An encoder converts your audio content into a digital signal in order to live stream on Live365. Most encoders are software applications running on your computer, while others (less commonly used) are stand-alone hardware devices or mobile encoders.

Software audio encoders

Software audio encoders are programs that run on your laptop, desktop computer, or another computing device. In audio streaming, the software encoders are the most commonly used type. Usually, they are very easy to set up, but for some, you may need good streaming knowledge. There are two types of software encoders:

Standalone software encoders

The main purpose of standalone encoder applications is to stream live audio data from your computer's Mic or Line input to an Icecast or SHOUTcast server. These types of encoders do not have an option to play, schedule, or manage the tracks.

Metadata can either be updated manually or automatically by reading a file transmitted by the automation software.

Here are a few examples that are commonly used to stream out to Live365:

You'll also need to take steps to configure metadata transmission in the encoder application in order to remain compliant with the licensing coverage and royalty reporting that Live365 provides. Configuring the encoder to send the audio stream is just one part of getting setup for legal internet radio streaming on Live365.

Software encoders with automation included

These types of software allow you to manage audio assets, build playlists with advertising support, hourly schedule blocks, rotations, automatic leveling, and other professional grade features depending on the application.

Note: If you are going to use any of the above encoders, please make sure to select Icecast protocol, MP3 or AAC format, use the same bitrate as you chose in the Live365 Dashboard under the Output settings, 44.1 kHz sample rate, Joint Stereo. The bitrate mode needs be "constant" (CBR), not "variable" (VBR).

Hardware audio encoders

A hardware encoder, as the name suggests, is different from a software encoder. Streaming software runs on computer hardware. Hardware encoders, on the other hand, are stand-alone devices designed specifically for encoding. A hardware encoder is able to intake audio sources using line-level input. Given their higher price-point, many internet radio broadcasters tend to not use hardware encoders. The most popularly used hardware encoders that we hear about are Telos, Barix, Zerhex and StreamIT.

Mobile audio encoders

Those should be encoders that run from your mobile devices. They are not very popular, simply because there are not many on the market.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact our Support Team here.