Internet radio is, quite possibly, one of the more interesting methods of listening to music. As of this writing, there are approximately 30,000 broadcasting SHOUTcast radio stations – all broadcasting a unique playlist of songs or other content.
We’re going to show you how to start your own Internet radio station with SHOUTcast – and help you set up a player on your website.
Also note that there are various legal implications for playing copyrighted works, which you can read at the bottom of the SHOUTcast download page.
Setting up the SHOUTcast Server
- Download and install the SHOUTcast Radio DNAS server.
- Browse over to C:\Program Files\SHOUTcast\ and open sc_serv.ini in your favorite text editor (I prefer Notepad++).
- You’ll need to edit a couple values:
- On line 21, edit the MaxUser value. The comment above it tells you how to calculate your possible number of listeners – take the upload rate of your connection in kbps and divide it by the bitrate you intend to broadcast at.
- For example, my upload speed is approximately 993kbps, and if I wanted to broadcast at 96kbps, I could fit in roughly 10 listeners at once.
- On line 29, choose a password for the Password value. This will be used so Winamp can connect to your server, and for the web administration.
- On line 37, PortBase can be left alone unless you have an existing server that utilizes port 8000/8001.
- Download and install Winamp. Make sure to uncheck any offers to change your search engine, etc.
- Download and install the SHOUTcast Radio DSP plugin.
- Open Winamp, head to Options > Preferences, then scroll down to DSP/Effect under Plug-ins. Click on Nullsoft SHOUTcast Source DSP and a small window should open:
- Switch to the Output tab and under Address put “localhost” without the quotes. For Port use 8000 unless you changed the value in step 2, and Password uses the password you configured in step 2:
- On the same tab, click where it says Yellowpages and configure the settings, which should be fairly self explanatory:
- Switch to the Encoder tab. Set Encoder Type to MP3 Encoder, and choose an Encoder Setting. Keep in mind the number of users you intend to be able to broadcast to at once – multiply the number of users you chose in step 2 by the bitrate you select and make sure the resulting number doesn’t exceed your upload speed:
- Start the SHOUTcast DNAS. Make sure to let it connect to the Internet.
- Switch back to the Output tab on the Winamp SHOUTcast window, and hit Connect. Head back to the Winamp library, and pick a random song. The SHOUTcast plugin under Status should start showing a quickly increasing number. You’re free to close the plugin window now that it’s connected:
Broadcasting on the Internet
At this point, your server is accessible anywhere on your local network. You’ll need to port forward to make it Internet accessible, and there are a few solutions to get your broadcast playing on a webpage.
- You’ll need to port forward ports 8000 and 8001 to your local computer. If you need help port forwarding, select a router from this list, and select ShoutCast when choosing an application. To find the port you need to forward to, follow the first step of Ryan’s FreeProxy article here.
- To verify that your server appears on the Internet, switch to the SHOUTcast server window, and wait for the following to appear:
[yp_add] yp.shoutcast.com added me successfully
If it fails for any reason, see the error it provides, double check the steps, and consult this forum thread if all else fails.
Embedding in a Webpage
Assuming everything has worked perfectly up to this point, we’re assuming you need a way for people to listen from a webpage. For all of this to work, you’ll also need to grab your external IP address, which you can find at WhatIsMyIP. There are a couple of solutions at this point:
WaveStreaming Player: This player requires you give them a name and an email address – but it’s pretty straightforward and requires no editing of code:
Once they give you the code, just copy and paste anywhere you want the player to appear.
StreamSolutions.co.uk Embedded Player Generator: Another simple solution, but doesn’t ask for your name or email. Simply give your station URL and port as directed, and select a version of the player. Note that this player is rather unwieldy in Firefox if the appropriate plugin is not installed.
Minicaster: Download Minicaster and unzip the archive. Edit minicaster.xml in your favorite text editor. Replace all the code in the file with the following, replacing your_ip_address, your_port, your_website_url, and Your Title Here:
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”iso-8859-1″ ?>
<config version=”1T” xmlns=”http://www.draftlight.net/dnex/config/ns/1T/”>
<title>Your Title Here</title>
<init autoplay=”0″ volume=”80″ reload=”5″ xfade=”0″ />
Upload minicaster.xml, minicaster.swf, and to be utterly simple, EXAMPLE2.html. You could alternatively embed the following code in a web page that shares the same directory (or edit the parts in bold to reflect directory structure):
<object id=”fmp256″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” data=”minicaster.swf” width=”180″ height=”70″>
<param name=”movie” value=”minicaster.swf” />
<param name=”wmode” value=”transparent” />
<h4>Minicaster Radio Playhead</h4>
<p>To listen you must <a href=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer/”
title=”Click here to install the Flash browser plugin from Macromedia”>install Flash Player</a>. Visit
<a href=”http://www.draftlight.net/dnex/mp3player/minicaster/” title=”Draftlight Networks”>Draftlight Networks</a>
for more info.</p></div>
That’s about it to starting a basic SHOUTcast server. If you have any comments or questions, please direct them below. Also, let us know where to find your newly created radio station so we can come over and listen!
Image Credit : LoopZilla.
More articles about: