How To Watch Obama's Presidential Inauguration Online

The 57th Presidential Inauguration falls on Monday, January 21st, this year, which coincidentally, also happens to be Martin Luther King Jr. day.

"It's almost like fate and history coming together," U.S. Rep. John Lewis told the Associated Press. Lewis, the representative of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District, is a civil rights leader who worked closely with King in the 1950s and '60s. "If it hadn't been for Martin Luther King Jr., there would be no Barack Obama as president," added Lewis.

Lots Of Performers

Performers at the inauguration include Beyonce and James Taylor, and the inauguration parade includes guests like Bobak Ferdowski, aka NASA’s Mohawk Guy.

MSNBC estimates that up to 800,000 people will attend the inauguration this year, and scalpers are reportedly charging $2,000 for tickets. For those of us wanting to watch at home through our electronic devices, however, the options are entirely free.

Both Apple and Google are offering free apps for their respective devices, with both companies dubbing them the “Inauguration 2013” app. Apple’s iOS app is available on iTunes, naturally, and Google's Android app can be downloaded through Google Play, and both promise you “a front row seat at the ceremonial swearing-in with the app’s built-in live stream.” Both apps have been reviewed favorably.  

Fox News will be streaming on their site, and CNN will be livestreaming via CNN.com as well as through its apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Yahoo, meanwhile, has partnered with ABC News for its Inauguration Control Room, which promises not just all day interactive coverage, but commentary from a bunch of unusual pundits, including Buzzfeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith, former White House executive chef Walter Schieb and Michael Waldman, a former speechwriter for President Clinton.

Or, if you are so inclined, you can watch the same coverage on ABCNews.com, GoodMorningAmerica.com, on the ABC News mobile app, or on the ABC News YouTube Channel.

YouTube Is Reliable

Speaking of YouTube, while the Google-owned video sharing site has yet to announce its plans for the inauguration stream, it is more than likely a live stream will be available through its Election Hub, or through various partners' individual YouTube channels, which include the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. The White House has also set up an Inauguration 2013 channel, and will be streaming here.

As someone who has tried both individual news sites' livestreams as well as YouTube’s, the live stream offered directly on YouTube is by far the most reliable. (YouTube did invest heavily in its livestreaming infrastructure to cover the Olympics, after all.)

NASA will also offer a livestream of the inauguration parade, no doubt highlighting the Mars Curiosity Rover replica that will be rolling along with all the high-school bands and other attractions. NASA will broadcast on Ustream, which served it well during the Curiosity landing.

Photo courtesy of Andrew F. Kazmierski / Shutterstock.com.