Thursday, September 25, 2014


    For a long time I have been wanting to explain, give some insight and share my opinion on viewbotting. Considering I have been live streaming on and off for about 7 years on several different websites like Ustream, Justin TV, Twitch and Hitbox I have seen it start, adapt and sadly enough grow very popular over the last few years. In this post my main focus will be on Twitch, because that's where I had my most recent experiences, with Twitch being the world leading live online streaming service at the moment and having been part of their community for over 2 years. Viewbotting is however certainly not limited to Twitch, it happens with other streaming services as well, just to make that very clear. With coding being one of my hobbies and a history with companies involving security in online gambling, I can clearly see how viewbotting is being done. I am however amazed to see how even the biggest streaming service fails to implement security measurements to prevent this from happening. Although this makes me wonder why, lets not forget this is the internet, full of money hungry people making multi millions of dollars go round and plenty want a piece of it. As long as complaints can be kept to an acceptable minimum and the big companies get their fair share this is probably going to be 'tolerated' for a long time. The majority is ignorant and the internet is shady as fuck, who gives a shit, enjoy the ride!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Muted VoDs Twitch

    On August 13th I posted about a way to grab any muted VoDs directly from Twitch's source servers where the audio was still saved with the video. The method used a simple json script provided by the Twitch API itself to get the direct link from the content servers. Things have changed a bit since August 6th and that method no longer works to get VoDs with the audio included. Twitch simply removes the audio completely from the stored video. Similar method to watch any live stream (as well as VoD) in VLC still works however and includes all of the encoding options (audio, source, high, low, medium and mobile).
    I don't really care much about Twitch anymore but I was still curious what happened to the audio on muted VoDs, so I decided to briefly look into it once more. Twitch simply can't just delete the audio part since they might get a legit appeal to reinstate the audio in case it had been falsely flagged by Audible Magic's software. Even though I can kind of understand why Twitch would remove the audio from the publicly available content servers, the audio must still be stored somewhere in case they are forced to undo their actions. Well, I can assure you that the audio is still stored separately for limited duration (14-60 days) and can easily be re-added to the video. This is all part of the new VoD system Twitch implemented and actually not even all that hard to achieve. However, the way to get the audio yourself is tricky to say the least. The old method was easy and would not get me into any kind of trouble. Methods to retrieve the audio now however requires a lot more skill and ways I doubt I can get away with. I spent a few hours looking into Audible Magic's code as well as Twitch's implementation and ways they store video after being 'flagged' and came to the conclusion it is most likely possible, but I am NOT interested in actually trying to prove it can actually be done. A few hours spent well to be honest though, since I learned a lot ;-), but as much as I dislike Twitch, I am not a hacker, it's not worth my time and I am certainly not going there. I'll leave it at that ... I suggest you either abide by Twitch's ToS making sure you have all rights for the audio, record locally to not rely on Twitch's terms, or to find another service to stream your content. If you insist however, I bet someone will eventually figure it out for you. Happy hunting :-)