Wirecast Pro for Mac 4.1.3: A close look at a powerful webcasting tool

YUAW by Steven Sande

Over the past few weeks, I've been getting up to speed on using Telestream's Wirecast Pro for Mac to broadcast the weekly TUAW TV Live show. In this review, I'll describe some of the features of the latest version (4.1.3) of Wirecast Pro, and how it will be streamlining the production of the show.

For those of you who don't watch the show either live or in recorded form, let's start with a description of how it used to be done. In the past, I launched LineIn (sound), Soundflower (sound), BoinxTV (video), CamTwist (video), Adobe Flash Live Media Encoder (video), and a number of other apps that were used to capture video from other devices. I used the built-in FaceTime camera on my iMac for face shots and an IPEVO P2V low-resolution cam for shots of iPad and iPhone screens. When I have guests, they'd join me via a Skype video call and were brought into the video mix through CamTwist.

Once the show went live, it was streamed through Ustream.tv using Live Media Encoder and recorded locally to disk for upload to our CDN (Castfire) and to YouTube. The YouTube upload gives the show a wider distribution, while Castfire is used to feed the podcast of the show.

As you can tell from the second paragraph in this post, there were a lot of apps running on my iMac. Sure, it could handle it, but I often had issues switching gracefully between applications, cameras, and demonstrations. On occasion one of the apps would decide to crash (usually just as the show was going live), necessitating a quick "please stand by" tweet and a reboot of the iMac. Since it's a one-man show, I don't have the luxury of having a technician running the software -- I have to do it all by my lonesome. I needed something that would ease my duties while still offering video that was as good or better than what had been produced earlier. read more...

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