In the next few paragraphs we will describe everything you need to know to get started with your live broadcast. SHOUTcast can be used to stream music and/or talk to your Radio Cast SHOUTcast or IceCast server.
To start streaming, you will need to the following components.
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 Latest version of Winamp: Download Nullsoft Shoutcast Source DSP Plug-in for Winamp: Download Access to a Radio Cast streaming audio server:Click here for information on our SHOUT cast streaming audio hosting. Internet Access: Although you can broadcast with a 56k internet connection, a DSL or Cable connection to the internet is recommended for optimal performance.
Now we’re ready to move on to the next step. Make sure Winamp and SHOUTcast are installed on your Windows PC.
Step 1: Start by loading Winamp. Now right click on the title bar that reads “Winamp”, mouse over the menu labeled options, the click on the option labeled “Preferences”. The Preferences dialogue can also be loaded by pressing “Ctrl+P” on your keyboard. [See figure 1.1]
Figure 1.1 – accessing the Nullsoft Winamp Preferences dialogue:
Step 2: On the right side of the Preferences dialogue, click on “Output” under the Plug-ins category. Here you can select between different Output options. The standard “WaveOut Output” option will generate minor moments of silence between songs. DO NOT select “Disk Writer” as this will create copies of the songs you attempt to play in a different format on your hard drive. The best option is either the “DirectSound output” or the “Crossfading Output”. In this tutorial we will be using “DirectSound output”. [See figure 1.2] Note: If you do not have a soundcard installed on your computer, please select “NULL Output Plug-In”. This will prevent Winamp from generating missing soundcard errors, while you attempt to stream.
Figure 1.2 – Choosing your output plug-in:
Step 3: Under the Plug-ins category, click on DSP/Effect and then enable your SHOUTcast Source DSP Plug-in by choosing the item labeled “Nullsoft SHOUTcast Source DSP”. A new window named “SHOUTcast Source” should open. The preferences dialogue can now be closed. [See figure 1.3/1.4]
Figure 1.3 – Selecting the Nullsoft Shoutcast Source DSP:
Figure 1.4 – A new dialogue window titled “Shoutcast Source” opens:
Step 4: In this step, you will setup your SHOUTcast Source to broadcast to your Radio Cast streaming audio server. In order to proceed, you need to know your server address, port number and password. You will be able to find these in the Welcome E-mail you received from Radio Cast shortly after your purchase. To begin setting up your SHOUTcast Source, click on the Output tab. [See figure 1.5]
1.5 – Shoutcast Source, Output configuration:
You will need to complete the Address, Port and Password fields.
Enter the address of your Radio Cast server. This will generally be youraccountname.primcast.com. DO NOT include a http:// or www prefix.
Next, enter the port number for your SHOUTcast server. This is generally a 4 digit number, and it can also be found in the Welcome E-mail. Entering a value other than a number will produce an error when connecting.
Finally, enter the password to your SHOUTcast server, provided to you in the Welcome E-mail. The password is case sensitive, so make sure you type it correctly.
Note: Please do not forget or lose your password, as you will not be able to connect without it.
The other features on the Output tab are optional. Check “Connect at Startup” to have SHOUTcast Source connect to the server when you start Winamp. Check “Automatic Reconnection on Connection Failure” to have SHOUTcast Source automatically reconnect to your Radio Cast server if the connection fails. The “Reconnection Timeout” field tells SHOUTcast Source how much time to pause between each reconnection attempt. I recommend that you leave the reconnection timeout at 0 seconds. In this case SHOUTcast source will attempt to reconnect immediately if the connection does drop.
Step 5: Now we need to complete the Yellowpages section of the Output tab. Although this section is optional, I recommend that you complete it if you want your station to be listed in the SHOUTcast directory at http://yp.shoutcast.com. The information in the Yellowpages section will also be displayed to your listeners.
On the Output tab, click on “Yellowpages”. [See figure 1.5]
Figure 1.5 – Yellowpage configuration:
In order to have your station listed on the SHOUTcast directory, it needs to be public. Check “Make this server public”, and then continue to complete your station’s description, the URL to your web site (if any), your station’s Genre, etcâ€¦ Note: If you DO NOT want your station listed in the SHOUTcast directory, make sure “Make this server public” is not checked. You’ll notice that “Enable Title Updates” is checked, as well as “Auto” for the title and description. This will take the song title and URL (if any) from the music you are broadcasting, and relay it to your listeners. You might want to uncheck “Auto” for the Title and URL fields if you are broadcasting a live talk show or any other content that is not played through Winamp. In this case you should enter your own information in those fields.
Step 6: We proceed to configuring the encoder on the SHOUTcast Source. Once you click the Encoder tab, you will see the dialogue below. [See figure 1.6]
Figure 1.6 – Configuring the encoder:
By default, “Encoder 1” is selected. You don’t need to change the settings on the other encoders, unless you are broadcasting to multiple servers. Changing the settings on the other encoders will not affect your settings on Encoder 1. Next, choose your “Encoder Type” from the drop down menu. The AAC+ encoder is known to provide higher quality audio at lower bitrates, when compared to the MP3 encoder. Broadcasting at lower bitrates will save you bandwidth and money. If you decide to go with the AAC+ encoder, click on “Encoder Settings” to choose your bitrate. If the MP3 encoder is selected, the bitrate can be chosen from the “Encoder Settings” drop menu. You should choose your bitrate based on your audience. If you’re audience is mainly dial-up users, broadcast at 24 to 32kbps. For Cable or DSL users, broadcast at 56 to 128kbps. I would NOT recommend broadcasting at bitrates higher than 128kbps. Note: Most CD quality Audio is encoded at 128kbps. Broadcasting at a higher bitrate will only waste your allocated bandwidth.
Step 7: The final step is to configure the Input tab of the SHOUTcast Source. Once you click on the Input tab, you will see the following dialogue. [See figure 1.7]
Figure 1.7 – Using Winamp as the input source:
By default, Winamp is selected as the Input Device. With his option, you will be broadcasting anything that is played through Winamp. This option is recommended if you will be broadcasting your playlists or any other pre-recorded content. The second option on the Input Device drop down is “Soundcard Input”. When this is selected, any sound played on your PC will be broadcasted to your Radio Cast SHOUTcast server. This option is recommended when using DJ software to mix your songs or when using the “Line In” on your soundcard to bring audio into your PC. This option is also recommended for online radio stations. The “Line In” can also be used when remixing songs with external turntables. The turntables are connected to your sound card’s “Line In”. The audio is then relayed from your soundcard to SHOUTcast Source, and then to your Radio Cast SHOUTcast Server. If you select “SoundCard Input” as your Input Device, some additional features will appear. [See figure 1.8]
Figure 1.8 – Configuring the Soundcard Input plug-in:
The recommended Input Settings is 44100Hz Stereo. From my experience, it provides the best sound quality. If you have a microphone connected to your sound card, select “Microphone” on the Soundcard Mixer section. If the audio comes to your soundcard from an external source, select Line Input under the Soundcard Mixer section.
Step 8: You’re done. To begin streaming click on the Output tab of your SHOUTcast Source and then click “Connect”. If you’re having difficulties streaming, contact our support team. They are available 24×7.