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Preparing video for streaming with Quicktime Pro

Preparing video for streaming with Quicktime Pro

Many DJ’s use SAM Broadcaster which is a great piece of software for live music streaming and you can download a 30 day trial from – http://www.spacialaudio.com

It can handle streaming to a live shoutcast or icecast server and is quite easy to setup. I would recommend the Firebird database version of SAM Broadcaster to start with as its all included in the download and is automatically setup. Once you have installed SAM and launched the program you should see the following screen:

Click to expand screenshot

Click to expand screenshot

First thing you will need to do is setup your encoder/stream settings, buy more about to do this:

  • Simply goto the Desktop B which has the Encoder window (this is default)
  • Click the + sign to add a new encoder
  • Choose MP3 (normal) from the list of possible encoding options
  • Set the quality of your stream (High Quality) and the format of the stream (for example 128kbits, ailment 44.1kHz, Stereo)

sam_encoder1

  • Click the Server Details tab, select Shoutcast or IceCast as the server type. Then enter the servers ip address, port and password. (if you are using an IceCast server you will also need to provide the mount point)
  • Set the name of your station, and any other details which are revelant to you.
  • Click OK to save the encoder details.

sam_encoder2

You should now see the encoder setup in the Encoders window in Desktop B. Now connect the encoder to the stream.

  • Select the encoder entry
  • Click the play button and the encoder should connect

Any music or sounds played would now be broadcast to the stream and to the audience listening.

  • Click Desktop A
  • In the Queue window add some your favourite music using the + button
  • Click the play button in Deck A, the first song from your queue will start to play

Click to expand screenshot

Click to expand screenshot

When playing music or talking on your stream, make sure the “Air” button in depressed in the window (Deck A, Deck B, Voice FX), this means that it will be broadcast live.

In Second Life you then just need to set the Music URL for your stream, remember you need to include the http:// part before the hostname or ip address and the port number. For example might look something like this http://gold.slserver.:8000 or http://75.126.100.42:8000

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

Common issues using SAM Broadcast

If you  are receiving an error similar to “Buffer cleared. Can’t send data fast enough”. This maybe due to latency between you and your server, or simply your upload speed on your internet connection doesn’t have enough bandwidth to send the stream of music to the server fast enough.

There are several things you can check:

  • When you aren’t streaming music, run a speed test on your connection ( http://www.speedtest.net), select a location near you and check to see what you upload and download speeds are. Ideally you should have at least 200kbits available for a 128kbits stream.
  • Try pinging the shoutcast server and see what the response time is. In Windows, click Start > Run > cmd to open command prompt. Then type ping followed byt the ip address of the server in the dos window, example ping 75.126.100.42 Ideally the ping should be lower than 200ms.
  • If the ping is higher than around 100ms, you might like to try this. In SAM, Click Config > Audio Mixer Pipeline. Then Click the “Air Out” button. On that new window you have Buffer settings. Set the packets to 15 and increase the Packet time, this may be enough to overcome the latency between your connection and the server.



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Helvetica, viagra sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 23.03125px;”>Apple’s Quicktime Pro player is a good place to start if you are looking to prepare / convert a video for internet streaming on a Quicktime (Darwin) server.

practitioner
Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 23.03125px;”>You will need Quicktime Pro and then a quicktime server to host and stream the prepared videos.

For the best results, your video needs to be in a raw video format, otherwise Quicktime player will struggle to process it. I would suggest using an avi format (although this will be a large file) quicktime can convert these quite quickly. If your video is already in a quicktime format (mpeg4 or h.264) see the “Hint only” section below.

The process for raw videos (need to be converted)

Open a raw video file (not compressed with xvid/dvix) in Quicktime Pro, click File > Export and under Export select Movie to Quicktime Movie.
Click the Options button and ensure the option “Prepared for Internet streaming” is checked and that Hinted Streaming is selected.
Export the video and then re-open the video in Quicktime player to view the quality.

The “Hint Only” process for videos which are already mpeg4 or h264 format.
Open a video file (mov/mpeg4/h264) in Quicktime Pro, click File > Export and under Export select Movie to Hinted Movie
Export the video and then re-open the video in Quicktime player to view the quality.
Under Window > Show Movie Properties you should see that two additional “Hint” tracks have been added along with the video and audio track. These hint tracks allow the Quicktime server to stream the video live.

It maybe necessary to go back to the original video and re-export adjusting the video format/resolution/quality and compression selected. This can take experimentation to get just the right settings.

Once you have the prepared video file, this would normally be uploaded to the Quicktime server and added into a playlist using the web control panel. The playlist can then be started and the server would stream the video live.