Once upon a time, Web sites such as Live365 allowed you to build your own radio station and stream your musical selections across the Internet. It was awesome, and it was free.
Then came Metallica, the RIAA, and Web sites realizing that in order to make money, they needed to charge for Web radio-station services. It was not awesome, and a little part of me died.
But now, thanks to Google Talk and a $1.67 headphone cable, building and streaming your own almost-free radio station is back. You can relive the glory days of subjecting Web-connected friends to your music library at volume level 11. You can even one-up Live365 by taking live requests.
To start your VoIP DJ career, perform the following simple hack:
- Purchase a male-to-male speaker/headphone cable. It should have a 1/8-inch mini headphone jack on each end.
- Plug one end into the mic-in port on your computer.
- Plug the other end into your computer's headphone port. If you want to listen to music as you play it for your listeners (recommended), use a headphone splitter. Jack your headphones into one port of the headphone splitter, the male-to-male cable into the other port, and plug the splitter into your headphone port.
- Launch iTunes (or any other audio player) and start playing songs.
- Call up your friends over Google Talk. They'll hear whatever you're playing with surprisingly good sound quality.
You can also stream music directly from your MP3 player or stereo. Just plug one end of the male-to-male speaker/headphone cable into the headphone port of your player or stereo instead of your computer's headphone port.
A big thanks goes out to Baltimore's own Brian Kulak. He inspired this miniproject by placing his 1989 Koss PortaPro headphones next to his laptop's condenser mic to bump jams from coast to coast.