Broadcasting

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This page was created to provide an easy-to-understand tutorial for getting started on the path to broadcasting on SHOUTcast servers. Input from experienced persons highly appreciated.

So you want to be a DJ? Well even the idea may seem a bit overwhelming, it's actually very possible. All it takes is a little initiative, time, and practice, and you too may someday entertain friends with a constant stream of groovy music...maybe even have your friends fawning over you like many listeners do at many of the awesome RKoL DJs...or maybe even become an RKoL DJ yourself someday!

Contents

Getting Started

There are a few things you should get out of the way before you even try to start broadcasting. Putting aside the many rules for applying to RKoL, there are still certain requirements that must be met, and things you need to do. You don't expect to just start playing music one day and it magically gets sent to hundreds of people, do you?

Prerequisites

The first thing you need to do is get all of the stuff you need, minus the broadcasting software (that comes after this, in section 1.2).

PC Requirements

This section is called "PC requirements" because all the programs used to broadcast are built for Windows. You can probably manage to get away with a few other things, but if you can't run or emulate Windows, you'll find that you may have quite a few problems connecting to the SHOUTcast server without a client that can connect to it as source. You'll need a computer to broadcast and it would be in your best interest to have one built in the last decade, or hopefully very recently. Here are the lastest version of Winamp's minimum requirements:

  • 500MHz Pentium III or comparable
  • 64MB RAM
  • 15MB Hard Disk Space
  • 16bit Sound Card
  • Windows 98 SE, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003
  • 1x speed or greater CD Burner (Required for Burning)
  • 2x speed or greater CDROM (Required for Ripping)

Now, of course, you don't need the optical drives unless you plan to be able to add your collection of CDs to your music library, and if you're awesome enough to emulate Windows on Unix/Linux, you can get away without your operating system being Windows, but if you were really that nifty, you wouldn't be reading this article, you'd be editing it and making it better. Among hardware not listed in there is a microphone. You can probably get away with borrowing your friend/sibling's mic when you need to make an announcement if you don't plan on talking much, but most likely, you'll want to be able to say things on air (also quite necessary for sending in an aircheck to RKoL). If you don't have one quite yet, don't worry they are quite easy to aquire. Most DJs have reasonably priced microphones and mine was actually free. If you can't even afford a free microphone, a headset plugged into the mic in port on your soundcard will function as a very low quality microphone (talk into the earpieces).

Bytes In Your Bay

There are a few things that you need on your hard drive. First and foremost, music! If you don't have music, you'll have nothing to play. For some of you, this is okay. Many people listen to the radio to just hear their favorite DJs. If you want to run a talk-based show, you don't need a lot of music. For the rest of you that have a more FM-radio type show in mine, a large music collection should be at your right hand. If you don't currently have a lot of tracks, don't worry, there are plenty of ways to get more.

The good-old-fashioned honest way 
Go on a quest to a magical place known as your local music venue and you can exchange dough (not meat) for some nifty music.
Keep in mind that this isn't the best way to go about getting music, as the quality of the content is questionable, but it is the most respectable.
"Sharing is Caring" 
If you believe in this phrase, you probably also believe in the second part, "It could be fun". Fire up your favorite peer-to-peer client (mine is BitComet) and get on the receiving end of some tubular tune sharing. Just remember that manorialism isn't appreciated much on the internet, so don't be a leech.
The 1337 way 
Personally, I value the opinions of my peers as much as my own, so I've come up with a few ways for users to send me music. For most of you basic e-mail requests will suffice to your needs. As for me, I set up an anonymous FTP server so my peers can upload music, as well as an image board devoted to requests. And since I believe that sharing is caring, all my music is publicly available, and 99.9% of it is in his /music/ directory.

Getting The Software

Winamp and the DSP plugin

 +encoders

Sam Broadcaster

 +getting your music into SAM's Library
 +configuring SAM3
 +configuring features
 +extra stuff
 +errors you might encounter

Your Show

-have a plan for what you want to do on air
 +you'll need to be creative
 +listen to how the DJs on existing radio stations such as RKOL run their shows

Practicing

-use someone else's server
 +freecast
-install your own server

Tips & Tricks

+move your bumps into SAM's sound FX folder so you can play them easily with one click without sending the MP3 metadata to the server and clogging up stats
+status tools
+request stuff

External Links

Personal tools