Old 24th November 2004, 15:20   #1
franky2002
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Is shoutcast right for me?

Hi there!

I'd like to hear your opinion on the following project and whether ShoutCast is the right product/software to use for that purpose:

We have two computers connected to the internet. One is in Atown where our regional studio is located. The other computer is in Btown where our FM broadcasting facilities are located. What we want to do now is to run a shoutcast server instance on the studio computer in Atown, feeding the studio signal into the shoutcast server. The computer in Btown would be the only "listener", i.e. winAmp client for the signal. The Btown computer must "listen" to the stream and broadcast it live on-air.

My first tests have shown that the buffering delay/latency/lag time can be an issue. We obviously don't want the FM listeners to receive a dramatically delayed programme.

Is shoutcast the right thing for that? What other solutions are available to transport a radio stream over the internet or over the telephone network? I heard of a product called isdn radiotaxi but couldn't find any further information on the net apart from taxi companies in Athens :-)

Any hints are highly appreciated!

Regards
franky
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Old 24th November 2004, 15:27   #2
DJHotIce
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Since nothing is truly real time... As you may know FM signals travel at a certain rate and speed, and you can incur delay problems there as well.

Some other options I can throw along to you.
1) Stream the broadcast @ the highest bitrate 320KB or something.
2) Try http://www.icecast.org They are like shoutcast but offer OGG stream formating as well as mp3.. When using OGG (which winamp will understand) I have seen in the highest quality level a delay of 5 if mem servs right. (I prefer this because the highest quality level sounds just as good if not better than 192KB (mp3) and uses less bandwidth which is a plus.

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Old 24th November 2004, 20:51   #3
blueicegr
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you can use also mp3PRO
It is needed to pay a small fee for the encoder but it is litle better from ogg.
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Old 24th November 2004, 22:43   #4
NJK
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueicegr
you can use also mp3PRO
It is needed to pay a small fee for the encoder but it is litle better from ogg.
I don't agree with what you just posted.
mp3pro works perhaps for the lower bitrates , but as soon as you go over 48kbps mp3pro becomes worthless.

and people need to use a plugin in their winamp player to hear the special mp3pro sound.

i think dj hotice made it quite clear , icecast is a decent replacement for shoutcast. the soundquality is good.

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Old 24th November 2004, 23:29   #5
Vchat20
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unfortunately, when the server config is like looking into the human brain, its not a viable solution for most of us. but fortunately steamcast has ogg support and has a very similar config to the shoutcast DNAS.

and i have to agree on the mp3pro vs. ogg argument. ogg is better than mp3pro in more ways than one, but its not supported by very many players.
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Old 25th November 2004, 06:14   #6
franky2002
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okay, so far I assume it's recommended to use quite high a bitrate to keep the buffers busy and to keep latency down.

As I said, it's a one to one connection, so loading a plugin on the receiving station is not a problem at all.

But apart from the format (mp3, mp3pro, ogg, ...) are there any other considerations that would render the project useless, 'cause of shoutcast/icecast? I am not too experienced with streaming... Are these connection reliable enough to guarantee to avoid skippage? As I said, the signal will be broadcasted via FM, so skippage would be very emberassing.

Any thoughts on that?

thanks
franky
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Old 27th November 2004, 15:35   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by franky2002
Are these connection reliable enough to guarantee to avoid skippage?
First let me tell you a story. More or less you ARE correct about the part that it is horrible to have skippage on FM. Our local CHR station plays Open House Party, a show that comes down from the X-Band Sat. If the wind picks up at the studio (so have I observed) the sat looses sync and garbles up the mpeg'ed sounding stream. I've also noted it only happens for .1 sec. Not much of a problem. However during some extreme Tech Difs. It is unbearable to listen, skipping ever 2 seconds, and providing .2 seconds of actual content.

Now back on topic. I hope you're not asleep. Because both IceCast and SHOUTcast offer internal buffers. (SHOUTcast has an internal buffer of 1 meg so I've heard) And this will provide a better connection so you have LESS skipping and MORE music. Now however as always your stream WILL be affected by the following

1) The Apocalypse
2) Loss of Connection by ISP
3) Loss of Power... (Computers don't work well unpluged )
4) Etc....

Glad to be of assistance!

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