My Perfect Livecoding steam for OSX

I’ve been interested in live streaming for a while now. I’ve been playing with on and off, and through this experience I’ve had to deal with the crappy internet connections and configuration complications I’ve had to figure out. I thought I’d document my current configuration so that I might help make other potential streamers’ experiences a bit smoother.


I’m using OBS to stream on osx Yosemite. I’m using a 15" Macbook Pro Mid-2014. I’m using Bluetooth headphones which complicate my setup somewhat. My machine has 16GB of ram, a 2.2Ghz core i7, and an SSD. Your mileage may vary - this is what works for me on my connection, with my computer’s spec. If you interent connection is more or less symetric than mine, this configuration will probably be sub-optimal, but hopefully it will point you in the right direction.

Internet Connection

I have an ADSL connection. This means that my internet connection is asymmetric:

Speedtest of my current home connection

As you can see, I cannot even get 1Mb/s up - not even when I have a specialist ISP who have amazing support and have optimized my line as much as possible.

What this means, is that I struggle very much with uploading video in real time. I’ve managed to optimise my video stream a bit to keep lag down and make sure I don’t drop frames


I have set my bitrate to a low setting (600), and also set the Custom Buffer Size to the same level. Because I have a fast CPU, I set the CPU usage preset to medium, on a high profile. Check out this section in a wiki article for FFMPEG for a better understanding of how presets and profiles work.

My base resolution is set to 1336x768, using Lanczos filtering to downscale.

I’m using a rather low FPS value of 10. This is required due to my terrible upload speed.


I have the Audio bitrate set to 64. This frees up bandwidth I use to get a slightly higher screen. My Sample Rate is set to 44.1khz.

I’m using a couple of techniques connected together in order to have good control of the audio in the livestream. Here’s how it all works:

I have a tool called WavTap installed. WavTap is a simpler, nicer alternative to SoundFlower. WavTap allows us to capture what the desktop is playing and pipe it into the stream seperately from the microphone.