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  • Alex Martinez

Software for your video recording or live streaming: local and web-based



I already wrote an article about the hardware I use (see it here), but I wanted to create another piece with a list of tools you can use for video recording or live streaming.



Table of Contents


 


Zoom



The good thing about Zoom is that it's easy to use if you want something simple. You can have multiple guests on-screen, have webcams, share your screen, record audio, and even record the chat window. You can use Zoom to record or stream to different platforms like Facebook or YouTube.


Not all the features are available in the free version, but you can really unlock a lot of functionality with the paid version. If you want something simple to record, it could be good enough to use this. However, this might not be the best application to use if you want very high-quality content since it might rely on your internet connection.


I don't think there's a web-based version, but you can install it on almost any operating system, including your tablet or smartphone.


Pros:

  • Great for beginners

  • Easy to set up

  • Easy to have multiple guests

  • Local installation

  • Record or live-stream your video

  • Free and paid version

Cons:

  • Video quality might depend on your internet connection

  • Limited layout customization

  • There's no web-based version



Google Meet



Similar to Zoom, you can use Google Meet if you want something simple to get started. In my own opinion, I feel Google Meet is even easier to use than Zoom since it's web-based. However, I've also seen that some of the recordings can be a bit lower-quality than Zoom. This is because Zoom is installed locally while Google Meet is used through your browser.


The good thing about using Google Meet is that you can easily integrate it with the rest of the Google products like Google Calendar. This is especially useful if you will be recording with several people since everyone will have the latest information about the meeting from Google Calendar.


Pros:

  • Great for beginners

  • Easy to set up

  • Easy to have multiple guests

  • Web-based

  • Record your video

  • Free and paid version

  • Integration with Google products

Cons:

  • Video quality depends on your internet connection

  • Limited layout customization

  • There's no local installation

  • Lower quality recordings



Streamyard



This is a web-based service that you can use to live-stream your video on several platforms at the same time -- such as YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on. You can also choose to record a video and stream it later or save it locally.


This is a great offering for live-streaming if you want to host several guests and stream to several platforms at the same time. The free version allows for some customization on your layout, but you will still see the Streamyard logo on the screen. If you're really serious about your streams, you should consider trying the paid version to have more customizations and cloud storage.


Pros:

  • Web-based

  • Easy to set up

  • Easy to have multiple guests

  • Record or live-stream your video

  • Free and paid version

  • Stream to several platforms

  • High-quality streams if your internet connection is good

Cons:

  • Video quality depends on your internet connection

  • Limited layout customization, but more than Zoom or Google Meet

  • There's no local installation



Restream



This is a very similar offering to Streamyard. I still want to try the free version to see how it is, but I thought of adding it to the list so you know it exists 😄 I'll update the details with my experience once I try it out!


If you're deciding to buy Streamyard, I'd advise you to check out Restream first and compare before making a decision though.


Pros:

  • Web-based

  • Easy to set up

  • Easy to have multiple guests

  • Record or live-stream your video (I guess?)

  • Free and paid version

  • Stream to several platforms (I think?)

  • High-quality streams if your internet connection is good (I guess?)

Cons:

  • Video quality depends on your internet connection (I guess?)

  • Limited layout customization, but more than Zoom or Google Meet

  • There's no local installation (Not sure about this yet)



Riverside



I only used this once as a guest, not really as a host, but the thing that caught my attention is that the recording was done locally and it was uploaded to the server after recording, which provides a much higher-quality recording than, say, Google Meet or Zoom. I wonder if this is how Streamyard and Restream do it too since they also produce very high-quality videos.


Because I haven't tried it as a host, I can't really say much about this, but I also thought of adding it to the list so you can check it out on your own.


Pros:

  • Web-based

  • Easy to set up (I guess?)

  • Easy to have multiple guests

  • Record or live-stream your video

  • Free and paid version

  • (Unsure about streaming to several platforms at the same time)

  • High-quality streams/recording

  • Not tied to an internet connection for recordings

Cons:

  • (I'm not sure about the layout customization 😄)



OBS



We start getting into OBS territory. OBS stands for Open Broadcaster Software and it's used for more than one platform. This is the "parent" of the next two platforms I'll show you next, but I wouldn't advise you to use this if you're just getting started with OBS-based software because it can be overwhelming and confusing at first. Although it's good that you know about it if you ever want to do even more custom stuff or if you're way more technical about sound and such.


I'm not gonna get into the pros and cons here because the next two tools are the ones I recommend you to use first. Once you explore any of those (or both), then you can check this one out if you need more functionality.



Streamlabs



This is my absolute favorite for video recording. It's also very good for live-streaming but it's way harder to host guests. As mentioned earlier, it is based on OBS but has different functions so you can use it a bit easier.


You can personalize almost everything here. The audio, the layout, the webcam, the screen, etc. You can add animations, and images, you can even add the chat from your live stream or show personalized alerts like when you have a new follower and it shows on the screen.


It sounds dreamy, right? The only thing about using this software is that it takes time to understand all of it. You will need to watch some videos and start skilling up on the tool to get to a professional-looking video. However, once you can get around, you'll be happy to discover all you can customize!


Pros:

  • Highly customizable

  • Better for pros

  • Local installation

  • Record or live-stream your video

  • Free

  • Themes or predefined add-ons (overlays, sounds, etc.)

Cons:

  • Hard to set up

  • Hard to have multiple guests

  • There's no web-based version

  • Bigger learning curve



Twitch Studio



As mentioned earlier, this application is based on OBS, but this version is more specific to live-stream on Twitch. The functionality is very similar to Streamlabs but some things are easier to set up, like the follower or chat plugins that are native to Twitch.


Pros:

  • Highly customizable

  • Better for pros

  • Local installation

  • Record or live-stream your video

  • Free

  • Themes or predefined add-ons (overlays, sounds, etc.)

  • Twitch integrations

Cons:

  • Hard to set up

  • Hard to have multiple guests

  • Hard to live-stream on multiple platforms (not sure if it's even possible)

  • There's no web-based version

  • Currently on the beta version



I will continue updating this article if I get to know more cool software to share with you all!


Please comment below or send me a message with your own recommendations! I'd love to hear what apps you use!


-Alex

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