4-Oct-2007 (Thu)
Wherein I try to make justin.tv go.

So, there's this web site Justin.tv that lets you stream live video through it. It started out as one guy gargoyling himself, but now apparently they're swimming in bubble-two-dot-doh VC money or something, so they opened it up to the public. Since everybody hates RealVideo, I figured I'd give a try at streaming DNA through it... and hey, the price is right.

...

You may notice that it says "Not Publishing" up there. It didn't say that an hour ago, when I left the club. It's totally crazy how this works: instead of there being some application that you run to stream video to them, you go to a web page and their Flash applet talks to your video input directly! Which is cute... but makes it extremely interactive and non-automatable:

  1. You can't stream things unless you have a web browser window open, and logged in to the site.

  2. Since their site doesn't use normal HTTP-AUTH, you have to manually log in each time the web browser starts.

  3. If you minimize the window, the Flash app stops running and the video stops streaming.

So my guess is, the Flash uploader stopped running when the screen saver blanked the screen. Good times. (Oh, for the record, you have to open outbound TCP port 1935 for it to work at all.)

The only contact I've had with the Justin.tv folks was the (I assume) marketing guy who contacted me about it and gave me an invite code, which was nice of him, but he doesn't answer his mail much. Do any of you know someone technical there who might be able to help me automate this?

I'd like to make this work, because streaming video through an embedded Flash player sure seems like a better approach than RealVideo, here in this modern world. Especially when -- and this really is the most important point -- someone else is paying for the bandwidth. (We couldn't afford to do the RealVideo streaming at all, were it not for the incredible generosity of our pals at Groove Factory who have been hosting our video webcasts for free for the last six years!)

3 Responses:

  1. jered says:

    Can you use something like Selenium to automate the Flash embed, or does it not appear in any useful manner in the DOM?

  2. endquote says:

    I'm not sure how to automate the process, but (being a Flash person myself) it would take about an afternoon to make a standalone app that could run outside of the browser. It could be either a standard "projector" (.exe/.app) or something fancy like AIR.

  3. marcus132 says:

    I use Stickam for the bang. comedy theater webcam.

    It has many of the same weaknesses as justin.tv (login and automation challenges), but not quite all of them (it still works when minimized/screensavered). So it might be a small step up.