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Sunday, December 12, 2010

How to use iTunes, Winamp and Shoutcast to be a DJ in SL

In a previous blog post, I talked about how to set up Reaper to broadcast into SL.  Reaper is my music composition software (a DAW; Digital Audio Workstation), so I thought it was fortunate that I could go from it straight into SL.

I don't use Reaper any more.  It has it's benefits, but it's disadvantages have been the song information that normally appears on the DJ boards, doesn't appear using the Reaper solution.  Not a problem for me as I do development and to write scripts and code to overcome this problem isn't an issue.  Not technically anyway.  But with Reaper, it took time to go from a DJ Set to that kind of set up, and since I'm lazy ... it took too much time.
These days I use Winamp.  Everything that Reaper was providing for me before, specifically cross fading, can be done with Winamp except I cannot have a live voice over.  Not that I needed it before, I tend to produce a set and play it.  Probably a good thing, I'd end up blabbing the entire time. 

So this is my new setup.  A nice diagram kind of gives the full view of how it works; click it to expand.  It's no more complicated than drag-and-dropping of tunes on to a playlist, connecting to Shoutcast, then clicking play in Winamp.  

Once I pick all my songs, I randomize the list a few times, the put my few lead off songs on top and closing songs on the bottom.

The Source of the Plugs-ins are:
  1. SHOUTcast - This transmits tunes from Winamp into a Shoutcast server.  The URL of the server is the Media URL on the land parcel.  You get this plug in from Shoutcast, scroll to the bottom of the page: (Windows only).
    • Important Note: I had a problem in Windows 7 with the 2.x plug in so the link here is to the 1.9.0 plug in and it seems to be working a lot better.  Now, I don't use a SHOUTcast 2.x server, and this plug-in will not work if you have that version.
  2. Crossfading - This merges the ends of songs with the beginnings of songs so that one fades into the next reducing the amount of dead air that often exists at the start/end of songs.  This plug-in is available in the Winamp media library, but a more up-to-date version is here: "SqrSoft Advanced Crossfading v1.7.6 (".  
  3. BigClock - This plug-in is used to know how much time is on a playlist and how much time is left in a set for good transition between on DJ and the next.  This plug-in is obtained here: 


The next stage is to configure the Crossfading Plug In to go into the Shoutcast Plug In.  Start Winamp, and go into Preferences (Ctrl+P), find the Crossfading Plug In, and click Configure:

This brings up the Crossfading Dialog box, and you'll want to go to the DSP tab and set Shoutcast as your output source:

This should bring up the Shoutcast plug in right away, but if it doesn't, click Configure in the middle of the page.  Once you have this plug-in set, you can now specify how you want to encode your music and specify the passwords to your shoutcast server.  If you have been provided a password but no user name, then your shoutcast server is version 1.  Version 2 servers require a user name.  I my case, I'm using version 1, so my configuration looks like this:

I don't broadcast the source to the yellow pages:

And set the Encoder.

I have found that 80kbps 22Khz Stereo is pretty adequate for most people.  Anything more and you're wasting bytes as most people cannot perceive the differences in sound quality.  I only bump it up if people make mention of it.

Playing Your Set

Once you are ready to go.  It's only a matter of connecting to your Shoutcast Server, and clicking Play on Winamp.

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