Attention Twitch.tv streamers: You have three weeks to archive your old streams!

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Source: Twitch

If you're a Twitch.tv streamer, you might want to go check this post on the company's blog. Twitch is changing the way it stores content and in three weeks they're going to start deleting old streams.

There's a workaround though: highlights. If you cut your stream up into highlights that are a maximum of two hours long, Twitch will still keep them forever. From the comments on that blog post (and reading them is like stepping into a bizarre alternate universe) that's not good enough. Between the burden of firing up a new video every two hours, and seeing an ad every two hours, a certain segment of the Twitch community is quite upset.

I feel like I should pause and point out that if you're not paying for a service you probably shouldn't complain about a single ad every two hours. Somehow the company needs to generate revenue, right? Is that so hard for these kids to understand?

Ahem. OK I'll stop waving my cane around.

Twitch is also encouraging you to export your old streams and move them to YouTube. This is an interesting direction considering all the speculation that Google is in the process of purchasing Twitch.tv. Is this Twitch driving traffic to the soon-to-be mothership, or is it a way for them to get its members to offload their old, non-revenue generating content to a competitor?

This whole shake up is due to a new storage system that Twitch is rolling out. The company says that 80% of the old streams they have stored are never watched, which is part of why they're going in this new direction. Additionally under the current system if you create a highlight video Twitch has to store the entire original video as well. (Who ever thought that was a good idea?) Obviously that's going to result in a lot of wasted space. Under the new system they'll just be storing the highlighted clips. They also imply (one of the drawbacks of the current system is listed as "VODs are saved in FLV format, and platforms like mobile and console devices can’t playback that format.") that the new system will be more friendly to folks watching Twitch on mobile devices.

Twitch has rolled out a new Video Manager to help you managed your archived streams. Here's a video overview of it:

As I'm old, out of touch and really don't get the appeal of Twitch, I'm not sure why some streamers are upset. Saving a long video in two hour chunks forever seems like a simple solution, but what do I know? If you're mad about Twitch's changes, please explain why in the comments below. Thanks!

So that was the early announcement yesterday. The smoke from it hadn't even cleared when Twitch followed up with a second announcement. They're going to begin using Audible Magic to scan archived streams for copyrighted music.

When music in Audible Magic's database is found, the video will be muted. Each file will be scanned in 30 minute chunks and any flagged content will cause that chunk to be muted. If you export the content, it'll still be muted.

Twitch says this applies only to archived streams; live streams won't be impacted. No content will be removed, just muted. What's most troubling is that Audible Magic will scan music from the game being streamed as well as any background music a streamer adds. As far as I can tell, this means that if a game developer licenses a piece of music that is 'managed' by Audible Magic and includes it in their game, anyone who streams that game and archives the stream will find their stream winds up muted. That sounds like a bad plan to me.

You can read more about this on the Twitch blog.

Again, this seems like even more evidence that the Google deal is real. Google scans YouTube videos for copyright violations (though they use their own system, ContentID, not Audible Magic) and probably would insist the same be done to content on Twitch before they took over.

The company says it knows streamers will have questions about both of these new changes and invites everyone to the following events to learn more:

  • Reddit AMA on /r/Twitch: Thursday, August 7, 10:30am PST
  • Twitch Weekly: Friday, August 8 at 2 PM PST.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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