Posted on Oct 17, 2011 in Entertainment, Tech & internet
I’ve always wanted to play DJ, and I’ve heard you can do live radio shows on the internet — but how exactly do I do that?
Ever listen to a DJ on the radio and think, “Hey, I can do that?” For most of us, unless we were fortunate enough to be communication majors, went to a college with a campus station, or are willing to work the graveyard shift at the local NPR affiliate, we’ll never get the chance to find out.
Except for the internet.
No doubt, if you’re internet savvy enough to be reading this, you’ve heard of podcasting — recording a show (music, talk, whatever) and posting it on the internet for people to download at their leisure. Podcasts are great and they are a great way to get yourself out there, but what if you prefer live audience interaction, response, and the sheer terror of sitting in front of the mic having completely forgotten what you were about to say? Enter the SHOUTcast.
So you’ve decided you’re interesting enough that (hopefully) a couple people will drop whatever they had planned on doing and listen to you instead. Good! Having the confidence to decide to do a live SHOUTcast is the biggest hurdle to overcome. Everything else beyond that is just a technical exercise.
Here’s the basic stuff you need to do your own show:
Author’s note: This is by no means intended to be a definitive, step by step guide on how to set up for SHOUTcasting — I have no idea what hardware and software you have, so there is no way I can cover everything.
This is the hard part. Apart from telling you to plug everything in and install all your software and plug-ins, I can’t really offer you too much specific advice. There’s a lot of different soundcards, mixing software, and SHOUTcast hosts out there, and they all use different settings. I can offer some basic tips.
For a much more definitive guide, see the SHOUTcast Getting Started Guide on the Winamp Wiki and also the SHOUTcast Forum. Again, there are people who can help you here, but you may have to do some critical thinking on your own to make it all work. I’ve been SHOUTcasting for over four years now and I still make minute adjustments and improvements to my settings and equipment on a monthly basis. You never stop learning.
Getting the technical hurdles down may be the easiest part of hosting an internet radio show. Very few people have any idea how hard it is to be live, on a microphone, with people listening, and not sound like a stammering idiot. Here are a couple ideas to consider before going live:
Whatever your setup, whoever your host is, whatever the content of your show is: have fun. Your listeners can tell when you’re phoning it in, and then it’s no fun for them either. If you aren’t having fun and you aren’t getting paid — why are you doing it? So just relax, appreciate the experience and don’t worry if you screw up. (Some of my gaffes have been the funniest things I’ve ever said on the air, and the most memorable.) Enjoy yourself.
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