and powerful Codec System

Many will know the turmoil: After installing a codec pack like say, K-Lite or Nimo’s Codec pack (for the oldschoolers), your player sometimes crashes when opening a movie file, your explorer dies off when you highlight a movie file, sometimes there’s flickering when playing back a movie, an entirely green screen when playing back a movie, or annoyances of the such. All of those are clear cases of a fucked up codec system.

Video playback operates by using Codecs, those are used to render video data via Microsoft’s DirectShow system. How these Codecs are loaded is referenced in the so-called “Merit System”. When you install multiple codec packs, or even multiple codecs that can render the same kind of video data, it is no longer clear which codec is going to be used when you play back a video file. Additionally, many codecs that are installed by some of the many codec packs in existence are beta versions; highly unstable and hence often prone to lead to applicational failure.

This guide will tell you how clean your merit system to the point where it is as tidy as the one on a fresh windows install, and afterwards i’ll point out how to set up a powerful and yet (in terms of software) minimalistic multimedia codec system.

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