Starseed Radio is Rebuilt and Alive Again!

Published on 12 February 2024 at 03:02

Starseed Radio is back in business, with an all new & improved self-hosted platform dedicated to streaming to you the finest high quality sound possible.

What a journey the past 4 years have been, and the whole concept and practice of DJ'ing in an online virtual world has a been a great learning experience!  You never stop learning something new.  It's been a blast and very exciting, but not without it's low-points and outright frustration.  I learned a lot about DJ'ing and clubs in IMVU, the good, the bad, and the ugly,  ...and not just about the music, tech, and the creative part.

I learned about the social aspects of it as well:  It's a great way to get friends together and have a great time.  But then there's popularity, status, egos, fake-friends, backstabbing, club politics and other things that are just not worth experiencing again nor worth anyone's time.

...but I also learned a lot about online teamwork, collaboration and making something "happen".  I learned about the amount of "time", "commitment" and the "work" it takes to get to the end result of accomplishing something great and that people could later reminice, talk and smile about.

 

I learned all about how to use DJ broadcasting software, finding music and creating music playlists, ...and about finding and setting up radio stations on "3rd-party hosted" platforms along with all their pitfalls, limitations, and problems.  I learned all about clubs and club-chains in IMVU, DJ'ing in Sansar, about all the "technical" aspects and issues of streaming decent audio, and the legalities of music licensing.

Thanks to the encouragement of the great Shawn Potter a.k.a. "DJ Spotter" (HEB - High Energy Beats), I even embarked on video-stream DJ'ing to MixcloudNote:  I want to give Shawn and Brandigurl a big "shoutout" here.  I still think even now, DJ Spotter (a real-life DJ) is the best DJ I've ever heard and seen in IMVU, one of the very few that do any live video-stream DJ'ing, and the finest loud & clean audio I've witnessed in an online audio-stream.

DJ'ing in IMVU is nothing new.  There have been advanced Trigger DJ troops since IMVU's inception in 2004, and online radio DJ's for about just as long.  Check out this video made by Shawn in 2012 and featuring another great DJ, DJ GenaSF.....

 

.....pay attention to the sound quality.....

It's fantastic!!

 

You have to ask yourself ...where is this kind of fidelity today, 12 years later?  I haven't really heard it with the majority of DJ's.


 

Like I said, it's been 4 great years of IMVU for me, and three great years of DJ'ing.  So you're probably wondering.....

"Okay, ...so what happened Jesse?"....

~ BURN-OUT ~

 

Ok, I can't blame it all on that, but it was definitely a part of it.  I did get really busy in real life over the past year with my daytime work and my responsibilities at the studio at night where I hang.  ...but the biggest issue was outside of all this.  I'm not as young as a lot of people think I am.  I'm getting older.  My health has deteriorated, and I've been dealing with my own issues, my past, my current situation, an uncertain future, and my outlook on life in general.

I went into depression for the most part, and when that happens, I isolate and put up a brick-wall.  I had to stop for awhile and clear my head and make time to re-evaluate who I was, the state of the world I'm in and experiencing, where I'm going, and what I'm doing ...with the small amount of time I have probably have left in this world, and (more importantly) ...afterwards. 


Thankfully, I've had quite a long time to work things out and honestly evaluate things, and how to proceed going forward.

Thank you to those who were patient with me as a friend, and also to those who helped me out of a really bad time.


Most who know me ...know I was formerly a huge proponent of the Zeno.fm platform, ...that is, until their platform had a glitch during their big upgrade in 2022 and permanently messed-up my account preventing me from being able to connect to live stream.  Making a new account didn't help either, something to do with my IP, and they were to busy and ignored all my help tickets.  It was about that time that Zeno starting implementing unwanted "commercials" into everyone's streams, ...not good when your doing a show and a live-stream.  When I didn't get anywhere, I finally gave-up and reverted back to using Caster.fm, which I really didn't want to do.

Now Caster has been ok for me for years, and I'm sure Caster is fine for the majority, but the lack of audio quality and the limit of 128kbps MP3 really itsn't very good.  MP3  is an old outdated and very 'compressed' codec, and that compression kills fidelity.  If your song-file is not recorded at, and you're not streaming at ..."at least" 192kbps MP3 or an alternate codec format, you're going to notice the difference.  So what are the options?

  • ...find some other free platform
  • ...upgrade and pay $30 or more per month
  • or, ...in frustration, do what I did.  Build my own radio station platform.

 

...as with everything, nothing ever stays the same, and everything we know about and use is in constant transition, especially when it comes to tech and the internet of things.

The first trend I've seen is the move "away" from the MP3 format to other formats.  Ogg Vorbis, AAC, improved MPEG4A and now we are starting to see many platforms and software adopting the new "Ogg OPUS" (CELT) format at 48k (...a long time in coming) featuring superior fidelity streaming over lower kbps.  Even MIXXX DJ software incorporates Ogg Opus now as a streaming format in their encoder (Yay Mixxx!).  Apple just needs to get their crap together and get their iOS products up-to-speed to be able to use & receive Ogg & Opus formats.

Deciding to install and configure a radio station server is not for the faint of heart.  It took months to figure things out the right way and make everything "secure", but the combination of Azuracast combined with Thimeo Stereo Tool, ...those two things Alone, ...is a major "Game Changer".


Hey, ...but this is an adventure.  It's supposed to be fun and challenging!  I really and truly do love being a DJ, ...especially the entertainment aspect of it.  To me DJ'ing is a show, and when I'm on-the-air, I want to engage and entertain people, "wow" them, make them happy and smile, and give them something to remember.

 

Anyway, I decided to build back slowly, taking my time, working things out, doing things right.  My next goal is to come back online more often and spend time with friends, do DJ'ing when I'm able, and hopefully, maybe I can work on helping other DJ friends in doing what I did here or just following the same path I'm taking.

 

If anyone is interested in how I did what I did in building this Azuracast station, please contact me for more details.  I've already done the hard part figuring everything out.  There are costs involved, from basic which is good for most people ($12.75 a month for Linux cloud server hosting and roughly $20 a year for a domain name URL) all the way to the best ($30 a month hosting, roughly $90 a year for website hosting, and one-time cost of $150 to $300 for Thimeo audio-processing tools).  If time permits, I may even post a tutorial on the options, what you need, and how to do it.  In the meantime, if you want to check things out in depth or actually get started on making your own Azuracast server, please check out this article I wrote on the "Virtual DJ" Community Forum:

https://www.virtualdj.com/forums:  Azuracast - The Ultimate Way to Set Up Your Own Radio Station Platform

 

The implementation of this new station was a long-time goal, and I'm happy to finally be done with this.

 

🎛️🎚️  I hope you enjoy the new Starseed Radio.  🎧🎙️