After its release in 2006, I’ve decided to upgrade to Windows Vista. While I enjoy the operating system, there are some incompatibilities with my favored method of DJing, which is by using Winamp and the Shoutcast DSP. The Vista soundcard settings are completely different from the previous Microsoft operating systems thus breaking the functionality of performing voice overs. While you are still able to select “What You Can Hear” as an option, the Shoutcast DPS is unable to manipulate the microphone levels, although it can be manually operated through the sound control panel. While this issue is not particularly new, there are very few alternative to rectify this problem. The Shoucast DSP was last updated well into the height of Windows XP usage and is not regularly updated. The only alternative is to use a series of work around’s until until updates to either Vista or the Shoutcast DSP make this feature compatible.
The best option is to use Winamp and Shoutcast as usual but to turn off the microphone when music is playing. To do this, go to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Manage Sound Devices. Under the recording tab ensure what you can hear is selected. Under the playback tab, select speakers then click on the properties button. With the Sound Properties window open, select the levels tab, and then turn up your microphone level to your desired level. With this method your microphone is always on unless you manually switch off your microphone. Under Vista, the Shoutcast DSP still has the ability to the volume of Winamp, allowing you to fake the functionality as it previously operated. This additional task can be annoying, if not problematic, it is the best solution if you are unwilling to move away from the Winamp, Shoutcast method of DJing.
Other options require you to spend some money. The best next alternative is to begin using (and purchase) SAM Broadcaster. If you are in my position and dedicated to a file format, this switch may be harder than you with, SAM Broadcaster is incompatible with some file formats, namely ACC+ or any .m4a files. While I have not tested SAM Broadcaster with Vista, reports indicate the users of the software prior to version 4.3.4 may experience some problems with the new OS, I highly recommend an update. Your last alternative to performing voiceovers is purchasing a Mac and it’s popular streaming software.
While those who wish to perform voiceovers must work around Vista’s changes, those who use mixers, an external audio source, or are only playing mp3’s do not have to worry about making adjustments to their configurations. The Shoutcast DSP works properly when using Winamp as it’s source of music, and users of Oddcast, Icecast, or B.U.T.T. are largely unaffected by these changes.