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Tosh
Tosh

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How to livestream to Youtube using the Youtube Live Streaming API

If you’re building an app and you want to allow users to livestream video directly to youtube you will need to work with the Youtube Live Streaming API. It can be super daunting to use this API, because of the multiple steps required and the lack of snippets on the internet that you can use. I had some issues working with this API so I asked a question on Stack Overflow. After some trial and error and being ignored, I solved my own problem and posted the answer to my own question.

I am writing this because I couldn’t find anyone doing this with Javascript on the client and so I hope this will help others.

Let’s get started. To create a livestream first you should peruse the API documentation to get familiar with some of the terminology. To go live there are several steps: 1) authenticate the user 2) create a broadcast 3) create a stream 4) bind the stream to the broadcast 5) send your video to a server which encodes the video and sends it to youtube 6) transition the broadcast status to live.

To make it easier to visualize here are the steps with the corresponding buttons you need to click on in order. All the functions that are executed when you click the buttons can be seen below in the code.

live streaming button ui

import React, { useState, useEffect, useRef } from 'react'
import Navbar from '../../components/Navbar/Navbar'
import BroadcastButton from '../../components/Buttons/BroadcastButton'
import Timer from '../../components/Timer/Timer'
import formatTime from '../../utils/formatTime'
import getCookie from '../../utils/getCookie'
import API from '../../api/api'
import './Broadcast.css'

const CAPTURE_OPTIONS = {
  audio: true,
  video: true,
}

/* global gapi */

function Broadcast() {
  const [isVideoOn, setisVideoOn] = useState(true)
  const [mute, setMute] = useState(false)
  const [seconds, setSeconds] = useState(0)
  const [isActive, setIsActive] = useState(false)

  const [youtubeIngestionUrl, setYoutubeIngestionUrl] = useState('')
  const [youtubeStreamName, setYoutubeStreamName] = useState('')
  const [facebookStreamKey, setFacebookStreamKey] = useState('')
  const [twitchStreamKey, setTwitchStreamKey] = useState('')

  const [mediaStream, setMediaStream] = useState(null)
  const [userFacing, setuserFacing] = useState(false)

  const [streamId, setstreamId] = useState('')
  const [broadcastId, setbroadcastId] = useState('')

  const videoRef = useRef()
  const ws = useRef()

  const productionWsUrl = 'wss://www.ohmystream.xyz/websocket'
  const developmentWsUrl = 'ws://localhost:3001'

  //!!! THIS IS THE URL I AM STREAMING TO
  const youtubeUrl = youtubeIngestionUrl + '/' + youtubeStreamName

  const streamUrlParams = `?twitchStreamKey=${twitchStreamKey}&youtubeUrl=${youtubeUrl}&facebookStreamKey=${facebookStreamKey}`

  let liveStream
  let liveStreamRecorder

  if (mediaStream && videoRef.current && !videoRef.current.srcObject) {
    videoRef.current.srcObject = mediaStream
  }

  async function enableStream() {
    try {
      let stream = await navigator.mediaDevices.getUserMedia({
        video: isVideoOn,
        audio: true,
      })
      setMediaStream(stream)
    } catch (err) {
      console.log(err)
    }
  }

  useEffect(() => {
    if (!mediaStream) {
      enableStream()
    } else {
      return function cleanup() {
        mediaStream.getVideoTracks().forEach((track) => {
          track.stop()
        })
      }
    }
  }, [mediaStream])

  useEffect(() => {
    let userId = getCookie('userId')

    API.post('/destinations', { userId })
      .then((response) => {
        if (response) {
          setTwitchStreamKey(response.data.twitch_stream_key)
          setFacebookStreamKey(response.data.facebook_stream_key)
        }
      })
      .catch((err) => console.log(err))
  }, [])

  useEffect(() => {
    ws.current =
      process.env.NODE_ENV === 'production'
        ? new WebSocket(productionWsUrl + streamUrlParams)
        : new WebSocket(developmentWsUrl + streamUrlParams)

    console.log(ws.current)

    ws.current.onopen = () => {
      console.log('WebSocket Open')
    }

    return () => {
      ws.current.close()
    }
  }, [twitchStreamKey, youtubeStreamName])

  useEffect(() => {
    let interval = null
    if (isActive) {
      interval = setInterval(() => {
        setSeconds((seconds) => seconds + 1)
      }, 1000)
    } else if (!isActive && seconds !== 0) {
      clearInterval(interval)
    }
    return () => clearInterval(interval)
  }, [isActive, seconds])

  const toggle = () => {
    setIsActive(!isActive)
  }

  const startStream = () => {
    if (!twitchStreamKey || !youtubeStreamName) {
      alert(
        'Please add your twitch and youtube stream keys first under destinations'
      )
    } else {
      toggle()
      liveStream = videoRef.current.captureStream(30) // 30 FPS
      liveStreamRecorder = new MediaRecorder(liveStream, {
        mimeType: 'video/webm;codecs=h264',
        videoBitsPerSecond: 3 * 1024 * 1024,
      })
      liveStreamRecorder.ondataavailable = (e) => {
        ws.current.send(e.data)
        console.log('send data', e.data)
      }
      // Start recording, and dump data every second
      liveStreamRecorder.start(1000)
    }
  }

  const stopStream = () => {
    setIsActive(false)
    ws.current.close()
    liveStreamRecorder = null
    // liveStreamRecorder.stop()
  }

  const toggleMute = () => {
    setMute(!mute)
  }

  const toggleCamera = () => {
    // toggle camera on and off here
    setisVideoOn(false)
  }

  const recordScreen = async () => {
    let stream
    !userFacing
      ? (stream = await navigator.mediaDevices.getDisplayMedia(CAPTURE_OPTIONS))
      : (stream = await navigator.mediaDevices.getUserMedia(CAPTURE_OPTIONS))
    setMediaStream(stream)

    videoRef.current.srcObject = stream
    setuserFacing(!userFacing)
  }

  const handleCanPlay = () => {
    videoRef.current.play()
  }

  //!!! authenticate AND loadClient ARE CALLED FIRST
  const authenticate = () => {
    return gapi.auth2
      .getAuthInstance()
      .signIn({ scope: 'https://www.googleapis.com/auth/youtube.force-ssl' })
      .then((res) => {
        console.log(res)
      })
      .catch((err) => console.log(err))
  }

  const loadClient = () => {
    gapi.client.setApiKey(process.env.REACT_APP_GOOGLE_API_KEY)
    return gapi.client
      .load('https://www.googleapis.com/discovery/v1/apis/youtube/v3/rest')
      .then((res) => {
        console.log('GAPI client loaded for API')
        console.log(res)
      })
      .catch((err) => console.log('Error loading GAPI client for API', err))
  }

  //!!! createBroadcast IS CALLED SECOND. BROADCAST APPEARS ON YOUTUBE
  const createBroadcast = () => {
    return gapi.client.youtube.liveBroadcasts
      .insert({
        part: ['id,snippet,contentDetails,status'],
        resource: {
          snippet: {
            title: `New Video: ${new Date().toISOString()}`,
            scheduledStartTime: `${new Date().toISOString()}`,
            description:
              'A description of your video stream. This field is optional.',
          },
          contentDetails: {
            recordFromStart: true,
            // startWithSlate: true,
            enableAutoStart: false,
            monitorStream: {
              enableMonitorStream: false,
            },
          },
          status: {
            privacyStatus: 'public',
            selfDeclaredMadeForKids: true,
          },
        },
      })
      .then((res) => {
        console.log('Response', res)
        console.log(res.result.id)
        setbroadcastId(res.result.id)
      })
      .catch((err) => {
        console.error('Execute error', err)
      })
  }

  //!!! CALL createStream AFTER createBroadcast. IN THE RESPONSE SET youtubeIngestionUrl AND youtubeStreamName
  const createStream = () => {
    return gapi.client.youtube.liveStreams
      .insert({
        part: ['snippet,cdn,contentDetails,status'],
        resource: {
          snippet: {
            title: "Your new video stream's name",
            description:
              'A description of your video stream. This field is optional.',
          },
          cdn: {
            frameRate: 'variable',
            ingestionType: 'rtmp',
            resolution: 'variable',
            format: '',
          },
          contentDetails: {
            isReusable: true,
          },
        },
      })
      .then((res) => {
        console.log('Response', res)

        setstreamId(res.result.id)
        console.log('streamID' + res.result.id)

        setYoutubeIngestionUrl(res.result.cdn.ingestionInfo.ingestionAddress)
        console.log(res.result.cdn.ingestionInfo.ingestionAddress)

        setYoutubeStreamName(res.result.cdn.ingestionInfo.streamName)
        console.log(res.result.cdn.ingestionInfo.streamName)
      })
      .catch((err) => {
        console.log('Execute error', err)
      })
  }

  //!!! CALL AFTER CREATING STREAM.
  const bindBroadcastToStream = () => {
    return gapi.client.youtube.liveBroadcasts
      .bind({
        part: ['id,snippet,contentDetails,status'],
        id: broadcastId,
        streamId: streamId,
      })
      .then((res) => {
        console.log('Response', res)
      })
      .catch((err) => {
        console.error('Execute error', err)
      })
  }

  //!!! CLICK GO LIVE FIRST TO SEND VIDEO TO THE SERVER and then CALL transitionToLive
  const transitionToLive = () => {
    return gapi.client.youtube.liveBroadcasts
      .transition({
        part: ['id,snippet,contentDetails,status'],
        broadcastStatus: 'live',
        id: broadcastId,
      })
      .then((res) => {
        // Handle the results here (response.result has the parsed body).
        console.log('Response', res)
      })
      .catch((err) => {
        console.log('Execute error', err)
      })
  }

  gapi.load('client:auth2', function () {
    gapi.auth2.init({
      client_id: process.env.REACT_APP_GOOGLE_CLIENT_ID,
    })
  })

  return (
    <>
      <Navbar />
      <div className='dashboard-container'>
        <div id='container'>
          <div
            style={
              seconds === 0
                ? { visibility: 'hidden' }
                : { visibility: 'visible' }
            }
          >
            <Timer>
              {isActive ? 'LIVE' : 'END'}: {formatTime(seconds)}
            </Timer>
          </div>
          <video
            className='video-container'
            ref={videoRef}
            onCanPlay={handleCanPlay}
            autoPlay
            playsInline
            muted={mute}
          />
        </div>
        <div className='button-container'>
          <BroadcastButton
            title={!isActive ? '5) Go Live' : 'Stop Recording'}
            fx={!isActive ? startStream : stopStream}
          />
          {/* <BroadcastButton title='Disable Camera' fx={toggleCamera} /> */}
          <BroadcastButton
            title={!userFacing ? 'Share Screen' : 'Stop Sharing'}
            fx={recordScreen}
          />
          <BroadcastButton title={!mute ? 'Mute' : 'Muted'} fx={toggleMute} />
        </div>

        <div style={{ marginTop: '1rem' }}>
          <button onClick={() => authenticate().then(loadClient)}>
            1. authenticate
          </button>
          <button onClick={createBroadcast}>2. create broadcast</button>
          <button onClick={createStream}>3. create stream</button>
          <button onClick={bindBroadcastToStream}>4. bind broadcast</button>
          <button onClick={transitionToLive}>6. transition to live</button>
        </div>
      </div>
    </>
  )
}

export default Broadcast
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

Note that in production there are more steps you need to consider to make this application more user friendly. For example you need to also create a step to end the broadcast on Youtube. To do this follow the documentation and transition the broadcastStatus to complete.

You might be wondering about step 5. Well that is pretty complicated. There are probably multiple ways to do this, but the way I did it is setting up a node js server with FFmpeg to encode the video and then relay the encoded video to Youtube. You can find the code for that HERE.

If you’re curious you can check out my open source project that allows users to stream to platforms like Youtube and Twitch at the same time. Here’s the code and here’s the link to take the product for a spin. Enjoy and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about working with the live streaming api.

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