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How to stream, record, and publish a Google+ Hangout On Air

In May of 2012 Google enabled Google+ Hangout On Air for all users.   This allows anyone to host a hangout, stream it live on YouTube, have it posted on their YouTube channel, and (if they like) save the video recording as an .mp4 (in case you'd like to edit the recording).

To take advantage of this feature, you'll need to have a Google+ profile and a YouTube channel.  

To start a Hangout, go to your Google+ Main page plus.google.com
Either in the upper right corner of that page or possible further down the right colum, you will see a 'Start a Hangout' option.  More details in A Basic Guide to Using Google+ Hangouts

 or  

Guide to creating and joining a Google+ Hangout

 

In order to use Google+ Hangout, you will first need to install the Google Talk plugin.  This can be downloaded and installed at: http://google.com/talk/

You will also need to have a Gmail address and join Google+.  


To start a Google+ hangout, look at the right side of your main Google+ page and click 'start a hangout'



You can invite specific circles or individuals to join the hangout
Google Hangout Guide
 


Joining a Hangout
For those participating in one of my 'Hangout webcasts', I will start a hangout and invite participants.  Those who've been invited, should then see a 'Jeff Lebow is hanging out' post in your Google+ Stream.  You will also see a red number indicator in the upper right of the screen. You can click that number and then click 'hangout'.


In either case, click 'Join this hangout'. 


A new window (like the one below) will pop up. Click 'Hang out'.
Google Hangout Guide

Once you have joined the hangout, you can click 'settings' to adjust camera, microphone, and speaker options. 
Google Hangout Guide
 If the changes don't 'take effect', you might need to adjust chat setting via your gmail account (Mail Settings/Chat). 

The options at the bottom of the hangout window can be used to mute your mic or video, invite others into the hangout, watch a YouTube video together, or text chat with those in the hangout.
Google Hangout Guide

Pointers to maximize audio quality during a hangout webcast:

  •  If you have been watching the webcast before joining in,
    MAKE SURE TO PAUSE OR MUTE THE WEBCAST before 'joining the hangout.  
     
  • USE A HEADSET MIC.  On board mic's work fine for one on one hanging out, but with large hangout groups, not using one can lead to a lot of echo and background noise. 
     
  • Use the MUTE MIC option if you're going to be typing.  Even with a headset, we will hear typing sounds and other background noises unless you mute your mic. Unmute whenever you'd like to speak. 
     
  • Avoid using the Hangout text chat.  During webcasts, we always have a public text chat available next to the live stream (pages like Koreabridge.net/live or EFLBridges.net/live  It is better to use those because Google+ does not yet have an option to mute system noises.  As such, we get a lot of 'dinging' noises if participants use the Hangout chat.

Other  Hangout Guides

How to stream & record Google+ Hangouts

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Since Google+ has made Hangouts On Air available to all users, the guide below is probably unnecessary for most people.  Still, it is useful if you'd like to have more control over what gets recorded from the Hangout, your screen, and/or computer audio.  A guide to using Google+ Hangout On Air  is here

The screencast and guide below show how I stream and record Google+ Hangouts (or group skype conversations) to a webcasting service like Ustream.tv, Livestream.com or Justin.tv. Settings will vary depending on which hardware and operating system you use.  Everything below applies to streaming on a Windows7 machine. For Mac Users, check out Lorna's excellent guide to Streaming Media on a Mac or Paul's Mac Settings for LiveCasting.  For Windows XP Users, check out the Webcast Academy's guide to recording skype conversations and live streaming



Guide Below


Single Computer HangoutCasting Trial - July 22, 2011

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