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The tech behind building an independent, internet radio station (watsonsmith.com.au)
137 points by oggadog 53 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

Ha too funny! I haven't heard the name Icecast in a long time. I know the guys who created Icecast. They did it because they wanted to run a radio station but according to them Shoutcast sucked, so they rewrote it from scratch as open source.

The reason it is called Icecast is because it was replicating the Shoutcast protocol, so that people with Winamp could play Icecast streams (Nullsoft made both Winamp and Shoutcast). The Shoutcast protocol used what were called ICY responses (which stood for I Can Yell) so they called their Icecast since it made ICY responses too.

This post unlocked that little corner of my memory. Fun!

ps. One of the Icecast guys worked on Ogg Vorbis because he thought that "mp3 sucked" and the other one is now a professor of Computer Science at USC.

This was super interesting to find out, I always assumed that Icecast and Shoutcast were 'allies' or built by the same org. I've had a few things topple over during streaming but it seems that Icecast is the only one that's run without any issues, guess they proved their point!

Thanks for sharing this bit of history trivia! Had no idea about he origin of Icecast or Ogg

I own and operate Broadcastify.com, which is arguably the largest icecast implementation in the world.

We've been using 100TB.com for our audio streaming infrastructure, which is a softlayer reseller. I've been unable to find anyone else that provides better pricing for bandwidth than they do.

All of our Web infrastructure, provisioning, archiving, etc is spread between AWS and Google Cloud though.

Audio broadcasting on the Internet is indeed an interesting field to be in!

How does 100TB.com beat Hetzner? Their $5 virtual server comes with 2TB whereas Hetzner offers 20TB.

I don't know - but I'm not deploying infrastructure on $5 virtual servers that are marketed and designed to support a personal blog.

Paying 200-300/month for 100TB of data transfer on a dedicated host is where I'm at with 100TB.com

> Paying 200-300/month for 100TB of data transfer

FWIW most providers can easily beat that. OVH in Canada offers good quality unmetered Gbit at below 100/mo with the hardware included.

still a hetzner dedicated host would be as low as 25Euro/month and has unmetered 1Gbit which would be 324 TB . (i use them , but not affiliated - was just making calculations aloud)

Can you not move to using SoftLayer directly? The closest page IBM has to something like a sales page is unclear.


Take a loot at Hetzner is Traffic is an issue, they offer 20TB for $5. https://www.hetzner.com/cloud

I can vouch for hetzner as I've been using it without complaint for ~2 years, after moving from scaleway. They're great.

This is fantastic, I thought I’d found the best deal with DigitalOcean but this looks great, cheers

128 Kbps would amount to 30-40 GB monthly

So, digitalocean gives you ~30 users capacity? I think hetzner offers 1Gbit internet without quota which would serve thousands of users.

I always thought that online media services used multicast protocols, that is, after the initial point to point connection all data packets should be transmitted once, then replicated at router level for every subscribed user. If that's the case, 30 users seems a pretty low number since it would translate into maximum 30 concurrent connections while the generated traffic from the server point of view would be just slightly higher than a single stream for a single user. Or maybe carriers bill multicast traffic differently?

There's essentially no multicast over the public internet

That was the idea once upon a time[1], but it's been dead for ages.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mbone

Some ISP-run and or company/network-internal ones do, but over the public internet there is no infrastructure for that, so the vast majority doesn't do it.

funny enough.. my team probably killed off (one of anyway) the last tier 1 internet multicast deployments over the past few years.

Multicast has dataplane resource scaling issues and, frankly, CDN has become the solution to what multicast solves.

Yeah that's roughly correct. I actually hadn't found hetzner when I was doing my initial research but it definitely looks like I should be moving over.

Nice article, played with Icecast in the past, good to learn about LibreTime which uses it.

With LibreTime it's also possible to stream in Opus and AAC+v2 so you can get decent quality on 48kbit.

> A single user listening to a 128kbps stream, non-stop for a month, would use about 300GB of transfer. Just one user!

Is that how broadcasting works on the internet?

Is there not a more efficient non-proprietary protocol for broadcasting on the internet?

I remember some years ago that people were pirating radio stations through a peer-to-peer streaming client, but I can't remember what it was called and I never looked at the internals.

I was thinking more about something at the same level as TCP/IP.


I dunno, but thanks for the recommendation.


1TB is not enough for Internet Radio, it's not even enough for most podcasts.

Hosting is easy, it's still the transit that'll kill ya.

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