OBS Streaming

OBS Design Fundamentals – Media Source

Media Source is a powerful tool in OBS that can improve the presentation value of your content. With the media source you can have music play when you switch to a scene, have a video play when your show is on intermission, or have a video loop as a background for your content. Media Sources are extremely versatile that you will want to learn how to use this source in OBS.

Underneath the preview window when you select a media source you will be able to pause, stop, and use the timeline. The default keyboard hotkeys are as follows:

  • Restart – R
  • Stop – S
  • Play – Space Bar

File Types

Media Source supports both audio and video file formats. Below are the supported file types for audio and video.

Audio File Types

  • MP3
  • AAC
  • OGG
  • WAV

Video File Types

  • MP4
  • TS
  • MOV
  • FLV
  • MKV
  • AVI
  • GIF
  • WEBM

Local File

When using the Media Source, the local file checkbox will be checked automatically. To add the video or audio file, simply click on the browse button and select the file you want as the media source.


The loop option will cause the audio or video file to restart the file from the beginning immediately after the file has ended.

Restart Playback When Source Becomes Active

This checkbox gives you the option of restarting the audio or video file from the beginning when you activate the scene that contains the media source. If the checkbox is not checked, the media source will keep playing even when not active.

Use Hardware Decoding When Available

The property option should be used if you find that your CPU load is being overloaded. This will start to use your GPU instead of your CPU.

Show Nothing When Playback Ends

By default, this option is checked, when the media source ends OBS will make the media source show nothing allowing other sources behind the media source be visible. When this option is not checked, the final frame of the video will be visible when the video has ended.

Close File When Inactive

When this option is activated, if the media source is not being displayed, the file will be closed. Primarily this can reduce the load on your CPU, however there may be start up delay when you need to play the media source.


If you want to control the playback rate of the audio or video file, you can adjust the speed between 1% and 200%.

YUV Color Range

This property allows you to set the color information of the media source. This is an advanced feature of OBS and determines how the colors are displayed for monitors. The drop-down list will allow you to select between auto, partial and full. By default, auto is selected and is the setting I recommend as auto mode will ensure that colors are displayed correctly.

Create a Media Source

For this example, we’ll be adding a video file as our media source. Instead of using a color source, or image source for a background, we can also use a media source.

1.      Click on the + sign in the sources window and select Media Source. Click on the OK button in the pop-up window.

2.      Click on the Browse button and select a video file and click the Open button.

3.      Click on the Loop checkbox.

4.      Click on the OK button.

With these options you now have a media source that will loop. Media sources are a great source to keep viewers engaged whether it is playing a song, making a video presentation, or including video effects.