Using just a Windows PC or laptop, anyone can broadcast live audio online so that others can stream it back on their phones, laptops, and other devices. This guide will teach you how to get started broadcasting audio online, and can be used for broadcasting radio stations, live events, speeches, ceremonies, and more.
To help you understand this guide, let's go over some jargon first. You can skip this section if you don't need a deeper understanding of what we're setting up.
To broadcast audio online, we first have to create an audio stream. An audio stream is a special URL that you broadcast audio to with a streaming audio encoder.
A streaming audio encoder is a software application or hardware box that captures audio, compresses it, and broadcasts it across the internet. It takes audio you can hear, encodes it to MP3 or AAC, and streams it out to a streaming server which hosts your audio stream.
A streaming server powers your audio stream URL and rebroadcasts your live audio to any listeners that try to listen to that URL in their web browser or media players.
This guide will show you how to get a stream, broadcast to it with a streaming audio encoder, and finally get a stream URL to share with friends or embed in a website. Rocket Broadcaster is the streaming audio encoder we'll use, and Radio Mast will host our stream URL for us.
To get started streaming online, there's a couple things we need first:
- A Windows PC or laptop
- Optional: A microphone
- Rocket Broadcaster - Free streaming audio encoder software (free download)
- A Radio Mast account (free signup)
Before proceeding with this guide, make sure you download and install Rocket Broadcaster, and sign up for a Radio Mast account.
Create a Stream on Radio Mast
After you sign up for Radio Mast, you'll be asked if you have an existing station or want to create a station. Choose "Create new radio station".
On the next screen, you'll be asked to enter a name for the radio station. If you're not broadcasting a radio station, choose a name that's related to the broadcast because this name will be visible to your listeners.
We're almost there! Next, you'll be asked to configure the new stream you're about to create. The good news is you can stick with the defaults for most of this. For the audio codec configuration, the defaults are a good starting point and we recommend those. (128 kbps MP3, 44100 Hz Stereo)
Choose a "Listener Capacity" that's appropriate for your stream. If you're just experimenting, choose "25 listeners". You can change your listener capacity at any time later.
Choose "No Monitoring" unless you need to receive alerts when your stream goes down.
Lastly, enter a name for your stream and click Create Stream.
Broadcast to your Stream
Click on "Dashboard" inside Radio Mast, and then click the big red Broadcast Live button. This will cause Rocket Broadcaster to launch and automatically configure it to broadcast to your stream.
To go live and start broadcasting, click Start Broadcast in Rocket Broadcaster.
Congratulations, you're now broadcasting live audio online!
By default, Rocket Broadcaster captures audio from other applications on your PC, as well as from your PC's microphone. You can configure Rocket to capture from a different audio input device by clicking Options->Preferences in the Rocket Broadcaster main window.
Listen to your Stream and Embed it
Now, let's get your stream URL so we can listen to your stream. Inside Radio Mast, click "Streams", and click on the name of your stream.
On this page, you'll see an embeddable player widget that you can listen to. Try clicking play and you'll hear what you're currently broadcasting.
If you have a website you'd like to embed your stream on, copy the embed code from this page and paste it into your website's HTML in order to share your stream with your listeners.
If you'd like to share your direct stream URL, you can also copy that from this page.
Now that you have your stream set up, we recommend embedding our player on your website, as it's the easiest way to get listeners.
If you're launching a new online radio station, we recommend submitting your radio station to various online streaming directories to help new listeners find your station.
Remember, you can increase the listener capacity of your stream at any time.
If you'd like to improve the sound quality of your stream, upgrade to Rocket Broadcaster Pro. With Rocket Broadcaster Pro, you can increase the bitrate of your stream and use a better audio codec like AAC or AAC+, both of which will boost the audio quality of your stream.
If you have any questions about streaming online or had trouble with this guide, please get in touch!