Test Players in 2022: RTMP, HLS, and More

January 26, 2022 by
An image of a laptop with streaming content playing on a media player displayed on the screen.
 

Wowza has offered our free test player tool for close to ten years. It’s historically been one of our most popular pages with thousands of tests conducted each month. We’re happy that so many people have gotten what they needed from it. 

That said, due to some recent changes in streaming protocol support, the page isn’t what it used to be. It actually can’t be anything like it used to be because of the sunset of Adobe Flash Player. Some functionality on our tool has been removed, and we will remove more if pieces of the tool stop working properly. We’d rather give people the best experience than simply bring people into a page that doesn’t deliver what they need anymore. This isn’t to say that the page is going away any time soon. It’s still up, free to use, and should be able to help you with stream tests for HLS, MPEG-DASH, and mobile.

In case the current iteration of our test players tool isn’t what you’re looking for, I’ve done some research for you. These URL player and stream test link resources are current as of early 2022.

 

RTMP Stream Tests

Let’s go ahead and get this one out of the way. There are no online RTMP test players that are still functioning. I specialize in search engines, sometimes spending entire days or weeks of work just looking things up and noting the results. I can definitively say I’ve checked everywhere and you will not find a working RTMP test player like the one we used to host. That’s because they rely on Flash to work and Flash no longer works. However, there are some other things you could try. It all depends on what exactly you need from the test player, how much time you have, and your risk tolerance.

If you just want to make the out-of-service test player websites work again, you can try to get your hands on an Adobe Flash download. This is very much not recommended. Since Flash hasn’t been updated or supported since December 2020, you’d also have to revert your browser to a previous version in order to run it. Both of these actions open you up to all kinds of vulnerabilities and it simply isn’t worth the time, effort, or risk. Don’t do it.

You could try this tutorial that lays out the details on how you can play RTMP files with VLC Media Player. It works for both Windows and Mac operating systems. But if you’re not trying to play an RTMP file, it’s not very helpful. 

Otherwise, you’re going to need to convert the stream from RTMP to another protocol. You can use Wowza Streaming Cloud to convert RTMP to WebRTC or you can set up an RTMP server for HLS delivery.

Just to hammer this home, if all you have is an RTMP URL and you want to find a player online so you can watch it, it’s not going to happen anymore. Blame Adobe.

 

HLS Test Players

If you need an HLS test player, you’re in luck. All you have to do is make sure you’re using Safari as your browser. You can use our test players tool if you’re using HLS, and there are many other options out there as well. This wide variety of options exists because HLS is one of the main replacements for RTMP and has extensive compatibility across browsers. Some players rely on ads but others are offered by some of our partners and associates in the industry.

Try THEOplayer or Bitmovin if you’d prefer not to use our tool.

 

MPEG-DASH Players

This is another protocol that still works perfectly on our test players page. HLS and DASH are very similar. The primary difference is that HLS is proprietary to Apple, whereas DASH is an open standard. While you need to use Safari to test HLS, you’ll want to use a non-Apple-owned browser to test DASH. Chrome, Edge, and Firefox are all great options for testing DASH with our free tool.

 

RTSP Stream Testing

We recently set up a new page with an RTSP test stream URL to validate your connections. It works whether you are connecting to an IP camera or a streaming app. This is one of the most recently updated RTSP URLs out there and I can vouch that it works. There are also other options that I’ve found on various platforms, but I haven’t tested any of them myself. 

G33ktricks.blogspot.com has the most extensive list and they’ve been keeping track since at least 2014. There isn’t any indication of how recently the list has been updated. There are comments from December 2021 linking new sites, though, so there’s bound to be a viable option still on the list. Many of these years-old forum posts have been necro’d in the last few months from a user that made their own website providing RTSP Stream URLs for testing. Your mileage may vary using any of these options.

 

Test Players for Streams With DRM

Right now, our test players page doesn’t offer options for playing content that is protected by digital rights management (DRM). However,  THEOplayer and Bitmovin both have this option. Both tools are fairly easy to configure and are free to use. 

Whichever protocols you’re using, you can rely on Wowza to support your workflow. Try our flexible video platform for free to see what you can build with us.

 

About Brittney Dougherty

Based in Denver, CO, Brittney Dougherty is a digital marketer at Wowza in charge of SEO and website updates. She has eight years of experience in B2B writing and research. She is known to frequently nerd out about marketing, gaming,… View more