Thursday, February 28, 2013

Watch videos online - streaming tutorial for MEGA.CO.NZ

Quick reference


Some users asked for a shorter version of the text. Here it is!
  1. Download MegaDownloader.
  2. Download VLC Player.
  3. Configure MegaDownlaoder: Go to "Options", "Configuration", "Streaming", check the option "Use streaming server", check the VLC path is correct. You can also check the option "Capture links from clipboard" from the configuration tab "General".
  4. Copy a MEGA link of a video file (avi, flv, mkv, mp4, etc). 
  5. A screen will appear, select "Watch online".
  6. Enjoy!
If you want to read the complete text, here it is!
 

Introduction


Do you remember MegaVideo? It was great for watching videos online. And surely you have though: "if only Mega could stream videos...". Of course, videos without copyright :)
Well, there are good news: It is possible to watch online videos by streaming, hosted in MEGA.CO.NZ - using MegaDownloader!!

How?


Remember MEGA has the files encrypted. MEGA is unable to know the content, and is unable to stream videos. 
But... if you know the key to decrypt the file... you could download it, decrypt the video "on the fly", and stream it to someone, couldn't you?
Basically, MegaDownloader downloads, decrypts and streams the video "on the fly" to any destination, using an integrated web-server. 
It's up to you to play the movie, using VLC for example, or any other player that accepts streaming: MegaDownloader gives you a "streaming URL" and you play it wherever you want.

What do I need?


First at all you need MegaDownloader, version 0.5 or newer. You can download it from here: 
Download MegaDownloader.

You also need a player. MegaDownloader is integrated with VLC, and works great: 
Download VLC.

Finally, you need the MEGA URL, with the key!


What if I don't use Windows?


VLC is available in many platforms. 
MegaDownloader works in Windows (and Mac using Parallels). However MegaDownloader acts as a "stream server". 
So you only need a Windows PC (or Mac) for running MegaDownloader, and then use the provided URL to stream the content to any device capable of playing stream videos, using a local network.


How to configure MegaDownloader


You only need to activate the streaming server. 
This is done by going to the configuration screen, and select the tab "Streaming". Check the option "Use streaming server", and check the VLC installation path is correct. Save the configuration. That's all!

That's great... but tell me how to watch videos online!!


Once you have installed and configured MegaDownloader and VLC, just copy into the clipboard a valid MEGA URL (note: the video can't be compressed in a zip or rar). 
If MegaDownloader has the option "Copy from the clipboard" activated, an "Add links" screen will appear, with the selected URL  (if not, open it manually).  

Now you will have two options: add the file to the download queue... or watch it online. Select that option. 
VLC will automatically start. 
After a while (the file download needs to start, and then the player buffer has to be filled) you will be able to watch the video. Please be patient while the video loads.

If you need to play it on other player or remote device, go to the "Streaming" menu, and select the first option "Watch online".
A screen will appear. Paste the link in the first textbox "MEGA URL link" and a new link will appear in the textbox "Streaming URL link". You can use that link into your favourite player :D

Oh, the URL is long... well, in that case it is possible to shorten it, if you need it.

Add the link into your Streaming Library, and the streaming URL will be shorter, with a numeric id. 
In order to add a MEGA URL to the library, go to the "Streaming" menu and select the option "Manage Library". A webpage will appear, and you will be able to add new elements to the library, providing a name, description, image link, etc. 
Once added, go to "Streaming" / "See Library" and you will be able to select easily the desired video... with a shorter link! 
If you play it on a remote device, remember to change the "localhost" path to your local network IP (for both accessing the Library Manager and the Streaming URL).

You can go to the Streaming library at any moment, just remember that MegaDownloader has to be running :)

What formats does it support?


MegaDownloader streams the video, without any type of conversion. So any file that VLC (or your chosen player) can play will be accepted for streaming: AVI, FLV, MKV, etc. Of course you need enough bandwidth for streaming the video. If you have a 128kbps Internet connection don't expect to stream a 20GB MKV file ;)
For streaming large video files, you may also have to configure the player for watching it smoothly (buffer size, etc).

Conclusion

The streaming is a brand new feature in MegaDownloader. 
It's pretty easy to configure it and use it. 
You only need MegaDownloader for streaming, and a player (like VLC) to play the video.
MegaDownloader also has a built-in library, so you can store and play the videos comfortably. In a future article I will explain more details about the built-in library.

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