Listening to the music while streaming can have hidden pitfalls. If we talk about the biggest streaming platform Twitch, you cannot broadcast music absent in the following list, otherwise it will be muted. In more complicated cases, the music holder can even file a claim against you with the following shutting down of your channel. You can just ignore the rules and go without concerns, but it is better to read more about how to select non-copyright music on Twitch in our previous post How to Choose Music for Your Twitch Streams? In today’s post we’re going to take a fresh look at the world of best music apps and services for streamers.
1. Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Music and Pretzel – Best Music Apps for Streamers
Spotify belongs to one of the most popular best music apps available in many countries. Technically, you can’t stream music directly from Spotify to your stream, unless Spotify license grants you broadcast rights. But, in reality it is difficult to distinguish, whether the song is playing from Spotify or your CD. What really matters is the type of music you are listening to. You cannot just find a random playlist and hit go. All copyrighted tracks will be muted by Twitch censoring system. The best solution is going to Twitch account on Spotify with VOD friendly music and listen to it during your streams. These playlists cover a lot of tracks in different genres.
Many users mistakenly think that since they purchased iTunes or Google Play music, they can use it for their purposes (as background music for personal videos, highlights, etc.). However, when you pay to download music, you are actually purchasing a license to lease this content. You can listen to these songs as much as you wish, but it is illegal to play them in public, including your streaming sessions. If you want to find a royalty-free music on iTunes, see Public Domain Royalty Free Music section for iTunes and Royalty Free Music for Google Play Store.
Pretzel’s app is another option where streamers can find non-copyright music to listen to during their broadcasts. The app curates a catalog of music that is specifically licensed to be used by streamers. Pretzel has easy interface where you can play, skip, adjust the volume, like or dislike the song, creating your preferences. With this app, you can announce the current song (track, artist, and album) in you Twitch chat or utilize a song command. You can edit a text format, set a specific output when you pause the player as well as output the album cover. Among specific features, Pretzel allows you to create a webpage with your listening history including the links to Spotify, iTunes, Google Play or narrow the song catalog to make it more YouTube friendly to fit YouTube’s content restrictions.
2. Winamp, VLC and Foorbar200 – Music and Video Players
Streaming music with the help of music players reduces bandwidth usage as it utilizes offline content. Thus, you can listen to music via the oldie Winamp. Just choose music to which you have rights to and organize the playlists offline according to the mood of the games. With Winamp, you can also listen to music but not stream it by placing audio on a different channel that only you can hear.
VLC can be a good alternative to Winamp that plays pretty much anything: from your own customized playlists to soundcloud tracks. This music player includes a very easy-to-use streaming feature that let you directly stream music or video content over a local network or Internet. It is also possible to control VLC from the command line, so you can put a bot to work.
Foorbar2000 is another good player which uses gapless playbacks (there is no pause between songs). Unlike Winamp, Foorbar2000 stops the music, if computer freezes. There is a nice “Now Playing” plugin by Farpenoodle for this app, allowing you to show what song is currently playing on your overlay.
N.B. For any of these players, it is recommended to use some kind of audio setup to control what is heard on your stream. Set up at least 2 virtual audio cables: one – to default, so that everything that you cannot control (like web browsers’ or game sounds) play through it, and another one – to broadcast everything you want to listen to.
3. VoiceMeeter Banana, Audio Cables and CheVolume – Streaming Audio Routers
VoiceMeeter Banana is an audio mixing streaming app that helps split, exclude or separate audio sources off your stream or recording. The software is pretty simple and allows you to take input from up to 3 hardware devices and 2 software applications and mix them together. The best part is that the service lives on donations and is free of charge. You can use VoiceMeeter in order to do professional sounding mixing, exclude unnecessary sounds from Discord, Skype, Teamspeak of your stream or even playing music on stream without hearing it (some streamers prefer putting on music by requests while concentrating on the game without hearing any distracting sounds).
Alternative tools, such as Virtual Cables and CheVolume, can also be used to route audio from programs to different audio devices. Virtual Cables allows you to create virtual audio lines to mix multiple sound sources, while CheVolume helps move an application from one audio device to another. For example, with these apps you can have music and game volume going to the stream, while you will hear only game sounds in your headphones.
4. Snip or Song2stream – Music Ticker Apps
Snip helps you get the artist’s name, track and album info from Spotify, iTunes, Winamp, Foorbar200, Google Play Music Desktop Players, VLC and save the data in a separate text file. Thus, when you are streaming the game, info from the text files will automatically be displayed in a text overlay. You can also make it scroll, but this depends on the control you have.
Song2stream tool is a prefect small tool for Spotify fans, enabling them to overlay their currently playing music into stream. With Song2stream, you can easily change the color, position and font of the text. In the latest version, it is also possible to login with Twitch and make the Song2stream bot enter your chat and respond with the song and artist name when viewers use !song command.
Many Twitch users play music they do not have rights to during their streams. They think that chances of them to be caught are small. They continue playing whatever they want and the worst thing they experience is a 30-minute section of the muted VOD. However, by using non-copyright stuff in your broadcasts you hazard your reputation and have a potential to face serious punishments.
Moreover, VODs and highlights are an important part of streaming experience. Viewers might want to watch VOD before they decide if they want to follow you or not. If they see muted content, it will be lacking of quality. Your personality and interaction plays a big role in how many viewers you attract, while having all your videos muted doesn’t obviously help people get to know you better. We hope our advice and the list of the best music apps for streamers will make your streaming experience more pleasant and safe.