06-05-2012 07:09 PM
I wrote this in response to a question today on the Answers Board. Just cross-posting it here to get current info out there: EVERYONE - If you are a SecondLife DJ, Music Mixer/Arranger, Live performing artist; what is your fave Broadcast Software? Add your solutions both software & hardware to this thread...
QUESTION: Any help trying to start a radio station and using autoplay for continuous streaming?
I am looking to open a radio station in-world but I have no idea where to start or what direction to go. I am looking for a stream that will continuously play music and allow broadcasts as well that will hold a listener Max of 400 people. Something that is stable and reliable. I also need to get a specific DNS (Domain Name System) for this radio station. I know there are people out there that do this or have done this so I am reaching out for any possible help. I also need to know what program would continuously shuffle music or play content over the airwaves when there is not a live DJ present. Thank you all so much in advance!
I run and maintain an Internet Radio Station for use in SecondLife when I DJ and am contracted to play music. Creating your own Radio Station is exciting and fraught with many opportunities to trip & learn
The General Steps are as follows [ BTW - the details and how's & whys would fill 10 pages ] :
1) Create a fantastic Music Library on your PC. Generally, the music can be "Ripped" CDs or purchased music or public domain music [Creative Commons Artists release licenses ] in the MP3 & WMA formats at the desired kbps you plan on broadcasting at or better. The music in my library is all available at 128 kbps to 320 kbps to lossless depending on the music.
2) Get a quality Radio Station Software package. I use a purchased copy SAM Broadcaster v4.9.4 installed using MySQL as the database backend because I have over 100,000 individual annotated songs. There are many other programs available some of which are free. http://spacial.com/ is the place to look for SAM. The free MySQL Community Server software can be downloaded for free from http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/ - Yes! Do follow the installation directions carefully if you go this route.
3) Obtain a Stream Relay service from a reliable and affordable provider. You can find services in SecondLife for up to 250 listeners at an affordable cost per week or month. You will get an IP address&port or a Domain-name& port assigned to you. I own 2 accounts which allow up to 150 listeners total. Note: Be sure the service allows for use at a continuous streaming relay service if you play on 24/7 availability. I only broadcast during a scheduled period of time. I also did not include any solution where your PC becomes the Relay Service/Server because of your need to stream to 400 listeners.
4) Get a stand-alone PC with plenty of disk space for your Music Library. Most Radio Station software works best when the music and database engine are on the same PC. A 4-core PC with 2 GB of memory is a great starter system. Graphics are not important. A quality sound card allows you to do the following 1) Listen locally to the immediate stream out feed; 2) Add your wonderful DJ Voice to the mix; 3) Record your voice over lead-in's and commercials. [ Optional: Get a separate PC to listen to / monitor your stream from the Relay Service which is usually delayed/offset from 10 - 45 seconds depending on internet traffic This way you can check the quality of the finished stream that the listener will be hearing.]
5) Put it all together. In my case for non-attended music streaming...
a) SAM 4.9.4 running using my scripted and programmed Clockwheel rotation Music selection criteria ---> b) Selecting MP3 & WMA encoded music from my 1 tb hard drive Music Library c) Streaming it out with the auto DJ mode with auto recovery using the lame (MP3) Encoder and Streamer ---> d) To my ShoutCast DNAS Relay Service accounts hosted with www.xtreamhotspotstreams.com ---> e) Relayed to my Internet listeners via my website http://RadioDivinity.yolasite.com and my in-world parcels stream IP+port addresses --> f) set up as the Land Audio URL addresses on the parcels I own and in the clubs I play and DJ at.
Feel free to take a listen of Radio Divinity at http://220.127.116.11:8346
Those are the basics.
You may get your own Domain Name from many different Internet Registrar's. The trick is to get that domain name used at the reference URL for your Station Relay Service. Make sure that your Registrar has the ability to allow you to forward all requests to your domain name on the assigned port to the relay service you choose to use. Keeping these services separate is a wise thing because Relay Service Provider come and go. This way you can change relay service providers easily and keep your "brand" always.
When looking for Radio Station software know that looking for "Free Radio Station Software" will net you a ton of PC only solutions with no ability to encode and stream to a relay service. I'll update this post a bit later with a current list of Radio Station w/DJ software you might consider using.
Download Sources for other Broadcast Software: [In Flight]
[ Remember, many of these solutions are self-promoting and take any claims of superiority over other broadcast systems with a large bag of salt - I'm not including any solutions that have not been actively updated since their introduction or that have had no updates for over 2 years.]
Purchased PC Based Solutions:
http://rogueamoeba.com/nicecast/ <--- Nice Mac Solution
http://www.mixtime.com/index.html <-- Minimum Donation Based Solution
http://www.pirateradio.com/about/ <--- An Oldie but still around
Free PC Based Solutions:
http://www.winamp.com/ <-- Included out of nostalgia - It used to have a Broadcasting module that could encode to a Relay Service and with a dozen add-on's it was pretty good in it's day.
http://www.sourcefabric.org/en/airtime/release <--- Solution for Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS or Debian Squeeze PCs
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible" !
-- Audrey Hepburn
06-05-2012 10:14 PM
Waves at Karen. Just want to add a bit.
You actually rent streams in SL with a high bit rate and up to 1000 listeners along with server space to hold your library so you don't have to run your own PC at a very reasonable cost, in some cases for not much more than a smaller listener stream. Shop around for the best deal but be sure to get a reliable service preferably with in world customer service that doesn't tell you when you have problems to call an 800 number and speak with someone on the other side of the world. A lot of people that rent streams are resellers for companies that don't provide in world customer support.
Also no discussion about having a SL radio station would be complete without mention of the IP rights of music creators and licensing.
You must hold a license to stream copyrighted music as an internet radio station or DJ otherwise it is illegal. It doesn't matter where you live or the location of your server or the number of people listening. Music companies can and do search the net for unlicensed stations and streamers and take legal action against those who violate their copyright. If caught you will face huge legal bills to say nothing of damages and possible fines. And don't think you won't get caught. Music companies are cracking down and will go after even small time streamers. I've frequently seen reports about some small streamers with only a few listeners who were prosecuted. It doesn't matter where you live or the location of your server due to international copyright law and treaties between countries.
There are licensing services where you can purchase a license. The costs varies by service and by a number of factors. The fee may take into account the number of songs in your library, number of listeners, if it is a full time music station, and the amount of money you make on it , if any. It may not be as expensive as you think, and certainly a lot less expensive then litigation. You can Google music license and get a list of licensing companies and quotes.
06-08-2012 11:48 PM
How much should one expect to budget for being an SL DJ having to pay that license?
And does it then result in RL contact info being attached to your stream such that any DJ in SL is forced to break the wall between SL and RL?
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07-14-2012 12:49 PM
07-16-2012 02:04 PM - edited 07-16-2012 02:31 PM
I actually just read something interesting on the Broadcast Music, Inc. website. http://www.bmi.com/licensing/
"You must own the website you are trying to license. If this is not the case, you are not responsible for securing a Public Performance license for that use."
To me, that makes it seem as if Linden Lab is actually responsible for securing a license for all the music used in SL. I'm waiting on a reply to an inquiry email to find out for sure.
EDIT: ASCAP has an even better worded FAQ. http://www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.aspx
Aren't musicians, entertainers and DJ's responsible for obtaining permission for music they perform?
Some people mistakenly assume that musicians and entertainers must obtain licenses to perform copyrighted music or that businesses where music is performed can shift their responsibility to musicians or entertainers. The law says all who participate in, or are responsible for, performances of music are legally responsible. Since it is the business owner who obtains the ultimate benefit from the performance, it is the business owner who obtains the license. Music license fees are one of the many costs of doing business.