Sunday, 26 February 2012

Setting Up a Live Broadcast on the Internet

By Geoff Leff

Broadcasting live content over the Internet isn't as difficult as people would think. In fact, it's extremely easy. All you need is an audio or video source, a way of getting the audio or video to the PC, a free software program supplied by Microsoft, and enough upload bandwidth to cover the broadcasting of the content.

In this tutorial, I'll attempt to teach you what you need to know so you can broadcast your content over the Internet. I'll primarily show you audio only, but you'll see how easy it is to do video as you progress through this tutorial.

As this is a text only tutorial, you will want to download the free software from Microsoft, and go through the configuration while you read this tutorial. Don't panic though. It's really easy to do. Don't let the length of this tutorial scare you away. The rewards of having your live broadcast up and running should keep you motivated to stick with it.

The only slightly complicated part of this tutorial is to do with your firewall. Due to the number of firewalls out there, I'll be very generic in my approach to telling you what you need to do. I'll explain this in further detail later in the tutorial.

Let's Start

First things first. You need to set up your audio source. In this example I'm using a radio scanner to broadcast Live Police from a radio scanner.

I basically have the radio scanner plugged into my PC's sound card with a cable roughly 2 metres (7 Feet) in length with a 3.5mm mono plug on each end. Of course the length of cable is up to you. Note: if you are broadcasting music, you'll want to use a cable that has stereo plugs instead of mono plugs. You'll also want to ensure your plugs on the cable match the audio device, Some devices may use a 2.5mm plug instead of 3.5mm. If you are broadcasting voice only, mono plugs are better as it ensures sound comes out of both speakers for the listener.

Plug the cable in so that one end plugs into the headphone socket of your audio device, and the other end plugs into the Microphone socket of your sound card on your PC.

Now go to the Microsoft website and download the Windows Media Encoder 9 software. It's free. It's approximately 9.5MB. The link to the software is located at the bottom of this article.

Once you've installed the software, go ahead and start it. You'll be presented with the setup wizard. Highlight the option named Broadcast a Live Event and click OK.

You'll now be in the window where you can choose your audio source and/or video source. If you were setting up video, you would leave both items ticked, however in this example, we're just going to do audio so go ahead and untick the video option. Under the audio option use the drop down box and choose your sound card from the list. Then click the configure button.

In the audio properties window the only thing you really need to change is the option called Pin Line. In the Drop down box, choose Microphone. Of course you can also use Line In, but you need to ensure you've plugged the cable into the Line In of your sound card.

So far it's pretty easy right? Believe it or not, there's not a great deal more to do.

Let's continue shall we

Just click OK and then Next.

If you've followed the tutorial so far, you should be in a window where you can choose a broadcast method. Click on the radio box next to Pull from the encoder and click on the Next button.

In the field labeled Http Port, pick a common port like 8080. You'll thank me later. Many firewalls on routers have rules already set up for port 8080 and it makes it a lot easier to configure. It also allows maximum availability to the masses due to it being a common proxy port number. Go ahead and click Next.

Next we need to configure the encoding options. Go to the drop down box and choose Multiple Bit Rates audio (CBR). In the Bit rate section, choose 19kb/s. Note: Ensure you untick all the other bit rates. The only bit rate you want ticked is 19kb/s. This bit rate should be a good compromise between quality and bandwidth consumption for streaming voice quality. If you want to stream something like music, you may want to choose a higher bit rate. MP3 audio tends to be around 128kb/s but remember the higher bit rate you use, the more upload bandwidth will be required.

For an idea of bandwidth usage, you can have roughly 40 concurrent listeners on a 1mb/s upload bandwidth using 19kb/s. This will leave you with about 250kb/s for doing other things on the internet. The more concurrent listeners you have, the more powerful CPU you'll require, but from experience, you don't need a high powered CPU. The Live Police scanner at my website has a maximum of 40 concurrent listeners on a 1.7GHz CPU with 1 gig of memory and runs beautifully. And yes, I have reached 40 concurrent users at once.

Let's continue

Click the Next button, and then click it again so we skip the Archive section.

Here we'll type in some text about the audio. When people listen to the stream using their Windows Media Player, it will scroll this information to the listener.

Once you've typed in the Display Information click the Finish button instead of the Next button. You'll get a pop up dialog box that tells you about IP blocking. Just ignore this for now and click OK.

That wasn't that hard was it. Believe it or not, we're done. Well, almost.

Windows Media Encoder only allows a maximum of 5 concurrent listeners by default, so if you want to have more than 5 you can make a small windows registry change on your PC which will allow up to 50 connections.

Warning: Changing the registry can be hazardous to your operating system if you change or delete the wrong thing. If you aren't confident doing this yourself, get someone that knows what they're doing to help you out. I can't be held responsible if you mess it up, and can't boot back into your operating system. Now, having said that, it's a very easy to make the change so you shouldn't have a problem. Follow the instructions at the end of this document, only if you want to allow more than 5 concurrent listeners. If you're happy with 5 listeners, then we're almost done.

If you've followed the tutorial up until now, you will have an audio source with a cable going from the headphone socket to the Microphone socket of your sound card in your PC. You will have your Windows Media Encoder totally configured and be raring to go. Just ensure you save the configuration on the Windows Media Encoder so you can load it at any time.

One more minor speed bump to get over and you'll be broadcasting to the world. This is the part that can be a little complicated though. I'll attempt to give you the basics you'll need to get your live broadcast up and running. We'll break this down into two parts. Configuring your firewall, and working out your IP address so you can give it out to your listeners.

Configuring your firewall

If you are using a software firewall such as Zone Alarm, it's dead simple to configure. Basically, you just run the Windows Media Encoder and click the Start Encoding button. When you do this your firewall should prompt you asking if you will allow the connections. Just choose YES to all the questions. It needs access to the Internet, as well as needs to run as a server.

If you have a hardware firewall such as one that is built into your ADSL modem/router, then it gets a little more complicated. What you need to do is go into the configuration of the modem/router, and find the section labeled Firewall. In that section you'll be able to configure firewall rules to either Allow and Deny connections. The section may be called something similar to packet filter. Consult your manual to find out exactly where you need to make the changes.

Once you've located the correct section, you'll need to configure it so that the source ports range from 0 to 65535. The destination port range should be 8080 to 8080 if you followed my tutorial. Ensure Inbound and Outbound traffic is also allowed.

Note, some modem/routers might already have port 8080 configured. If your modem/router does already have this configured, then ignore the above because it sounds like you're already configured to allow the necessary connections.

How to connect to the broadcast

The URL to give to people is mms://:8080 where is whatever your public IP address happens to be. You need to ensure it's the address your ISP gives you, since people from the Internet will be connecting to it. If you aren't sure what your IP address is, you can get your IP address by visiting a site on the internet such as As soon as the site loads, your IP address will be at the top of the page in huge print. Simply replace with the actual IP address and your done.

Ensure you don't use the brackets in the URL though. It should look like mms:// except use your IP address.

That's it. I hope your head didn't explode

The only thing left to do now is adjust your audio source levels so that the audio meter stays mainly in the green. You can experiment by connecting to the stream yourself, and by putting the mms URL above into your browser's address bar and pressing enter. Your Windows Media Player should open and try and connect to the broadcast.

Note: If you aren't able to connect to the broadcast, only play with the firewall settings, and not the encoder. Ensure you have the START ENCODING button pressed on the encoder to ensure its running. If all has gone well, you should be listening to your broadcast over the Internet. Give that URL out to your visitors.

To increase the maximum number of direct connections

1. In Registry Editor, use the tree view to navigate to the following subkey:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTSoftwareMicrosoftWindows Media ToolsEncoderMaxClientConnections

2. Edit the subkey so that it reflects the maximum number of direct connections you want to allow. The maximum possible number is 50.

Caution Incorrectly editing the registry can severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on the computer.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.
About this Author

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Top 4 Tools Tools For Free Removal of Spyware

By Dawn Smith

Spyware is one of the most notorious threats ever to have been posed to computer systems. A number of people around the world are affected and have suffered due to this threat. The solution is simply to get spyware removed from your system and as there are a number of tools for free removal of spyware, you get a lot of choice as to which software to install.

Windows Defender

First of all, you should consider Windows Defender which is a product of Microsoft. Since Windows is a product of Microsoft and Windows is the main target of spyware malcontent, Windows Defender gains an edge over almost all other anti spyware tools. This is also one of the few stand alone anti spyware tools that comes with free real time protection and free updates. It is available only to the users of Genuine Windows and you would need to make it through the WGA check to get this tool.

SpyBot: Search and Destroy

Your second option is SpyBot: Search and Destroy. Of all the free spyware removal tools, this is the one which provides the best detection rates. At the same time, it is also one of the lightest tools and cone complete the scan at a rapid pace. This is primarily because the manner in which this tool operates is different in comparison to the manner in which other anti spyware tools operate. But, when you install this software, do read its license, you would find a cute little surprise in there.

Spyware Doctor

The third option that you have is Spyware Doctor Starter Edition . This software is brought to you by Google and is a part of Google Pack. It comes with most of the features that you would get in Spyware Doctor. Incidentally Spyware Doctor is also one of the most effective commercial anti spyware tools in the market. You only get the basic features and email based support but whatever you get with this software is really good and gets the job done really well.


AdAware from Lavasoft is another remarkable option when it comes to tools for free removal of spyware. There was a time when this was the best anti spyware tools you could have. Even now it is one of the best. AdAware has both a commercial and a free version and the free version does not come with a real time scanner but save that it features every single main feature that you can get in any anti spyware tool.

Other than this there are a number of completely free as well commercial tools with free versions. You can look for alternatives but the prize winners have been discussed here. If you want your computer to be safe, you can choose any of these tools for free removal of spyware. All of them would protect your computer from spyware threats and more.
About this Author

Friday, 24 February 2012

How to Start Internet Radio - The Essentials and Platform

By Mehr Virk

Online audio streaming is the way to go in this day and age - it frees you from the limitations of traditional radio broadcasting. Here's why it's a good idea to start internet radio broadcasting:

1) It does not matter where you are situated in the world. You can reach people in Beijing from as far away as California.

2) The costs of broadcasting over the internet are lesser than traditional radio.

3) You can offer more than audio - text, images, as well as interactivity in the form chat rooms, for example.

4) There are a range of genres available to you, especially with music.


The things you will need to start internet radio broadcasting include: CD player; mixer, assorted recorder/editor; ripper; microphones; dedicated computer with encoder; digital audio card; outboard audio equipment and streaming media server.

Delivering Audio

Here are the steps involved in sharing audio over the internet.

1) With the help of a sound card, the content is provided to an encoding computer which translates it to make it suitable for streaming. The encoder works by compressing the incoming info to make it fit for passing over the internet.

2) The audio is forwarded to a server that uses a high bandwidth connection.

3) The audio is then provided to the player/plug-in by the server. The player converts it into sound.

Audio is delivered online by two methods: streaming and downloading. With streaming, the encoding system makes the audio streamable; the server makes sure that it is available and the player retrieves the file(s). In a live broadcast, both the encoder and streamer are at work at the same time.


Take your time in choosing a platform to start internet radio. There are several things to consider while selecting an audio streaming platform. Here are some things you should keep in mind:

- Number of Stations: The first thing to consider is the number of stations you want to broadcast. This may be an easy thing to do if your are just looking to create a personal station where you share your music with the world. But, it may need more thinking if you are looking to create different types of stations on a tight budget.

- Storage Space: Estimate the amount of storage space you will need.

- File Size: File size is important if you are looking to upload large-sized files. You may have to spend money on getting a plan that enables uploading of large files.

- Streaming Playlist: Do you want to buy a plan that allows playlist streaming?

- Advertising: Think about the opportunity to profit through advertising.
About this Author

Thursday, 23 February 2012

How to Download Free Virus Removal Software

By Gaurav Srivastava

The article describes the procedure for downloading free virus removal software to your computer. The methods described here are meant for normal to advanced users. However, we still advise you to follow them carefully to avoid facing problems. Doing so can save you a great amount of time.

There are various free online virus removal software available on the internet that allow users to easily remove virus or other such infections from their computer. You must have heard of a few of them and in fact want to download one for your computer. There is a possibility that you are unaware of the right procedure for downloading and running any such tool. Here is your free virus removal software guide that will tell you how to download as well as run such a program.


Since there are umpteen free online virus removal tools available online, you may first need to decide which tool to download for your computer. Once you have concluded on a tool, visit its official website and check for its latest downloadable version. You should not download the tool from a torrent website as doing so may bring a virus infection to your computer. Below we have described the procedure for downloading Anti-Malware, a free virus removal tool, from Malwarebytes. The procedure will remain the same for other tools also.

Visit Malwarebytes' official website ( Click on the Products section and choose Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free. If you want you can watch demos of the tool. Otherwise, click on the Download Now button. It will take you to another page showing specifications like the version, product ranking, and total downloads etc. The default language of the program will be English. If you want you can change the language from the drop-down arrow. When done, click on the Download Now button to initialize downloading.

Wait for the automatic prompt to come up. It will show a dialog box displaying mbam-setup- Click on the Save File button to save the file. When done, close the browser window. Look for the mbam-setup- file in My Documents or some other location and open it. By default, all the files go to the Downloads folder where these can be opened from. When prompted, hit the Run button to initialize the installation of the tool. Follow the onscreen prompts and complete the installation. When done and if prompted, reboot your computer.

Once the computer has rebooted, look for Anti-Malware's icon and open it. Highlight the Update tab and initialize updating. You must regularly update the tool and/or your antivirus software to keep viruses away from your computer. Similarly there are other tabs also like Scanner from which you can perform a full virus scan or a custom one, Quarantine, Logs, and Settings etc. You can customize your tool as desired. So, this was the complete procedure for downloading a free virus removal program. As mentioned above, all such software programs have the exact same procedure for downloading but a different one (still more or less the same) for them.

McAfee also has different free virus removal tools available on its website. These tools are virus-specific removal tools. These include McAfee Avert Stinger tool for the removal of Sasser, Bagle, Mydoom, Zafi, and Lovsan/Blaster; Bugbear Removal tool for Bugbear removal; and Klez Removal tool for Klez removal. Thus if you have any of the abovementioned virus on your computer, you can download its specific free online virus removal tool and remove the infection from your machine.
About this Author

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Why Are Laptop Repairs More Difficult?

By Jeremy A Keene

Anyone knowledgeable enough about computers would tell you that laptop repairs are much more challenging and time-consuming than the corresponding repair procedures for a desktop machine. Which can definitely sound discouraging if you've got a laptop that's suffered some damage and needs to be repaired. Why does it work like that though, and what is it that makes laptops so much more challenging to repair than desktops?

It's all about their architecture - as well as the way their devices work and are manufactured. The first problem is the dismantling process - taking apart a regular desktop computer is easy and straightforward, you just lift the cover of the box and the internals are exposed to you, ready to have you working on them. All the devices and components are conveniently laid out in front of you, making it easy to reach what you need and modify the parts that bother you. A laptop, on the other hand, has to be opened up in a very specific way - this is different for each manufacturer and model, so you can't simply know what you have to do to get yours opened up - you need to be familiar with all the unique models there are and their intricate differences in their designs.

Once you've managed to expose the laptop's internals, it gets even trickier - while a desktop computer is built pretty much like a LEGO toy, with each part coming in its own place and being detachable afterwards, a laptop is made in a more rigid way. Laptop repairs are dependent on what parts have broken down - sometimes it may turn out that it's not possible to simply replace them. For example, many laptops have their video cards not as a discrete separate device, but rather as part of the motherboard. This means that you can't simply take out the video card and replace it, you need to outright replace the motherboard itself - and with it you'll also find yourself taking out the sound card, network adapter and many other components. In the end, you may find that it costs less to buy a new laptop than to pay for a repair.

Laptop repairs are especially problematic when the display is concerned - to put it simply, having to replace that is a nightmare with most models, and you're going to get a serious sigh of frustration from any repair shop you take your machine to, no matter how much you're ready to pay. Because in most cases it won't be about the money for those people, it'll be about the hard labor involved in getting your job done.

Don't lose hope from all this though - laptop repairs are still possible given the right expertise and set of tools, so if you ever have a problem with your machine, don't be quick to start looking for a new one - instead, start looking around for the best deals on laptop repairs in your area, and comparing what different repair shops can offer you.
About this Author

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

What Can a Malware Do?

By Sanjay Sakariya

Many of my friends and students ask me the question, "What a Malware Can Do?" Or "Is it really so harmful for our computers?" I laugh at this question. They might do not have asked the question if they have faced the havoc caused by the malware. I am sharing with you the danger of a malware so that you may keep your computer safe and may enjoy hassle free computing.

The malware may it be a virus, spyware, Trojan or adware; it is much competent of capturing your sensitive information about the credit cards, your bank account information and other sensitive data stored on the hard discs of your computer. It may leave you vulnerable to phishes, cheaters and frauds. You may have to face a lot financial loss.
The malware may make expensive phone calls using your computer and you will have to pay for these call charges. It may start sending spam emails which will ruin your reputation in the online community and you will find it hard to run any online business. Sometime malware like MalwareAlarm will pop up fake security warnings to make you afraid and to keep away you from browsing the websites. These popup may demand you money to be sent to some specific company or individual.

The worst effect of malware is placing hard core porn links on your desktop. You can't keep your computer locked for your children all the time and deprive them of their favourite Webkinz. The nasty adware like zlob.PortAdvertiser may easily infect your computer and may place such links on the desktop. These porn links sometimes execute at their own leaving you helpless. You may imagine the loss. Another example of such malware is IEMonster.

The IEMonster adware may mar your browsing experience by prompting fake security warnings. It will mislead you by telling that your computer is infected and you need to buy special software to keep your computer safe. Are you ready to throw away your hard earned dollars on these scrap of software. Chances are that the same company that demands your money have created this malware to infect the computers to earn some easy money.

The pop ups by the malware much resemble the original built-in security warning box in Windows. They are created so to dupe you easily. So always be cautious before spending money on such downloads. These may not be helpful for you in anyway. They are not capable of resolving any problem and are only created to exhort money from you.

Then what should you do to keep your computer safe from such monster malware. I always suggest some authenticated popular resolution for the problem. The resolution may be in using good antivirus or good anti-malware. You should update it regularly for complete protection. Online solution is always preferred. You may find the effective online computer repair solution on Internet that may relieve the entire hassles of installing the required software, scanning your computer and removing the malware. You may continue your computing experience.
About this Author

Monday, 20 February 2012

3 Lies You Should Know To Save Money On Computer Repairs

By Hector Sommers Kleinn

The notion that what you do not know cannot hurt you is quite obsolete when it comes to having your computer repaired by a technician. In fact, it can really hurt you a lot financially if you are not aware of the common practices of computer technicians in order to rake some money into their vault. These are common practices by some technicians and their targets are often those that have little knowledge on computers. If you are one of the people who paid hundreds of dollars and waited for a month or so in order to have a computer repaired, you will learn a lot from this article.

Lie Number 1: It Takes Weeks to Repair a Computer

You have probably experienced being told by a technician that it would take 5 weeks to repair your damaged computer. The reality is that it only takes about a day at the most to repair a computer even if it has some major problems. What really happens is that your computer will be sitting on a corner on a shop, waiting for a technician to take notice of it and troubleshoot the computer to determine its problems.

What you can do to avoid this is inquire at a computer shop how long will it take them to repair your computer once you bring it to their store. Get assurance from the shop that your computer will be repaired on schedule. The time you waste waiting for your computer to be repair could cost you a lot of money especially if you are using the computer in running your business.

Lie Number 2: You Need to Update your Operating System and Applications

For an additional fee, a computer technician will usually tell you that you need to update your Operating System and your applications in order for your computer to run properly. While regularly updating your device drivers is really important in maintaining your computer's integrity, you do not really need to update your software and OS if you do not want to. What you need to do is to tell the technician that what you want is to simple restore your computer to what it was before it got damaged, nothing more and nothing less.

Lie Number 3: Your Computer Comes with a Warranty

This is not actually a lie but a misconception. When you purchase a computer in a shop, they will usually tell you that it comes with a warranty. If you are happy with that and you swiped your credit card and excitedly went home to assemble your brand new computer, you are in for trouble. There are many types of warranty coverage, some allow parts and services for a certain period of time and some only offer parts or services. You may be surprised when you bring in your computer for repairs at the shop where you bought it and told that the warranty does not cover repairs or that it was only valid for 2 weeks. Make sure to read and understand the warranty coverage when purchasing a computer in order to avoid this.
About this Author