Creating a serverless live streaming app using Flutter and Mux

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Though streaming media helps grab people's attention and allows them to experience it in real-time, setting up and maintaining a live streaming platform can be challenging.In this article, we'll look at the Mux platform that handles all the complexity of a live streaming pipeline and integrates it with a Flutter application.

Typically, Mux requires you to maintain a backend server to make the API calls securely. But today, we'll be using Firebase Cloud Functions for making those API calls, which prevents the hassle of maintaining a server, helping us to achieve a completely serverless architecture.
Before diving into the actual implementation, it's essential to know how the streaming process works. The complexity of a live streaming platform comes primarily due to several moving components.

It can be any device capable of recording audio/video and sending it to the server. In today's article, we'll be using a mobile app built with Flutter to record using the device camera and stream it to an RTMP URL.

Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) is used for streaming audio/video over a network connection. It sends the raw data to the Mux servers to be processed in the next step.

The audio/video data received over the network undergoes compression to decrease the video size, using a codec suitable for delivery over the internet. Encoded video is then stored in the Mux servers, ready to proceed to the next step.

In this phase, the stored encoded video is converted to various formats for streaming in different qualities (SD, HD, 4K, etc.). Transcoding helps to get a smooth video streaming experience without any stuttering, as the quality of the video is adjusted based on the network speed.

Finally, the transcoded video is streamed to the users' devices with the help of a content delivery network (CDN). It's a group of connected servers that cache and deliver the content efficiently to a wide range of areas. CDN helps in minimizing the latency and the buffering time.