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Homemade Dot Mac: Home Web Radio
Pages: 1, 2, 3

Step 4: Build A Playlist

You can create playlists using most text editors, but most people will find it easier to create a playlist through the server's web interface. Our main QTSS screen looks like this:

Screen shot.
Main QTSS screen.

Jump to the Playlists link to the left. At the Playlists screen, click on the button to create a new MP3 playlist.

Screen shot.
Select "New MP3 Playlist".

Creating the actual playlist is quite simple, although there are a few quirks.

Screen shot.
Creating the playlist.

  1. Name -- Enter the name of your station: whatever name you enter here, will be displayed in the client's music player.
  2. Mount Point -- Part of the URL location that your users will use to tune into your station. By entering different Mount Points for different playlists, you could run more than one active playlist for different genres and listeners could listen to different types of music.
  3. Genre -- Simply the genre of the music.
  4. Play Mode/Repetition -- "Sequential" plays the media in the order it appears in the playlist. When the last file is done playing, the broadcast stops.
    • "Sequential Looped" streams media in the order it appears in the playlist file. When the last file is done, the playlist restarts in the same order.
    • "Weighted Random" streams media in random, using the specified weights to decide how often to play an item. The higher the weight number, the more the item is played. The media plays until you stop it.
    • "Repetition" sets the number of files that play before a file repeats.
  5. Available Media List -- Select the tracks you want to appear in you playlist and drag them over to the Playlist column (6.) to the right. You can shift-click items, but unfortunately you cannot Command-click them. You can enter any folder in the Media List by double clicking. Also in this listing you will find the folder with your promo spots in it. After creating your playlist, drag and drop your promo spots between however many songs you wish for it to play.
  6. If you want to keep a log of this playlists activity, select the option here.
  7. Save you settings and we're almost ready to tune in.

Step 5: Final Steps

You have a few small items to finish up before you are ready to go. First, go back to the main Playlists menu using the link to the left. Now make sure that your QTSS is running by pressing the start button in the upper left hand corner.

Screen shot.

Next, you need to start the playlist. Click on the "play" button in the Playlist window.

Screen shot.
Just press the button...

Screen shot.
Notice the change in status...

Step 6: Tune In

We've installed our server, created our promos, configured our server, built our playlists, and started our server. Now it is time to test our station by tuning in.

Open up iTunes and select Advanced -> Open Stream (Command-U). Enter your IP address or URL followed by the port number and finally the Mount Point. It should look something like 192.168.2.9:8000/oreilly (where the IP address or URL is your own). If everything goes well you should hear some tunes blasting from your speakers.

Step 7: Remote Administration

One handy feature of the QTSS is remote administration. You can make changes to the server or your playlist no matter your location. Access the server by typing your IP Address or URL and specifying port 1220.

Step 8: Help

Apple has an extensive help file associated with QTSS. You can access it via the server's interface, but you can also find it here.

Enjoy! There are tons of exciting things you can do with the QTSS and Mac OS X. Streaming can be a complicated task, but hopefully this will get you started. In the future we'll touch on more advanced streaming topics such as video and mobile broadcasting via the iPod.

Alan Graham is the creator of the Best of Blogs book series and is a frequent writer on the O'Reilly Network.


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