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Homemade Dot Mac: Home Web Radio
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Step 3: Promotional Spot

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Digital Killed the Video Star -- Alan Graham shows how to create videos with just a scanner or digital camera, a $10 shareware app, and an OS X Mac.

Homemade Dot-Mac with OS X, Part 2 -- In part one of this series, Alan Graham showed you how to make your OS X Mac a functional Web server, and essentially create your own .Mac site. Now he digs even deeper into firewalls, domain names, and FTP.

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Depending on the level of professional spit and polish you want on your station, you may want to put together a promo spot to let people know who you are. There is a really simple way to pull this off using some royalty free iMovie music, a microphone, and iMovie.

In a previous article I talked about using some of the free music Apple provides in your iDisk, but of course you have to have a .Mac subscription for that. If you don't belong to .Mac, all you really need is a short piece of music in MP3 format or you can skip the music portion of your spot completely.

Open iMovie and import your music clip, then head over to the audio tab of iMovie and record the vocals of your promo spot. Since I don't have any call letters, I settled for, "You're listening to O'Reilly Radio."


Screen shot.
You'll find the "record" button in the audio tab.

Take the music clip and drag it into one of the music tracks down below. You're vocal spot should already be waiting for you. Then just move the two tracks so that they fit together in a manner that sounds good to you.

Screen shot.
Fitting the audio tracks together.

You can listen to my promo spot here.

Once you're done editing your audio track, export the movie as QuickTime. We need to make some changes to our file as we export it. When you choose to export the file as QuickTime, you'll get an option to alter the format. Select the Expert setting in this menu.

Screen shot.
Select "Expert".

Now click Prepare for Internet>Quicktime Streaming Server.

Screen shot.
Prepare for Internet...

Finally, change the compression settings to MPEG-4 and export.

Screen shot.
Select MPEG-4.

You now need to convert the movie file from MPEG-4 to MP3 before you can use it with the other music files. This is very easy. First open iTunes and drag the file into your Library.

Screen shot.
Time to edit the promo "song" information.

The next step is to edit the promo spot "song information" so that when you convert this file to MP3, it will automatically create a promo folder where we can collect future files. Simply highlight the file and select File>Get Info. At the top of the window type a title for this spot, like "Promo Spot 1". Under Artist, type something like "My Promotional Spots". In the Album field name it "Promo Spots", and now you have a folder to place all future promo files.

To convert the file to MP3, highlight it and select Advanced>Convert Selection to MP3. Now you can delete the old file from the Library and move on to getting your station up and running.

Step 3: QTSS General Settings

Screen shot.
General Settings

Open the server and jump on over to General Settings. Here we want to double check that our Media Directory matches your iTunes folder. You can set your maximum number of connections and your maximum throughput. Remember to calculate your required bandwidth. When your traffic exceeds the maximum throughput, the server will not allow any more connections. If you want to run the server 24/7, check Start Server at System Startup.

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