MediaCoder has a built-in media server which is capable of performing on-the-fly transcoding while doing streaming. The latest MediaCoder Audio Edition (build 4150) has improved the audio streaming feature. You can now use MediaCoder as an audio streaming server with powerful transcoding capablity (e.g. FLAC to AAC+) and play the streaming audio with your favorite audio player like Winamp, foobar, WMP etc.
The improvements include some fix-ups for audio encoders’ behavior while they are used to do on-the-fly transcoding. A new useful feature of M3U playlist generating is added. This allows the audio player software on the client computer to retrieve the list of playable items in MediaCoder.
Here comes the some instructions of how to get this work.
Step 1: Configure MediaCoder’s media server.
- First you need to enable media server and optionally enable on-the-fly transcoding which can be useful for unifying the streaming format and reducing streaming bandwidth. You may want to set an audio encoder and change its parameters (e.g. bitrate) to do transcoding, just like performing file-to-file transcoding. At this moment, not all audio encoders included in MediaCoder can do on-the-fly encoding. A list of compatible encoders are listed at the end of the article.
- If you want to allow remote computer to connect to the media server, you need to set “Listen Address” to “Remote and Local”. You need to set a proper external IP address or domain name which the remote computer can be used to access your computer.
Step 2: Add files for streaming.
Step 3: Get the playlist.
- Audio player on a remote computer can load a M3U list generated by the media server. The URL of the M3U list will be displayed when clicking “Open Playlist” button. You can just copy this URL to include in a web page or just copy to the remote computer by some way.
- If you click OK button on “Open Playlist” dialog, the M3U will be opened locally, possibly with the web browser or your local audio player.
Step 4: Load the playlist on remote end
- Now let’s go to the remote computer, where in this case, Winamp is running for playing the audio.
- Most audio players support loading a remote M3U playlist. In the case of Winamp, click Add button on the playlist window and choose Add URL. You can paste the M3U URL in the blank and click Open.
- If everything is correct, you will see the items in MediaCoder in Winamp’s playlist window and you can start playing them.
This is not a big invention. But the interesting thing is that you can adjust transcoding settings easily and listen to the difference instantly (need restarting playback). For real applications, the media server is still not very handy to use (I will try to improve some aspects) but it just works and I use it to listen to my music collection on a remote computer for myself.
PS: MediaCoder Audio Edition is a special edition of MediaCoder which is specially for audio transcoding. There is no conflict between MediaCoder and MediaCoder Audio Edition. You can install both of them in one system.
Audio encoders which can work with streaming:
- Helix MP3