Streaming audio

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by rubberlugs, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. rubberlugs

    rubberlugs Guest

    I've just become involved in a project that will involve audio for a showreel to be posted on a website. This is the first time I have come across this audio for internet and suddenly realise how little I know of it. I would prefer to stream CD quality audio but the webspace doesn't have the space for the raw audio, ie SDII, AIFF or WAV. I'm also under the impression that I would need to use flash for streaming and this wouldn't handle these files anyway.
    So I'm going to have to post MP3 I'm guessing, though I'm not really interested in dealing with mp3s at levels below 256kbps as the quality isn't up to scratch. What is the best way to go about this?

    Another question, I'm using Audion for mp3 encoding and I noticed it's got an mp3 pro option which makes much smaller files at lower kbps rates, what is this mp3 pro all about, anyone have any ideas?
  2. mjatas

    mjatas Guest

    Okay let me get this straight. You just want to stream live music o ver the net via some kind of program. Firstly, it costs a lot of money to stream music off the net like a radio show or something similar. To stream 128kb or higher MP3 quality is very costly like 1000's of dollars monthly. I know I run a online radio show. Also you will not get a lot of connections because you need connections way faster than T1. And T1 is about $200 - $300 / monthly (CAD). So webspace and internet connection would cost min. $500 monthly (CAD).

    This is what I do. I start off small and broadcast up to 32 users at once and use 48kb 44.100 Mono sound. And it sounds great. To get the actually radio show up it's hard to start, but once you know it's pretty simple. To Broadcast you need Shoutcast and winamp player, however you need 2 computers; one to stream and one to test / play the audio. you also need extremely fast computer. Anything over 800MHz PIII would be fine with sufficient RAM over 512MB 233 MHz min. It might sound like a lot and it is. I spend around $60 a month broadcasting my radio and I get up to 32 users at a time only.

    Your answer to your 2nd question. When you're recording to CD or encoding music files do not encode to or record in MP3 format. Instead use WAV format because it is better quality, do to the uncompression of the format and becuase the format is not lossy such as MP3 format.
  3. rubberlugs

    rubberlugs Guest

    Thanks for that info.

    The only recources I will have is the web space of 150Mb and the help of someone kind enough to put all this site together. It will contain all the info you would expect on a studio, tech spec, costs, contact details etc. I also want to put our showreel on there, preferably in a format that the web browser can listen to over the net as opposed to downloading. All files have been mixed to DAT and AES-EBU's to Ptools for the SDII files at CD quality. It's that bit in the middle, between the files I have and the listener hearing audio that I'm uncertain of. In otherwards, getting it online in a simple cost free way.

    The person who will be putting it together tells me that Flash will be used and this converts down to 160kbps. Or we can use mp3 files and bypass the flash compression. Obviously with webspace only amounting to 150Mb WAV files would be to large. If we use mp3 at 320kbps would this stream reasonably enough with the standard internet connection. This is the bit I'm lost at. Is the compression just for storage purposes online or does the file size affect the streaming in anyway.

    Thanks in advance
  4. PCM

    PCM Guest

    160 kpbs is about all a fast connection can stream without choking. I have my streaming flash players set up to preload and buffer the tracks, and it still takes a few secnds at 160kbs. Anything longer than that, and people will probably get frustrated. 160kbps is decent enough quality- if you're really worried about poeple making judgements based on the compression level, put a disclaimer on the site.

    Either way, If no one will listen to it due to excessive download doesn't matter how high quality the audio is.
  5. heartsoffire

    heartsoffire Active Member

    Sep 22, 2002
    Boston, MA
    Home Page:
    Use the following CD ripper...

    The use LAME encoding at 192K

    Both of these combined make for VERY nice MP3s and very accurate. You can choose to rip at 128 as well if you feel that 192 is too much. LAME encoding is superior to any other encoding. Also, most programs like musicmatch don't have as accurate encoders and they rip in burst mode and don't do any error checking. Exactudio does the error checking.

    On your website use the following program to do your streaming...

    Lot's cheaper...

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  6. ctyragdoll

    ctyragdoll Active Member

    Jun 5, 2004
    New York
    Fraunhofer's MP3 Pro works quite well at 128. I've compressed a bunch of audio over the last couple years, and MP3Pro at 128 is almost as good as 192 using any other encoder (ie, Lame). I use Cooledit 2.1 to compress to MP3, which I assume uses the same version of Fraunhofer's MP3 Pro encoder that you have in Audition. Don't forget that you don't *have* to use MP3 Pro in Audition, you can use the standard Fraunhofer encoder as well.

    You're going to lose some high end, and you'll lose some of the stereo image, but if web space is at a priority and the viewers are on dialup or slower DSL, you're better off using a higher compression. It's better to have the user see/hear the content, rather than have them close the browser because the stream is too large for their internet connection.

    Lastly, don't forget that the majority of your viewers are going to be listening through cheap PC speakers. Most internet surfers' don't have their PC's connnected to quality audio gear. Personally, I'd try compressing at a few different rates, and then checking the quality on numerous PC's/speakers, and then select the compression method that works best for your limited conditions. There's a lot of choices using MP3 Pro that you can take advantage of for web content.
  7. dpd

    dpd Active Member

    Sep 29, 2004
    I tried streaming our classical radio stations naked (no processing) and it was a disaster at a low bit rate. To prevent clipping the RMS was way down, and it was a bitch to hear. Run the level up and you clip and it sounds even worse.

    I'd highly recommend some kind of a compressor on the audio stream before you encode it. I happen to use Orban's Optimod 1100-PC, but since that is quite expensive (~$1,200?) you might just look for a simple dbx unit.
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