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  • Capturing live stream

  • Michael Gissing

    May 31, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Not exactly a FCP thing but I figure my smart cow friends might know how to solve this problem. My colleague has permission to record a live stream from a court case to use in a documentary. She has a Mac but if any one knows anything for PC or Linux we could use those options as well.

    The stream is over the internet and is most likely H.264 720p @ 25fps. Does any one know what Mac based software might be able to record to a drive this stream as it comes in live. I know of some browser based downloaders but not sure if they can handle a live stream as opposed to triggering a stream to play from a server. Ideally it is not a screen capture which will re-encode and maybe do strange things to the frame rate, but a direct capture of the actual stream.

    Apparently the courts don’t record the video, only live stream so this seems to be the only way to grab it. Thanks brains trust

  • Shane Ross

    June 1, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Only option is screen capture software, AFAIK. Because there is no hardware/software option to send live stream out to a recording device. I mean, there used to be a Matrox solution for getting a “region of interest” on a computer monitor and send that out as a video signal…a SCAN CONVERTER. Not sure they still make one. But that does send out a signal from the image seen on the display, and assigns it a frame rate. Outputs via SDI

    Screenflow is screen capture software that captures everything that plays on your screen and with NO frame rate…it doesn’t assign one until you export. That’s what I would use.

    My $.02

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  • Michael Gissing

    June 1, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Thanks Shane.

  • Bouke Vahl

    June 1, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Of course there is software that does this.

    You could use FFmpeg to redirect the stream to a file, that would mean you don’t have any quality loss.


  • Michael Gissing

    June 2, 2017 at 11:16 am

    thanks Bourke. My friend who wants to do this is not technical and she is using a Mac. So is there something other than command line to drive FFMpeg to be able to watch the stream and start and stop recording?

  • Bouke Vahl

    June 2, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Hi Michael
    It’s worse ☺
    FFmpeg does not show the stream at all, it just shows what it’s doing.

    Rest is easy enough:
    Syntax is simple: ffmpeg -i https://www.yoursite/stream.mp4 -codec copy outfile.mp4

    The trick is to get the correct URL.
    Do you know what site it is, and when they are broadcasting?


  • Michael Gissing

    June 2, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    It is a court feed and the url is not for publication. I’m presuming mp4 and I’ve been told it’s 720p @25fps. It goes on for days so my friend needs to be able to keep an eye on it and trigger recording when relevant.

    Another recommendation was VLC which allows watching the stream and being able to record as well. Until we get a chance to test we won’t know if any of the software other than screen capture software will be able to do this.

  • Bouke Vahl

    June 3, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Well, I would suggest to capture EVERYTHING.
    With FFmpeg, you can set it up to record in segments of any given lenght.
    So that makes it easy to clean up afterwards.
    If you do a stream copy, the amount of data won’t be that much.

    But, you definitely need to test…

    VLC might be a good option, but not sure if it can save ‘same as source’. If not, you need a fast machine to do the transcoding on the fly, and you probably want to go to Prores LE or something.


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