WMA vs Shoutcast -What are Intro & Backup files ?

Talk about Audio On Demand or Streaming
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WMA vs Shoutcast -What are Intro & Backup files ?

Post by MEL »

I'm a newbie but just read that the Windows Encoder will not allow "Intro or Backup files"

1 - What are "Intro or Backup files" ??

Are these pre-recorded introductions to songs or recordings that 'back announce' the song name and artist... or what?

2 - Is there no way to do this with the Windows Encoder?

3 - I'm leaning toward Windows because I have a local expert and I understand it will allow multiple bitrates within a single stream... I think this means I can offer one stream to my streaming host but it will be available to clients/listeners at either low or high speed... depending on their connection speed... right?

4 - Where is the best compairson to Windows Encoder and Shoutcast ?

4 - What are the advantages or disadvantages for each?

We want to set up a completely professional internet radio station but have a lot of learning to do.

Thanks for any help.

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Post by Jay »

1. Intro files are tracks that play on connection to the live stream. Common usages is to have gateway ad play before the listener gets the actual live content. Backup file plays in loop while a source is down, this keeps the listener connected if the encoder stops sending a signal for technical or maintenance reasons.

2. Intro and backup files would be a feature of the server not the encoder. As far as I know windows media does not support this directly, however many have no problems creating custom players to achieve the same affect.

3. This is one advantage to the Windows Media container not the server.

4. I am assuming you mean Windows Media Server and SHOUTcast. I am not aware of any such article but that would make a good one. Maybe I could make one at a later time.

5. My short list of major features of each.

SHOUTcast: Better instant advertising of your station through their YP and Winamp Product. With MP3 better compatibility amongst all players although somewhat dated.

Windows Media: More versatile and featureful then the SHOUTcast server product, however there are alternatives to SHOUTcast such as the project I am working on called Steamcast which are opening up some of the features to SHOUTcast users. Icecast also has some advanced support at the price of not being listed at AOL.

Codec differences are not as large now that SHOUTcast supports aacPlus, however the use of this codec causes extra steps for users to listen to the station if they do not have one of the few players that support the codec. Hopefully decoder adoption will increase with time. It is fairly new on the internet side. Windows Media 9 has been around for quite a while so anyone who has windows is pretty likely to be able to tune into your decent sounding low bitrate stream without much problem.

All and all try to figure out what market you are going after. If you feel that your market would be more technically savvy then using new technologies is a good thing, on the other hand if you feel that your listeners need easy and no nonesense ways to make it to your content then go with older and more tried and tested technologies. Skill and competence will come with time so do not use your limitations against you.
- Jay

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