DATE: Fri 07 May 2021 By: HexDSL@Posteo.net
Recently the friendly group of nerds that I am a part of discovered a free software project called Owncast. The projects aim is simple. Provide a self-hosted alternative to Twitch. Sounds like one of those things that gets complicated fast doesn’t it? Well, you know what… they only went and did it!
The software/service/whatever is wonderful. TT co-host Drewington Montgomery the third went from hearing about own cast to having it up and running in a frighteningly short amount of time and there a quick start guide on the website that will get you setup too. Assuming you have a VPS with enough grunt (and not a lot of grunt is required)
Drew quickly had an instance of the server running for me over on my website (linked below) and I must say, it’s wonderful! There’s an admin page where I can set “branding” simply and with zero nonsense. Is a simple line in there where I just set the stream title as well as manage chat if required (and yes, it has built in chat, that does not require sign in)
My instance (tv.hexdsl.co.uk)
To watch the stream you can either watch on the website same as you would with twitch or connect via MPV (same as you can with twitch, I guess) for extra sparkle you can choose to have your stream listed in the ownstream-directory where you get a little bit of discoverability with zero effort.
Yes I did. I stopped streaming because I felt like it was too much work, I felt like it was a chore and I was constantly thinking about all those “twitch” things, like raids and moderation and music (c) nonsense. I was always worried about when I streamed and what I said and how it reflected on my YouTube audience. But, ultimately I just didn’t enjoy it. And i did it pretty regularly for almost 2 years!!!
That’s where OwnStream is great. Because if I want to throw up a stream with zero planning, its there for me, and there is no expectation of professionalism, or of consistency. I can start streaming and give the link out over discord and boop! I’m off.
Sure, fundamentally there’s no real difference between an ownstream and a twitch stream for the person streaming but I think self hosting this kind of thing being self-hosted and free of corporations makes is more in line with my values and there are less reasons for me not to do it.
I love the simplicity of it, and while I still don’t want to be a “streamer” I can at least now, throw up a fun stream for fun and talk to the people who come along :)