How to Add Music to a Mixer Stream

Use a music overlay to add life to your Mixer stream

A girl sits at her Macbook with headphones in listening to music on her Mixer stream

 Unsplash/Steinar Engeland

Video games on streaming services such as Mixer can be fun and immersive, with soundtracks that draw you into their worlds for an adventure. However, not every game has a soundtrack that blows you away, and you may want to spice up your Mixer broadcast with some of your favorite music in the background. While this is a bit tricky due to copyright laws, there are ways to do it.

What Music Can I Play on a Stream?

The only music you can legally play in the background of a broadcast is music that falls under a creative commons license, which doesn't infringe on a copyright.

If you play copyrighted music, you risk being suspended, since this violates Mixer's Terms of Service (TOS). You also risk a copyright-infringement claim, since you don't actually own the rights to the new Imagine Dragons album, even if you love listening to it.

This also goes for music on streaming services, such as Spotify or Pandora. This music is copyrighted, and unless you're paying for the rights to use that music, it shouldn't be on your stream. Even if you pay for Spotify, you're only granted a personal license, which doesn't cover sharing music via broadcast. That's why, when you attempt to play Spotify in the background while streaming on Xbox One, your followers will hear only the in-game audio, and not what you are personally jamming out to.

In certain cases, you may be able to play copyrighted music legally, if you receive prior permission from the owner of the music. You may also be able to play music under Fair Use laws. This is a complicated legal concept you'd need to understand properly.

Add Music to Mixer Using a Streaming App

There are two streaming apps we recommend if you want to add music to your Mixer stream: OBS Studio or XSplit. Both of these are free to download and use, although some of XSplit's features are hidden behind a paywall. If you're new to streaming, OBS, in particular, is a good service to try.

For more details, check out our guide to streaming with OBS Studio or streaming with XSplit. While both of these guides offer details on different streaming platforms, setting up the apps is essentially the same.

Once you've found the music you want to play, it's fairly easy to add music to Mixer using one of these streaming apps. The instructions below illustrate how to stream music using OBS, but most streaming applications should use a similar method for adding music to your stream. Both PC and Xbox One users should use this method. This means Xbox One players will need to stream by connecting to Windows 10, or by using a capture card like an Elgato.

  1. Open your streaming app of choice.

    OBS is open on a Macbook.
  2. Select Settings. (In OBS, this menu is at the bottom right of your window.)

    The controls menu of OBS is displayed.
  3. Enable recording of Desktop Audio.

    The OBS audio menu is open.
  4. Start the music you want to play during your broadcast.

    Your OBS window should show activity on the audio portion of the Mixer bar when you start up music. This will indicate it can hear and stream what you're playing.

  5. Select Start Streaming to begin your broadcast.

  6. Enjoy the music you've added to Mixer!