- July 18, 2018 at 8:05 am #105392
Mental and Experimental
KDX Worldround Radio has tinkered with Shoutcast1 and Icecast Servers since way back, and this morning did more exploration into a subject that is so loosely documented that the general rule is: “You will understand this if you already understand it.”
Huh? Oh, in addition to being listed on the official Icecast Directory, KDX is now listed on the Steamcast Directory.
I spend much time observing the other several tens of thousands of streamers, and notice that the majority have zero listeners. So, if you have zero listeners and are alone, does being among a thousand stations with zero listeners mean you have company or does it mean you are more deeply lonely by magnitudes?
Why are we there? People can’t ignore your station if you’re not on the air, can they?
99% of them are hit music stations. So much hit music that even if 1 person listened to each station there wouldn’t be enough people to go around. Hit music appears to be an addiction with station operators.
To my total surprise there are almost no news talk streaming stations. KDX has a captive audience but I think they’ve all escaped because the software counts zero listeners.
I’ll keep streaming in case I travel to Europe and want to listen to myself on a computer coming from the Center of North America.
- July 20, 2018 at 6:37 am #105468
New Tidbit of Streaming Knowledge
The OGG VORBIS audio format is popular in the Icecast universe because it is the free open-source format developed by xiph.org, the same people that make the Icecast server.
But I’ve been noticing a lot of stations recently using the OPUS format, so I researched and discovered that OPUS is the successor to OGG, for which reason I have changed from OGG to OPUS on one of my streams.
My second stream is a consequence of something said the other day on This Week In Radio Tech, stating that even with newer improved streaming formats MP3 remains highly popular all over the world, explaining why KDX also serves MP3.
Being a stream expert is only days away.
- July 20, 2018 at 10:52 am #105472
Total posts : 455
There’s no point in having a streaming format that no one can listen to. It’s the augmented frequency argument all over again. What’s the point of broadcasting on 87.5 or 87.7 when most radio’s can’t hear those frequencies.
mp3 remains the format of choice, at least for now. Virtually anything and everything can play it. And let’s face it, audiophiles are going to snub their noses at any lossy format (and even some lossless ones). It’s quite amusing to hear these people talking about HD audio, when the only ones that can afford the equipment are the ones who have probably lost the ability to hear most of the frequencies (age does that to you).
- July 20, 2018 at 11:35 am #105473
No Point Might Be the Point
Artisan Radio says: “There’s no point in having a streaming format that no one can listen to.”
My more sane reply is that I have reason to believe that, at least in the Icecast universe, which includes the Icecast Directory at dir.xiph.org and the Icecast Server from my own website, ogg/opus puts a built-in player on top of the server so that anyone can easily hear the stream. A genius thing. Now then, over on the Steamcast Directory, steamcast.com, there is no mention of what format the stations have, and KDX plays fine from there using VLC on my computer, but that might be because VLC Player is very versatile and responds to every format.
Now for my second less sane response, as one who loves the technology and gets a narcissisistic(sic) buzz out of running a stream, I am paranoid about the IP addresses that connect because there is no way to know who they are and I doubt they are listeners especially if they stay tuned for hours, as a few do.
Unlike the pop rock crowd I enjoy broadcasting for its own sake and really don’t like listeners.
- July 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm #105475
Total posts : 411
About streaming from Mark’s point of view….When I tuned to Artisan’s stream when he was doing it or Part15engineer when he was up and running I noticed at the top where it says the number of listeners in the last 24 hours and the number of current listeners, the number of past listeners was always ZERO…..the number of current listeners one….ME!
When I tune in again later the number of listeners in the last 24 hours….ONE….ME.
You think you are getting to the world but along with tens of thousands of others and there are hundreds+…maybe thousands doing the same thing as you. You are not only lost in the crowd but how do you advertise that you are there?
Plus the music fees you have to pay, the monthly cost of the site that sets up your stream and the whole setup is more complex…..all for no listeners anyway.
Who sits using their computer as a radio…not too many. They may while they are on it but not to many do this. The people with smart phones are not listening to streams they are using it like an MP3 player with the music they want in the phone with ear buds.
A BETS-1 station is just as likely to get one or two listeners…..regular over the air radio.
And no one else sounds like me so no competition.
- July 20, 2018 at 12:41 pm #105476
- July 21, 2018 at 8:39 am #105478
Total posts : 50
Go with high VBR AAC tracks are 7.5mb to 10.5mb and a lot of players can play this format. I am switching over about 60% to 70% of the tracks in my playlist over to AAC.
- July 21, 2018 at 10:44 am #105479
Total posts : 220
AAC+ is very efficient compared to Mp3
On a 128K Mp3 you will get the same quality stream at 64K AAC+. This is especially good for Android smartphones and tablets as well as android TV boxes people listen to my station with as well.
Since Mp3 is king The Legacy streams in both Mp3 & AAC+
My sponsor swears by doing this. However 99% of my listeners including Android users listen in Mp3. Most streaming apps will do both but still I have more Mp3 users. No one complains about the Mp3 stream either. Your Internet Radio software’s ability to process the audio has more to do with the quality of your stream than anything else. When I was helping Winston in his development of NextKast he wanted to emulate the Orban audio processor’s effects as many Album Rock stations used Orban in the day. Now they use that Voltarie which rings like metal hitting glass.
Use good automation software and you’ll sound good
If your gonna use FREE automation software consider at least paying for Stereo Tool it does a great job and again you can achieve that sweet tube amp sound with it.
- July 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm #105480
Good Points Brought Up by DJboutit & The Legacy
A few months ago there was a guy from Orban on “This Week in Radio Tech” and they talked about the AAC+ stream format, telling the same qualities you both report… highly efficient compared to mp3.
Maybe today I’ll run an AAC+ stream just because I can.
Also, I have always thought VBR (Variable Bit Rate) was a good idea even though not too many people seem to use it.
I know that Audacity will record an audiofile in the VBR format, but the stream encoders I have only do CBR (Constant Bit Rate).
- July 21, 2018 at 2:58 pm #105481
Total posts : 50
NCH Swith Audio encoder is free even thought it has a nag message after a few uses. I use to covert Flacs to high VBR AAC it is a good program and fast encoding only thing I do like about it removes track meta data.
- July 21, 2018 at 8:56 pm #105489
Total posts : 455
I did a bit of research on the various audio Codecs.
AAC theoretically is better quality than mp3 at the same bit rate. AAC+ is optimized for lower bit rates (under 128kbps – the benefits reduce greatly at higher bit rates).
It’s probably being overly optimistic to say that a 64kpbs AAC+ stream is equivalent to a 128kbps mp3 stream.
There are also huge differences in the implementations of the codecs in the various players, that greatly affects perceived audio quality.
There is one firm conclusion that I came away with. At the very low bit rates, AAC+ is definitely far better than mp3 (for example, a 24kbps stereo AAC+ stream supposedly sounds pretty good). It also came away sounding slightly better than OGG.
I also suspect that the quality is in the ear of the beholder, and the environment in which you are listening. I find 40kbps mono mp3 perfectly acceptable for MY programming, and I only bumped it up to 48kbps to deal with some player incompatibilities with that bit rate.
If you use an external streaming server, and have access to higher bit rates, then go for it. But if you stream on your own servers, and have to deal with upload bandwidth restrictions, there’s plenty of incentive to maximize your quality with the minimum bit rate, and to use a codec that virtually everyone supports.
It was interesting that mp3 was still recommended for most streams, due to that player compatibility.
- July 22, 2018 at 4:21 am #105490
Sorting the Variables
Throughout this thread it was my intention to address the single objective of streaming a continuous radio station online, but at times it seems like comments switched to also mentioning the bitrates used in recording and playing back audio files, which is technically a different stage of the process.
Also, as a news, talk station, I was only intending to speak about voice quality, whereas everyone’s reply had music quality in mind, so it seemed.
- July 22, 2018 at 5:55 am #105493
- July 24, 2018 at 8:58 am #105515
No More AAC+
Since talking about AAC+ in this thread KDX has been running an experimental stream, but have shut it down because of bugs in the encoder.
It’s no loss because with news talk there is no need for musical quality, therefore AAC+ brings no advantage.
- August 18, 2018 at 9:43 am #106009
Misunderstanding is Understandable
I said I was looking for a stream encoder that worked at VBR (Variable Bit Rate).
DJboutit came back with the NCH Switch Encoder, which converts FLAC to VBR AAC (and other formats).
The problem is the word “encoder”, which in this case is used for two different applications. The NCH Encoder is actually a file re-encoder, and not a stream encoder.
An audiofile can be saved and played with VBR but when it’s encoded for internet streaming it gets streamed at CBR (Constant Bit Rate).
If nothing else it proves there is a God.
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