Play Flash-Streams (rtmp://) via XBMC

Livestreams often use Adobe’s Flash format and Shockwave Flash-Players to supply live content to their users. To play them on a machine that hasn’t flash installed, many pipe rtmpdump’s output to their favourite media player, making integration into home cinema systems complicated. If the URL of the stream you watch regularly does not change (e.g. a TV station’s official livefeed), you can easily play this in XBMC.

  • First create a new file in your Videos folder, ending with “.strm”:

$ nano ~/Videos/Streams/MyStream.strm

  • Then put only your stream’s URL in there and save it:


  • The next step is to add the directory to your XBMC’s video library. You do that by clicking “Files” under the video category.


  • Next click on “Add Videos…” and either enter the path directly or click “Browse” to use the filemanager to select your folder. Also give it a recognisable name (e.g. “LiveStreams”)


  • Finally, navigate to your file and click on it. It should automatically start playing.


While playing, clicking on the movie reel or the loudspeaker lets you set various audio and video options.