It is very simple to stream your audio to your server, you will need a copy of Winamp with the Shoutcast DSP plugin installed. There are also other alternatives such as Oddcast and SAM.
Installation instructions are available at http://www.shoutcast.com/download/broadcast.phtml
Setting up the Shoutcast DSP Plugin
1) Start Winamp and go to: Options >> Preferences
You will see the menu below:
On the left hand menu, click on DSP/Effect and in the main window, click on 'Nullsoft SHOUTcast Source DSP'" and another window will also appear entitled 'SHOUTcast source'. You can now close the preferences window.
2) Configure the plugin.
a) First of all, click on the Output tab at the top and make sure that 'Connection' is selected (under the output list)
This is where you put in the info that you were sent when your SHOUTcast account was activated.
You will need to enter the Address, Port and Password - if you are unsure, please open a support ticket or log in to the control panel (you should have recieved an email when you signed up to the service with your stream details). Select Encoder 1 if not already selected (or whichever encoder is available if you are already using 1).
b) Click on the Yellowpages button.
This is where you enter general information about your stream. Note: You must enter a Description to appear on the SHOUTcast directory - don't keep it as the default name or you won't be listed.
The Description and URL can be set in our SHOUTcast control panel to override these settings.
c) Click the encoder tab.
This is where you set the bitrate of your stream. Make sure that you select the same encoder as you did in the Output/Connection settings (usually Encoder 1 or whichever one you selected in step 4a)
IMPORTANT: Be careful not to stream at a higher bitrate than your account allows, as your SHOUTcast server will be automatically disabled! If this happens then you can log into restart your server, if you lock your server more than 3 times it will be suspended for 1 day or until you contact us.
With the latest version of Winamp, you can broadcast in either MP3 format or AAC+. The AAC+ format is far superior as far as sound quality goes, however only more recent audio players are able to support the relatively new format. To reach a wider audience, you may be best to stream in MP3.
You can offer your listeners different formats and bitrates with out Transcoding service.
For lower bitrates (lower than 96k), it is often better to select a mono setting rather than stereo - this will give better sound quality. A sample rate of 44.100kHz is also often better. The best ways is to experiment to see what your listeners prefer - different settings will be better depending on the genre of music that you play.
d) Click the Input tab.
This is where you select the source of your audio. If you are streaming music straight from Winamp, then select Winamp for the Input Device. However, if you are DJing live with external equipment (turntables / CD player / mixer etc) or hosting a talk show, then you will have to select the Line Input.
e) You are now fully set up and ready to stream your audio across the net.
To connect to your server, click the Output tab again and click Connect - you will see a counter start - this means that you have connected to your SHOUTcast server successfully
4) Now you need listeners! Go out and promote your station?
A few extra notes for people who have selected Line In as their Input Device.
You may have to configure the mixer on your PC - to do this, go to the Input tab and click on Open Mixer. Two windows will appear (Volume Control and Recording Control). Close Volume control, as this is not needed.
Ensure that the Line In box is ticked and that the volume is at a suitable level - on my system in particular the level control is very sensitive (note the very low level) - the best way to test this is to use the in built Input Level meter in the SHOUTcast Source plugin (Input tab)
You can also select the Stereo Mix box (some PCs may not have a Line In selection), however your listeners will also hear any sounds made by your PC such as web pages or other applications like MSN. Best to disable all sounds in this case.