by December 2, 2003 0 comments



Employee productivity can come down when employees themselves start hunting for and downloading music. One way to control this is to set up a streaming server to stream MP3s and even FM radio on your intranet. Employees can use Winamp to avail this service. For this, all you need is the Shoutcast streaming server, Source DSP plug-in, and an FM radio. Here’s how you can set it up. 

Step 1
Install the Shoutcast streaming server on your machine from last month’s PCQ CD. To start Shoutcast after installation, click on Start>Programs> SHOUTcast DNAS> SHOUTcast
DNAS(GUI).

Step 2
Install the ‘SHOUTcast Source DSP plug-in’ from the same CD. After doing that, launch Winamp player and right click on the Winamp window. From the drop down menu that appears, select Option>preferences. Select ‘DSP/Effect’ from the plug-in section. Then from the right window panel, select ‘NullSoft SHOUTcast Source DSP plug-in’ and click the configure button.

Step 3
Now, a SHOUTcast source window will open. Click on the Input tab and select ‘Winamp (Recommended)’ from the ‘Input Configuration’ section. 

Step 4 
From the same window, click on the Encoder tab and set the Encoder Type to ‘MP3 Encoder’ and Encoder Settings to ‘24 kbps, 22050 kHz, mono’. Next, select the Output tab and set the ‘output stream’ depending on the available network bandwidth. From the ‘Output Configuration’, give the IP address and port for the streaming server, and also a new password if you wish to change the default one. In the same window, you will find a ‘connect at startup’ option; tick this. This will start encoding mp3s played by Winamp. Now restart
Winamp. 

You can also change the various configurations parameters such as password, of the Shoutcast streaming server from a config text file. To open this config text file, double click on ‘Nullsoft SHOUTcast’ monitor from the task bar and click on ‘Edit config’ from its menu.

To stream FM radio
Take a FM radio and tune it to your favorite band and connect it to the input jack of your sound card, which would be either a Mic-in or Linc-in. Usually a loop back cable, which has a male connector at both ends, can do the job. Now from the Winamp preferences, select ‘DSP/Effect’ under the plug-in section. On the right window panel, select ‘NullSoft SHOUTcast Source DSP plug-in’ and click the configure button. This will open a SHOUTcast source window. Click on Input tab and select ‘Sound Card Input’ from the ‘Input Configuration’ section. 

Next, set the Input Settings to 22050Hz Mono or what suits you. Now, come down and set Mic input for the Microphone or line-in setup, both will work fine. We set it to Microphone in our setup. Then, click the Lock button to finalize the settings.

Client configuration
You can now enjoy music using Winamp or Microsoft Windows Media Player. Simply run the player, and the URL and port number of your streaming server. It would take few seconds to buffer the stream and the audio will start playing after that. 

Shoutcast server also has a small Web server, which lets you see the status and play music from a Web browser. This can be accessed using the same IP address and port number as given in the media player. 

Sanjay Majumder

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