SAM Broadcaster is a popular Internet broadcasting software. Itâ€™s pretty popular and has a lot of integrated functions for a â€œprofessionalâ€ feel. Winamp is a simple, easy to use music player that you can use to DJ with the Shoutcast plug-in. Also, the makers of Winamp, created Shoutcast. The problem with Winamp, is while it is free, it doesnâ€™t include many of the features in SAM Broadcaster natively, you need to use plug-ins and get very creative. It is deemed the â€œunprofessionalâ€ option, but youâ€™re highly mistaken. If youâ€™re familiar with both programs you will understand the dilemma, pay for SAM Broadcaster or stick with the free Winamp? The answer really comes down to your preference in audio format.
A lot of the features that are lacking in SAM Broadcaster can be replicated in Winamp (with some ingenuity). The real major difference between the two pieces of software is their support for audio files. Winamp natively supports AAC+, SAM Broadcaster doesnâ€™t. They both support Vorbis OGG (which is an open source file format), but AAC+ is a superior sound quality especially at lower bitrates. While the SAM Broadcaster 4 does support AAC+ encoding, it does not support AAC+ decoding (in laymanâ€™s terms, it can broadcast in AAC+ format, but cannot play AAC+ files). So, what do you do?
Iâ€™ve become very dedicated to AAC+, mainly because I also mix with a pair of Denonâ€™s; AAC+ is a great format to transfer onto CDâ€™s to mix with. In this case Winamp really shines over SAM Broadcaster, the lack of AAC+ playback has been well documented and is a quite annoying missing feature. Although the makers of SAM Broadcaster have indicated that they will include this feature in the future, for free, almost a year has passed ant there has been no word. AAC+ provides a much better quality compared to MP3â€™s at the same bitrates. AAC+ is also easier to handle especially if someone is using iTunes. You can still be a great, successful online DJ using just Winamp but it will require some ingenuity. Spatial Audioâ€™s lack of tackling a feature that has been highly requested (AAC+ playback) is unfortunate but it also displays its priorities. Of course, this all means nothing is youâ€™re still primarily using mp3â€™s, but then the real question here is why havenâ€™t you switched to another format?