Why is there a delay with Shoutcast when broadcasting?

radio DJ

What you are experiencing is called stream “buffer buildup”.  This is where data is required to be stored into your Shoutcast server first before it is pushed forward to listeners.  Typically when broadcasting at 128KBPS, the delay should be no longer than 20 seconds.  This is not a bad thing, but simply the way that shoutcast technology works.  The reasons its a good thing is because it stores 20+ seconds of data first, so if you were to have an accident and your connection dropped for up to 20 seconds, no listeners would be lost.  If this data wasn’t stored, your server would drop connection and all listeners along with it.

For quality shoutcast hosting please visit us at Citrus3.com

Compatible Internet Radio Broadcasting Software

With a growing internet radio market and a new market now being born for radio automation to be carried out directly from a studio computer which will you choose?  We have compiled a guide of the most popular software which works in conjunction  with our servers.

It is possible that we have missed something out in this guide, and so if your software is not on this list, it is important that you find out wether the software supports “shoutcast” server technology.  This is the platform which we use, and anything which has the shoutcast option will connect and broadcast via our servers.

1. Winamp & SHOUTcast plugin

Price: Free

Compatibility: PC

Download: http://www.citrus3.com/winamp.zip   http://www.citrus3.com/dsp.zip

The king of all broadcasting tools.  The official shoutcast dsp plugin is the most stable and resource friendly encoder available.  With an easy to set up interface, abundant information and help available via shoutcast forums this really is the way to go if you have a windows computer, and do not require special automation features.  This is as basic as it gets, buts its free and easy to set up.

 

2. BUTT (Broadcast using this tool)

Price: Free

Compatibility: PC, Mac

Download: Win Mac

A perfect tool for those who do not have a windows computer, BUTT is the leading and only free encoder for a Mac.  The only downside is that it does not come with anything to play your music from, however that is not a problem at all, because you can play your music from any audio source that you like, iTunes, vlc player, real player, or even from your web browser using a service such as spotify or deezer.  BUTT comes with a fully working encoder compatible with both v1 and v2 shoutcast servers, and it provides the option to select which audio source you want to broadcast from.

 

3. SAM Broadcaster

Price: $299

Compatibility: PC

Website: http://spacial.com/sam-broadcaster#features

We mentioned that winamp and shoutcast dsp are the king of encoders.  Now SAM is quiet simply the king of radio automation.  This fully featured product should be installed on the computer of any professional radio broadcaster.  With features to scream for including complete scheduling, audio pipeline configuration, playlist automation, and the use of multiple encoders at the same time, this quiet simply is the best radio broadcasting tool for any windows broadcast enthusiast and professional.

4. Nicecast

Price: $59

Compatibility: Mac

Website: https://www.rogueamoeba.com/nicecast/

Nicecast is another stand alone encoder for the Apple Mac.  This encoder comes with the choice of selecting the exact source of audio.  You can select any software to broadcast from, so for example if you are playing music from your iTunes library, and talking via Skype, you can simply select the audio source to come from just those two applications.  This simplicity and ease of use comes with a price tag, and for $59 it sure is worth it.

5. Virtual DJ

Price: $299

Compatibility: PC, Mac

Website: http://www.virtualdj.com/buy/index.html

Virtual DJ is a virtual studio for DJs who like to mix their music.  It is a complete studio tool without as much automation when compared to SAM broadcaster, however with the added bonus of mixing and “beat matching” your tracks.  The software features virtual turntables which is great for broadcasters of electronic and dance music.  Virtual DJ also includes shoutcast encoders which means its good to go out of the box to connect to our servers.  For those of you who do not want to pay $299 virtual DJ offers a monthly subscription based licence for $19 per month.

6. Radio DJ

Price: Free

Compatibility: PC

Website: http://www.radiodj.ro

Radio DJ is developed as a free to use and complete radio automation system much like what SAM offers however it is completely free.  Though we have not used it or spoken to many of our own clients using the software, we think it is ideal for those starting out and who require scheduling for the live broadcasts.  Being free it may be buggy compared to software which you pay for, however lets not judge.  Its there for free and if you do not have $299 to invest in radio automation then Radio DJ is the way to go.

 

All of the software mentioned above requires you to have a shoutcast hosting service available.  For quality shoutcast hosting for your radio station please visit us at http://www.citrus3.com

Using BUTT, SAM Broadcaster, and Nicecast with SHOUTcast v2

So we have had a lot of clients recently requesting if we are able to support shoutcast v1.  The main reason being is that there is no option in traditional broadcasting encoders and radio automation software like SAM to input a username which SHOUTcast v2 requires.  With that being said it is clear that a lot of stream hosting providers are not educated well enough to work out how SHOUTcast v2 works behind the scenes and what is required to make SHOUTcast v2 work on software like BUTT, SAM broadcaster, or even Nicecast.  There is a very simple solution to to making these applications successfully connect to a SHOUTcast v2 server without the need for any kind of add on or complicated solution.

So as we mentioned when configuring BUTT, SAM, or Nicecast to connect to your server you are simply presented with the classic shoutcast v1 fields.  This includes IP/Host address, port number, and password.  But SHOUTcast v2 requires a username too in order to work.  Here is what you need to do:

Enter the server IP, and server port as normal.  Then in the password field enter your username, yep thats right your username, followed by a colon (:) followed by your password.  So if for example my username was amazeradio and my password was helloworld I would enter in the password field the following: amazeradio:helloworld

Pretty simple.  I hope this short post has explained and cleared things up for those that were not aware of this.  It really is much better to work with the latest technology such as SHOUTcast 2 as this will help a lot in the long run and is much more stable wether you are broadcasting live from a computer or using an autoDJ system.

For high quality shoutcast hosting and internet radio solutions please visit us at Citrus3

Start An Internet Radio Station From Your iPhone

papayaapp

We have just discovered a fantastic app that could come in really handy for your talk radio stations.  Before you get too excited it won’t allow you to stream music from your iPhone, however with that being said its a fantastic tool for reporters carrying out interviews and news reports on the go.  You can take it with you, connect to one of our servers and broadcast live from wherever you are with a click of a button.

The main benefit of course is that as far as weight goes it won’t let you down.  No more do you have to rely on carrying your laptop around with you or inviting your guest to the studio to carry out a chat show or interview.

Simply go to Starbucks, launch the app and start your radio show on the go.  Or even better for sports radio stations.  You can now become a live commentator directly from any game.

The app is available for the iPhone from the Apple app store by carrying out a search for “Papaya” and is not available in all stores around the world just yet.  It supports Shoutcast and Icecast formats up to any bit rate that your radio station or your mobile phone network will allow.

For premium internet radio hosting that works great with Papaya visit Citrus3.com

How To Make Money From An Internet Radio Station?

In this brief guide we will teach you exactly how different radio stations make an income.  First of all we will look at the different types of radio stations as each business model uses a different technique to profit from their online radio venture.

The main internet radio businesses are:

  • Hobby & Professional Broadcasters
  • Retail & Businesses
  • Religious Groups (profit free)
  • Education & Schools (profit free)

Religious groups and schools are in almost all cases profit free radio services, so lets cover the broadcasters and businesses:

Hobby & Professional Broadcasters

The internet radio hobbyist loves music.  He/She has a passion for a specific genre and more often than not loves to be heard.  Sadly hosting a radio station to play your favourite music and be a DJ can be expensive for some and for those who don’t want to keep investing for zero profit, there are a few methods to use to turn this around.  Many private radio venturers are now making a living from what started as a bedroom hobby.

  1. Accept donations on site using paypal.  Its so easy to create a paypal account, anybody can do it.  Well paypal has a free option to collect donations.  They provide a button for your website which allows a listener to send your internet radio station money to cover costs of expenses.  If you state on your website that your radio station is a non-profit venture and funds are required to keep the station alive… Well guess what… Everyone who loves your radio station and comes to listen each day is guaranteed to donate a small amount each month.  If done right, radio stations can pay for their radio hosting, web hosting, buy new music, and have something left over for themselves using this method alone.
  2. Google adsense is a fantastic service which is also known as PPC (Pay per click).  The whole idea of adsense is to place a small code on your website which generates links or banner based adverts on your radio station website.  The code uses content from your website to find the ads from advertisers which match your websites genre.  The real magic however starts when someone clicks on an add… Most clicks are worth $2-3 dollars now.  So if your radio station has 1000 visitors/listeners pass by throughout the whole day, and say 5% of those visitors click on one of the sponsored adwords links each day.  That would be 50 clicks per day which would generate you aprox $125 per day.  The google adwords service is free to set up and anyone can do it.  The service can be found under the ads section on google.
  3. On air advertising applies to professional broadcasters and developed radio stations the most.  When your radio station has a good amount of traffic, people will pay for you to advertise them on air.  The amount will greatly vary depending on how big or small your internet radio station is.  A great marketplace to sell advertising space for your radio station, if your a small is fiver.com, or even ebay.  If you have a good looking website with a respectable amount of traffic people will pay anything from $5 – $50 per played advert.

 

Retail & Businesses

In store and office radio has become an important part of the way that many businesses operate.  A radio service can reflect a highly professional company image to buyers, it can improve customer experience, and it can help market new products.  Recent studies have shown a 20% increase in sales for store owners who play an internet radio station throughout their store.  The primary goal is to create what businesses call a “good shopping atmosphere or climate”.  This is accomplished by finding the perfect music genre to suit the “atmosphere”.  For example a toy store would be best suited to play pop music, while a furniture store would be best suited with jazz or lounge music, and perhaps a classic American diner could play classic rock from the 60s.  The secondary goal is to market products via in store radio to increase sales.  One example of this would be a computer store that specialises in selling hardware and software to play on air ads regarding the latest promotions i.e. “when you spend $50 in store today, Norton antivirus is half price”…  Its a great way to get the message across.  You don’t need to rely on huge advertising posters to be placed across the store in order to let the customer know your latest deals.  As mentioned previously retail radio will increase sales by 20%.

 

So thats the first collection of internet radio money making tips from Citrus3.  If you have any questions regarding any of the methods mentioned above please contact us from our website.  To set up your own internet radio station visit us at Citrus3.com