You really have to options when it comes to choosing a steaming audio server solution, Shoutcast and Icecast. Now from a technical standpoint there’s a great deal of similarity between the two, however there are reasons to chose one over the other as we’ll see here.
First it’s worth mentioning that both are free. They are both very stable software platforms to broadcast from and offer very similar features. And where Icecast used to have the advantage of supporting multiple simultaneous audio streams over Shoutcast, this functionality is available now there too since version 2.
You can download them from their respective websites and install them quite easily on a variety of platforms, although a suitably good quality internet connection is required of course.
It’s important to note however that Shoutcast is by far the more popular option these days and it’s free global radio station directory draws a lot more traffic than Icecast.
Finally switching from live broadcasts to pre-recorded music requires stopping and restarting a stream with Shoutcast which means disconnecting all listeners. This isn’t a problem for Icecast however.
A more thorough breakdown of the two feature sets is available here.
|Feature / Software||Shoutcast v1||Shoutcast v2||Icecast v2|
|Automatically switch between an AutoDJ or a live stream||No||Yes||Yes|
|Requires manually disabling AutoDJ before connecting to a server?||Yes||No||No|
|Types of codecs for use with an AutoDJ||MP3||MP3 & AAC+||MP3, OGG, AAC+, AAC+ v2|
|Types of codecs supported for live streaming||MP3, AAC+, AAC+ v2||MP3, AAC+, AAC+ v2||MP3, OGG, AAC+, AAC+ v2|
|Connection mode supported with broadcaster software||v1||v1 & v2||n/a|
|Supports multiple steaming channels on single server?||No||Yes||Yes|
|Supports individual users accounts for DJs?||No||Yes||Yes|
|An advanced server admin panel||No||Yes||Yes|
|AutoDJ active during live broadcast||n/a||n/a||Yes|