Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
With the popularity of streaming on services like Twitch, Ustream, Justin.TV and Plays.TV there’s been a shift from the once extremely popular YouTube stars. This isn’t to say that YouTube is a thing of yesterday as it is still vastly popular especially to watch a video a second or a third time, but when it comes to performing and watching things live? There can sometimes be hardware and software limitations depending on the allocated budget. Owning both an Elgato HD and an AverMedia Extremecap U3 that meet both Hardware and Software needs, having used both FRAPS and XSplit for PC recordings, Magix’s Youcast is a great addition to the mix with the easing in from a software perspective on the PC.
After its initial install Youcast presents users with four choices in a very easy to understand and clean layout. Load from a template that you’ve previously saved, stream a game, stream you screen, stream live footage. Templates can be saved after a session and contain previously designed layouts for a quick start the next time you want to start a stream. Logos, panels, and advertisement for yourself or someone one can all easily be placed as small or as large as the user wants. Saving these in multiple versions or simply saving over a previously created one is easy. With this said however, it’s not quite something you want to do while running a live stream as in order to shift objects around it has to be pre-stream which is where the Local Stream feature option works flawlessly.
In order to set everything up properly, and not constantly log into Twitch for example in order to make sure everything’s running smoothly, the local option saves what would have been the stream into a video file on the machine. This lets you run through the timeline to see if any modifications would be required such as a logo covering the mini map after a cutscene has gone by or to make sure the currency in the bottom right corner is visible. With the ability to verify your potential videos also comes the other option in which Youcast can be used to record Let’s Plays without needing any other software. Being more than just a streaming tool increased the versatility of the software making it a great addition as not only can Youcast broadcast a game that is already installed, it can also take external sources such as the AverMedia Extremecap U3 allowing for any HDMI enabled consoles to be used for broadcasting or recording.
With all of the options through a PC or an external device, Youcast is more than simply a gamer’s broadcasting tool. With options to record the happenings on screen or another external input such as a webcam to record a music practice there is honestly something for everyone. Recording or broadcasting tutorials in Adobe’s Photoshop for example is nothing more than simply hitting the option to broadcast your screen and then performing whatever actions are necessary with or without speaking into a mic. Want to save these for later? Record them. Have a group that follows you and you want to show off some different design tips and tricks every week? Live stream it through your preferred method and hold a chat with your followers. This is very much the beauty of this software. It allows for multiple users to perform the actions that they wish or a single user to perform multiple different tasks without ever leaving the software in exchange for another.
Overall I was very impressed with Magix’s Youcast. The ease of use and the simplicity of quickly getting into the actions that I wished to perform was marvelous as I didn’t need to ever dig into the help files to figure anything out. With a clean interface offering a potential of different actions that can be quickly switched between and locally tested, Youcast is a worthwhile tool for anyone wanting to quickly jump into online broadcasting without having to figure out a plethora of different tools and if they even work together.Score: 9 / 10