Fun with Ecamm Live

Yesterday I announced my first live blog session, I thought it would be fun to write a bit about how I’m going to pull it off. It’s all made possible by three pieces of software — Skype, Ecamm Call Recorder, and Ecamm Live.

The first two elements of my workflow are pieces of software I’ve had for years, and they work without too many hitches 1. Skype may be the old fogey of video conferencing software, but it excels at being able to handle multiple video streams on a call 2. Call recorder is a $39.95 plugin for skype which allows for Skype calls to be recorded 3.

Split window with a local and remote video feed.
Split window with a local and remote video feed.
The real magic happens with Ecamm Live, and it makes live streaming video fun. The application adds any callers in a current Skype call to an intuitive switcher, where thumbnails for each participant will be shown at the bottom of the video window. The live video feed can be selected with a click, and shift or command clicking 4 on multiple participants creates a very nice split-screen view. The call may be streamed to Facebook live, which will gives broadcasters information about the number of viewers and even the ability to see comments. Broadcasters may also livestream to other sites using an RTMP stream key, though in this instance broadcasters won’t get the audience feedback information 5. Calls can be recorded to a local drive while streaming, or even recorded without steaming.

The Ecamm live scene switcher
The Ecamm live scene switcher
But the fun doesn’t stop with including guests. Each Ecamm Live session can be split up into scenes, each of which is given it’s own shortcut key for cutting back and forth. Scenes can contain any selected number of participants, or a video for to be used as a guest introduction or as preroll for the stream.

And the fun doesn’t with scenes either! Ecamm Live has a wonderful overlays feature. Images, internally generated text, and even comments from the audience window can be dragged on to the video window. Each overlay can be resized and moved, and is able to have to visible state tied to a particular scene. A lower third, for example, make be visible on in the scene which displays a guest’s video feed. The whole setup is slick.

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The combination of Ecamm Live’s features helps to create a polished live stream which can be given a unique look and brand. If you enjoy live streaming, or are considering the format, and you have a Mac I can’t recommend it enough. Yes it’s another $39.95 on top of Call Recorder, but the results are well worth it.

  1. Until Microsoft does more work on ruining Skype’s UI, that is. But that’s another story. 
  2. It’s also free. 
  3. Go figure. 
  4. Ecamm Live is Mac only, sorry. 
  5. I did contact Ecamm about support for YouTube’s new “webcam” feature, it is on the roadmap.