Nothing good on TV? Try these YouTube Live Streams!

In 1992, Bruce Springstein wrote 57 Channels (And Nothin’ On), lamenting an abundance of television material, but nothing which was truly satisfying.  Why not unplug from your regular cable channels and jump on a live stream program via YouTube?

What’s a live stream?  It’s live video and audio coverage of an event or activity over the Internet.  Because live streams are built into the YouTube app, it has the features regular videos have such as the ability to search for a stream, find them in recommendations, and add them to a playlist.

Yes, it sound great, but what kind of options are available on a live stream?  You’d actually be very surprised by the sheer amount of options for all ages and areas of interests.  Here are a few of my recommendations!

Visiting a notable aquarium or science center may be a matter of proximity, so a growing number of institutions are offering animal encounters 24 hours a day on an internet stream.  You can have access to a front row penguin experience with a live stream hosted by the California Academy of Sciences.  Most of the time, the penguins can be seen socializing,  swimming, sleeping, and eating.  The best time to check out this stream is during the penguin daily feedings at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. PST.  The biologist feeding the penguins will give an overview of their diet, social practices, and general care.  You don’t have to push a little kid out of the way for a good look at the penguins.  Thanks to the live stream, you have the best view of these fine flippered friends.  The California Academy of Sciences even posted an underwater view of the penguin habitat, so it’s easy to see them frolic and swimming without holding your breath.


Also recommended:
Live Jelly Fish Cam from the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Live Shark Cam (Lagoon View) from the California Academy of Sciences
Live Shark Cam (Reef View) from the California Academy of Sciences

Cute Animals
Now you can enjoy the hijinks of cute puppies and kittens without those pesky allergies getting in the way.  The creator of Kitten Academy is based in Illinois, and provides a safe and loving environment for fostered and rescued cats and kittens.  The cameras are rolling 24/7, and the night vision mode is amazingly clear.  The kitties have the run of the room, with toys, hiding spots, perches, and other cool cat friendly equipment.  I think they’re in a good place emotionally.  The FAQ’s on the live stream includes information on adopting the kittens and cats on the channel.  Think of it, you could be adopting an internet superstar!  There are also special close up videos of kittens playing, sleeping, and general kitty cuteness.

There are a lot of other live puppy and kitten streams, this one just happens to be one of my favorites!

Space: The Final Frontier
I may never have the opportunity to travel in space.  It would be cool and I would absolutely love to do it, but until NASA starts accepting librarians on their trips, it’s a severely cost prohibitive experience.  With that thought in mind, NASA offers a fantastic live view of earth from the International Space Station.  What was once only an astronauts view is now available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.  It’s an absolutely awe inspiring live stream, and I usually watch this at night on the YouTube app before going to sleep.  The music in the background is equally fantastic.  Anyone with a love of space exploration will love this live stream.  Great for kids!

Oh The Places You’ll Go!
While I’m a huge fan of the Abbey Road Live Cam, I have to say I’m completely enamored with the Shibuya Crossing live stream from Tokyo.  I’ve seen film clips of all the people crossing the busy streets in this crowded Japaneese city, but to see it live is very cool.  The people crossing the road seem like a synronized drill team or a flash mob depending on what time of day you’re tuning in.  Rain or shine, there’s always something interesting to watch when several hundred people are crossing the street.  For viewers in our Central Time Zone, I advocate watching the Shibuya Crossing live stream at night due to the time difference.

Is there a live stream you enjoy watching?  Post your recommendations on our blog and we’ll check them out!

See You At the Library!

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