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Step#3 - Live Interactive Streaming

Live Interactive Streaming

Once you've succeeded in capturing all audio on your computer, there are several ways to stream this audio so others can hear.
  • Commercial Streaming Services - sites like live365.com and Streamguys.com allow users to stream from their servers for a monthly fee (US$10+/month)
  • Free streaming Services - an ever-increasing number of sites like Ustream.tv, Mogulus, Yahoo Live, BlogTV, Justin.tv, Livevideo.com, and Kyte.tv allow users to stream for free. Most of these are video based, but can be used to stream audio only.
  • Worldbridges Shoutcast & Icecast Streams - after participating in the Webcast Academy, 'interns' can apply for webcasting permission from any streaming community that is part of the network. In order to stream to a shoutcast or icecast server, you need to install a streaming program on your local computer. Examples include Simplecast , SamBroadcaster, Oddcast, & Winamp.
  • It is worth noting that online presentation tools like WizIQ and DimDim (free) and Adobe Acrobat Connect and Elluminate (very not free) can also be used to facilitate online conversation and do not required the audio setup described above.

Streaming with Ustream
Screencast

Windows
Whichever method you use to stream, you'll need to set 'microphone' or 'audio in' to your soundcard. Most of these tools provide a way to automatically record or 'archive' what is being streamed. Webcasters may want to use Audacity to record as well because it provides a higher quality source recording and also provides a more accurate way to measure audio levels during a webcast. Below are step-by-step instructions for using Simplecast and Ustream.tv to stream

Simplecast
Simplecast is a commerical program available from SpacialAudio.com. that can be used to stream to a shoutcast or icecast server. There is a free trial version that does not expire.

  • Open Simplecast. Click 'Start'. Then, click 'Config' and on the 'General Options' page, select your sound card under 'Capture Sound from Device'. Click OK.

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  • You should now see volume meter movement on the right side of the main Simplecast Window.

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  • Click 'Encoders'. Click the '+' sign to add an encoder and choose either 'mp3 and mp3Pro' or 'Legacy mp3'.

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  • In the 'Converter' tab, select a format. Higher bitrates (kb/s) will result in higher quality audio with less stream delay, but may cause problems for those with relatively slow internet connections.

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  • In the 'Server Details' tab, choose the appropriate server type, and enter the access information for the server you're using.

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  • In the 'Stream Archive' tab, check 'save stream to file' and browse to find the directory in which you'd like to save the recording.
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  • When you're ready to stream, RIGHT click the encoder and click 'start'. You should now be streaming. To check the stream, go to the 'listening' page for that stream (i.e. WebcastAcademy.net/live ) and click one of the media player icons. You should be able to hear what is being streamed (with a 20~60 second delay).

Ustream
  • First you will need to register at Ustream.tv
  • Then click 'Broadcast Now' or if you've created a show, click 'My Shows' and then 'Broadcast Now'.
  • Either way, the Broadcaster window should pop up. Click 'allow' when the Adobe Flash Settings window appears.
  • Uncheck 'video broadcast' unless you plan to stream video. Select your soundcard where it says 'Audio Source'. Maximize audio quality unless you notice bandwidth problems. Check your Ustream Volume setting to make sure it isn't peaking too much (volume meter will show red if so). There are additional settings and tools you can use toward the bottom of the window (Advanced settings, create poll, cohost, etc.).
  • When you're ready to start streaming, click 'Start Broadcast'. If you'd like to create a Ustream recording as well, click 'Start Recording'
  • To check your stream, go to your Ustream listen page (i.e. Ustream.tv/webcastacademy) or anywhere you've embeded the Ustream player and click the play button. You'll get some echo when listening, but should be able to hear what is being stream with very little delay.


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