Elgato Stream Deck XL

The recent upgrade of Keyboard Maestro to include support for the Elgato Stream Deck gave me the incentive to invest in the device which I have been eyeing off for awhile.

Elgato offers 3 hardware versions of the Stream Deck plus an iOS App. Basically the difference between the hardware versions is the number of programmable buttons that the device has

  • Mini - 4
  • Stream Deck - 15
  • Stream Deck L - 32

I chose to go with the XL version, primarily due to the increased size and the improved stand.


While the initial intention of the product was to assist creators with their broadcasts it is a very useful tool for general automation tasks, which is the reason I bought the device.

It easily allows for programming of buttons to simulate keyboard commands to activate Quick Action services and application specific keyboard shortcuts. Here is a Multi Action I created to implement MacSparky’s famous Save as PDF Quick Action


The latest version of Keyboard Maestro now includes the ability to recognise the press of a particular button on the Stream Deck to trigger a macro.
Elgato also offers a great web based tool called Key Creator to easily create Buttons and Wallpapers. Through the tool you can access a library of icons for the button design but you can also use images from other sources.

Actions are available to insert text, Open Folders and Websites, interact with sites like Twitter and YouTube, use multimedia controls for your Mac and access home automation products like Phillips Hue and Nanoleaf. As there is an SDK available you can find other third party Actions either through the Stream Deck configuration app or online at sites like stream-deck-plugins.com

Here is my Home screen, where apart from some useful Quick Actions I have included multimedia, Hue and Nanoleaf controls.

The Stream Deck has the the ability to automatically change the Profile to show Actions specific to the application you are running. At present apart from my Home Screen I have created a profiles for the Mail.app (shown above) and Final Cut Pro. The Profiles can be exported for backup purposes but this also makes them available for sharing - Final Cut Pro.

Another function that increases the usefulness of the device is Folders. You can create a folder which then allows another 32 buttons to be programmed. Within that folder you can create another sub folder allowing potentially hundreds of commands to be programmed for a Profile.

Getting to know the Stream Decks abilities has given me lots of fun. If you are into automation I highly recommend this device.

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Picking up on the Icon Creator point, I’ve been storing the icons in a folder - so I can readily reuse them.

If the Streamdeck app had a “recently used icons” palette to pick from it’d be quicker to set up a new button.

Nice review! Thanks for posting.
Maybe Apple will buy them and add touchid to one of the corners, something I’ve been hoping to see on magic keyboards.

Thanks for the detailed overview, @Woteva!

The Elgato Stream Deck XL that I ordered from Amazon Canada in mid August has finally shipped and is due to arrive by Wednesday.

On a side note, I came across Stream Deck Mobile the other day. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like it turns an iPhone (but, curiously not an iPad) into a Stream Deck.

If they do end up supporting the iPad (which I expect they will), this is more attractive that a Stream Deck in some ways. It’s more affordable and portable and doesn’t rely on dedicated hardware. Since it operates over Wi-Fi, it’s also wireless.

I’m planning to put both Elgato Stream Deck XL and Stream Deck Mobile through their paces over the next couple of weeks and will see which one makes the most sense (or potentially even use both). I do a lot of live, video-conferenced sessions using Zoom and my main use case is to have quick and easy ways to toggle things like screen sharing, cameras, and audio during the sessions.

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This is one case where $3/mo or $24/yr doesn’t seem appropriate.

And a reminder, Alfred has a remote control app, if it/he is part of the workflow.

This is one case where $3/mo or $24/yr doesn’t seem appropriate.

I’d be willing to pay $24/year if Stream Deck Mobile works well and continues to be developed.

And a reminder, Alfred has a remote control app, if it/he is part of the workflow.

I’ve used Alfred Remote in the past and found it worked well. Unfortunately, it hasn’t seen an update in over four years.

One attraction to Elgato’s solution is that works with Keyboard Maestro (I’m a big fan). So, I’d probably gravitate to this one even if Alfred Remote were still in development.

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There is a 3-day trial which I did try and it worked pretty well … But because the iPhone display is very sharp, you can tell that the icons have many faults… maybe this will be fixed in future updates but at this moment, some of the icons are not appealing to me.

I made a screenful of Relay.fm buttons for the XL:

I really like this little device, but I don’t feel like really even hit my stride with it yet.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, @Topre. It sounds like there’s still some work to be done on Stream Deck Mobile (including adding support for iPad).

This might interest you: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/MartinPacker/entry/Buttoned_Up?lang=en

(I don’t need the hits at this point, of course.)

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Hi,

Can you share that Profile? I am interested in seeing if the icons get exported along with the Button commands, plus it looks very useful :grinning:

Like you I don’t think I have got anywhere near the full potential of this device.

Cheers

Damnit, I’m gonna buy one of these, aren’t I…
Does anyone know if I can script it to play a specific spotify playlist to an airplay 2 speaker?

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There was a link in the original article :slight_smile:

Not sure if the Stream Deck’s built-in “Multi-Actions” would be able to do it but a Keyboard Maestro macro could do it - and now those macros can be triggered by the SD!

I finally received my Elgato Stream Deck XL today…and so far it’s exceeded my already high expectations. I like how configurable it is, especially when combined with Keyboard Maestro.

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Cheers for that, a Stream Deck Profile depository would be a good idea so we can share our creations :slightly_smiling_face:

I have no voice. This device is a godsend, I can create any number of audio files and assign them to keys. Furthermore, physical arm/hand related mobility challenges make this device a terrific Accessibility Aid.
This is a deep well with a large bucket on the end of a long rope.

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That’s awesome! I mean, I’m enjoying it, but this is a whole new level of usefulness.

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