Basics of Streaming for Dummies

Posted By Brutish Sailor on Apr 10 2009 12:00 AM
So many names and varieties. To someone that REALLY knows steak, they take all considerations of seasoning and spices into effect. To others, if they grilled it they are happy to eat it no
matter how it comes out, as long as it comes out edible.

Well, lets make hamburgers here, something that's edible to the new internet broadcaster trying to wrap his head around whats going on for the process of streaming.

Source
This can be ANY kind of player. If you have something that can play music, congratulations, you have this covered. For those starting out, a player that was intended for streaming would be the easiest solution (Winamp, Sam, ect)

Codec: (THE wiki definition)
A codec is a device or computer program capable of encoding and/or decoding a digital data stream or signal. This is what you will use to stream to a relay(cover that in a bit) These can be set in different streaming settings to improve quality or fit your processing needs. For internet broadcasting you will use software to encode(like Shoutcast DSP)

A relay:
This is where your listeners will connect to your stream. There has to be a place where you are streaming too (whether you are SC_Serv on your home computer, or streaming to a web hosting server)

Now for the most important factor. The listeners. How do they tune in?
Listeners are either going to use a widget (a script to embed a media player in a site) or a Yellow page directory (if you have server to public). A widget (media player) is simple, and can be made at Stream Solutions. (Stream solutions is a sponsor of broadcasting world). Select the player, enter your streaming info, copy the script it gives you, and embed into any page HTML. Some players don't support some streams, but that's like talking about steak, and we are making hamburgers here! So for a visual diagram, the process should look like this...

KEY
- = The stream
* = The source
+ = The codec
() = The relay
@ = The listener

*- + -------- ()---------@

Simple. Now for some terms you should know.

Metadata:
Simplest terms. This is what you need for displaying your songs information on the screen (ID3 tags). It goes a lot deeper than that, but lets keep this simple.

Licensing:
If you are playing intellectual property (copyrighted music/ music that has a record label) you need a license. It goes a lot deeper than that, but lets keep this simple.

This is the basics streaming. All this talk of steak and hamburgers is making me hungry, Its time to go eat :)

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