For audio to be sent digitally, it needs to be encoded first. This process happens within your encoder, a piece of software or hardware that takes in an audio feed, converts it into digital data (usually in the form of an mp3 or aac stream) and sends it to your mount point. This data is then decoded back into audio by whatever device connects to your stream (provided the device can read the data type).

An encoder requires a stable internet connection and audio feed to successfully send a stream. 

Encoder Options


If you're setting up a stream on a budget, there are a number of free software encoders that are great for getting you started, including B.U.T.T. and Altacast. There are also some great-value encoders like Rocket Broadcaster that gives you some premium features for a reasonable price.


If looking for a premium software option, we recommend Omnia's Z/IPstream X/2 which is capable of streaming multiple audio sources to multiple mount points and gives you audio-processing options such as compression and EQ. 

Remember, using software encoders will require a means of inputting stereo audio into your computer. A professional audio soundcard (or audio interface) is the best way of ensuring this.

Alternatively, you can stream from a standalone hardware encoder. To register interest in SharpStream's Caster product, a portable, lightweight device which can provide up to 320kbps mp3 streaming and recording, get in touch.