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I've had small rants about this earlier, but Now that Im getting a bigger picture, its time to spread it.


I'm starting to forsee doom in Shoutcast. Its a good program, but between TAG departing AOL's newest interest and the rumored layoff of the lead developer for SC_Trans, Im starting to take more of an interest of Icecast2 than ever before. I would recommend that Hosting companies do the same.





1) You can stream multiple instances of port 80 on the same IP. By use of mountpoints, you can offer this service easily.


2) Icecast2 is less resource intensive than Shoutcast.


3) supports more codecs. Ogg vorbis? No problem. FLAC (VERY LOSSLESS, and able to do 96khz/24 bit transcoding) NO PROBLEM




Theora video compression


Theora is a free and open video compression format from the Xiph.org Foundation. Like all our multimedia technology it can be used to distribute film and video online and on disc without the licensing and royalty fees or vendor lock-in associated with other formats.

Theora scales from postage stamp to HD resolution, and is considered particularly competitive at low bitrates. It is in the same class as MPEG-4/DiVX, and like the Vorbis audio codec it has lots of room for improvement as encoder technology develops.

Theora is in full public release as of November 3, 2008. The bitstream format for Theora I was frozen Thursday, 2004 July 1. All bitstreams encoded since that date will remain compatible with future releases.








Speex: A Free Codec For Free Speech




Speex is an Open Source/Free Software patent-free audio compression format designed for speech. The Speex Project aims to lower the barrier of entry for voice applications by providing a free alternative to expensive proprietary speech codecs. Moreover, Speex is well-adapted to Internet applications and provides useful features that are not present in most other codecs. Finally, Speex is part of the GNU Project and is available under the revised BSD license.

The Technology


Speex is based on CELP and is designed to compress voice at bitrates ranging from 2 to 44 kbps. Some of Speex's features include:

  • Narrowband (8 kHz), wideband (16 kHz), and ultra-wideband (32 kHz) compression in the same bitstream
  • Intensity stereo encoding
  • Packet loss concealment
  • Variable bitrate operation (VBR)
  • Voice Activity Detection (VAD)
  • Discontinuous Transmission (DTX)
  • Fixed-point port
  • Acoustic echo canceller
  • Noise suppression

The CELT ultra-low delay audio codec




The CELT codec is an experimental codec for use in low-latency audio communication.

The Technology


CELT stands for "Constrained Energy Lapped Transform". It applies some of the CELP principles, but does everything in the frequency domain, which removes some of the limitations of CELP. CELT is suitable for both speech and music and currently features:

  • Ultra-low latency (typically from 3 to 9 ms)
  • Full audio bandwidth (≥20kHz; sample rates from 32 kHz to 96 kHz)
  • Support for both speech and music
  • A quality/bitrate trade-off competitive with widely used high delay codecs
  • Stereo support
  • Packet loss concealment
  • Constant bit-rates from 32 kbps to 128 kbps and above
  • A fixed-point version of the encoder and decoder

The CELT codec is meant to bridge the gap between Vorbis and Speex for applications where both high quality audio and low delay are desired.







I'm seeing progress still being made by this open source community. I have a feeling some of the projects they are doing are going to make BIG waves in the streaming community. Updates to codecs as recent as MAY.



Maybe its time to think about the switch?


Considering you can use a transcoder on a server like the one offered from oddsock to stream to multiple instances of port 80 on the same IP at different bitrates, it might be looking more and more like the flagship of what us small time radio broadcasters need.

KNSJ.org / 89.1 FM San Diego
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We've been pressing Icecast2 with our customers for years. Unless they have a diehard reason to use shoutcast (reliance on the YP is pretty much the only valid reason) Icecast2 is the better option for many reasons some of which you mentioned above.


However it seems like most of the control panels out there are still only supporting Shoutcast so I guess it's up to those guys to make the change. Luckily our panel was designed in house and has supported Icecast2 since the beginning of time (here at least lol)

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