Livestation is a free software that lets you watch live television and radio broadcasts through a desktop player on your PC, Mac or Linux computer. LiveStation focuses on news channels making it an excellent choice for following the latest news online. The channels can be also watched on Livestation website, but the desktop player presents all of them through an easily accessible interface.
Livestation aggregates a number of international news channels online and offers them through a great and intuitive interface – the player at the top and the list of channels at the bottom, like a playlist. Absolutely no clutter, whatsoever.
The free version of LiveStation player offers a number of free channels to watch – the good ones are already there, namely, BBC, Al Jazeera, NASA TV, ESPN Live, and oh! MTV, Cartoon Network and few other entertainment channels thrown in, in case you get bored watching the news. You can also chat with other users who are watching the same channel. That will keep you company.
Want to do more? Connect your Twitter account, and then you can tweet while you watch. LiveStation makes it easy to take a screen grab of what you are watching and post the image to Twitter along with your comments. Surely the fastest way to post a picture from live TV to Twitter.
At 256kbps, the video quality is decent, more than enough actually, for news. If you want better quality, you can opt in for the Premium service ($19.99 for life) and get higher quality streaming at 800kbps delivered via an international content distribution network for higher reliability.
Current live TV news channels in the global offering (which comes with a default installation) include France24 in English, French, and Arabic, Al Arabiya in Arabic, Al Jazeera in English and Arabic, Bloomberg Television, C-SPAN, Deutsche Welle TV and radio in English and German, Democratic Voice of Burma, Euronews in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish, Russia Today in English and Arabic, BBC World News, BBC World Service Radio, BBC Arabic, ITN, Press TV and BBC Persian. Users can add their own channels (if they have the stream URL) and filter the list by news, sports, music and location (US/UK).
There is a Multi-View feature that enables you to watch two channels at the same time. The Pro version lets you get as many channels on screen as your bandwidth allows you to.
The ‘always on top’ is another handy feature that keeps the player running in a corner of your screen while you work. I’m actually watching Al Jazeera as I’m preparing this review.
Then there are desktop alerts which are wired to the channels’ Twitter feeds that allow you to receive news alerts as they are pushed out.
LiveStation is highly recommended for those who like to watch, rather than read, news.
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