You’re streaming the newest PS4 release that piqued your interest.
You’re having fun and feeling pretty engaged, but something is missing.
Something that would give you a little extra energy to get through this game. Something like… music. Music can make all the difference in terms of immersion, and video game playing is all about immersion after all.
So, can you turn up the jams while you are streaming on your PS4? Is it even legal to play music directly while you are doing a stream on the PS4? This certainly warrants a little background check, especially since you’ve probably already encountered other people playing background music while streaming on the PS4.
What I found is that this is kind of a gray area in terms of legality.
Twitch and PSN have been known to swing the ban hammer on players who do this.
Some people will tell you to just avoid playing background music altogether while you are streaming on PS4 (and Twitch – and that’s not to mention what YouTube will do if you try to upload any video with background music in it).
You might be able to play background music using an external device, but that does not mean that you should do it.
You could find yourself in a heap of trouble if you do.
Allow me a few moments of your time to explain.
Can You Play Music While Streaming On PS4?
You cannot actually use your PS4 console to play music while you are also streaming on it. You will have to use an external device to play music. However, it is not recommended that you do so since this has the potential to become a legal issue.
How can you put on music while streaming on your PlayStation console?
Can you stream and play music simultaneously through a PC instead?
Should you even play music in the background?
Is it even legal to play music in the background while streaming on the PS4? What can you do instead of playing music?
How can I put music on while streaming on my PlayStation4?
Let’s just cut to the chase: You can’t stream and play music on your PS4 at the same time. It is entirely impossible.
You cannot play music from a compact disc or from a USB flash drive as you stream on the PS4.
Even Spotify will fail to open up and play music while you are streaming.
You will have to come up with another way to play music in the background as you stream.
Can I use my PC to play tunes while I stream?
I’m only going to make this suggestion if you have some rather dated tunes that you indeed have the rights to – play and stream on your PC instead.
You can utilize your PC for the music alongside your PS4 for the streaming if you are on Twitch.
But setting up a PC for streaming passthrough is extremely difficult and warrants its own how-to guide.
Still, a PC gives you exponentially more methods for how you play music as you stream on the PS4.
What’s the deal with playing background music anyway?
That being said, you can also use a Bluetooth speaker, music player, or even a radio to play music in the background.
Will you get high-quality sound? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on the device you are using.
If quality is a must, then go for a Bluetooth speaker.
You will also need the PlayStation camera since it comes with a pair of high-quality microphones (with high gain) built into it.
Just set up the PS4 camera and place the audio source near – but not directly next to – the camera.
Turn on the music, and your audience should be able to hear your with enough clarity.
Note that you might need to tweak two variables: distance (from the audio source) and volume.
Play around with these levels until everything sounds just right.
You will want a good symmetry between your voice’s clarity, the music, and the video game’s audio.
A Word of Warning
Here is where I issue my warning: Do not use any music to which you do not have the rights.
If you get caught up in a copyright infringement case, your Twitch, YouTube, and PSN accounts could all get permanently closed down if you do this enough.
Doing it just once will likely get you flagged. You could quite literally be committing a crime if you do this.
Is it legal to play music in the background while streaming on the PS4?
If you don’t own the rights to a song or it isn’t royalty-free (in other words, if it isn’t copyrighted), you are actually breaking the law when you play a copyrighted song – without permission – in the background while streaming.
As wild as that sounds, it can get your video flagged or even your account banned.
Worst case scenario? You could receive a court summons.
If you intend on creating your own music for your videos, you will need to let the streaming platform know well enough in advance.
Also, you can try getting permission from a song’s intellectual property right holder, but that is easier said than done.
It involves some exceedingly high costs too.
Do you really want to drop a few grand on a song just to have 15 people hear it in your video?
What other options do I have instead of playing music while I stream?
If you haven’t been streaming for long, spend your time talking.
Seriously, this is how you will engage your audience the best when you’re just starting out.
Show them your personality and why they should subscribe to your channel.
Develop your brand on Twitch.
Answer questions in the chat board, and be sure to ask your viewers questions to get them engaged too.
You can even dress up and get into character – many streamers love doing this.
Playing music while you stream on your PS4 is not exactly an easy – or, in some cases, legal – thing to do. Proceed with caution.
Reach out to indie musicians to see about getting usage rights, if you must.
Hone your talking skills and build your audience if you’re a newcomer.
It’s all about getting creative with your approach.