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How to Build WebTorrent WebRTC App with JavaScript?

Learn how to build a video streaming application using WebTorrent and WebRTC with JS/Node.js. Follow our step-by-step guide to set up the development environment, create a WebTorrent app, and implement essential features.

Introduction to WebTorrent WebRTC

What is WebTorrent WebRTC?

WebTorrent is a streaming torrent client that works in the browser and on Node.js. It allows you to download and share files quickly and efficiently using the BitTorrent protocol. WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) is a technology that enables peer-to-peer communication in web applications, allowing for real-time data transfer without the need for intermediaries.
When combined, WebTorrent and WebRTC provide a powerful solution for video streaming. WebTorrent leverages WebRTC to facilitate direct, peer-to-peer connections between users, enabling efficient and decentralized video streaming. This means that users can stream videos directly from each other, reducing the load on central servers and improving the streaming experience.

Benefits of Using WebTorrent WebRTC in Video Streaming

Efficiency

WebTorrent WebRTC allows for direct data transfer between peers, which means faster download and streaming speeds. As more peers join the network, the available bandwidth for streaming increases, leading to a more efficient distribution of video content.

Decentralization

One of the main advantages of using WebTorrent with WebRTC is decentralization. Unlike traditional video streaming services that rely on centralized servers, WebTorrent enables a distributed network of peers to share video content. This reduces the reliance on central servers and makes the system more robust and scalable.

Real-time Data Transfer

WebRTC facilitates real-time communication between peers. This makes it possible to stream video content with minimal latency, providing a smooth and uninterrupted viewing experience. Real-time data transfer is especially important for applications that require live streaming, such as video conferencing or live events.
By leveraging the strengths of both WebTorrent and WebRTC, developers can create video streaming applications that are efficient, scalable, and resilient. In the following sections, we'll dive into the specifics of setting up a WebTorrent WebRTC video streaming application using JS/Node.js.

Getting Started with the Code

In this section, we'll guide you through the initial setup and development of a WebTorrent WebRTC video streaming application using JS/Node.js. We'll cover creating a new WebTorrent app, installing necessary libraries, structuring your project, and understanding the app architecture.

Create a New WebTorrent App

Setting Up the Development Environment To get started, ensure you have Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) installed on your machine. You can download and install them from the

official Node.js website

.

Initializing a New Node.js Project

Open your terminal and create a new directory for your project. Navigate into this directory and initialize a new Node.js project by running:

bash

1mkdir webtorrent-webrtc-app
2cd webtorrent-webrtc-app
3npm init -y
This command creates a package.json file, which will manage your project's dependencies and scripts.

Install WebTorrent

[a] Installing WebTorrent Library

Next, you'll need to install the WebTorrent library. Run the following command in your terminal:

bash

1npm install webtorrent
This command installs the WebTorrent library and adds it to your project's dependencies in package.json.

[b] Basic Usage Example

To verify the installation, create an index.js file in your project directory and add the following code:

JavaScript

1const WebTorrent = require('webtorrent');
2
3const client = new WebTorrent();
4
5client.on('error', (err) => {
6  console.error('Error: ', err.message);
7});
8
9// Example torrent file or magnet link
10const torrentId = 'https://webtorrent.io/torrents/sintel.torrent';
11
12client.add(torrentId, (torrent) => {
13  console.log('Client is downloading:', torrent.infoHash);
14
15  torrent.files.forEach((file) => {
16    file.appendTo('body');
17  });
18});
Run the script using:

bash

1node index.js
This script initializes a WebTorrent client, adds a torrent, and appends the file content to the body of an HTML document.

Structure of the Project

Overview of Project Files and Directories

A well-organized project structure is crucial for maintainability and scalability. Here's a suggested structure for your WebTorrent WebRTC app:
1webtorrent-webrtc-app/
23├── public/
4│   ├── index.html
5│   ├── styles.css
6│   └── app.js
78├── src/
9│   ├── index.js
10│   ├── client.js
11│   └── server.js
1213├── package.json
14└── README.md
  • public/: Contains static files like HTML, CSS, and client-side JavaScript.
  • src/: Contains server-side JavaScript files and application logic.
  • package.json: Manages project dependencies and scripts.
  • README.md: Provides information about the project.

App Architecture

webtorrent-webrtc

Explanation of the App's Architecture

Our WebTorrent WebRTC app will follow a client-server architecture. The server, implemented with Node.js, will manage WebRTC signaling and WebTorrent seeding. The client will handle the user interface and establish WebRTC connections with other peers.

Interaction Between Client and Server

  • Client: Users interact with the client application through a web interface. The client initializes WebRTC connections and connects to the WebTorrent network to download and stream video content.
  • Server: The server facilitates WebRTC signaling, manages peer connections, and seeds the initial video content using WebTorrent.
By setting up this architecture, we ensure that our application can efficiently handle multiple users and provide a seamless video streaming experience.
In the next section, we'll delve into the specifics of setting up index.js to initialize our WebTorrent client and server components.

Step 1: Get Started with index.js

In this section, we will set up the foundational code for our WebTorrent WebRTC application. We will initialize a Node.js project, import the necessary libraries, and set up a basic WebTorrent client in index.js.

Setting Up index.js

[a] Initializing a Node.js Project

Before diving into the code, ensure your project is properly initialized. If you haven't done so already, run the following commands in your project directory:

bash

1mkdir webtorrent-webrtc-app
2cd webtorrent-webrtc-app
3npm init -y
This creates a package.json file that will manage your project's dependencies and configurations.

[b] Importing Necessary Libraries

In your project directory, create a new file named index.js. This file will serve as the entry point for your Node.js application. Start by importing the required libraries. We will use WebTorrent for torrent management and http for creating a basic server.

JavaScript

1// index.js
2
3const WebTorrent = require('webtorrent');
4const http = require('http');
5const fs = require('fs');
6const path = require('path');
7
8// Create a WebTorrent client instance
9const client = new WebTorrent();
10
11// Error handling
12client.on('error', (err) => {
13  console.error('Error: ', err.message);
14});
15
16// Basic HTTP server setup
17const server = http.createServer((req, res) => {
18  if (req.url === '/') {
19    fs.readFile(path.join(__dirname, 'public', 'index.html'), (err, content) => {
20      if (err) throw err;
21      res.writeHead(200, { 'Content-Type': 'text/html' });
22      res.end(content, 'utf8');
23    });
24  }
25});
26
27// Server listens on port 3000
28const PORT = process.env.PORT || 3000;
29server.listen(PORT, () => {
30  console.log(`Server running on port ${PORT}`);
31});

[c] Basic Setup for a WebTorrent Client

Now, let’s add some code to index.js to set up a basic WebTorrent client that will download and stream a torrent file.

JavaScript

1// Example torrent file or magnet link
2const torrentId = 'https://webtorrent.io/torrents/sintel.torrent';
3
4client.add(torrentId, (torrent) => {
5  console.log('Client is downloading:', torrent.infoHash);
6
7  // Stream the files contained in the torrent
8  torrent.files.forEach((file) => {
9    file.getBuffer((err, buffer) => {
10      if (err) throw err;
11      console.log(`Downloaded ${file.name}`);
12    });
13  });
14});
In this snippet, we specify a torrent file URL and use the WebTorrent client to add and download the torrent. The add method accepts a torrent ID (which can be a magnet link, torrent file URL, or info hash) and a callback function that executes when the torrent starts downloading. The callback function logs the torrent's info hash and iterates over the files in the torrent, streaming each one to a buffer.

[d] Running the Script

To run your script, ensure you have the necessary directories and files in place. Create a public directory and an index.html file inside it:

HTML

1<!-- public/index.html -->
2
3<!DOCTYPE html>
4<html lang="en">
5<head>
6  <meta charset="UTF-8">
7  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
8  <title>WebTorrent WebRTC App</title>
9</head>
10<body>
11  <h1>Welcome to WebTorrent WebRTC App</h1>
12  <p>Streaming Video...</p>
13</body>
14</html>
Now, start your Node.js server by running:

bash

1node index.js
Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000. You should see a welcome message indicating that the server is running and the WebTorrent client is ready to stream video.
With the basic setup in place, you now have a foundation to build upon. In the next section, we will design the user interface and wireframe all the components necessary for our WebTorrent WebRTC application.

Step 2: Wireframe All the Components

In this section, we will design the user interface (UI) for our WebTorrent WebRTC application. We'll create the necessary HTML and CSS to structure the layout and style of our application. Additionally, we'll set up client-server communication to handle WebRTC connections.

Designing the UI

[a] Overview of UI Components

Our application will have a simple interface consisting of a video player, controls, and a section for displaying participants. Here’s a breakdown of the UI components:
  1. Video Player: For streaming the video.
  2. Controls: For playing, pausing, and seeking the video.
  3. Participants Section: For displaying other peers connected to the stream.

[b] HTML Structure

Create an index.html file inside the public directory with the following content:

HTML

1<!-- public/index.html -->
2
3<!DOCTYPE html>
4<html lang="en">
5<head>
6  <meta charset="UTF-8">
7  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
8  <title>WebTorrent WebRTC App</title>
9  <link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css">
10</head>
11<body>
12  <div class="container">
13    <h1>WebTorrent WebRTC Video Streaming</h1>
14    <div class="video-container">
15      <video id="videoPlayer" controls></video>
16    </div>
17    <div class="controls">
18      <button id="playPauseBtn">Play/Pause</button>
19      <button id="fullScreenBtn">Fullscreen</button>
20    </div>
21    <div class="participants">
22      <h2>Participants</h2>
23      <ul id="participantsList"></ul>
24    </div>
25  </div>
26  <script src="app.js"></script>
27</body>
28</html>
This HTML file sets up a basic structure with a video player, controls, and a participants list.

[c] CSS Styling

Create a styles.css file inside the public directory to style the UI components:

CSS

1/* public/styles.css */
2
3body {
4  font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
5  background-color: #f0f0f0;
6  color: #333;
7  margin: 0;
8  padding: 0;
9  display: flex;
10  justify-content: center;
11  align-items: center;
12  height: 100vh;
13}
14
15.container {
16  max-width: 800px;
17  margin: 0 auto;
18  padding: 20px;
19  background: #fff;
20  box-shadow: 0 0 10px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1);
21  border-radius: 8px;
22}
23
24h1 {
25  text-align: center;
26}
27
28.video-container {
29  position: relative;
30  width: 100%;
31  padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 aspect ratio */
32  height: 0;
33  margin-bottom: 20px;
34}
35
36video {
37  position: absolute;
38  top: 0;
39  left: 0;
40  width: 100%;
41  height: 100%;
42  border-radius: 8px;
43}
44
45.controls {
46  display: flex;
47  justify-content: center;
48  gap: 10px;
49  margin-bottom: 20px;
50}
51
52button {
53  padding: 10px 20px;
54  font-size: 16px;
55  border: none;
56  border-radius: 4px;
57  cursor: pointer;
58}
59
60button:hover {
61  background-color: #ddd;
62}
63
64.participants {
65  text-align: center;
66}
67
68.participants ul {
69  list-style: none;
70  padding: 0;
71}
72
73.participants li {
74  padding: 5px 0;
75}
This CSS file styles the video player, controls, and participants list to create a clean and user-friendly interface.

Client-Server Communication

[a] Setting Up WebRTC Connections

We need to establish WebRTC connections between peers for video streaming. In the public directory, create a file named app.js to handle client-side logic:

JavaScript

1// public/app.js
2
3// Initialize WebTorrent client
4const client = new WebTorrent();
5
6const videoPlayer = document.getElementById('videoPlayer');
7const playPauseBtn = document.getElementById('playPauseBtn');
8const fullScreenBtn = document.getElementById('fullScreenBtn');
9
10// Example torrent file or magnet link
11const torrentId = 'https://webtorrent.io/torrents/sintel.torrent';
12
13client.add(torrentId, (torrent) => {
14  const file = torrent.files.find(file => file.name.endsWith('.mp4'));
15  file.renderTo(videoPlayer);
16
17  playPauseBtn.addEventListener('click', () => {
18    if (videoPlayer.paused) {
19      videoPlayer.play();
20    } else {
21      videoPlayer.pause();
22    }
23  });
24
25  fullScreenBtn.addEventListener('click', () => {
26    if (videoPlayer.requestFullscreen) {
27      videoPlayer.requestFullscreen();
28    } else if (videoPlayer.mozRequestFullScreen) { /* Firefox */
29      videoPlayer.mozRequestFullScreen();
30    } else if (videoPlayer.webkitRequestFullscreen) { /* Chrome, Safari & Opera */
31      videoPlayer.webkitRequestFullscreen();
32    } else if (videoPlayer.msRequestFullscreen) { /* IE/Edge */
33      videoPlayer.msRequestFullscreen();
34    }
35  });
36});
37
38// Handle participants (for demonstration purposes)
39const participantsList = document.getElementById('participantsList');
40const peers = ['Peer 1', 'Peer 2', 'Peer 3'];
41peers.forEach(peer => {
42  const li = document.createElement('li');
43  li.textContent = peer;
44  participantsList.appendChild(li);
45});
This script initializes a WebTorrent client, adds a torrent, and renders the video to the video player element. It also sets up event listeners for the play/pause and fullscreen buttons and populates a sample participants list.
With the UI components and client-side logic in place, we have a basic structure for our WebTorrent WebRTC application. In the next section, we will implement the join screen to handle user input and initialize WebRTC connections.

Step 3: Implement Join Screen

In this section, we'll create a join screen for our WebTorrent WebRTC application. The join screen will allow users to enter a room and connect with other participants for video streaming. We'll add the necessary HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to handle user input and initialize WebRTC connections.

Creating a Join Screen

[a] HTML Structure for the Join Screen

Update your index.html file to include the join screen. We'll add a form that allows users to enter a room name and join the session.

HTML

1<!-- public/index.html -->
2
3<!DOCTYPE html>
4<html lang="en">
5<head>
6  <meta charset="UTF-8">
7  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
8  <title>WebTorrent WebRTC App</title>
9  <link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css">
10</head>
11<body>
12  <div class="container">
13    <h1>WebTorrent WebRTC Video Streaming</h1>
14    
15    <div id="joinScreen">
16      <h2>Join a Room</h2>
17      <form id="joinForm">
18        <input type="text" id="roomInput" placeholder="Enter Room Name" required>
19        <button type="submit">Join</button>
20      </form>
21    </div>
22    
23    <div id="videoScreen" style="display: none;">
24      <div class="video-container">
25        <video id="videoPlayer" controls></video>
26      </div>
27      <div class="controls">
28        <button id="playPauseBtn">Play/Pause</button>
29        <button id="fullScreenBtn">Fullscreen</button>
30      </div>
31      <div class="participants">
32        <h2>Participants</h2>
33        <ul id="participantsList"></ul>
34      </div>
35    </div>
36  </div>
37  <script src="app.js"></script>
38</body>
39</html>
This HTML adds a joinScreen div with a form for entering the room name. When the user submits the form, they will be redirected to the videoScreen div.

[b] CSS Styling for a User-Friendly Interface

Update your styles.css file to style the join screen and the video screen.

CSS

1/* public/styles.css */
2
3body {
4  font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
5  background-color: #f0f0f0;
6  color: #333;
7  margin: 0;
8  padding: 0;
9  display: flex;
10  justify-content: center;
11  align-items: center;
12  height: 100vh;
13}
14
15.container {
16  max-width: 800px;
17  margin: 0 auto;
18  padding: 20px;
19  background: #fff;
20  box-shadow: 0 0 10px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.1);
21  border-radius: 8px;
22}
23
24h1, h2 {
25  text-align: center;
26}
27
28#joinScreen {
29  display: flex;
30  flex-direction: column;
31  align-items: center;
32}
33
34#joinForm {
35  display: flex;
36  flex-direction: column;
37  align-items: center;
38}
39
40#roomInput {
41  padding: 10px;
42  font-size: 16px;
43  margin-bottom: 10px;
44  width: 200px;
45  border: 1px solid #ccc;
46  border-radius: 4px;
47}
48
49#joinForm button {
50  padding: 10px 20px;
51  font-size: 16px;
52  border: none;
53  border-radius: 4px;
54  cursor: pointer;
55  background-color: #007bff;
56  color: #fff;
57}
58
59#joinForm button:hover {
60  background-color: #0056b3;
61}
62
63.video-container {
64  position: relative;
65  width: 100%;
66  padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 aspect ratio */
67  height: 0;
68  margin-bottom: 20px;
69}
70
71video {
72  position: absolute;
73  top: 0;
74  left: 0;
75  width: 100%;
76  height: 100%;
77  border-radius: 8px;
78}
79
80.controls {
81  display: flex;
82  justify-content: center;
83  gap: 10px;
84  margin-bottom: 20px;
85}
86
87button {
88  padding: 10px 20px;
89  font-size: 16px;
90  border: none;
91  border-radius: 4px;
92  cursor: pointer;
93}
94
95button:hover {
96  background-color: #ddd;
97}
98
99.participants {
100  text-align: center;
101}
102
103.participants ul {
104  list-style: none;
105  padding: 0;
106}
107
108.participants li {
109  padding: 5px 0;
110}
This CSS styles the join screen and the video screen to ensure a user-friendly interface.

[c] JavaScript to Handle User Input

Update your app.js file to handle form submission and switch between screens.

JavaScript

1// public/app.js
2
3// Initialize WebTorrent client
4const client = new WebTorrent();
5
6const videoPlayer = document.getElementById('videoPlayer');
7const playPauseBtn = document.getElementById('playPauseBtn');
8const fullScreenBtn = document.getElementById('fullScreenBtn');
9const joinScreen = document.getElementById('joinScreen');
10const videoScreen = document.getElementById('videoScreen');
11const joinForm = document.getElementById('joinForm');
12const roomInput = document.getElementById('roomInput');
13const participantsList = document.getElementById('participantsList');
14
15// Example torrent file or magnet link
16const torrentId = 'https://webtorrent.io/torrents/sintel.torrent';
17
18// Handle join form submission
19joinForm.addEventListener('submit', (event) => {
20  event.preventDefault();
21  const roomName = roomInput.value.trim();
22  if (roomName) {
23    joinRoom(roomName);
24  }
25});
26
27// Function to join a room
28function joinRoom(roomName) {
29  joinScreen.style.display = 'none';
30  videoScreen.style.display = 'block';
31  console.log(`Joined room: ${roomName}`);
32
33  // Add the torrent and stream the video
34  client.add(torrentId, (torrent) => {
35    const file = torrent.files.find(file => file.name.endsWith('.mp4'));
36    file.renderTo(videoPlayer);
37
38    playPauseBtn.addEventListener('click', () => {
39      if (videoPlayer.paused) {
40        videoPlayer.play();
41      } else {
42        videoPlayer.pause();
43      }
44    });
45
46    fullScreenBtn.addEventListener('click', () => {
47      if (videoPlayer.requestFullscreen) {
48        videoPlayer.requestFullscreen();
49      } else if (videoPlayer.mozRequestFullScreen) { /* Firefox */
50        videoPlayer.mozRequestFullScreen();
51      } else if (videoPlayer.webkitRequestFullscreen) { /* Chrome, Safari & Opera */
52        videoPlayer.webkitRequestFullscreen();
53      } else if (videoPlayer.msRequestFullscreen) { /* IE/Edge */
54        videoPlayer.msRequestFullscreen();
55      }
56    });
57  });
58
59  // Handle participants (for demonstration purposes)
60  const peers = ['Peer 1', 'Peer 2', 'Peer 3'];
61  peers.forEach(peer => {
62    const li = document.createElement('li');
63    li.textContent = peer;
64    participantsList.appendChild(li);
65  });
66}
This script handles the form submission by preventing the default form action and calling the joinRoom function with the entered room name. The joinRoom function hides the join screen, shows the video screen, and initializes the WebTorrent client to stream the video. It also sets up the video controls and populates a sample participants list.
With the join screen implemented, users can now enter a room name and connect to the video streaming session. In the next section, we will implement the video controls to enhance the user experience.

Step 4: Implement Controls

In this section, we will enhance our WebTorrent WebRTC application by implementing video controls. These controls will include play/pause functionality, volume control, and fullscreen capabilities. We will also integrate these controls with the WebTorrent streaming functionality.

Developing Video Controls

Play/Pause Functionality

First, let's ensure that the play/pause button works correctly. This functionality has already been partially implemented, but we'll refine it and add more controls.
Update the event listener for the play/pause button in your app.js file:

JavaScript

1// public/app.js
2
3// Existing code...
4
5playPauseBtn.addEventListener('click', () => {
6  if (videoPlayer.paused) {
7    videoPlayer.play();
8    playPauseBtn.textContent = 'Pause';
9  } else {
10    videoPlayer.pause();
11    playPauseBtn.textContent = 'Play';
12  }
13});
This script updates the button text based on the current state of the video player.

Volume Control

Next, we'll add a volume control slider to adjust the video volume. Update your index.html to include the volume control:

HTML

1<!-- public/index.html -->
2
3<!-- Existing code... -->
4
5<div class="controls">
6  <button id="playPauseBtn">Play</button>
7  <button id="fullScreenBtn">Fullscreen</button>
8  <input type="range" id="volumeControl" min="0" max="1" step="0.1" value="1">
9</div>
Then, add an event listener for the volume control in app.js:

JavaScript

1// public/app.js
2
3const volumeControl = document.getElementById('volumeControl');
4
5volumeControl.addEventListener('input', () => {
6  videoPlayer.volume = volumeControl.value;
7});
This script allows users to adjust the video volume using the range input slider.

Fullscreen Control

The fullscreen functionality is already implemented but can be improved for better cross-browser compatibility. Update the event listener for the fullscreen button:

JavaScript

1// public/app.js
2
3fullScreenBtn.addEventListener('click', () => {
4  if (!document.fullscreenElement) {
5    if (videoPlayer.requestFullscreen) {
6      videoPlayer.requestFullscreen();
7    } else if (videoPlayer.mozRequestFullScreen) { /* Firefox */
8      videoPlayer.mozRequestFullScreen();
9    } else if (videoPlayer.webkitRequestFullscreen) { /* Chrome, Safari & Opera */
10      videoPlayer.webkitRequestFullscreen();
11    } else if (videoPlayer.msRequestFullscreen) { /* IE/Edge */
12      videoPlayer.msRequestFullscreen();
13    }
14  } else {
15    if (document.exitFullscreen) {
16      document.exitFullscreen();
17    } else if (document.mozCancelFullScreen) { /* Firefox */
18      document.mozCancelFullScreen();
19    } else if (document.webkitExitFullscreen) { /* Chrome, Safari & Opera */
20      document.webkitExitFullscreen();
21    } else if (document.msExitFullscreen) { /* IE/Edge */
22      document.msExitFullscreen();
23    }
24  }
25});
This script ensures that the fullscreen functionality works across different browsers.

Styling the Controls

Update your styles.css file to style the new volume control slider:

CSS

1/* public/styles.css */
2
3/* Existing code... */
4
5.controls {
6  display: flex;
7  justify-content: center;
8  gap: 10px;
9  margin-bottom: 20px;
10}
11
12input[type="range"] {
13  width: 150px;
14}
This CSS styles the controls section and the volume control slider.

Integrating Controls with WebTorrent

Ensure the video controls work seamlessly with the WebTorrent streaming functionality. The play/pause, volume, and fullscreen controls are now integrated, enhancing the user experience.
With these controls implemented, users can interact with the video stream more effectively. In the next section, we will implement the participant view to manage multiple video streams and display connected participants.

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Step 5: Implement Participant View

In this section, we'll enhance our WebTorrent WebRTC application by implementing a participant view. This feature will allow users to see and manage multiple video streams from different participants. We'll create the necessary HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to handle real-time updates and display connected participants.

Displaying Participants

HTML and CSS for Participant Views

First, let's update the index.html file to include a section for displaying participant videos. We'll also update the CSS to style the participant view.
Update your index.html:

HTML

1<!-- public/index.html -->
2
3<!DOCTYPE html>
4<html lang="en">
5<head>
6  <meta charset="UTF-8">
7  <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
8  <title>WebTorrent WebRTC App</title>
9  <link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css">
10</head>
11<body>
12  <div class="container">
13    <h1>WebTorrent WebRTC Video Streaming</h1>
14    
15    <div id="joinScreen">
16      <h2>Join a Room</h2>
17      <form id="joinForm">
18        <input type="text" id="roomInput" placeholder="Enter Room Name" required>
19        <button type="submit">Join</button>
20      </form>
21    </div>
22    
23    <div id="videoScreen" style="display: none;">
24      <div class="video-container">
25        <video id="videoPlayer" controls></video>
26      </div>
27      <div class="controls">
28        <button id="playPauseBtn">Play</button>
29        <button id="fullScreenBtn">Fullscreen</button>
30        <input type="range" id="volumeControl" min="0" max="1" step="0.1" value="1">
31      </div>
32      <div class="participants">
33        <h2>Participants</h2>
34        <ul id="participantsList"></ul>
35        <div id="participantVideos"></div>
36      </div>
37    </div>
38  </div>
39  <script src="app.js"></script>
40</body>
41</html>
Add the following styles to your styles.css file to style the participant videos:

CSS

1/* public/styles.css */
2
3/* Existing code... */
4
5.participants {
6  text-align: center;
7}
8
9.participants ul {
10  list-style: none;
11  padding: 0;
12}
13
14.participants li {
15  padding: 5px 0;
16}
17
18#participantVideos {
19  display: flex;
20  flex-wrap: wrap;
21  justify-content: center;
22  gap: 10px;
23  margin-top: 20px;
24}
25
26.participant-video {
27  width: 200px;
28  height: 150px;
29  background: #000;
30  border-radius: 8px;
31  overflow: hidden;
32}
33
34.participant-video video {
35  width: 100%;
36  height: 100%;
37}
These styles ensure that the participant videos are displayed in a grid layout, making it easy to see all connected participants.

JavaScript for Real-Time Updates

Now, let's update the app.js file to handle real-time updates and display participant videos.

JavaScript

1// public/app.js
2
3// Existing code...
4
5const participantVideos = document.getElementById('participantVideos');
6
7// Function to add a participant video
8function addParticipantVideo(peerId) {
9  const participantVideoContainer = document.createElement('div');
10  participantVideoContainer.className = 'participant-video';
11  participantVideoContainer.id = `video-${peerId}`;
12  
13  const videoElement = document.createElement('video');
14  videoElement.autoplay = true;
15  videoElement.controls = true;
16  participantVideoContainer.appendChild(videoElement);
17  
18  participantVideos.appendChild(participantVideoContainer);
19  
20  return videoElement;
21}
22
23// Example function to simulate adding participant videos
24function simulateParticipants() {
25  const peers = ['Peer 1', 'Peer 2', 'Peer 3'];
26  peers.forEach((peer, index) => {
27    const videoElement = addParticipantVideo(peer);
28    // For demonstration, we'll use the same video source for all participants
29    videoElement.src = 'https://www.w3schools.com/html/mov_bbb.mp4';
30  });
31}
32
33// Call simulateParticipants for demonstration purposes
34simulateParticipants();
35
36// Function to join a room
37function joinRoom(roomName) {
38  joinScreen.style.display = 'none';
39  videoScreen.style.display = 'block';
40  console.log(`Joined room: ${roomName}`);
41
42  // Add the torrent and stream the video
43  client.add(torrentId, (torrent) => {
44    const file = torrent.files.find(file => file.name.endsWith('.mp4'));
45    file.renderTo(videoPlayer);
46
47    playPauseBtn.addEventListener('click', () => {
48      if (videoPlayer.paused) {
49        videoPlayer.play();
50        playPauseBtn.textContent = 'Pause';
51      } else {
52        videoPlayer.pause();
53        playPauseBtn.textContent = 'Play';
54      }
55    });
56
57    fullScreenBtn.addEventListener('click', () => {
58      if (!document.fullscreenElement) {
59        if (videoPlayer.requestFullscreen) {
60          videoPlayer.requestFullscreen();
61        } else if (videoPlayer.mozRequestFullScreen) { /* Firefox */
62          videoPlayer.mozRequestFullScreen();
63        } else if (videoPlayer.webkitRequestFullscreen) { /* Chrome, Safari & Opera */
64          videoPlayer.webkitRequestFullscreen();
65        } else if (videoPlayer.msRequestFullscreen) { /* IE/Edge */
66          videoPlayer.msRequestFullscreen();
67        }
68      } else {
69        if (document.exitFullscreen) {
70          document.exitFullscreen();
71        } else if (document.mozCancelFullScreen) { /* Firefox */
72          document.mozCancelFullScreen();
73        } else if (document.webkitExitFullscreen) { /* Chrome, Safari & Opera */
74          document.webkitExitFullscreen();
75        } else if (document.msExitFullscreen) { /* IE/Edge */
76          document.msExitFullscreen();
77        }
78      }
79    });
80  });
81
82  // Handle participants (for demonstration purposes)
83  const peers = ['Peer 1', 'Peer 2', 'Peer 3'];
84  peers.forEach(peer => {
85    const li = document.createElement('li');
86    li.textContent = peer;
87    participantsList.appendChild(li);
88  });
89}
90
91// Function to handle new participant joining
92function handleNewParticipant(peerId) {
93  const videoElement = addParticipantVideo(peerId);
94  // Assume we get a stream from the peer
95  // For demonstration, we'll use a sample video source
96  videoElement.src = 'https://www.w3schools.com/html/mov_bbb.mp4';
97}
98
99// Example usage of handleNewParticipant
100handleNewParticipant('Peer 4');
This script adds a function addParticipantVideo to create and display a new video element for each participant. The simulateParticipants function is a placeholder to demonstrate adding participant videos. The joinRoom function handles joining a room and initializes the WebTorrent client. The handleNewParticipant function simulates adding a new participant video.
By implementing these changes, you now have a participant view that displays videos for all connected participants. This enhances the collaborative aspect of your WebTorrent WebRTC application by allowing users to see and manage multiple video streams in real-time.
In the next section, we will focus on running and testing the complete application to ensure everything works as expected.

Step 6: Run Your Code Now

In this section, we'll focus on running and testing your complete WebTorrent WebRTC application to ensure everything works as expected. We'll cover local testing, debugging common issues, and best practices for deploying your application.

Testing the Application

Before deploying your application, it's essential to test it locally to ensure all functionalities work correctly. Follow these steps to run your application:

Start the Node.js Server

Ensure you are in your project directory and start the Node.js server using the following command:

bash

1   node index.js
You should see a message indicating that the server is running on port 3000:

bash

1   Server running on port 3000

Open the Application in Your Browser

Open your browser and navigate to http://localhost:3000. You should see the join screen where you can enter a room name.

Join a Room

Enter a room name and click the "Join" button. This action should switch to the video screen, start streaming the video, and display the participant view.

Debugging Common Issues

Here are some common issues you might encounter and how to resolve them:

Server Not Starting

  • Ensure you have Node.js and npm installed.
  • Check for syntax errors in your index.js or other JavaScript files.
  • Ensure all necessary dependencies are installed by running npm install.

Video Not Streaming

  • Verify the torrent file or magnet link is correct and accessible.
  • Check for errors in the browser console and server logs.
  • Ensure your HTML and JavaScript files are correctly linked.

Participants Not Displaying

  • Ensure the participant view is correctly implemented and styled.
  • Check for errors in the JavaScript logic handling participant connections.
  • Simulate participants correctly by calling the simulateParticipants function.

Deploying the Application

Deployment Options for Node.js Applications Once you've tested your application locally, you can deploy it to a live environment. Here are some common deployment options for Node.js applications:

Heroku

  • Install the Heroku CLI and log in.
  • Create a new Heroku app and deploy your code using Git.
  • Configure environment variables and scale your application.

Vercel

  • Sign up for a Vercel account and link your Git repository.
  • Deploy your Node.js application with automatic builds and deployments.
  • Configure custom domains and environment variables.

DigitalOcean

  • Create a Droplet (virtual private server) and configure your server environment.
  • Deploy your Node.js application manually or using a CI/CD pipeline.
  • Manage your server and scale resources as needed.

Best Practices for Production Deployment

  • Security: Ensure your application is secure by implementing HTTPS, sanitizing user inputs, and using secure storage for sensitive data.
  • Performance: Optimize your application for performance by using a CDN for static assets, enabling caching, and monitoring server load.
  • Scalability: Design your application to scale by using microservices, load balancing, and containerization (e.g., Docker).

Conclusion

In this comprehensive guide, we've explored the process of creating a video streaming application using WebTorrent and WebRTC with JS/Node.js. We've covered everything from setting up the development environment and installing the necessary libraries to implementing essential features like video controls and participant views. By leveraging the strengths of both WebTorrent and WebRTC, you can build a robust, decentralized video streaming application that is efficient, scalable, and resilient.

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