If you are like me, you have amassed a rather large collection of music in electronic form (read: MP3). Unfortunately, there are times when you don’t want to be sitting at your desk in order to listen to your latest Modest Mouse download. You’d much rather listen to your stereo in your living room while reading Wired Magazine.

Much to my delight, I re-discovered the beauty of SHOUTcast. Along with my favorite music player, Winamp, these two applications, in combination with a spare laptop, can bring you the much anticipated relaxation you so much deserve. Here’s how:

  1. Download the SHOUTcast DNAS application. You’ll find it here: http://www.shoutcast.com/download. I use Windows XP, but there is a port for OS X as well.
  2. Run the file in order to install the DNAS.
  3. Download the SHOUTcast DSP for Winamp. You’ll find that here at http://www.shoutcast.com/download. Make sure to follow the installation instructions.
  4. In the Start menu find the “Edit SHOUTcast DNAS configuration” and change the password to something other then “changeme”. You can also take this time to change your listener count (like 2) and port base if you wish (port 8000 is typically the default). Change the [SrcIP] to 127.0.0.1 and the [DestIP] to your PC’s IP address on your home network (router). This is usually something like “192.168.1.xxx”. You can find this out by running “ipconfig” at the command prompt.
  5. Optional: Open Winamp and take the time to change the Outpt to (Ctrl + P > Output > Nullsoft NULL Output). This will prevent your PC from outputting the streaming audio to the PC’s speakers.
  6. Load the DSP (Ctrl + P > DSP/Effect > Nullsoft SHOUTcast Source)
  7. In the window that pops up go to “Output” highlight “Output 1” and press “Connection”.
  8. For the address leave it at localhost since the DNAS is on the same machine.
  9. If you changed the port in step 4 then put the value you entered in here.
  10. Change the password to what you entered in step 4.
  11. Change the “Encoder” to 1.
  12. Click on the “Encoder” tab.
  13. Select “Encoder 1” and change the type to “MP3 Encoder”
  14. Set the “Encoder Settings” to the quality you want.
  15. Start the DNAS (Start > SHOUTcast DNAS > SHOUTcast DNAS).
  16. Play a song in Winamp and press “Connect” under the “Output” tab of the DSP.
  17. Connect the audio output of your spare “Wi-Fi enabled” laptop to a pair of unused RCA audio inputs on your stereo. You’ll need an 1/8” to L/R RCA cable for this.
  18. Run your streaming media-player-of-choice on the laptop. My laptop is an ASUS EeePC running Ubuntu Netbook Remix. It came bundled with Rythmbox, which is a nice bare-bones Linux-based media player.
  19. Point the media player to the URL of the PC running SHOUTcast. This would be the IP of your desktop machine (http://192.168.1.xxx). You may need to add the port # assigned in Step 4. So, the IP would look like http://192.168.1.xxx:8000 (if 8000 is the port you used).

Your desktop PC should have two new icons in the bottom-right tray. One is for the Shoutcast Server and the other is for the SHOUTcast Source (which is Winamp running the Shoutcast DSP). You’ll know it’s working OK when Windows asks to allow “sc_serv.exe”. You should not have to do anything with your router.

Voila! You are done.

Additional Notes:

  • Problems will occur if you accidentally instantiate more than one server on the host PC. Kill the additional servers or restart your PC if you still have problems.