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So, you want to start streaming video on the Internet? That’s great! Whether you want people to watch you play games, or you want to host a podcast, you will need some software to do the job. A quick look at Google 15 Random Google Searches & What We Learned From Them 15 Random Google Searches & What We Learned From Them We take Google and the other search engines for granted. That needs to stop. Here. And now. Read More will introduce you to two major players: Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) and XSplit.

You’ll find a lot of mixed feelings on each, but you’ll see that most people tend to recommend OBS How To Live Stream Your Gaming Sessions Using Open Broadcaster Software How To Live Stream Your Gaming Sessions Using Open Broadcaster Software Live streams have become all the rage these days in the world of gaming, and with Open Broadcaster Software you can join in with your own streaming sessions for the world to watch. Read More , mainly because it’s completely free, whereas XSplit requires you to purchase a license in order to get access to all of its features.

I’m not one of those people, however, and I’m here to tell you that a premium subscription to XSplit is worth getting.

The Cost

Buy-Xsplit

First, we need to take a look at just how much XSplit costs. In order to get access to all of the features listed below, you’ll need the more expensive Premium subscription; it includes XSplit Gamecaster and Broadcaster. There’s also Free and the slightly cheaper Personal option. With Premium, you’ll be looking at $24.95 for a 3 month license, $59.95 for a 12 month subscription, and $149.95 for 36 months of access. It’s not cheap, but it does offer some fantastic features, the best of which are below.

Scene Preview Editor

As someone who hosts a podcast 3 Ways To Add Your Audio-Only Podcast To YouTube 3 Ways To Add Your Audio-Only Podcast To YouTube The world's 3rd biggest website will not let you upload audio without an accompanying video. Maximise the profile of your podcast by featuring it on YouTube with these three workarounds. Read More through my streaming software, this is literally the greatest feature ever created. Instead of having to actively show a scene to your viewers to edit it, XSplit lets you right click a scene and edit it without taking the current scene off.

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Preview Editor

So why is this a big deal? Let’s say you have a scene featuring all of your hosts faces during a podcast and they are talking about a game. You have some video of this game you want to show, but you need to add it to your scene. Without a preview editor, you’d have to change scenes for your viewers, and have them see you making edits. With the preview editor in XSplit, you can make the changes behind the scene, and show them the new scene with the gameplay only when it’s actually ready for their eyes.

If you’re only streaming gameplay, this feature won’t be a big deal for you, and OBS might do the job, but if you’re creating more detailed broadcasts that require frequent scene changes, this is a feature that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without.

Scene Transitions

It’s the little things that take a broadcast to the next level, and smooth transitions between scenes is one of those things. You can choose from quite a few transitions, so when you click from one scene to the other, it looks smooth and professional. OBS just hard cuts from one to the other, and it doesn’t look nearly as nice.

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Again, if you only use one scene during your broadcasts, you might not need this feature. But you have to think: could switching scenes make your broadcast better? Could it attract more viewers and possibly get you to that coveted partner status on Twitch? Getting into streaming gameplay Steam Broadcasting is Here! What Can You Actually Do With It? Steam Broadcasting is Here! What Can You Actually Do With It? If you've been afraid to start streaming gameplay, Broadcasting might be the useful Steam feature you've been waiting for. Read More is a highly competitive market, and you need to make yourself stand out. Spending $60 seems like a lot, but if it increases the chances of your channel growing, isn’t it worth it?

Thumbnail Preview

This is a small one, but one that’s quite cool. When you mouse over a new scene in XSplit, you get a little thumbnail that shows you what it looks like. This way, you can tell if anything is missing.

MouseOverPreview

This feature goes back to the aforementioned Scene Preview Editor, because if you notice something wrong in the thumbnail, you can quickly right click the scene and edit it. This can save you some serious embarrassment. No one wants to put up an incomplete scene, or show a camera that isn’t looking at the right thing. You might even show something embarrassing, and no one wants that.

Skype Video

James Bruce, Rob Wiesehan, Rachel Kaser, and myself host a podcast on Twitch called the Technophilia Gaming Podcast. Rachel, Rob and I live in different parts of the US, and James lives in the UK, so we use Skype and webcams to show our beautiful faces during the show. With OBS, you have to add Skype 10 Tips To Make You a More Efficient Skype User 10 Tips To Make You a More Efficient Skype User Skype can do more than you think. With this article, you'll learn all about its best hidden and advanced features. It's the Skype productivity manual. Read More as a Window capture and manually crop everything. With XSplit, you click Skype Video as a source and it just appears in the scene.

SkypeVideo

Of course, it’s not perfect, as you’ll still need to crop out the Skype extra bits and clean it up, but for podcast hosts, it’s definitely quicker and easier. It’s all about making your broadcast look as clean as you can with as little effort on your part as possible, and this feature helps with that.

Quicker Screen Capture

Let’s say you’re streaming and you want to show your listeners something from a web browser. In OBS, you need to do a window capture, which will show the whole window, and then crop the part you want. In XSplit, you simply select “Screen Capture” and draw a box over the part of the window you want to show. It works like many popular screenshot programs Boost Your Productivity With These Mac Clipboard Managers and Screenshot Utilities Boost Your Productivity With These Mac Clipboard Managers and Screenshot Utilities Clipboard managers and screenshot utilities are useful tools for supercharging your writing, research, and editing workflow. Read More , so it feels natural. Viewers don’t see anything you don’t want them to, and it’s incredibly quick.

Capture

This can also be used in place of the aforementioned Skype video feature. You can just draw a box over the Skype window and show the parts that you want.

The use cases for quickly capturing parts of windows are nearly limitless. The whole point of broadcasting is to show your viewers something, and this feature makes that quick and easy. It allows you to focus on being entertaining, rather than cropping.

Is it for You?

These are the five biggest reasons to upgrade to XSplit. There are other feature, such as scrolling text, access to the Gamecaster software for more basic streaming, custom text scripts, and more, but these five really put it over the top.

If you look at these features and think, “these won’t help me with the way I broadcast,” then that’s great. Save your money and stick with OBS (or try out the free version of XSplit), as it’s a fantastic piece of software, and I am in no way trying to downplay it. But, if you really want to create professional broadcasts, the XSplit features above make that easier to do. It’s not perfect, and there’s some places OBS comes out ahead, but on the whole, these extra features give XSplit that little nudge.

Who knows, armed with this knowledge you might just go on to be the next great streamer.

Do you use XSplit or OBS for your broadcasting needs? Hit the comments section and let us know!

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