Thursday, May 15, 2014

How Do I Send My Music to Listeners in Second Life? Shoutcast, Icecast, and Streaming Explained

DJs, karaoke track artists, singer/songwriters, and bands can all find a ready-made, world-wide, paying audience in Second Life. What all is involved in getting your music streamed into Second Life?
Music in Second Life operates on a technology known as Shoutcast. Shoutcast, along with its open source compatible follow-on Icecast, is the same technology that underpins all of internet radio. When you stream your music into Second Life, you are essentially operating your own internet radio station!
Overview
There are several links in the chain between you creating your music and the listener hearing your music.
  1. - you create your music on a computer
  2. - a program known as a source client encodes your music for the server
  3. - a Shoutcast/Icecast streaming server broadcasts the music to multiple Second Life viewers
  4. - the listeners' Second Life viewer plays your music for their enjoyment
Let's look a little deeper at each stage of this process.
Music Creation
Again the first step in the chain is that your music must be input to a computer. If you are DJing from WinAmp, iTunes or other music player, this is already taken care of by the music player program. If you are performing in real-time -- such as playing a guitar and singing -- you will need to input your performance into the computer's sound card through the use of a microphone and/or a mixer. Many computers have microphones built right into them that would be suitable, though you may notice an increase in sound quality with a more sophisticated microphone.
Source Client
The Source Client is the link between your computer and the internet. This is a program or utility that runs on your computer. It has essentially two responsibilities. It creates and maintains a connection to the Shoutcast/Icecast server, and it encodes your music into the data stream that the server needs. Source Clients are available both as standalone programs, and as plugins that operate with your Music Creation program.
Shoutcast/Icecast streaming server
The Shoutcast or Icecast streaming server is a 'virtual machine' that runs on a computer. While you can technically install the server on your own computer -- even the one you are using as the Music Creation computer -- it is generally inadvisable to do so. The reason for this is that the primary function of the Shoutcast/Icecast server is to take as an input the single stream from your Source Client, and redistribute it as any number of of streams -- one for each listener. Each additional listener consumes more bandwidth. A typical home internet connection can accommodate only a few such listeners before all the available or upload/download capacity is exhausted.
As such, a Shoutcast/Icecast server is most typically rented -- as one would rent space on a web host. There are numerous companies that rent streaming servers for a few dollars per month. Further, most Second Life venues have already rented such servers. If you are slated to perform at a given venue, they will most often have you employ their existing streaming server.
Second Life viewer
The last link in the chain is up to the Second Life viewer. Each parcel of land in Second Life is associated with a Music URL. When an avatar steps onto a given parcel, the Second Life sim sends the Second Life viewer this Music URL. This URL should be the location of your Shoutcast/Icecast streaming server. The Second Life viewer then sets up a connection to the streaming server. It accepts the stream of your music from the server, decodes it, and outputs it through the audio system of the computer upon which the Second Life viewer is running. In this manner, each listener is able to hear the music you are making. Your listeners may even be on the opposite side of the Earth!
What do I need to get started?
While all the pieces described above are needed to stream your music into Second Life, only a minimum set is required to get up and running. The absolute minimum is that you will need a Music Creation program and a Source Client. There are many options available in these categories, both free and commercial. They are available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other platforms.
As mentioned above, there are many venues that supply Shoutcast/Icecast streaming servers for your use. I spent about a year as a Second Life musician before I decided to rent a stream of my own.
The last item is the Second Life viewer. While you do not technically need this to stream into Second Life, you will want it anyhow. Otherwise, you will find it difficult to connect with venues and fans. There really isn't any downside, as it is free. Plus, Second Life is just a lot of fun!
Is it for you?
After reading the above, you may be eager to delve into Second Life as another marketplace for your musical endeavors. As you can see, the opportunities are nearly endless. Further, it costs nothing to try your hand at it -- plus, it's just a whole lot of fun. No matter what sort of musician you may be, there is another market waiting for you in Second Life.
I hope you join us in this journey to a strange and wonderful new world.
Join Joe in Second Life -- you can find the tools you need to get started with a free Second Life account at his website Metaverse Musician -- just click here to get started!
Joe Bear has been making music for several decades on a commercially-successful basis. Bands and solo acts; live and in the studio; rock, blues, jazz, country, bluegrass, pop, and others; guitar, voice, keys, bass, drums, mandolin, and other instruments; singer, songwriter, producer, instrumentalist, teacher, engineer. With the demise of the traditional recording industry, and the plethora of new outlets for enterprising musicians opened by new technologies, he has been focusing upon these new markets.
Always a believer in extending a hand down to help the next person up, he is now sharing the knowledge he has gained in this uncharted territory. He is sharing this info on his blog at http://MetaverseMusician.com/blog/about. Please register at the Metaverse Musician blog for regular updates on these and other topics. This will entitle you to exclusive information -- including detailed step-by-step instructions on setting up to be a Second Life musician at no cost. Hurry -- time is limited on this offer!
(c) Copyright - Joe Bear, All Rights Reserved Worldwiii

Monday, May 12, 2014

Wireless Headsets for Your Music Players

Headsets for your personal music players have invariably been enhanced each year, nevertheless the a problem with them is the cable that hooks up the headsets to a music player or cell phone/PDA as the wires are always becoming tangled up. One solution would be to get wireless earbud headphones as this will avoid the cabling getting tangled. You will find several different makes of wireless earphones in the marketplace but for the perfect headsets it is advisable to shop all-around to find the best package and the finest make you can buy for your money.
If you are thinking of buying a set of Bluetooth stereo headphones there are a few things you need to consider before you purchase them. You will need to decide on what type of Bluetooth headphones you want, if you want a microphone attached to them; do you want earbud type Bluetooth headphones or over the head headphones. In addition, you need to make sure they are comfortable to wear and that the sound quality is good. You need to ensure any controls are easily accessible and easy to use and if they run off batteries how long the batteries will last before recharging or changing, once all this is taken into consideration you then need to compare prices for the best deal.
A variety of product choices can be purchased. For athletes or those who are physically active, sports headphones are an excellent option. They will work with portable devices, without the worry of pulling or damaging thin wires, or getting tangled in them. Bicyclists and hikers may also find this option the best solution. They are designed to be comfortable and provide quality sound, while keeping arms free for favorite activities. They may also be used for working out on the treadmill, stepping machine or weight machines.
If you want to compare a variety of models or brands, the best place to look is in an electronics store. You can do this online or by going to the nearest store. While you may not be able to try them on for fit, physical store locations may have a few different products set up, so you can get an idea of sound quality. You can also find several product choices in electronic departments of retail stores, or wherever cellular phone or mobile devices are sold.
For more information on the best earbud headphones and sports headphones visit Best Earbud Headphones today.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bass Guitar Players Who Changed The World

Some people think that if you want to change the world you don't become a bass player, but go into something more challenging and stimulating like the Post Office. But does this myth portray how bass players really are? Let's step back from our habitual way of seeing bass guitar players as necessary but boring members of the group. Like accountants. Sure we acknowledge the fine contribution they make to their bands by supplying the bass lines and paying for the beer, but do they actually do anything really creative? This brief listing of some prominent men (and woman) of bass will allow you to see that this apparently self effacing member of a musical group could be the creative powerhouse.
Let's start with the leather jacketed but overpoweringly feminine Suzi Quatro. A vocalist and bass player who had a bunch of hits in Australia and Europe in the early seventies, her popularity in the USA stemmed from her role as Leather Tuscadero in Happy Days.
John Entwistle pioneered the use of the electric bass guitar as an instrument for soloists. His aggressive approach to the bass guitar influenced many other bassists.
Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers impressed a lot of musicians with his popping and slapping technique which was originally invented by Larry Graham of Sly And The Family Stone. Flea's innovative use of effects pedals has also influenced many bass players.
Jack Bruce wrote most of supergroup Cream's hit songs. Among his other achievements are fighting constantly with Cream's drummer, Ginger Baker and surviving a liver transplant.
Greg Lake is another artist of the early seventies who played with a number of innovators from the glam rock era. Lake is best known for his vocals, bass and guitar work with Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
Rob Bailey is a bassist who plays loud and aggressive. His bass playing is an important element in the music of AC/DC.
Benny Rietveld, a Dutch musician who went to college in Hawaii, is admired for his musical and individualistic style of playing. He worked with Barney Kessell, Sheila E, Huey Lewis and Miles Davis. He has also made an album featuring Carlos Santana. Talk about diverse.
Paul McCartney played bass with The Beatles. Many bass players say he's quite good, but he changed the world with his romantic song lyrics.
Considered by some to be the king of bass players, Stanley Clarke employs a variation of the pop and slap technique to produce some truly innovative bass guitar music. His 1976 album, School Days, is acclaimed by many critics as one of the greatest bass albums ever.
A true bass lead guitar player, Billy Sheehan has won Guitar Player Magazine's "Best Rock Bass Player" readers' poll five times. Why a "bass lead guitar player"? Because Billy plays bass as if he were playing lead.
So if you are not familiar with bass guitar players I hope this article has whetted your appetite. Why not spend your next rainy Sunday watching some of their work on YouTube?
Ricky Sharples has been playing guitar his whole life, and is presently engaged in building a blog called Learn How To Play A Guitar For Free. Ricky's blog features free tools, lessons and resources for guitarists of all ages and stages. Ricky updates the blog regularly so if you are interested in learning to play guitar there will be an enormous variety of tip, tools and tutorials for you

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Create a Music Player For Your Websites and Blogs By Ko Fai Godfrey Ko

If you are a musician and wish to sell your own music via the web there are options. Numerous services exist that are happy to take their commission in return for placing your name on their web site. The other option is to sell from your own website. This will give you a chance to attract more people and increase your sales. You also benefit by receiving all of the income less the merchant costs.
As a minimum you will need to:
1. Create your website
2. Add a music player
3. Add a merchant facility to accept money
4. Add a download page.
5. Fill the site with text content and make it Search Engine friendly. For extra functionality you could consider a blog.
Creating a website: This is easy with the tools available today. There are many free or inexpensive HTML templates available or if you need a little more presence you can search for some advance website builder software.
Add a music player: A music player to showcase your products is important. There are HTML based music players and flash based music players, both allow you to create your own play lists and embed the player to your existing web pages. However, flash player might makes you feel more comfortable that your music is safe from a web snatch. It is protected. There are a good number of skins with flash players so the choice of look and feel is easy.
Add a merchant facility: There are many merchant services available with varying rates. I see PayPal as the easiest to setup and use. You can signup a PayPal account free of charge, which enables you to instantly accept credit card payments online.
Add some text content: A few pages of content are necessary for the search engines to find. This can be about your band or group. People like to know a little about their new favorite band, their plans and music released. If you are planning on releasing a new album shortly, say so! Talk about where you started, where you are going and any tours that are planned.
These days a business is not complete without a web presence. Put it together and make it pay. You need followers to increase your sales. Give them a place to gather. You can still use the other services initially until your site has caught up. You need a site anyway, and while you have a visitor, you should give him or her the opportunity to buy whilst they are there.
Visit our website today to download a free trial version of website MP3 player that does not require coding and programming and can accept payment using PayPal. You can also find flash software including a website builder, flash photo gallery, flash video player and interactive map creator.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Where Did Rock And Roll Music Come From? By Rick Hart

Muddy Waters said it first. "Blues had a baby and they called it Rock and Roll."
Sure, everyone pretty much agrees that rock and roll music actually came from black rhythm and blues of the late 1940's. Of course which songs were the first actual rock and roll songs are hotly debated. But there's no mistaking the sound of the 1947 version of "Good Rockin Tonight" by Wynonie Harris as clearly an early version of rock and roll. At least that's what it sounds like to me.
But the acknowledged song that most agree was the first rock n' roll song was Rocket 88. The original version of the twelve-bar blues song was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, who took the song to number one on the R&B charts.
It was actually recorded at Sun Studios by Sam Phillips in 1951 using a studio band that was led by Ike Turner. Yes that Ike Turner, Tina Turner's husband. Of course Sam Phillips was best known for recording Elvis Presley in the beginning of his career.
But before Elvis, Sam Phillips recorded many of the early electric blues musicians including Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, James Cotten, and many others. It was really a mecca for that early electric blues, at least the Memphis flavor of it.
Sam was even known to say that Howlin' Wolf was his greatest discovery. And Elvis Presley was actually his second greatest discovery. And it's easy to imagine that the early white rock and rollers who came into Sam's studio were heavily influenced by their contact with the black blues musicians at Sun Studios. It all cooked together into a musical stew that came out as rock and roll.
But the point is, these early rhythm and blues songs were really part of a larger core of music that certainly is based on black gospel and religious spiritual music of the 30's and 40's. That music was full of emotion and pain.
Of course it was. The typical life of a black person then was full of pain, and religion was a major outlet for expressing that pain.
And of course gospel music expresses that pain and certainly blues music was directly related to that gospel tradition. Although the typical preacher would look badly on this secular version of gospel music. In fact, blues was called "devil's music" by most religious blacks of the day. Early blues musician's had to sneak out to play the blues and avoided playing it in front of parents.
Still it was clear that the average black person of the 40's and 50's connected with this new music. After all, religion was only one outlet for that pain. There was also dancing, drinking and sex, with music being the backdrop to all of it. No wonder the messages in blues music reflected this darker side of life at the time. How else would people tell the stories of failed relationships, drinking, and the pain of abuse by "the man" and other people who helped make their lives a living hell.
And the expression of that pain is the core of what makes blues music and especially early blues guitar so compelling. The guitar, as a lead instrument, has an emotional range that cannot be duplicated by a piano. Perhaps a saxophone is the closest other instrument that has the emotional range of the guitar. And both are still a distant second to emotional range of the human voice. You can say that the guitar and the saxophone are merely trying to duplicate what the human voice can do.
But the electric guitar at the time was a brand new instrument. It was putting out new sounds that had never been heard before. Combined with new amplification that could get louder and more distorted than ever before, it was clear the electric blues guitar would lead to a whole new type of music. Or more accurately types of music. Without this new technology there would be no electric blues and there would be no rock and roll.
And that means there would be no reason to write this article.
Rick Honeyboy Hart is a long-time blues guitar player and online marketer. He likes learning about the history of the blues and teaches blues guitar and thinks about the days when he fronted his blues band Honeyboy.