How To Set Up Your MP3 Encoder with SHOUTCast
MP3 is one of the oldest streaming formats, which means it’s compatible with most players on most software, sound devices, and browsers. Its low-bitrate sound quality isn’t as good as, say, AAC format, but MP3 is very popular.
Before you start, you must retrieve server details from your SpacialNet account. For the sake of example, let’s say you’ve signed up for a SHOUTcast hosting account through SpacialNet.
- Log into SpacialNet.
- Under “Hosting” in the left menu, click on “Stream hosting.”
- Click on “View” next to your account.
- Either leave this page open or copy it so you can use it when setting up your MP3 encoder.
To set up your MP3 encoder, open SAM Cast and follow these steps:
- Click on the “Encoders” button at the bottom left corner.
- In the “Encoders” window, click the plus sign (“+”) to add a new encoder.
- Select “MP3 (LAME_ENC).”
- Click “OK.”
The MP3 (LAME) encoder window will then appear.
In the “Converter” tab:
Set your “Bitrate” under “Setting.” The bitrate is the amount of bandwidth used by a single stream. The higher the bitrate, the better the sound quality. However, a higher bitrate also costs more and will require more bandwidth. For a good cost/quality ratio, we recommend 64 kbps.
- To avoid having your streaming service suspended, select a profile that will stream at a bitrate that’s less than or equal to what you signed up for on SpacialNet. For example, if you signed up for a 64 kbps stream, your profile must stream at 64 kbps or lower.
- Make sure your bandwidth can support your streaming bitrate. The combined bitrate of all your streams should never exceed 80% of the value of the upload speed reported by speedtest.net.
Set your “Mode” under “Setting.”
- For bitrates higher than 48 kbps, select “Stereo.”
- For bitrates lower than 48 kbps, select “Mono.”
- Select “Joint stereo” for optimized stereo compression.
- Select “Dual channel” if you have different audio content (for example, in different languages) on each channel.
- There are several “Sampling rate” options to choose from. Selecting “Auto” means the encoder will automatically select the best sampling rate for your chosen bitrate.
- Under “General options,” check “Auto start encoder after” if you want the encoder to start automatically each time you launch SAM Cast. If you check this option, make sure to specify how many seconds you want to elapse before the encoder starts.
- Under “General options,” leave “Auto reconnect encoder after” checked so SAM Cast can recover from network errors.
- Under “General options,” leave “Allow scripts in stream” unchecked, since modern players don’t use this feature.
In the “Server Details” tab:
- Select the server you want to send your MP3 file stream to. You have the choice between SHOUTcast (versions 1 and 2), Live365, IceCast, or no server.
- We recommend selecting the “SHOUTcast” server to reach a broader audience.
- If you select “No server,” the encoder will archive your audio content without streaming it.
Fill in your server and radio station details.
- Your “Server IP” should be something like sc6.spacialnet.com.
- You can find your “Server Port” in your SpacialNet account details. For SHOUTcast 2, this is usually port 80.
- Use your SpacialNet password.
- In “Station Details,” write your radio station’s name, select a genre from the drop-down menu, and provide your website’s URL.
- The “AIM,” “ICQ,” and “IRC Channel” fields are optional.
- We recommend checking “List on public station listing” to include your station in the SHOUTcast directory.
- You may leave “Enable title streaming” checked to stream song information.
- We recommend keeping the “Caption template” default setting (“$combine$”).
- If you select SHOUTcast 2, you will have to provide a valid SID.
In the “Stream Archive” tab:
- Check “Save stream to file” if you want to save a copy of your stream to your local hard drive.
Once you’ve configured all your settings, click “OK” to close the MP3 (LAME) encoder window. Now click on “Start” to start the encoder. If everything is configured correctly, the report will show that SAM Cast is actively encoding and streaming.