SHOUTcast is software developed by a company called Nullsoft. It acts as a server so that you can broadcast digital audio content to the world over the internet. Encoding is primarily in MP3 or HE-AAC format. With SHOUTcast you can start your very own Internet Radio Station and broadcast the signal of your existing radio station over the internet.
You will need to plug in your audio feed to a computer or a special ready device that will be running SHOUTcast. Your computer’s sound card can easily be captured by SHOUTcast and redistributed over the internet. This means you can plug a source (external mixer, dj controller, etc.) into the Line-in of your sound device. You can also broadcast your music collection and your voice via a microphone. You will need to run special software to control this. Once you have determined how and what you will upload to SHOUTcast, you will be sending your signal to the entire world. Imagine actual AM/FM satellite stations now have the possibility of broadcasting over the internet via their website. Amateurs, professionals or hobbyists now have the possibility to practice their passion and reach their fan base or communities.
Special media players such as Winamp or Itunes are required so that the end user can listen and hear what is going on at your server. You will find that many websites streaming radio are using a more common technology such as Adobe Flash Flayer to personalize and create custom players. You must beware though because Flash is not officially compatible with MP3 streaming. These players must be properly coded to avoid memory leaks causing stuttering or buffering, which is very annoying for listeners. There are however many well-coded and reputable Flash streaming players that work correctly. They will prevent your audience from downloading special players they may not have installed on their system by default. Most end-users, running MAC or PC (Windows), will already have Flash installed because of the popularity of sites like Youtube. Also, popular internet browsers will install the flash-plugin fast and easily.
A feature offered by SHOUTcast is the option to publish server information in a directory of stations that is maintained via their website found at http://shoutcast.com. This includes the current number of listeners. SHOUTcast is probably the most popular media streaming server available. Statistics have reported that as of 2011, up to 900.000 concurrent listeners can be seen during peak hours. The maximum and minimum number of listeners fluctuates widely during a day, with roughly three times the number of listeners during peak hours. As of July 2011, SHOUTcast Radio includes over 45.000 stations.
We hope we answered your question: “What is SHOUTcast”. Now that you know more about SHOUTcast and how it works it would seem fair to say that technically it may be less complicated than you initially thought! You may now finally realize your dream of doing live radio or getting your message across to listeners over the internet. So why not let Radiosolution assist you in your new adventure. Run an internet radio station! We are standing by to help you every step of the way by analyzing your needs and finding the best solutions at the best price! Contact us by email or through live chat! See you soon and remember come as a client and leave as a friend.