Code Quality Rank: L4
Programming language: Swift
Tags: Streaming    

Live alternatives and similar libraries

Based on the "Streaming" category.
Alternatively, view Live alternatives based on common mentions on social networks and blogs.

Do you think we are missing an alternative of Live or a related project?

Add another 'Streaming' Library


This project is to demonstrate how to build a live broadcast app. It include these features:

  • Create a room to broadcast your live stream
  • Join a room to watch the live
  • Send likes, gifts, and comments

image  image


How to run

1. Nginx RTMP server

You need to can set up your own rtmp server, the guidance can be found here:

2. WebSocket server

Just go to the live-server folder, run npm install, then start the server by node app.js

3. iOS client

Go to the live-ios folder, run pod install(must use cocoapods 0.39.0)

In Config.swift, update the server url:

struct Config {
    static var rtmpPushUrl = "rtmp://"
    static var rtmpPlayUrl = "rtmp://"
    static var serverUrl = ""

The app can also run on a simulator, but to broadcast, you need to run it on a real device.


1. Live streaming

The basic live streaming flow is:

broadcaster -> rtmp -> media server -> cdn -> rtmp or hls -> audience

For the simplest case, we don't need a cdn server, then the flow will be:

broadcaster -> rtmp -> media server -> rtmp or hls -> audience

That is, the boadcaster push the live stream using the RTMP protocal to a media server, the audience pull the stream from the server using RTMP or HLS protocal.

Some explaination for RTMP and HLS:

  • RTMP: RTMP is used to stream audio, video or data and is originally a proprietary protocol introduced by Macromedia (owned by Adobe). The protocol is TCP-based and offers therefore persistent connections. In short, RTMP encapsulates MP3/AAC audio and MP4/FLV video multimedia streams.

  • HLS: HTTP Live Streaming is known as HLS. As the name implies, it is the media streaming communications protocol based on HTTP; developed by Apple as part of their QuickTime, Safari, OS X, and iOS products. How does it work? It breaks the overall stream into a sequence of small HTTP-based files (.ts: Transport Stream). These transport stream files are indexed in the file .m3u8. It is required to download first the .m3u8 playlist to play a live stream.

For the media server, there are serveral choices:

  • Adobe media server
  • Red5
  • Nginx RTMP module
  • crtmpserver

After setting up the server, you can test it using ffmpeg(install it by brew install ffmpeg).

p.s. Lots of live stream cloud already covers the media server and cdn parts. You just need to push/pull the stream from it.

2. iOS RTMP libs

There are serveral open source projects supporting RTMP, this project uses:

You can find the usage of these libs in their project pages.

3. Websocket server

This project uses socket.io to handle the client-server communication, the logic is very simple, on the server side:

var rooms = {}

io.on('connection', function(socket) {

  socket.on('create_room', function(room) {
    var roomKey = room.key
    rooms[roomKey] = room
    socket.roomKey = roomKey

  socket.on('close_room', function(roomKey) {
    delete rooms[roomKey]

  socket.on('disconnect', function() {
    if (socket.roomKey) {
      delete rooms[socket.roomKey]

  socket.on('join_room', function(roomKey) {

  socket.on('upvote', function(roomKey) {

  socket.on('gift', function(data) {
    io.to(data.roomKey).emit('gift', data)


On the client side, it uses the socket.io swift client(https://github.com/socketio/socket.io-client-swift), the logic is also simple:

create, join, or close a room:

socket.on("connect") { data, ack in
    self.socket.emit("create_room", self.room)

socket.on("connect") { data, ack in
    self.socket.emit("join_room", self.room.key)


publish likes and comments events:

socket.emit("upvote", room.key)
socket.emit("comment", [
    "roomKey": room.key,
    "text": text

listen likes and comments events:

socket.on("upvote") { data, ack in

socket.on("comment") { data, ack in
    let comment = Comment(dict: data[0] as! [String: AnyObject])