How do I become an online DJ?
December 2, 2009 12:11 PM   Subscribe

How can I set up a streaming online radio station from my (Windows 7) laptop?

I would like to start my own online radio station; primarily, this would be used to broadcast to a selected group of people. In essence, I would like to be able to pass them a link that opens either in their music player of choice (.m3u, .pls, etc), or a small web app that requires no download. I do not really need a service to attract listeners, and I will probably be hosting only 50-200 users max.

Other features I'm interested in:

-On-the-fly song queuing.
-Microphone support (more importantly, push to talk. I don't want it always on.)
-Free for me and the users.
-Good audio quality.

-While not important in any manner, video support would be neat.

I have searched and searched Google for an answer, but it's just not doing much for me. Perhaps my Google-fu is not strong enough.
posted by Miyomei to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You would need a static IP for this. Most ISPs won't provide a static IP to home customers, and most of them specifically forbid running any kind of server.

Can't help you with the software end of things.
posted by ixohoxi at 12:16 PM on December 2, 2009

Response by poster: ixohoxi:

I would only be broadcasting at specific times, and would distribute the link to my audience when I do; ex. I'll be starting at 9:00 PM and broadcasting for two hours, I distribute the link to my stream ten minutes beforehand. Do I still need a static IP for this type of setup?
posted by Miyomei at 12:25 PM on December 2, 2009

Ah. In that case, no, you wouldn't need a static IP. Dynamically assigned IPs typically stay the same for days or weeks (until you reboot your modem, or the ISP decides to reassign your address for some reason).

Your ISP is still going to be upset if they catch you doing this, though.
posted by ixohoxi at 12:32 PM on December 2, 2009

Best answer: Services like can help you get around the IP issue and have a human readable name to distribute to your listeners.

Shoutcast is what you're looking for. It consists of a winamp plugin that sends the data to a server. This can be your computer, BUT, if you are looking for good quality, chances are your consumer cable connection can't support more than 10 or so users at 128kbit stereo (which is commonly the highest quality stream available for an internet radio station). For that, you'll need to use a relay server (essentially you broadcast your client to them, then everyone connects to them to listen. Live365 used to do this for free, and it's possible that still does, I just can't find the info.

Those terms should get you started, though!
posted by CharlesV42 at 1:41 PM on December 2, 2009

Seconding the need for a Shoutcast Server.

As for your broadcast rig, you can go cheap or spendy or somewhere in between. I used to use SAM Broadcaster from Spacial Audio on my PC, and ran the audio mixer and some powered speakers with a couple of soundcards. Worked nicely, and I had a lot of fun with it.

Be careful about how you do this. For the limitations you're talking about, you'd probably never get caught, but you really ought to pay the fees/royalties on the music you play for this audience. It may be a pittance, but it's the principle of the thing.

I doubt your ISP will have a problem with it. Mine never did, and I was doing this 12-18 hours a week at peak.
posted by Thistledown at 4:48 PM on December 2, 2009

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