Webcast Clients and Media Players

Webcast Clients and Media Players

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If you want to listen to internet radio or watch online TV, you will need several clients and players installed on your computer; the good news is that all of them are free (gratis).

According to our experience and using as reference our database, composed by 10,000 records (Only TV channels and radio stations), we don't add to worldtvradio's database: short movies, musical videos, you tube content, etc, in other words, our database is nowadays the biggest and most complete reference of webcast channels on internet. (thanks ;-)

Back to our theme; Even though there are dozens of Media players and webcast clients available, there are four that can cover almost every codec and compression format used by webcasters and content producers:

We have ordered by popularity not by personal preferences:

1. Microsoft Windows Media

Used by almost 70% of webcasters, it's part of Windows Operating Systems, WM is included and updated automatically by Windows installers and Windows update tool.

Current Version: 11

You can use Windows Media Player to play digital media content that is streamed from the Internet. To ensure that a Windows Media server can establish the optimal connection to the Player depending upon its environment, the Player is configured to receive streams automatically from any of the following streaming protocols: User Datagram Protocol (UDP), Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The Player can also receive a multicast stream. UDP and TCP are basic networking protocols that are used in combination with the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) protocol, which manage the high-level exchange of data.

Pros: You can use Windows Media Player to find and play digital media files that are on your computer, play CDs and DVDs, and play digital media streams from the Internet. In addition, you can rip music from audio CDs, burn CDs of your favorite music, sync digital media files to portable devices, and find and purchase digital media content on the Internet through online stores.

Supported File Extensions and Formats:

  • asf / asx / wpl / wm / wmx / wmd / wmz (Windows Media Files)
  • wma / wax (Windows Media Audio File)
  • wmv / wvx (Windows Media Video File)
  • DVD Video
  • cda (Music CD Playback)
  • avi
  • wav (Windows Audio File)
  • mpeg / mpg / mpe / m1v / m2v / mod / mp2 / mpv2 / mp2v / mpa (MPEG Movie Files)
  • mp3 / m3u (MP3 Audio format)
  • midi / mid / rmi (MIDI Files)
  • aif / aifc / aiff (AIFF Audio Files)

Note:

Even though WMP is compatible wth MP3 formats and can manage m3u extensions, in the practice it fails playing webcast encoded using ShoutCast (not always, but chances are that you'll receive a file format error)

Download Link:

Latest version of Windows Media Player

Beyond

2. Real One Player

Used by 15% of webcasters, and Produced by Real Networks™, it comes in two versions, basic available free of charge and a Premium Edition with a monthly suscription fee that unlock access to exclusive content, including movies, videos, news, music, radios stations, etc

Real Player is a media player, created by Real Networks™, that plays several multimedia formats including MP3, MPEG-4, QuickTime, and Windows Media formats as well as multiple versions of proprietary technology in media compression (Real Audio and Real Video). Real Player also, allows to burn and rip CDs ,buy and download music with support to more than 100 portable devices, including the Apple iPod.

Current Version: 11 ( Beta)

Pros: Real Player is known for its ability to play a wide range of video and audio formats and support for many video codecs, such as: MP3, MPEG-4, QuickTime, and Windows Media formats as well as multiple versions of proprietary RealAudio and RealVideo codecs. RealPlayer is multiplatform; its current version is avaliable for: Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Unix, mobile phones, portable devices, DVD players and several gaming consoles.

Supported File Extensions and Formats:

  • mp3 (MP3 Audio)
  • m3u (MP3 Audio Playlist)
  • Real Player Legacy audio CD
  • cda (Audio CD)
  • Real Player Legacy DVD
  • wav (Wav audio)
  • mpg / mpeg / mpv (MPEG Video)
  • mps / m2v / m1v / mpe (MPEG Media files)
  • mpa (MPA Media)
  • avi (AVI Video)
  • mp4 / m4e (MPEG4 Video and udio files)
  • rt (Real Text)
  • ra (Real Audio)
  • rm (Real Audio and Real Video)
  • rmvb (Real Audio/video VBR)
  • rp (Real PIX)
  • rv (Real Video)
  • wma (Windows Media audio Track)
  • wax ( Windows Media Audio Shortcut)
  • asx / asf (Windows Media Audio Files)
  • wm (Windows Media Video File)
  • wmx / wvx (Windows Media audio Video Shortcut)
  • mov / qt (Quick Time Movie)
  • aac / m4a / m4p (AAC Audio)
  • mp2 / mp1 / mpga (Audio formats)
  • pls / xpl (Audio playlist)
  • smi / smil (SMIL Multimedia Presentation)
  • Real-time streaming Protocol
  • ssm (Streaming Media Protocol)
  • sdp (Scalable Multicast)
  • au (AU Audio)
  • divx (DIVX Video)

Note:

Real Player will use Winamp codecs after you install Winamp, compatibility remains even after it is unistalled

Download Link:

Get Real Player Version 11 here

Beyond

3. Winamp

Used widely by its easy to use-modify interface, along with many freatures only available on commercial players and jukeboxes. Winamp is, among the multimedia software, a heavy weight, it's fully integrated with SHOUTcast to produce low cost and high sound quality internet radio.

Since its source code is freely available advanced users can adpapt it to fit their particular requirements, this also help to have hundreds of developers working in new features, skins and plug-ins.

Winamp, a Nullsoft product, is used as client for many stream servers such as SHOUTcast and Icecast. Integrating in one software the capacity to stream media on internet and, at the same time it's able to play those files in an end user environment.

Current Version: 5.5 (10th Anniversary Edition)

Pros: There are many to mention, we can start with a nice and fully configurable interface, an impressive collection of plugins, support to most compression formats, several proprietary high quality formats in both audio and video files, prefered by several webcast servers as an optimal and balanced client, many also include plugins to offer full support and control over the broadcast quality and speed from Winamp environment.

Supported File Extensions and Formats:

  • mp3 (MP3 Audio)
  • m3u (MP3 Audio Playlist)
  • Real Player Legacy audio CD
  • cda (Audio CD)
  • Real Player Legacy DVD
  • wav (Wav audio)
  • mpg / mpeg / mpv (MPEG Video)
  • mps / m2v / m1v / mpe (MPEG Media files)
  • mpa (MPA Media)
  • avi (AVI Video)
  • mp4 / m4e (MPEG4 Video and udio files)
  • rt (Real Text)
  • ra (Real Audio)
  • rm (Real Audio and Real Video)
  • rmvb (Real Audio/video VBR)
  • rp (Real PIX)
  • rv (Real Video)
  • wma (Windows Media audio Track)
  • wax ( Windows Media Audio Shortcut)
  • asx / asf (Windows Media Audio Files)
  • wm (Windows Media Video File)
  • wmx / wvx (Windows Media audio Video Shortcut)
  • mov / qt (Quick Time Movie)
  • aac / m4a / m4p (AAC Audio)
  • mp2 / mp1 / mpga (Audio formats)
  • pls / xpl (Audio playlist)
  • smi / smil (SMIL Multimedia Presentation)
  • Real-time streaming Protocol
  • ssm (Streaming Media Protocol)
  • sdp (Scalable Multicast)
  • au (AU Audio)
  • divx (DIVX Video)
  • it (Impulse Tracker is a multi-track digital sound tracker - music sequencer)
  • Mod (Music Format)
  • NST (Music module)
  • STM (Stream Tracker Module)
  • AIFF (Audio Interchange Format File)
  • NSV (Nullsoft Streaming Video)
  • KAR (Music format - Karaoke)
  • OGG (Ogg multimedia container format)
  • NSA (Nullsoft Streaming Audio)
  • 669 (Music 8 Channels)

And many more.

Download Link:

Get Winamp Version 5.5 10th Anniversry Edition here

Beyond

3. Quicktime

This Apple™ "toy", uses the latest video compression technology to offer the best experience available nowadays.

Quicktime is a free easy to use multimedia player that supports H264 codec (part of the MPEG4 standard),it is used by broadcasters to offer a better image quality using a fraction of the bandwidth. Compared to other compression formats, we can say that H264 uses half to a third of the data rate with and up to 4 times the frame size of MPEG-4 Part 2 at the same data rate; in fact, H264 is included in many state of the art DVD and Blue Ray players, that offer high Definition format.

In other words, Quicktime popularity is growing at sky rocket speed, Apple website certify more than 10 millions of downloads monthly, we are sure that in the near future Quicktime bundle (Quicktime Player, Quicktime Broadcaster and the Streaming Server) will take a big piece of the Internet broadcasting cake.

Supported File Extensions and Formats:

  • SDP (Stream Descriptor)
  • RTSP (Stream descriptor)
  • Quicktime Movie
  • AVI Video for Windows
  • FLC Autodesk animator
  • DV Digital video
  • WAV Wave audio
  • AIFF Audio Format
  • ULAw/AU Audio file
  • GSM
  • AMR
  • AAC
  • CAF
  • 3GPP / 3GPP2 / SD Video / AMC
  • ACC/ MP3 / M3U

Download Link:

Beyond