Audio - Streaming audio from the Web: Part 2

SHOUTcast.com From the creators of Winamp, SHOUTcast is a free audio 'homestead' service that lets you broadcast audio from your PC to listeners on the Internet and to other computers connected to yours, such as those on an IP-based home network.

To broadcast using SHOUTcast, you'll need plenty of bandwidth and be able to run your own server, or find someone who will run one for you. The more bandwidth you have and the faster the computer is that's used as a server, the more people who can connect to the server successfully.

Step by step

1. Install Winamp from this month's cover disc.

2. Download and install the latest version of SHOUTcast server from http://www.shoutcast.com/download/serve.phtml.

3. Go to Start-Programs-SHOUTcast DNAS and click on Shoutcast DNAS (GUI).

4. Now select the Edit config menu. Your default text editor, such as Notepad, will open the configuration file for the SHOUTcast server. Follow the directions in this file, and save the changes and exit when you're done. As a quick test, set 'Maximum Listeners' to 10, change the password and leave the default port (8000). Scroll down to the 'Network Configuration' section and change the 'SrcIP' to 127.0.0.1. For the moment, you can leave the other settings untouched. Restart the server for any changes to take effect, and go on to the next step.

5. Download and install the latest version of the SHOUTcast Broadcasting Tools for Winamp from www.shoutcast.com/download/broadcast.phtml#plugdownload 6. When you run the Installation, make sure Winamp is closed, and install the files into the Winamp plug-in directory (often this is c:\Program Files\Winamp\Plugins or something similar). Make sure that you also download and install the Microsoft Netshow Server Tools from the same area of the Web page. If you use Internet Explorer 5 with Windows Media Player, or Windows 98SE, then you may already have the right encoding files installed.

7. Having installed the files, fire up Winamp, press - and click on the DSP/Effects subcategory under Plug-ins.

8. Click on SHOUTcast Source for Winamp v1.xx.

9. This setup assumes you're running the SHOUTCast server on the same computer running Winamp. Click the Edit button and if you changed the default password in the server setup in step 4, type in the new password. If you like, type in a name and description of your server also. Press OK.

10. Click the second Edit button and select a suitable streaming format for your type of connection. Press OK and then the Connect button. Next to the connection button it should now say 'Source Stream Connected'.

11. For voice-over and advanced control of the plug-in, go to Winamp preferences and select Plug-ins-DSP/Effect, choose SHOUTcast and press the Configure button. For additional help in this area (a video with a spoken guide and demonstration), double-click the file advdemo.exe in your Winamp plug-ins directory. You should now be ready to stream your audio. Open any .mp3 file in Winamp's playlist as you would normally, and click the Play button.

Note: remember that you are subject to copyright laws when streaming; more information on this can be found on the same page of the Web site you accessed in step 5.

12. For someone else to listen to your audio stream, they must press - in Winamp and type in http:// followed by your IP address and your selected port. For example, the syntax should be http://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:port where the x's are your IP address and the port is your selected port (such as 8000). To find out your IP address, first make sure you're connected to the Internet. Then go to Start-Run and type in winipcfg. Assuming you're using Windows 9x/Me, and you should see your IP address displayed in the appropriate field. If it is listed as all zeros, use the pull-down menu to select the appropriate adapter until you see an IP address listed properly.

On the air! Others should now be able to listen to what you're playing in your Winamp playlist. In the config file (step 4) of the server plug-in you can add features such as a playlist name of your station (TitleFormat), introduction audio that is played before the stream begins (IntroFile), and whether you want your stream listed on SHOUTcast.com.

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