MAY 08, 2003
Channel Storm Live Channel Pro 2.0
Streaming server and multimedia production suite
by David Nagel

I reviewed the previous version of Channel Storm's Live Channel Pro and said it was not only the best streaming software available, but one of the best-written pieces of software available period. It's fast. It's simple. And it's incredibly efficient. So how does the new version 2.0 stand up against what I had previously considered to be almost a perfect application? It's even better.

Live Channel Pro is a suite for broadcasting streaming media--video, images, text, audio and HTML. But it's so much more. It is, in essence, a broadcast studio in software. It offers multiple live streaming sources, support for unlimited audio and video clips, titles, transitions and effects. And everything it does is in real time with nothing more than your stock Macintosh G4. And it does it all in an incredibly tiny package--just 1.6 MB for the whole thing.[an error occurred while processing this directive]Now, with version 2.0, Live Channel Pro continues to expand upon the already incredible features found in previous releases. But before we get into these, let me back up a bit and show you what this software does.

What it does
As I say, Live Channel Pro 2.0 is a streaming media server and multimedia production suite. What does this mean? As a multimedia production suite, it provides the ability to import, composite and switch video, audio and graphics, as well as titles. Video can be captured from live sources or imported from QuickTime movies. Audio can be live or in any format supported by QuickTime. And graphics can be in just about any popular format.



Media, when imported, is held in a Media Browser bin (seen at the left, above). Double-clicking one of these items calls up a main control window and a contextual palette containing the clip's information and parameters to be modified. The example below shows these windows for a piece of video footage.









By clicking on the "Live" button in the clip window, the clip is brought immediately into the Broadcast window, which contains the final, composited elements of your broadcast. Clicking the "Next" button allows you to use the program's switching function to apply live, real-time transitions between your individual clips. This function is carried out by a Switcher palette, which, when activated, provides you with a number of options for switching between clips.





In the meantime, you can also be running graphic overlays and titles, previewing your audio, running audio with or without a voiceover, etc. For the Web, this package is truly a broadcast studio in a box.


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