Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2013 HELP: Guide to streaming audio. Shoutcast. Performances.

Guide to streaming audio
Audio stream: Send or receive audio, usually music, over the internet.
Stream url: an internet address for a particular media stream.
Winamp: A music player, software used to send an audio stream to loudspeakers.
Shoutcast: a source for free audio streams. http://www.shoutcast.com/
Parcel: a  piece of land, like a lot for a house.
About land panel:  Set of windows used to control settings for a parcel.
These instructions are tested on the current standard viewer offered by Second Life.  That is version 3.3.4 at the time of writing.  Other viewers may be differ in details.
Audio stream
Each parcel of land has a music player that the owner can use to play music on the land.   The owner sets an audio stream on the land by opening the about land panel and entering the stream url.
Instructions for listeners
What you need to know to hear/see audio and video  
Stream url 
A web address for the audio steam. Here are examples of stream urls
  • Hard rock:              

  • Classical:                
Notice that these don't look like the urls you give to your browser.  They are a different breed.  If a performer   will be streaming to your land for an event, the performer will give you the music url or you will be paying for the stream and will get the music url when you pay for it.  More about that on a later section.  There is plenty of free music on the internet, so I will tell you how to get the music url for that first.
Shoutcast into Second Life
Shoutcast is a free source of music and other audio streams:
You can use the web page above to search for music that you want to stream into Second Life.   But after you pick a stream, you will need some extra steps to get the music url that you need for playing music in Second Life.
Get the music url from Shoutcast
(Thanks to DigitaL Scribe for putting this information in the forums.) -
On the Shoutcast page that you use to find and play music, you normally left click to play the music.  To get the music url, you, right click on the play button.  On the resulting menu, select the option to save the file. This is "Save link as.." in Chrome and was "Save target as.." in IE when I last used that  browser. Save the file in a place where you can find it.
Find the saved file.  It will have an extension of .pls.  Open the file with a word processor--you may have to tell your operating system what program to use in opening it.
In your word processor, you should see something like this:
Title1=(#1 - 18/2000) Folk Alley  (( All Folk.  All The Time.  ))
Title2=(#2 - 257/2000) Folk Alley  (( All Folk.  All The Time.  ))

Notice lines that look like this:
The music url you want is the part after File1=; copy/paste that into a notecard.  That part would look like this:
If you leave the File1= in the copy, it won't work. 
In general, it does not matter which file number you choose.  The numbers in parentheses mean, for example, that file 2 is serving 257 users out of 2000 at the time of the query.
 About land panel.  Audio controls. 
Go to land where you have authority to set the music stream. You must either
  • own the land or 
  • be in the group that owns the land and have a role with that authority.
Related reading
Open the About Land panel:
  • Right click on the land, select About Land or
  • Click World (top bar)-Place profile-About land
Click Sound tab  (Top of window)
When you have a musical event, you may want to disable local voice to keep voice sounds from intruding on the music.
Stream your own music.
You would stream your own music if you were a performer or DJ.   You need a server and special software to stream,  A server is a virtual machine capable of sending files on request to a large number of listeners. Performers usually rent or lease their own servers, because this arrangement lets them own the copyright to the performance.  A DJ may expect the venue owner to provide the stream.  
A good source of instruction and help for musicians wanting to perform in Second Life is Trax
Linden instructions:  Streaming Music into SL
Someone can't hear music
Plan A: Toggle-- Click the pause button (upper right) to pause the music, then back on.  Toggle will often be needed when the stream is changed.  
Plan B: Log off, then Login.
Plan C: Restart your computer.
Plan D:  Verify that your local audio system is working: try other sound software, such as Skype.
Sound plays too fast or too slow

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