I am a fairly horrible streamer, mostly because I do it so infrequently. Before I jumped to Windows 10 I had Virtual Audio Cables set up and working awesomely to exclude Teamspeak from my stream. Then the upgrade to 10 seemed to bork all of that. As a result I am finding myself less likely to stream random stuff, because quite honestly I don’t want to accidentally catch someone that does not want to be recorded. What ends up happening is that I only actually stream on “special occasions” when I know I have a block of time where i can just leave the mic open. The problem I continue to struggle with is the choice of providers. YouTube gaming had peaked my interests… until I participated in Liore’s stream during Extra Life. Considering I was on voice chat with her, the lag between the stream and what was actually happened seemed painfully bad, and the stream itself would go loopy on us. I would load it up and suddenly it was trying to play what was happening thirty minutes ago instead of what was happening now.
Twitch seems completely ubiquitous but the problem there is that it is equally painful to try and chat with people while using. I get so few people popping into my channel that when a friend does pop by I want to be able to hold a conversation with them. Even when you are running Twitch with the limited delay options… there is still a painful delay when you try and hold a conversation with anyone. I ultimately switched back after some experiments of trying to stream to both Hitbox and Twitch at the same time. When given a choice people always picked Twitch because it was the interface they were familiar with. The truth is however… when someone fires up my stream it is because they are there to hang out with me… not because they really care about what I am streaming. I never get random people popping in my channel because it truth I don’t tend to play the sort of games that people care enough about to go hunting for. For awhile I was using Twitch primarily as a way to export my streams to YouTube, and their interface just works so much better than Hitbox. Now however I record the video separately and then do some minimal editing in Adobe Premiere before uploading, so that functionality no longer matters.
I am a Blogger first, Podcaster second… and I dabble poorly in both YouTube and streaming. Those are just not my native mediums and will likely never be, so long as I have a deep aversion to being on camera. So I will never have the sort of followers that would allow me to become a partner and have the better streaming options, nor will it ever really matter… considering I am super adverse to turning on advertisements on even on my YouTube channel. The truth is… I have always liked Hitbox better. The dashboard is significantly nicer, you can have “teams” without being a partner… and the fact that there is little to no delay between the video stream and chat means I can actually have a comfortable conversation with someone watching my stream. I realize that I am essentially exiling myself to the service that no one is really using natively… but really… what is the difference? I have a clear preference towards one or the other, and it is not like I am looking to be some streaming internet celebrity. Streaming for me is a way to share what I am doing with my friends and pretty much nothing more than that, and in a way that is more custom than Forge.gg would offer.
Basically I feel like I am choosing BetaMax over VHS, which is not far from the truth. The experience I have while streaming on Hitbox just feels better than when I use Twitch. In part it is because the Hitbox interface has to be better in every way to get someone to even consider using their service. I realize there are third party tools that I can run that add in a lot of the functionality that the Hitbox dashboard has…. but I don’t want to have to. My favorite stupid feature from Hitbox is the fact that when I get my stream set up and I am happy with it… I can press a single button to have it broadcast my stream to social media. Twitch can do this for you automatically, but the problem I have there is it sometimes takes me a few tries to get things where I am happy with them, which ends up spamming the living hell out of twitter which gets frustrating. I really do want to start trying to stream more… which means I need to sift through the arcane machination that is virtual audio cables once more.. to see what it takes to get it set up and properly working for Windows 10. In the meantime I am probably going to switch my setup over to my Hitbox profile and just accept that I am picking the less popular pony… but its the one I enjoy better.