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  #1  
Old 06-23-2006, 03:20 PM
tbrogdon tbrogdon is offline
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Shoutcast Setup & Hosting


Overview
About this Guide

This guide is designed for users running Microsoft Windows. This guide can be used as a reference for other operating systems, so long as you know how to install the products and the differences between the windows and other OS program. I plan to make a version for Linux in a future release. I do not have any plans to provide information on the MAC version as I do not own a MAC. If after reviewing this documentation and you are still having problems feel free to Contact me.

What is Shoutcast?
Shoutcast is software designed to broadcast MP3s or live data stream (via microphone) from a server to multiple clients. Shoutcast works in conjunction with Winamp as well as Winamp plug-ins to provide the stream. Shoutcast is unicast; this means the server has to broadcast a separate stream to each client. This is more bandwidth consuming, but makes setup and administration easier. It also makes the server much more reliable. Shoutcast is also unidirectional. This means that the server broadcasts but cannot receive information for the client.

How does Shoutcast work?
Shoutcast is unicast; this means the server has to broadcast a separate stream to each client. This is more bandwidth consuming, but makes setup and administration easier. It also makes the server much more reliable. Shoutcast is also unidirectional. This means that the server broadcasts but cannot receive information for the client.

How much bandwidth is required?
This is a hard question to answer, as there are a lot of factors involved. You must consider the following factors...

* How many listeners will you have?
* What Bitrate will you broadcast at? (ie. 96k, 128k, etc)

Something to think about, you only use bandwidth when a client is connected. Therefore if your server is running and 0 users are connected for 30 days, your total bandwidth usage will be 0.

Do I have to use a hosting provider?
NO, you can use any kind of connection from Dialup to an ISP. However you must make sure the bitrate and amount of listeners does not saturate your bandwidth. For example on dialup you can broadcast to 1 or 2 people at about 28k. Anything more than this will cause skippage. On DSL with 256k up you can run 256k for 1 user, 128k for 2 users, 96k for 3 users, and so on so fourth. (It should be noted that DSL varies from place to place, DSL providers do not make any up rate guarantees so you may have more or less then 256k up. Also keep in mind this is your up rate NOT your down rate, which is normally 1.5meg.)

Kilobytes?! Kilobits?!?!
It can get confusing when reading data transfer information and seeing some information in KB (kilobytes) and some information in Kb (Kilobits). So I've described the deference below. Kilobytes are 1,024 groups of 8 bits and kilobits are 1,024 bits. In other words there are 8,192 kilobytes for every kilobit. It's confusing; it would be nice if one would go away :).

Installation and Setup
Download Shoutcast, Winamp, and the Winamp Plug-in

First off you need to download Shoutcast, Winamp and the Winamp plug-in (Shoutcast only broadcasts, Winamp does the rest of the work.)
You can get Shoutcast at Shoutcast.com Click on download in the menu.
You can get Winamp at winamp.com For the sake of saving space I recommend downloading the Lite version (the other features are for visual effect only.) One thing to note; at the time of this documentation, Shoutcast does not support any version of Winamp beyond 2.0. If you download version 3.0 and can't get it to work, this is probably why ;).

Lastly you need the Winamp Plug-in for Shoutcast. Most people forget this part, mostly because it's hidden on the Shoutcast site. Get this from the “be a DJ” part of the Shoutcast download page.

Install Winamp & it's plug-in
It really doesn't matter which you install first, as one does not require the other to start (both are required to function). For the sake of this documentation we will discuss Winamp installation first, and then go to Shoutcast installation.

Now that you have downloaded Winamp (version 2.0 assumed). Run the executable and follow the instructions provided.

After installing Winamp, go ahead and install the Winamp Plug-in. Just run the executable you downloaded and it should do all the work for you. If not verify that it knows the correct directory for your Winamp install (important if you install to a non-standard directory).

Now that Winamp and the plug-in are installed; open up Winamp so we can configure it.
Once open click the "~" in the upper left corner.
Go to Options| Preferences. (NOTE: you can also just press CTRL-P)
Inside the Preferences screen go to Plug-ins| DSP/Effect.
Make sure Null soft Shoutcast Source.... is selected. (Don’t worry about the drop down box or the configure button below (they don't work for this plug-in).
Now go to Plug-ins| Output
Select Null soft NULL output (this is important when running on a server without a sound card, or to keep from hearing the music 24/7, but if you want to listen to the music 24/7 you can leave it be.)
This is all the required stuff, you can piddle with the other controls later on, get it working before you do that.

Install Shoutcast
Now it's on to installing Shoutcast. Run the executable you downloaded earlier.
You will be asked to agree to the license agreement (the one no one reads ;)) then if you want the Console or GUI. For the sake of this documentation use the GUI (Graphical User Interface) (you can re-install it later with the console if you so desire) It will then ask for a destination directory, then install. A readme file will pop up, read it (or don't) then close it.

Now open up the directory you installed to (c:\program files\Shoutcast by default)
Open up the sc_serv.ini file (you will probably have to right click it and go to Open With... then select Notepad (or your preferred editor.) This is your Shoutcast configuration file. Here you will setup things like max users and bitrate. I will give a few recommended changes, however you will want to study and learn this file well.

Make the following changes...

On line 21 - MAxUsesr=32
Change this to reflect the maximum number of users you want to allow at any one time. Set this too high and clients will get skippage.
On line 29 - Password=Changeme
This is the administration password, make sure to change this, otherwise a wise guy could change your settings.
On line 37 - PortBase=8000
You should be able to leave this be, however, due to firewalls and other circumstances you may need to change this one (just make sure whatever you change it too that the next number up is available {ie if 8000, 8001 must also be available})
On line 167 - IntroFile=c:\intro%d.mp3
This can get annoying so be carefull. This is the file that will play each time a client connects, before the music starts. This can be any MP3. They say it has to be the same bitrate, however I have found that this doesn't matter in most cases.
On line 178 - BackupFile=c:\intro%d.mp3
This is the same as intro file, accept this file plays if the stream is dead (example: winamp isn't playing but shoutcast is running.)
On line 188 - TitleFormat=Justin Radio: %s
This is the title displayed in Winamp on the client side. %s basically says to display the song name.
The rest of the options are optional/advanced. I'd recommend leaving them be, at least for now.

You may now want to put a shortcut to Shoutcast on the desktop or other location.
One last note: you can run multiple Shoutcast servers on one system (although not recommended) to do so just create a new ini file (i.e. copy the sc_serv.ini file to a new name {example: sc_serv2.ini} and run sc_serv.exe sc_serv2.ini for the second server. You will also need a second version of Winamp running, to keep your config and song selection the same you may want to copy the Winamp directory to a new directory (you can do this instead of re-installing Winamp!) Also keep in mind, if you do run two copies of Shoutcast, you will need to change the port on one of them as well as any other pertinent options.

Make it all work
Now that both Winamp and Shoutcast are installed, you need to do one last thing. You need to tell the Shoutcast DSP in Winamp how to work.
To do this open up both Shoutcast and Winamp. When you open up Winamp you should get a new window (Shoutcast Source). This is the part we need to work on.

Output
In this window, click on Output
Select Output 1 (the others are for multiple versions of Shoutcast (you could have two versions for two different bitrates, or song line-ups.)

Connection
Click on Connect at Startup (this way you will not have to worry about re-connecting manually.)
Make sure the Connection button is clicked.
Address should be localhost
Port needs to be the same as you set it in the Shoutcast config ini file. (Default is 8000)
password also needs to be the same as you set it in the ini file.
Encoder will be 1 (this is the next tab)
Make sure Automatic Reconnect is checked (this'll save some headaches!)

Yellow Pages
Now click on the Yellow pages button
This is used to post your radio on shoutcast.com (this is completely optional. It should all be self explanatory. The only thing I can recommend is to keep your Genre the same and similar stations already listed (this way you will not get over-looked).
Encoder
Here is where you set the bitrate (also the encoder type, but the only option is MP3.)
I use 96kbps 44,100kHz, Stereo for my DSL connection and it seems to work ok, but you'll want to set this to your needs. Just use the Drop Down box to select.
Input
Here you can switch between Winamp and sound card input (you would use this for a tape player, record player, or the like.)
That’s it for that. One thing to note, you don't have to save your changes, they are saved as soon as the change is made.

Starting up Shoutcast and Winamp
Starting up Shoutcast

The Shoutcast GUI (or console) must be running at all times, it does not run in the background or as a service. You may want to add a short cut to the startup folder in the start menu to make sure this happens.

Starting up Winamp
This is the one that can get you. Winamp does are the hard work, Shoutcast just provides the portal (if you will). Once you start Winamp you need to add your songs to the play list. Winamp should save the play list. I recommend keeping the play list open at all times to make sure the list is correct (you can press ALT-E to open it.) Once you have the songs in the play list make sure to click on Play. In the Shoutcast Source window click on the output tab. You want to make sure it is connected and showing data being sent (this can take up to 30 sec. as it re-connects every 30 sec.) {One thing to keep in mind. Even know the output window shows data being sent, if there is no one connected the data is not actually leaving your network and therefore you will not be charged for usage.} If this is the case you should be connected and ready to listen.

Connecting and verifying success
Now from another system run http://servername(or IP):8000/listen.pls this will start the radio stream. You can also link to http://servername(or IP):8000 this is an information/admin page for your broadcast.

Web Site Integration tips
Link to the stream

The first thing you need to do is create a link to your broadcast. To do this you need to add the following line of code to your html document... (The information within brackets "{}" will need to be changed to reference your information.
For a link to start the stream right away...
<a href="http://{servername or IP}:{serverport}/listen.pls">Listen Now</a>
Real world example...
<a href="http://www.echristianrock.com:9000/listen.pls">Listen Now</a>

For a link to get information about your stream (considering you are not using your own script)
<a href="http://{servername or IP}:{serverport}">Stats</a>
Real world example...
<a href="http://www.echristianrock.com:9000">Stats</a>

To view your stats via XML (great for creating a script to parse and display the stats). DO NOT MAKE A LINK TO THIS on your site! Doing so would give away your admin password.
Browse to: http://{servername or IP}:{serverport}/admin.cgi?pass={password}&mode=viewxml
Create a help page
It's a good idea to create a help page for listeners. This way when they have problems listening to the stream, they will have a place to go to get some ideas on how to fix it.



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  #2  
Old 07-15-2006, 06:03 PM
thomase thomase is offline
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Nice post. Here's my advice for, additional software to download to make a more proffesional sounding station - for free .


Download a DJing tool called zara radio.
http://zararadio.com/

You can play all your music through here with sweepers/jingles, cross fades, etc. It's not too hard to understand with an hour or so of playing with it.

You will still need to stream via winamp's shoutcast plugin as this doesn't come with it. You then set it to play via your soundcard.

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  #3  
Old 07-16-2006, 07:32 AM
hostalexa hostalexa is offline
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good

thank you

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  #4  
Old 07-17-2006, 04:22 PM
Chris.S Chris.S is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Very nice and in depth.

Shoutcast requires so much bandwidth.
I have 1 shoutcast client and he has usually 40 connections at any time and he only streams at 32kbps but that amount adds up really fast!

  #5  
Old 09-18-2006, 03:28 PM
Crucial Crucial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evolution Webhost
Very nice and in depth.

Shoutcast requires so much bandwidth.
I have 1 shoutcast client and he has usually 40 connections at any time and he only streams at 32kbps but that amount adds up really fast!
32k per listener

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  #6  
Old 10-17-2006, 01:49 PM
24shells 24shells is offline
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Shoutcast is amazing thing though. It is so easy for anyone to start there small online radio for friends / family or even go public at a cost which anyone can afford (usually).

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  #7  
Old 10-26-2006, 03:07 AM
sander815 sander815 is offline
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is t possible to shoutcast from a shared hosting account?

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