How to Live Stream Pre-recorded Music and Videos on YouTube While You Sleep

Do you want to know how you can live stream your music on YouTube? How about being able to live stream video on youtube? This is a really good tip, so stick around!

So, a while ago I started seeing some artists live streaming their music and music videos on YouTube as if it was a ‘radio’ broadcast and I thought, how are they doing that? It’s such a great idea that you could implement to promote an album, a music video or just generally as a radio style channel for your music.

Normally when you’re live streaming, you’re there chatting, performing or whatever, but with this idea you can just loop your music or videos as a playlist and leave it going all night, even while you sleep.

Well, I figured out a method that works really well for me so I’m going to share that with you now. So, for this example, I’ll be streaming a bunch of my band’s releases on its YouTube channel.

This might turn out be a long-ish guide so grab a brew and stick with it if you want to do this for yourself. Let’s get going!

Things We Need

OK let’s quickly go over 5 things we’ll need.

  1. Music
  2. YouTube Channel (Live Stream Enabled)
  3. Image or Video for Backdrop
  4. VLC to create a playlist
  5. OBS to stream to YouTube

We need some music, (obviously) and a YouTube channel you can live stream on. If you’ve never live-streamed before you might have to make sure you’ve enabled the option in YouTube. This might involve making sure your channel is verified so you’re able to live stream. This just means providing a phone number for account verification.

We’ll also need an image or a video to display as our music plays. Go for something that’s at 1280 x 720 px proportions. I have a video I’m using which just loops my band’s logo. You can use either.

As well as that, we’re going to need two pieces of software for this and don’t worry, they’re both free.

The first is VLC which is a media player and we’ll be using that to create the music playlist OBS will use.

The second is OBS which is broadcasting software we’ll use to stream our playlist and image or video to YouTube.

I’ll include the links for both of these in the description below. Go ahead and install these as I’ll be guiding you through setting them up next.


  1. First, we’ll create a music playlist in VLC
  2. Then we’ll set up the YouTube Stream
  3. And finally, we’ll set up OBS so we can start the stream

Let’s go!

1. Create a Playlist in VLC

VLC Streaming Music
VLC – Streaming Music

Open up VLC and either drag in all your music files, or from the main menu choose File then Open and select all the music you want in the playlist.

When you’re happy with your playlist choose File and Save Playlist from the menu. Save it somewhere handy so it can be found later, and we’re done! Let’s move on.

2. Set Up the YouTube Stream

Setting Up YouTube for Streaming Music
Setting Up YouTube for Streaming Music
  1. Top right click Create and then Go Live (Don’t worry you’re not going live yet)
  2. On the panel that appears fill in the details. So we want to create a title for our stream which people will see when it does go live. So I’ll call it Wired to Follow Radio
  3. I’m going to set the privacy option to unlisted which means when I do go live only people I shared the stream link with will see it. I can set it to public for everyone else later. It’s good to do this so you can check everything is working
  4. I’m going to add a description, basically stating what this live stream is all about and including a link to the profile on Spotify.
  5. Set category to music, obviously
  6. I’m going to upload a thumbnail. This can be the one you have for your backdrop.
  7. I’m going to leave everything else as is and select Create Stream.
  8. The Stream setup help panel will pop up. You want to copy the stream key here. This is very important as we’ll need this later on in OBS, our streaming software. Never show this to anyone as they’ll be able stream to your channel if they find out what it is!
  9. Click done, now we can move onto our streaming software!

3. Set up OBS to Start the Stream

Setting-Up OBS for Streaming Music
Setting Up OBS for Streaming Music

Overview Tour

OK, we’ll just do a quick overview tour so we can get a little familiar with the software.

The top section here basically gives you a preview of your stream.

The bottom left is our Scenes. Now, scenes are basically a collection of different Sources which are the next panel across. We’re going to leave the Scenes panel as is in this example, but we will be editing the Sources panel, as this is where we’ll add our streaming image and music.

Then we have an Audio Mixer to where you can manage audio levels.

Moving on, two buttons to take note of, the ‘Start Streaming’ option as well as ‘Settings’ which we’ll going to hit now and adjust.


First off, click on the settings menu, then select Stream on the left menu, select YouTube as the Service and paste in your YouTube Stream Key you noted down earlier.

Now select Output and set ‘2’ as the keyframe Interval. This is the value YouTube asks for, well they ask for 2 or less but 2 has been ok for me. Take a note of any of the other settings here in case they’re different from what you have. Hit OK and let’s move on to creating our Scene.

Set the Scene

On the Sources panel hit that Plus button followed by VLC Video Source and then OK. On the next pop-up click on the Plus option on the right and choose Add Files. Now we’ll navigate to where we saved our playlist and choose that and then hit OK. You should now start seeing the levels for that start jumping about indicating that’s loaded. Let’s add our image or video.

Hit the Plus button on the Scene panel and then choose Image and then OK. On the pop-up choose Browse and select your image. We’re almost ready to go!

If you need to edit the levels, maybe it’s peaking or whatever, just move the volume bar underneath the meter.

If you’d like to monitor the audio just to check it’s the right level or that it’s definitely the right music etc, just click on the gear icon on the audio source, followed by Advanced Audio Properties and select Monitor and Output underneath Audio Monitoring. I’ll leave it as is for the now.

Right, when you’re ready, hit that ‘Start Streaming’ button!

Back to YouTube

Starting the Music Stream
Starting the Music Stream

Head on back to YouTube and after a few moments, you should see your streaming video in action! It will be muted by default, so just higher the volume to hear it. This is just a preview of your stream. When you actually want to go live click on that Go Live button on the top right.

Now to see it in action on its actual YouTube page, just click on the Share button on the top menu and copy that link and paste it into a new tab.

Now remember, we’re live but at our Unlisted privacy setting. If you want to actually go live to the public or change it to another setting, head back to the Streaming Dashboard, click on Edit and you change it there.

To stop the stream all you have to do is just click on End Stream at the top there and then head back to OBS and click on Stop Streaming. We’re done for this tutorial!


And that’s it! I know it might be a lot to take in as there’s a lot to sort out, but I do think it’s really worth trying out. I mentioned it before but why not take advantage of this idea for special occasions such as album launches or music video releases or just using your channel as a dedicated radio.

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