Have you ever wanted to be a DJ? Does the thought of having your own radio station make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? If so, you’re in luck! There’s this new invention called “the Internet” that allows you to (among other things) broadcast your favorite tunes all day long if you wish! So if you’ve ever felt the jones to be your own broadcaster, check out this article! You’d be amazed at how easy is really is to set up your own Internet radio station.
Here’s what you need to get started:
• The latest version of WinAMP
• The Shoutcast DSP plug-in for WinAMP
• Shoutcast Server
• A stable Windows-based computer
• A broadband Internet connection
The Big Picture
WinAMP was the first MP3 player for the Windows platform. Although it has expanded over the years to include library functions and the ability to play videos, at its core WinAMP is still just a basic MP3 player.
Shoutcast Server was developed by the same people that made WinAMP. Shoutcast is a streaming audio server. It provides audio streams to listeners. Shoutcast server is available for Windows 9x, Windows NT, Windows 2000\2003, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris.
The Shoutcast plug-in for WinAMP connects the output of WinAMP to the input of the Shoutcast server. It takes whatever is playing in WinAMP, converts it to the appropriate bitrate and\or format, then forwards it on to the Shoutcast server. The Shoutcast server then sends this input out to listeners as a stream of data. The Shoutcast plug-in is also where you enter the name of your station or show and any contact information you’d like to add.
Getting It All Set Up
If you’ve never used WinAMP before, download and install it, then spend a couple of days getting familiar with it. You will especially need to be familiar with the playlist functions, as this is how you’re going to get started as a DJ. Basically, an Internet radio station is just a giant playlist of songs. You’ll need to be able to assemble such a playlist on your computer. The playlist can be as long as you want – in fact, it will need to be several days long if you want to have a full-time station, although it can also be just a few hours long if you want to do brief “shows” instead of broadcasting full-time. Also, note how to save your playlists (click LIST OPTS > SAVE LIST in the playlist window). This is important, since you’ll be tweaking several things during the setup process, and there’s the distinct possibility that you might accidentally erase a playlist you’ve spent hours putting together. It’s just better to be safe than sorry, right?
After you’ve gotten acquainted with WinAMP (or if you’re already familiar with WinAMP), you need to do the next step, which is installing the Shoutcast plug-in for WinAMP. Assuming that you’ve already got WinAMP up and running on our system, click here to download the plug-in. Installation should be simple – in most cases, the plug-in installer will detect where WinAMP is installed on your system and it will then install the plug-in in the correct location. So, for most of you, installing the plug-in will means double-clicking on the plug-in installer file, then clicking Next > Next > Finish.
The final step is to install the Shoutcast server. In most cases, you’ll want to install Shoutcast on the same computer that runs WinAMP. However, there may be circumstances where you’d want to install Shoutcast on a different computer. And the reason why you’d want to do that is really important when it comes to broadcasting.