Streaming music with Winamp + Shoutcast plugin (PC)

Using the WinAmp MP3 player and the Shoutcast DSP plugin, you simply play the music you want with the encoder plugin active and configured. The encoder plugin connects to the relay server/stream and sends your music live. The relay server/stream then streams the music onto the listeners.

NOTE: If you are using Windows Vista, some functionality of Winamp + Shoutcast plugin will not work as intended (using a microphone within Winamp for DJing) however will work fine if you are only looking to stream music. At the bottom of this guide I’ve put some tips to using Windows Vista.

You will need…

Once WinAmp and the Shoutcast DSP plugin are installed:

  • Run WinAmp (Note: If you are using Windows Vista you will want to run the program using ‘Run as Administrator’ this will ensure your settings are saved for future sessions).

Winamp

  • Press CTRL P to bring up the preferences menu
  • In the plugins menu, click on DSP/Effect
  • Select Nullsoft ShoutCast Source DSP

Winamp Preferences

  • Then click Close
  • You should then see the ShoutCast DSP Plugin appear.
  • Click on the Encoder tab you need to set the quality of the live stream (eg. MP3 – 128Kbits Stereo)

Shoutcast Source Encoder

  • Check that on the Input tab that Winamp (Recommended) is selected as the Input Device.

Shoutcast Source Input

  • Click on the Output tab and enter the streaming relay information (address, port and password). Normally this information would be provided by your stream provider. If you are using a shoutcast v1 server (eg. v1.98) make sure you check the Use SHOUTcast v1 mode.

Shoutcast Source Output

  • You will probably want to set your stream station details in the Directory section of the Output tab (click the Directory tab) and enter your information

Shoutcast Source Yellowpages

  • Then click Connect in the Output tab to connect to the relay. You should see the stream connected.
  • Playing any music in WinAmp now will cause the music to be streamed to the relay.
  • Set your full streaming address (including the http://) on your land parcel so everyone can hear your streamed music.

See the article Understanding Streaming in Second Life if you are not sure about how to set your music address in Second Life.

Using microphone / Push to Talk and Mixer settings

As well as playing prerecorded music in Winamp, it is possible to stream actual live music or your voice using a microphone / headset (an analogue microphone is recommended over a USB device as this will give you more control).

NOTE: Unfortunately if you are using Windows Vista, trying to use Soundcard Input mixer settings will not work as intended, see below this section for tips to get around this problem.

If you are using an external mixer (hardware mixer), set windows recording mixer, probably Line In and set Shoutcast Source plugin > Input tab to use Soundcard Input as the Input Device.

It is possible to use a microphone / headset with Winamp and the Shoutcast plugin, this works by setting your system sound mixer to record what-you-hear  so as any music/sound  played or voice spoken on your microphone  would be broadcast to your stream.

This means it maybe necessary to mute various programs on your computer to avoid these sounds being transmitted.

  • First open the Windows Volume Control or Sound Mixer window
  • Click the options menu
  • Select Recording under the Adjust for volume section
  • Select “What you hear” (sometimes called stereo mix, stereo out, record master, wave out mix)

If you are using an analogue microphone/headset (recommended) you will probably need to make sure that enable “microphone boost” in advanced micophone settings with in the standard volume control/sound mixer window.

Within Winamp and the Shoutcast Source plugin, in the Input tab pressing the Push to Talk button would adjust the microphone and music levels whilst you are talking, so as microphone level is brought up and the music level is reduced on releasing the Push to Talk button the microphone level is dropped with the the background music level returning back to normal.

If you are planning to DJ on a regular basis, you may want to look to use an alternative program such as SAM Broadcaster which is a fully featured DJ/Broadcast program.

Tips for using Windows Vista and Winamp + Shoutcast plugin.

In Windows Vista the way soundcard settings are controlled has changed. This means that trying to use Winamp and the Shoutcast plugin using the Soundcard Input mixer options fail.  While you are still able to select “What U Hear” or Stereo Mix as an option, the Shoutcast plugin is unable to actually control the microphone levels.

You can still manually adjust the levels using the Windows Volume Mixer.

 

The easiest/simplest option is to mute your microphone during the music (either by the microphone itself or using the Volume Mixer). So as you use Winamp and Shoutcast plugin as usual but then turn off the microphone when music is playing.

You may want to manually set the microphone recording level ahead of time and do this you need to:

  • Click the Windows button (Start)
  • Goto Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Manage Audio Devices.
  • Under the Recording tab ensure “What U Hear” or Stereo-Mix is selected.
  • Under the Playback tab, select Speakers then click on the Properties button.
  • Select the Levels tab, and then increase the Microphone level, as required.

The Shoutcast plugin should still be able to control the volume of Winamp, so you can fade the music down and unmute your microphone. Then when your voice over is complete, mute your microphone and turn up the music level again. As you can see this is more complicated than on Windows XP.