What is Streaming

Written by Saii Hallard. Posted in Streaming Guide

Streaming definition

Streaming is the process of constant delivery of video or audio to an end-user, offered by a streaming-provider.
In a way you could say it's the same process as how television works, though streaming is specifically digital media.


How it works

Streaming diagram Image 1


  • The streamer sends via the internet a continuous audio-stream to a streaming server with streaming software.
  • The server uses a multi-casting protocol to distribute the stream to multiple listening nodes.
  • People on the listening side, the "listeners" use a music program to receiver the audio stream.

Translating this to the specific use of streaming music in Second Life, it would be:

  • You make use of a program for DJ-ing, like SAM, Virtual DJ or Traktor.
  • You have set up the software to connect to an Icecast or SHOUTcast server, depending on what software you use. This server is rented, or setup by yourself.
  • In Second Life, you set the parcel music media URL to the server that you are using, so that people can listen to the music.


Streaming methods

Most used methods (multicasting protocols) for streaming are SHOUTcast, Icecast and the Apple specific form of Icecast: Nicecast.

There are of course technical differences, but the choice of what method to use depends largely on the streaming software you wish to use.
For instance, professional DJs will chose Traktor, which only support direct upstreaming to Icecast. Although there are methods to circumvent this limitation.
Virtual DJ only supports SHOUTcast, and so does SAM.

It may raise the question, what software would be best to use? Read on..


Streaming Software

To chose the right streaming software, we made a small list:

  • DJ Traktor Pro is recommended for professional DJs. Due to the audio quality, the abilities and the 1:1 connection with hardware. Uses Icecast.
  • Virtual DJ mixing through SHOUTcast can be done with Virtual DJ. Sound quality is less than Traktor, specially in the mid/high regions, but adequate for casual virtual DJs.
  • Ableton Live is professional software for composition, songwriting, recording, production, remixing and live performance. Ableton live can upstream to Icecast via VST.
  • To perform a radio-like venue where you easily can search and play records on request and talk in between, we recommend: SAM Broadcaster
  • Winamp is recommended if you just want to play music tracks sequentially, without all the bells and whistles.
  • OtsAV has many solutions for broadcasting, most notably the radio webcaster, if you want to start a 24/7 broadcasting radio station.