What is Shoutcast?
The short answer; it is a very common protocol used to stream audio over the Internet. There are a handful of other protocols used as well. Another example would be Icecast.
Shoutcast is a freeware audio streaming technology, developed by Nullsoft. Shoutcast uses MP3 encoding of audio content and HTTP as the transport protocol to broadcast Web radio, also known as Internet Radio.
Shoutcast advertises that it allows you to create a free Internet radio station. This is true, BUT you will be limited by your ISP upload speed. For example, if you have a DSL line with a 512k upload speed, you could then only host 3 - 4 listeners at 128kbps.
This is why there are streaming services. These streaming services take your audio, and then stream it from their server farms to your listeners. These streaming services will use the Internet streaming protocol, such as Shoutcast or Icecast, to send your audio over the Internet.
They will provide you with an encoder to send the audio from your PC to their server farm, as well as a player to add to your website.
There is no such thing as free in this world, and Internet streaming is no exception.
What do I need to do to create an internet radio station?
First, you will need to have the ability to create a show. This means that you will need Automation software such as New~Wave. This software allows you to create music rotations, voice tracks (allowing you to sound live even when you are not at the station), and do live shows seamlessly.
You will also need a console, which will allow you to do live shows with guests either in the studio, or over the phone. This will also allow you to do live voice tracks and sound professional. The ARC-8 console is an ideal board for Internet radio.
Second, you need to sign up with an Internet streaming service. A list of compatible streaming services can be found on our Streaming Services page.
Once you are all setup, you are good to go. Now it is time to get an audience, and make a profit! More information to help you get started can be found on our How To page.