Should I Use IceCast or Shoutcast for Open Source Streaming?

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Thanks to the decreasing cost of network access and improvements in network bandwidth, the concept of storing video and audio content on servers and streaming it in real time via transcoding has become more common than ever before. This approach has a variety of benefits including allowing users to begin immediately playing the media without having to download the entire file to their local device.

There are open source streaming server software which can help individuals and businesses configure their own audio streaming services for personal and business use. Two of these popular linux media server software are Shoutcast and Icecast for audio streaming

In this article, we'll provide an overview of Shoutcast vs. Icecast so you can determine which tool may be best for your needs.

See Also: Plex System Requirements

What is Shoutcast?

Shoutcast logo

Shoutcast is an open-source audio streaming software first developed in 1999. It is used by radio stations and audio broadcasters worldwide to stream music to a variety of devices including desktop, mobile, and smart home devices. 

Shoutcast is fully customizable and server operators can configure the server to use the codec of their choosing or create an automated playlist and schedule of content. 

How Much Does Shoutcast Hosting Cost?

The Shoutcast Server software itself has a free and a paid version. The free version of Shoutcast Radio has limited features such as MP3 only streaming, and the paid version is $9.90/server/month.

Here are a few recommended servers for use with Shoutcast:

Basic

A simple server capable of streaming to several hundred users.

$

30.00

/mo

  • 2 vCores
  • 3.4GHz processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 120GB SSD
  • 50GB Cloud Backup
ENTERPRISE

A powerhouse server that can reach 5000+ users at any time.

$

140.00

/mo

  • Intel Xeon W 2125
  • 4x 4.0GHz processor
  • 32GB RAM
  • 2x 500GB SSD
  • 50GB Cloud Backup

What are the Shoutcast System Requirements?

In order to run the Shoutcast Server, your server will need:

  • Linux or Windows OS
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2.0GHz processor
  • 120GB SSD (varies depending on how much content you need to stream(
  • Shoutcast DNAS Server (latest version is 2.6)
  • An input source (e.g. Transcoder or Winamp plus Source DSP plug-in, etc.)
  • Live or pre-recorded audio content that you wish to stream to users

Shoutcast is not a resource intensive application and will run on nearly any machine, so our requirements above are largely recommendations based on an optimal Shoutcast experience. 

What is Icecast?

Icecast is a collection of tools used to stream audio content to devices. There are three components:

  • Icecast: a program that streams audio and video data to listeners
  • libshout: a library for communicating with Icecast servers
  • IceS: a program that sends audio data to Icecast servers
Diagram showing the components of an Icecast Server

What are the Icecast System Requirements?

In order to run Icecast, you will need:

  • Linux (Most flavors including Redhat and Debian), FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris
  • Windows: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012
  • 1GB of System RAM
  • 120GB SSD
  • 2.0GHz processor

Similar to Shoutcast, Icecast is not a resource intensive application and will run on nearly any machine, so our requirements above are largely recommendations based on an optimal Icecast experience. 

See Also: How to Use Plex For Video Streaming

How Much Does Icecast Hosting Cost?

The Icecast Server software itself is completely free, therefore the only cost is the server you wish to use to host Icecast.

Here are a few recommended servers:

Basic

A simple server capable of streaming to several hundred users.

$

30.00

/mo

  • 2 vCores
  • 3.4GHz processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 120GB SSD
  • 50GB Cloud Backup
ENTERPRISE

A powerhouse server that can reach 5000+ users at any time.

$

140.00

/mo

  • Intel Xeon W 2125
  • 4x 4.0GHz processor
  • 32GB RAM
  • 2x 500GB SSD
  • 50GB Cloud Backup

What's the Difference Between Shoutcast and Icecast?

You may be wondering how Shoutcast vs. Icecast stacks up, since they are both open-source software designed to streaming audio to a radio stream that visitors can listen into live. 

Shoutcast

  • Self-hosted, or purchase hosting from the company directly.
  • Supports AAC, MP3, but no support for Ogg (Only Mp3 support on free server)
  • More restricted configuration
  • No HTTPS support directly
  • Maximum 12,000 listeners
  • No listener analytics
  • Free and Paid Version

Icecast

  • Self-hosted only with no hosting directly from Icecast
  • Supports Ogg (Vorbis and Theora), Opus, WebM and MP3 streams.
  • More flexible configuration
  • Native HTTPS support
  • No listener limit
  • No listen analytics
  • Compeltely Free

Deploy A Shoutcast or Icecast Server Today

If you're looking to setup Shoutcast hosting or Icecast hosting on your own server, you should consider booking a free server consultation with our team. We have a variety of audio streaming server solutions that can meet the needs and budget of your project, and we have a variety of radio stations throughout the world who count on ServerMania for their audio streaming needs.

Contact us today for a custom quote and experience the ServerMania difference today.

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