WHAT UP INTERNET?!
As you Bros know, over the past few months I’ve gotten into broadcasting my gaming sessions on Twitch. When I first began I was simply using the Kinect which came bundled with my Xbone, and while this certainly served its function I was desperately seeking an upgrade. I wanted to have more control over various aspects of my stream and considering I was already planning to build a PC (and that grueling process was documented on Twitch, naturally!), it seemed like I was well on my way. After learning the intricacies of Open Broadcasting Software (aka OBS in the Twitch vernacular) I decided to begin the process of customizing my stream alerts, and here’s where I ran into a few impediments.
After a cursory Google search, I opted to use TwitchAlerts to power all the alerts on my stream. When attempting to customize the various aspects of my alerts (such as sounds, GIFs, alert duration, etc.) I spent more time on this than I had learning how to use OBS! The user-interface was not super user friendly and while once things were configured they were easy to edit, it took me quite some time (and more than a few groans) to get everything to look exactly how I wanted.
Perhaps it’s just my personal preference, but when I’m attempting to figure out how to do something I positively abhor having to watch YouTube videos. Don’t get me wrong-I enjoy watching videos for entertainment purposes, however when I’m stuck trying to figure something out the last thing I want is to hear someone ramble for five minutes about who they are, what they’re doing and yadda yadda. Again-it’s entirely possible this is just due to my impatience and I will readily admit that. While there is a plethora of information (all of which is very helpful and not nearly all of it is in the form I just described) available on how to configure TwitchAlerts, a majority of it is in video form. TwitchAlerts does have written guides as well, however I personally found the documentation to be lacking.
Enter the new service I’m currently using to power my stream alerts: Muxy (website: https://muxy.io/). Muxy has the cleanest user interface I’ve come across since I delved into the world of Twitch streaming, and truth be told this is the primary reason for me composing this review. If you’re already familiar with a similar service (such as TwitchAlerts) switching to Muxy is an absolute breeze and should only take you a couple minutes. It took me about 10 minutes to customize my alerts to my liking-primarily because I wanted to switch over to some new GIFs. Setting up alerts themselves is as easy as naming your alert, customizing your alert and then dropping in an image and/or sound effects of your choice. Whether you’re familiar with setting up alerts on a Twitch broadcast or not, the Muxy UI makes it as simple as possible-as such I highly recommend giving it a whirl the next time you’re looking to revamp your stream.
Additionally, being able to create multiple alert packages-which means you could conceivably use one set of alerts for gaming broadcast and another set for creative-is a painless process. You simply navigate to Alerts>Create a New Alert Package and in minutes you can have a completely different set of alerts for use on your stream. If you’re like me and enjoy doing cooking/tabletop/any sort of “beyond the controller” type stream, this is an invaluable resource which adds a unique layer to your broadcasts.
The easy-to-use interface means whether you’re a n00b streamer like myself or a longtime Twitch pro, setting up your alerts is intuitive and setting up multiple alerts packages is simple. Eventually, I’d imagine the Muxy team will add multiple options for font animations, styling and some sort of stock “GIF library” a la TwitchAlerts to cater to streamers who prefer to even more customization options over their alerts. Also, I’d imagine it’s only a matter of time until Muxy adds customization options for chat. Even if that’s a long ways off on the horizon, Muxy makes tweaking your stream to your liking as simple as it can possibly be. As any gamer will attest, more customization options are always a good thing.
If you run into issues when setting up your alerts with Muxy, simply take a quick peek into their Knowledge Base. Muxy’s Knowledge Base-while obviously still being built out-is already quite robust and serves as a differentiating factor which makes Muxy exceptionally easy to use for new streamers. Recall way back earlier in this review when I was ranting about how people talk way too much when describing how to set something up? Muxy’s Knowledge Base addresses common questions/issues as concise as any broadcaster could want. Eventually, I could see it being built out to have each entry contain GIFs and/or photos (similar to the way they describe installing the Muxy ticker) allowing savvy gamers-or just Bros who follow directions well-the ability to solve common issues without the need to leave their site.
If the Knowledge Base can be expanded to provide similar, concise steps on how to set up OBS and/or other popular streaming programs, or perhaps other “tips and tricks” for improving the quality of a Twithc broadcast, I could see their site becoming a go-to resource for new streamers looking to bolster their broadcasts. They’ve a number of tutorials on their site already-all of which are short, sweet and to the point-but they were bolstered slightly to include photos and/or GIFs, I could quickly see them becoming a one-stop shop for all Twitch streamers looking to spruce up their stream.
Setting up tips (aka donations) for your stream is as streamlined as setting up alerts. Simply add your PayPal account email, tweak some preferential settings and a page is automatically created for you. If you’d like to add a custom image you can, and if not Muxy will automatically pull your banner image from Twitch. Additionally, the Muxy tip page offers the ability to have donors cover the PayPal processing fee which is a fantastic touch.
Finally, the Muxy interface is optimized for mobile, making editing alerts on the go as easy and painless a process as customizing them on a desktop. As someone who likes to toy around with alerts when I’ve a few minutes to kill, this is a huge advantage over TwitchAlerts. While you may not have access to your complete custom image/sounds arsenal while on mobile, the flexibility afforded by this cannot be understated. Although I’m not one to use a tablet (such as an iPad) considering how seamless the UI is on both a desktop and iPhone, I’d reckon the experience is slick. The Muxy product is all about simplicity, flexibility and seems designed with broadcasters of all technical skill level in mind. Truth be told, it’s difficult to find something the product does wrong, as the UI screams convenience and does everything one could ask for.
If it doesn’t seem as if your Bro isn’t being overly critical of Muxy, believe me when I say it’s not for lack of trying. The UI is slick and although I’m sure they will improve upon it with time, presently I can find no fault with the interface. Apart from a lack of customization options and the aforementioned missing chat integration, I find nothing wrong with the Muxy product. I’m sure the Muxy team is hard at work looking to expand the offerings their product contains, and once this is done Muxy will rival any other alert service. That being said, once the pre-selected customization options are expanded (such as variations in text animations), the Knowledge Base (which similarly can be expanded upon) and damn-near perfect UI will make Muxy the only service this Twitch Broadcasting Bro can recommend to anyone who is seriously about customizing their stream.
Whether you’re a Twitch veteran or a newbie just looking to add some pizazz to their broadcasts, Muxy is a resource you absolutely need to check out. While there may be multiple sites/web apps which offer a similar service, I’ve yet to come across another with as slick a UI or with an already well-developed Knowledge Base which provides quick and succinct answers AND DOESN’T MAKE ME WATCH 15 MINUTE YOUTUBE VIDEOS TO GET A THREE SECOND ANSWER-but I digress. I’m confident the Muxy team (who solicits feedback not only on their site but via Twitter and has already added multiple community requested features) will continue to not only refine the product, but continue to expand upon it as well. As a gamer, Twitch Broadcaster and damn proud Texan I’m glad I discovered Muxy and will readily recommend it to any Bros who broadcast on Twitch regularly. Until next time, Bros!