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From “Project X” to Wirecast

Twelve years ago work started on a product that would help define the software-based live streaming industry. Two years later, in May, 2004, “Project X,” the brainchild of Simon Clarke and Paul Carnine, was released under a different name.  In this post, Simon and Paul give us some insight into the history of their groundbreaking software, which celebrates its 10th birthday this week.  Happy birthday Wirecast!

Wirecast preview
First design of “Project X”

Project X

When we first started working on Wirecast we didn’t have a name for it, so we called it “Project X” for a while.  To the left is a picture of the whiteboard we used to lay out the first version.  You can see “Project X” written in the top left corner!

For part of the early development we were in Toulouse, France, working in a very small, hot room in a unit just below the roof (with very little insulation). This made the heat wave of 2003 unbearable.  We were too cheap to buy an air conditioner!

We finally released Wirecast 1.0 for Mac on May 5th 2004, after 18 months of development that felt like 5 years. It took nearly 2 months to sell the first copy of Wirecast.  You can imagine that those were some rough few months. We paid for everything out of our pockets, and we didn’t have very much left before sales started to finally pick up.

Wirecast 2
Wirecast Version 2

One of the first shows we did was Paris Mac World.  We were too cheap to get a hotel the night before so we took the night-train from Toulouse packed in 6 people per car, stacked 3-up.  If the train wasn’t bad enough, we had some pretty loud snoring in our car, so we arrived in Paris in the morning having had very little sleep.  We got off the train and went right to the show floor and started showing Wirecast.

Those were very long days (we were on the floor from 8am to 6pm).  Cement floor, no carpet.  There were only two of us, and most of the questions were in French, and our French was not very good back then.  We were in the educational booth right near the entrance of the hall, so many of the people coming in would ask what’s new with the new Mac models and why they should switch to a Mac from their PC!

Wirecast 3
Wirecast Version 3

After lots of hand waving from us, the folk at the nearby booths took pity on us and fielded questions.  One of the guys near us was a graphic artist who eventually created the “Paris Blue” lower third graphic for us (which can still be found in the current version of Wirecast).


It took us until October 2005 to release Wirecast on both Mac & Windows and really start to gain some traction in the industry.  In early 2009, after moving under the umbrella of Telestream, we added Flash streaming which is when Wirecast really started to define the software-based streaming segment.

Wirecast 5
Wirecast Version 5

In the past few years, our team has grown tremendously, and we’ve been able to continue to develop exciting features and capabilities in Wirecast.  The last ten years have been amazing, and we believe the next ten years will be even more exciting.

How long have you been using Wirecast? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe!

    bigwirecasticon2                      Wirecast-icon-transparency


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