Improve audio quality

If your users are experiencing poor quality audio of streamed services, there are several things to try.

1. Disable Audio Enhancements

Some PCs have audio enhancement options turned on by default in their sound card settings. These can cause problems with streaming quality.

To disable audio enhancements:

This will vary slightly depending on operating system and sound card, but here's the basic procedure:

  1. 1.   Right-click on the speaker icon in the notification area next to the Date/Time -> Recording Devices
  2. 2.   Click on line in -> Properties
  3. 3.   Click on enhancements tab -> check Disable All Enhancements

See how this is done: http://screencast.com/t/KCj9JVxmW

2. Test your Internet connection upload speed. 

If you are still having streaming quality issues or stops and starts, next go to: http://speakeasy.net/speedtestand do multiple tests of the Internet speed at the church. Focus on the upload speeds, as those are what matter here. If you are not consistently getting a minimum of 512kbps upload, streaming performance will suffer. 

If faster service is available in your area, we encourage you to upgrade. If that is not an option, there are a couple things to try. Read on.

3. Increase the bitrate
Bitrate refers to the amount of data processed in a given period of time. The higher the bit rate, the more bandwidth required. Our default AC Central installation setting is 128kbps. If the audio sounds very compressed or digitized, you can try a higher setting IF your church’s Internet upload speed can support it. 

To change your bitrate:

In the Shoutcast Source DSP window in Winamp, select “Encoder Settings” and choose a lower speed from the dropdown menu.

4. Change Encoder Type

Our default AC Central installation sets your encoder to MP3. Another option is AAC, which has been shown to give better results with lower speed connections.

To change to AAC:

In the Shoutcast Source DSP window in Winamp, select “Encoder Type” and choose “AAC Encoder” from the dropdown menu. (Depending on your version of Winamp it may be titled slightly differently.)

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