So you’ve been sitting around listening some of your favorite music and then came up with idea about starting an internet radio station or just a smaller online radio station? Well good news, it’s possible, it might cost you more and it might cost you less. Let’s see how it can be done.
Before you start with your online radio station, you will of course need some equipment but don’t worry it won’t be that expensive. First and most basic equipment you will need is microphone of course. You will need it to announce songs, say something between songs, maybe do some radio talk shows or whatever you have on your mind. You will also need the required software for online radio station.
Online Radio with the WinAmp method
One of the most famous methods is using good old Winamp with Edcast plug-in along with Icecast2. You can find those on Google easily. Winamp is used to play music, Edcast to stream music online and Icecast2 is to put music online on servers. You will need to download .dll file as well named “lame_enc.dll”. Once you install Winamp, put this file in Winamp directory, it’s located at c:/program files/winamp by default. Now you will need to configure settings about your server. Before starting to stream you should know how big audience you are aiming for. The reason why you should know this is because if you have smaller upload or simply weaker connection, your stream won’t be able to hold many listeners. Upload rate is measured by kilobytes per second- KBps as well as bitrate of songs you are going to stream. Therefore, best formula to calculate required bandwidth for your own online radio station would be:
Number of listeners x Bitrate of your audio = required bandwidth
So there are two options, hosting your own server or paying for a dedicated server. You can rent dedicated server and pay like 6$ monthly or you can choose one of those free online servers like FreeStreamHosting.org who pay their bills by hosting their own ads on your servers website that you will use for promoting your online radio station. They will allow you to stream in 128KBps bitrate up to 1000 listeners for free. If you decide to get one of those servers make sure you will write down parameters like: host’s IP address or URL address, right port number, the server type, stream password, and maximum bitrate.
Now, to have your own server you will need to download the Icecast2 app that I mentioned before. Start it, click on Edit Configuration in the Configuration menu. After that, a document named icecast.xml will be opened that you will need to edit starting from beginning:
In “sources” tag you need to enter allowed number of listeners that you want for your own online radio station.
In “source-password” tag you will need to enter password that will be used for your streaming app that you previously downloaded – Edcast.
In “relay-password” and “admin- password” there is nothing that important for this tutorial thou you could edit them from “hackme” into something else.
In “hostname” tag you will need to enter your own IP address. If you decided to stream radio to only your network then you should type in your internal IP address, if you want to go public then you should type your public IP address which you can find online on websites like WhatsMyIP.net.
In “port” tag you can enter port that you would like to use for broadcasting, you can leave it default 8000 or change it but don’t forget to allow port you typed in your firewall settings.
After you are finished with tweaking all those settings mentioned above, save your “icecast.xml” doc in the root of Icecast2 directory which is by default located at C:/Program Files/icecast2 and then click “Start server” in main window. So now your server is up and running online, so you will need to play some music to stream online, that’s why you downloaded previously mentioned Edcast for Winamp. Open Winamp, click on Option, then click on Preferences, click on Plug-ins, DSP/EFFECT, click on edcast DSP v3(or whatever version you are using) and then click on Configure active plugin.
You can enable or disable microphone here. Now click on “Add Encoder” option to add new input (Vorbis: Quality 0 / Stereo / 44100 ) in the box and double click to that new entry to set it up. Here you configure your server settings so make sure that type of the server is set to the Shoutcast or Icecast2, depends from which server type you picked previously. Type in your server’s IP or URL in “Server IP” field. Note that if you are going to host your own server on the exactly the same PC then it’s your own IP address. Enter port that you picked above in previous steps and password as well. Set encoder type to AAC or MP3. Pay attention to “mountpoint” entry in “Basic Settings” tab inside the Icecast2. You will need to write path there depending from your encoder type. If it’s Ogg Vorbis, path will be “/myradiostation.ogg”, if it’s AAC, path will be “/myradiostation.aac” etc.
This will also be visible at the very end of your own online radio station’s URL. Once you are done with settings and like the way your online radio station works you will want to click on “YP Settings” to configure parameters like station name, genre, URL and some other settings. So once you are done with that, just click “Connect” in Edcast and your internet radio station is online!
Play your favorite music in Winamp and your radio listeners will be able to hear it! Good luck!