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Turold

Streaming music from Internet

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I'm considering implementing in my engine support for streaming music from net, like Winamp does. I have several questions: 1. Is this hard to do? 2. Is it legal to use music streams in a commercial game? It will explicit. User will be able to set his favorite streams etc. Why this feauture would be better than simply running Winamp? 1. It is possible to synchronize music with events in game. For ex. switching streams for different game modes, when level changes, when user is in main menu etc. 2. It is much more convenient to control volume from one place. Apart from streaming I will implement playing custom mp3 and ogg files. Btw, if I use mp3 decoding lib, do I have to pay a licence fee for implementing mp3 support, assuming my audio files will be in ogg format?

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Quote:

1. Is this hard to do?
2. Is it legal to use music streams in a commercial game? It will explicit. User will be able to set his favorite streams etc.



1.) Not necessarily. ShoutCast and HTTP are both used for stream and well documented on the internet. The coding might be hard depending on your experience.

2.) It's not illegal to write and use a program that can receive and play an unprotected stream. I am not sure if it would be legal or not to use it in a commercial game.

Quote:
Why this feauture would be better than simply running Winamp?


1.) If the user selects streams for each event, sure. If you want to actually to pick a song in the streams play list, it's probably not. License fees go up significantly for interactive streams.

2.) I would thinks so.


Quote:

Apart from streaming I will implement playing custom mp3 and ogg files. Btw, if I use mp3 decoding lib, do I have to pay a licence fee for implementing mp3 support, assuming my audio files will be in ogg format?


Depends, you may have to pay for using MP3 support in a product. You can see the current rates at http://www.mp3licensing.com. To use MP3 support in a game is $2,500 per title if you ship 5,000 or more copies of your game. The Ogg container format an the Vorbis codec on the other hand are entirely free under the LGPL. I am not sure what the patent status is of libraries like LAME etc.

[Edited by - prh99 on July 16, 2008 6:06:56 PM]

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ShoutCast looks promising, however they seem to want you to use Winamp exclusively for listening. I can't find any kind of developer support. Any links pls?

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Quote:
Original post by Turold
ShoutCast looks promising, however they seem to want you to use Winamp exclusively for listening. I can't find any kind of developer support. Any links pls?


AOL has added a bit to allow Winamp to get the channel listings inside the app, however the basic streaming protocol is pretty much unchanged. The request to get the channel list information is a standard HTTP request that returns a gzipped XML document. It contains station name, URL, and bit rate etc. You'll have to use packet capture (see WireShark below) to get the address since I don't have it handy.

http://forums.radiotoolbox.com/viewtopic.php?t=74
http://www.smackfu.com/stuff/programming/shoutcast.html

You can also watch your copy of Winamp's interaction by using a packet capture program like Wireshark (formerly Ethereal).

There is an open source equivlanet of ShoutCast called IceCast.

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