Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

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Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby hozedhead » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:32 pm

I wrote directions in another thread about how to stream Spotify to the Roku, and after several other developments I found it's possible to stream all audio from my PC from any application or website, so I thought I would try to make an illustrated tutorial. For me, this method is really nice because I have a lot of music on my computer that isn't encoded in MP3 format, and there are websites that stream music that isn't in MP3 or for which there is no Roku Channel. This tutorial is for Windows XP and assumes that your PC is on the same network as your Roku. It also works with Windows 7.

I should note that there are links in this tutorial that are highlighted in purple (like "another thread" above). On my browser clicking on the link would take me to another thread or site and I would have to click the back arrow to get back here. If I right click on the link and select "open link in new tab" then I don't lose my place here. Also, the ip examples are not links but this board makes them look like links. I don't know how to prevent that.

The first part will show you how to set up the Roku channel. So, here it goes:

1. Add this channel to your Roku.

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2. Enter and exit the channel store on your Roku to update your channel menu.
3. Find out your computer's ip address. Open a command prompt by invoking the start menu, select Run, then type cmd and press enter. The command prompt will appear. Type ipconfig and press enter. You will see something like this:

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The computer's IP address is circled. Make a note of yours. Type exit and press enter to close the command prompt.
4. Start the Streaming Audio Player channel on your Roku.
5. Click [RT] (the right arrow, >) once then click SELECT (I have the old remote, yours might say OK instead). You will see the current settings.

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Click SELECT again to Change Stream URL.

6. Click [RT] once then click SELECT on the selection that says http://192.168.0.100:8080/mp3 below it.

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Use the onscreen keyboard to change the 192.168.0.100 in the URL to your computer's IP address (if needed). Do not change anything else. When you are done it should read: http://yourcomputerip:8080/mp3 (substitute the actual ip address for yourcomputerip). At the bottom of the screen click SELECT on all 3 selections in order: Update URL, Set as default, and Done.

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Last edited by hozedhead on Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:43 am, edited 24 times in total.
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku

Postby hozedhead » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:14 pm

This section is the tricky part. If your computer's audio output has Stereo Mix enabled, you're in business. If not there are things you can do to enable it or you can use another method which I will describe.

1.Open your computer's audio control panel. You should be able to find it by invoking the start menu, then going to Settings->Control Panel.
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2. Click on Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices
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3. Click on Sounds and Audio Devices.
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4. On the Volume tab, click on Advanced in the Device Volume section.
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5. On the Volume Control window check the Mute box under Input Monitor then click on Options -> Properties
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6. On the Properties window check the radio button next to Recording then make sure the check box next to Stereo Mix is checked. Click OK
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7. On the Recording Control window, check the Select box below Stereo Mix. Close all Control Panel windows.
Occasionally my computer unchecks the Stereo Mix Select box and checks Microphone instead without my having done anything. If you're having trouble streaming you may want to check that Stereo Mix is still selected on your computer.

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8. If Stereo Mix is not enabled on your computer, read this post to get some ideas about how to enable it.
9. Another option is to get a stereo audio cable and run it from the speaker or headphone output on the computer to the microphone or line-in input.
Last edited by hozedhead on Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:32 am, edited 11 times in total.
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku

Postby hozedhead » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:54 pm

This section will show you how to set up VLC to capture your computer's audio output to stream to the Roku.
Edit: as of 6/2014 the VLC GUI has changed slightly, check page 3 of this thread when you get to step 6 for a post i wrote about the newest GUI

1. Download and install VLC. Then run VLC.
2. Click on Media -> Open Capture Device or type Ctrl-C

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3. You will see a screen like this. In the Device Selection section, select your computer's audio device. Mine is IDT Audio1. If Stereo Mix is an option, choose that instead. Select None for video device
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4. At the bottom of the Capture Device tab, click on the down arrow next to Play and select Stream.
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5. In the Stream Output Source dialog click on Next
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6. In the Destinations dialog, select Audio - MP3 profile in Transcoding Options and HTTP in Destinations then click Add.
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7. In the next dialog, type mp3 at the end of the Path field and click Stream.
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It should now say Streaming at the top and bottom of your VLC window.
Last edited by hozedhead on Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:47 am, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku

Postby hozedhead » Sat Oct 22, 2011 4:10 pm

Now that VLC is streaming your audio output, you can start Spotify or Foobar or iTunes or any website that plays music like Grooveshark and start playing music.
Then, click SELECT on Stream Audio on the Roku Streaming Audio Player channel then SELECT again on Start (not pictured) and you will hear the music in a few seconds.

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If you have external speakers on your computer you will have to turn them off or unplug them as the stream will not be in sync with your computer's audio. If you have internal speakers you can plug a headset in to mute the speakers.
Last edited by hozedhead on Sun Jun 08, 2014 9:46 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku

Postby belltown » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:35 pm

A few other points worth noting about this setup:

1. On the VLC Open Media screen, the one where you enter the Audio device name, I would recommend also setting the Video device name to 'None'. I found that unless I did that I got an error when I tried streaming audio as VLC was also trying to access my default video device, even though it was only streaming audio.
2. On the VLC Stream Output screen, the one where you specify the HTTP stream and Audio - MP3 profile, immediately to the right of the "Audio - MP3" dropdown box is a settings icon. If you click on that then click on the Audio codec tab, you can specify the MP3 bitrate, and set it something higher that the current default, e.g., "320". VLC will store this as its new default. Also, make sure the "Keep original audio track" checkbox on this screen is NOT checked.
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku

Postby hozedhead » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:54 pm

Thanks belltown, I have updated the tutorial to include the video capture part.

I also must acknowledge belltown for making the channel and helping me with the VLC solution and providing the screen shots of the Streaming Audio Player channel. Without belltown there would be no tutorial.
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby hozedhead » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:11 am

Optional step to illustrate belltown's suggestion to increase the bitrate in the MP3 profile. This can be done before step 7 in the VLC setup and only needs to be done once:

1. Click the settings icon next to the MP3 profile selection.
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2. Click on the Audio codec tab in the next dialog.
3. Adjust the bitrate to 320 or whatever you choose.
4. Click Save.

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The thinking behind this suggestion is rooted in the fact that MP3 is a lossy codec, meaning some of the information from the original recording is lost when converted to MP3. Therefore, using a higher bitrate loses less of the original than a lower bitrate. This probably doesn't make a difference in a lot of online audio streams, since they are already converted to a low bitrate to enable online streaming. But if you are playing lossless files like FLAC on your computer with Foobar, for instance, the loss from conversion to MP3 is mitigated with a higher bitrate stream. Roku currently doesn't support lossless audio streaming, so MP3 is better than nothing.
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby hozedhead » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:22 pm

Thanks to belltown we can reduce the steps by using a batch file to execute VLC and start the streaming process. Copy this code on to Notepad:
Code: Select all
vlc.exe -I qt --ttl 12 dshow:// :dshow-vdev="none" :dshow-adev="IDT Audio1" :dshow-caching=200 :sout=#transcode{vcodec=none,acodec=mp3,ab=320,channels=2,samplerate=44100}:http{mux=raw,dst=:8080/mp3} :no-sout-rtp-sap :no-sout-standard-sap :ttl=1 :sout-keep

Substitute IDT Audio1 with the name of your audio device as it appears in VLC then save it as a file with the .bat file extension (type = all files). Put the file in the same directory where VLC.exe resides. Then add a shortcut to your desktop. All you have to do is double click on the shortcut to start the VLC streaming process.
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby kc8pql » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:02 pm

It never ceases to amaze me what people are able to make this little box do. :D
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby crassh76 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:52 pm

I am not a techie by any means but I had this up and running within a half hour. I installed it on my lap top but every time I closed it the music stopped on my Roku (I know there is a way around this but it is getting late). I have a feeling I should have installed it on my tower instead since it is on all the time for our magic jack. I do have to say it works great. I can now play my play list from my Napster Lite account (which I could never do before on my Roku) through the Roku on my receiver! I have 4 Rokus in my house and I had it playing on 2 at once just to test it and they were in sync. Thank you hozedhead for the illustrated tutorial! :D :D :D
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby hozedhead » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:27 pm

I am glad I can help. Thank belltown because he figured it out before I did
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby crassh76 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:13 pm

hozedhead wrote:I am glad I can help. Thank belltown because he figured it out before I did

Thank you too belltown!
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby mauiman » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:02 pm

I did this step by step and all I get is white noise through the Roku.
It streams from the computer, but not music.
I used Grooveshark as the streaming site.
Any idea's what's wrong?
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby gonzotek » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:23 pm

mauiman wrote:I did this step by step and all I get is white noise through the Roku.
It streams from the computer, but not music.
I used Grooveshark as the streaming site.
Any idea's what's wrong?
That sounds like either the wrong audio recording input is being used, or that the sound card/driver you're using doesn't support the stereo mix option. See this post: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=41237&start=15#p300066
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Re: Stream PC Audio to Roku - Illustrated Tutorial

Postby belltown » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:57 pm

mauiman wrote:I did this step by step and all I get is white noise through the Roku.
It streams from the computer, but not music.
I used Grooveshark as the streaming site.
Any idea's what's wrong?


If you're running Windows (this is for WIndows 7, not sure about XP):

Start>Control Panel>Sound>Recording>right-click Stereo Mix>Properties>Listen>make sure the "Listen to this device" box is NOT checked.
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