When it comes to online radio stations, SHOUTcast is undoubtedly the easiest platform to work with. It very user-friendly, it has the best features and offers some of the best online support available.
In order to fully understand how to set up and run your radio station, you first start by getting a sense of the larger picture. The short version goes like this: you have a software program that broadcasts to a server. The server listens to your application and listeners connect to the server. The server then relays the signal from the software to the listeners.
There are a couple of things you need before we get started. In order to start broadcasting online you need Winamp, the SHOUTcast DSP plug-in for Winamp, a server to stream to (that also has a very good bandwidth so you can stream your music in a high bitrate), and of course, a couple of music files.
When it comes to the broadcasting server, most people prefer to go with a monthly subscription company that provides SHOUTcast hosting services. There is also the option of hosting the station on your own unit. We would recommend you take a look at our radio hosting plans and decide for yourself if this is something that might interest you. If money is an issue and you want to host the server yourself then you should head on to shoutcast.com and download the latest SHOUTcast DNAS server.
Tip: If you are running the radio station on your own server make sure that your ISP’s Acceptable Usage policy allows you to run servers and that you have sufficient bandwidth to sustain a high bitrate for your music files. If you aren’t sure if your allowed bandwidth is sufficient then there are several bandwidth calculators that could help you. You can find a bandwidth calculator on our SHOUTcast hosting page.
If you are planning to host your station on your own server then you will have to properly configure it. Even though setting up your server may seem a bit more technical, there is extensive documentation about it on the internet.
Setting up your radio station
Once you have your SHOUTcast server you will need to configure the SHOUTcast DSP plugin. I will assume that you have already installed Winamp on your computer. The next step would be to install the DSP plugin.
- Once you have installed DSP you will need to go to the Preferences option in Winamp, then Plug-ins > DSP/Effect and select ‘Nullsoft SHOUTcast Source DSP…’
- On the DSP settings tab you will first need to select the ‘Encoder’ option. We recommend you select Encoder 2 as there are known issues with Encoder 1.
- The Encoder Type should be MP3. Select the format and bitrate you want to stream with.
- On the ‘Output’ tab you should select an output. You can leave it as defalut (Output 1).
- Press the ‘Connection’ button and type in your server address (use ‘localhost’ if the DSP plugin and the server are on the same machine).
- On the ‘Port’ option you should enter the port you have as PortBase.
- After you insert your password, finish off by selecting the encoder number you have previously set.
Once your station is live, there are numerous ways in which you can promote it online so you receive more listeners and grow your station’s popularity. We recommend that you start by listing your station in SHOUTcast official page. You do this by clicking on the ‘Yellowpages’ button on the shoutcast.com page. Enter some text that best describes your radio station and make sure that you check the ‘Make this server public’ option.
Whether you are only getting started in online streaming or you are an advanced broadcaster, our SHOUTcast hosting plans can offer a highly scalable and professional solution to your hosting needs. Here is a video tutorial on how easy it is to set up SHOUTcast using one of our plans and get streaming audio online in no time.
If you enjoyed reading this article then you may want to find out more about online radio servers by checking the articles below: