The main idea behind SHOUTcast is simple – to provide a hosting service that caters to those who run an online radio station. To further simplify, it is a free software created by AOL; this software is able to distribute a piece of audio to numerous clients.
There are quite a few benefits that SHOUTcast customers enjoy, such as its widespread use, low cost, the large variety of radio stations and its popular support. With all of SHOUTcast’s advantages, it is no wonder why a great number of people are showing interest in using it as their server of choice.
However, even though operating a radio station through a dedicated server can be quite fun in theory, one must keep in mind that it takes a lot of hard work. In order to being broadcasting music and talk, the user needs to configure their server, upload their audio selections and then further configure their server. In order to make your radio broadcasting endeavor a success, it is crucial to choose the right server.
The Various Features
All the servers provided by SHOUTcast function in basically the same way but even so, the amount of tools provided will differ according to the particular server. Some tools will allow the user to better control their server while the network itself will determine the broadcast’s overall sound quality. No matter which server you select, rest assured that you will receive excellent customer support. Of course, different servers come with their own price points so be sure to choose according to your budget.
In order to help you make a SHOUTcast server decision, it is important to carefully review the various servers’ quality of customer support, customer comments and their uptime reputation. Remember, if you do not have a high-level of support, you will find it to be extremely difficult when trying to configure your server and get your music out for the people to hear. If at all possible, select among servers that provide a free trial period, which will give you first-hand knowledge of how well it operates.
The final feature of a SHOUTcast server to consider is the amount of listeners supported by the server package. For example, if your audience consists of a few friends who tune into your home-based radio station, a package that caters to 10 listeners is ideal. On the other hand, if your station is fairly large, you will need to pick a package with an increased listening capacity; you do not want to risk losing listeners because you hosting service does not supply enough power.
A Few More Tips
Another tip for the budding radio station owner is to seek a hosting package that includes an Auto-DJ facility. Without one, you will not have the ability to upload your songs. Above all else, you absolutely must pick a server that is free of downtime. There is no bigger turn off that to tune into a station only to hear dead air.