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       There are three common options for running an online radio server and these are using an Icecast v2 Server, a Shoutcast v1  or a Shoutcast v2 server. In this article we will attempt to cover some pro's and con's of each type.

    All three server types are very similar in what they do, but there are some differences that you might want to be aware of when choosing your server type.

    Icecast Servers (Version 2)    
    Pro's:

    • Icecast has "fallback mount points" meaning that it can automatically transfer listeners from the AutoDJ to a Live stream and then back again without needing to manually turn anything on or off. So when you connect a live source, all of the listeners are transferred from the AutoDJ mountpoint (/autodj) to the live stream mountpoint (/live) and then back again to the AutoDJ mountpoint (/autodj) when you are finished.
    • You are listed on the Icecast directory
    • It is open source software and regularly updated.

    Con's:

    • You are not listed on shoutcast.com
    • You can't ban IP's yourself. (You need to contact your server provider to ban IP's)

     

    Shoutcast Servers (Vers. 2) 

    Pro's:

    • Your station is listed on the SHOUTcast directory and syndicated out to other radio directories too. This gives you good exposure and will likely lead to getting more listeners than you would do on an Icecast server.
    • You can ban listeners by ip or subnet from within the admin interface.
    • Shoutcast v2 provides automatic transitioning between the AutoDJ feature and live streams without needing to manually turn anything on or off like with the older Shoutcast v1. So when a live source is connected, the stream is seamlessly crossfaded automatically between the AutoDJ feature and the live source and also vice versa.

    Con's:

    • Shoutcast v2 now requires you to create an 'Authorization Key' (Authhash) for your stream so that it can be registered for the SHOUTcast directory and as a 'Public' stream. But with this Shoutcast v2 now also forces stations to only set the one genre type (and a sub genre) for their station as they now want to normalise the genres and just limit everyone to one each. Only setting the one genre could be an issue if you play multiple different genres on your station.

     

    Shoutcast Servers (Version 1) 

    Pro's:

    • Your station gets a listing on the SHOUTcast directory and syndicated out to many other radio directories. This gives you some increased chance at audience and will likely lead to getting more listeners than you would do on an Icecast server.
    • You can ban listeners by ip or subnet.
    Con's:
    • You can no longer use web based players. The most common browsers now do not play those due to security updates
    • It's hasn't been developed or updated for about 15 years.
    • If you plan on running an AutoDJ on your radio server, when you want to play live you will have to turn off the AutoDJ feature in the control panel manually yourself and then on again when you have finished. This may also cause some listener's players to lose connection until they refresh your site's page.
    We plan on updating this article as we have more to add for each server type. If anyone has anything they would like to add please use the contact link and let us know. We may add it if it's helpful.
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