Chapter TWO (continued) STREAMING SERVER TECHNOLOGIES — ICECAST

written by mike
1 · 04 · 12

CHAPTER TWO (continued)
STREAMING SERVER TECHNOLOGIES
Icecast Technology
Icecast is the name for both a project that encompasses several technologies required for streaming using the Internet, and a program that actually streams audio data to listeners.  The program icecast is identified by lowercase letters. This explanation is offered online:
After years in development and years in alpha testing, The Icecast development team has released version 2.0.0 of its streaming media server. icecast2 supports Ogg Vorbis and MP3 streaming and has many features and functions you would expect from a world class streaming media server. [i]
>> Current icecast release is icecast Release 2.3.2.  Please follow link to Icecast.org website:
http://Icecast.org/  <<
The Icecast project includes several modules that used together allow Webcasting.  The system can be broken down into the following modules:
Streaming Server Software:  icecast2.  Software that actually streams the audio to the listener.  It is actually also compatible with the SHOUTcast technology already described.
>> Current icecast release is icecast Release 2.3.2.  Please follow link to Icecast.org website:
http://Icecast.org/  <<
Client Software:  Vorbis Tools, WINamp, foobar2000, or any Ogg compatible Media Player.  Software that resides on the listener computer and is compatible with the Ogg Vorbis format used by icecast2 to encode and deliver the stream.
Source client software:  libshout.  libshout is a library for communicating with and sending data to an icecast server.  It handles the socket connection, the timing of the data, and prevents bad data from getting to the icecast server.
Source client software:  IceS is a program that sends audio data to an icecast server to broadcast to clients.  IceS can either read audio data from disk, such as from Ogg Vorbis files, or sample live audio from a sound card and encode it on the fly.
One advantage of icecast is compatibility with the open standard CODEC Ogg Vorbis, which does not require the copyright payments that MP3 CODEC’s require.  Designed to completely replace all proprietary, patented audio formats, Ogg Vorbis claims higher quality performance than MP3, even rivaling advanced MPEG4 algorithms.
Brian Zisk, currently Technology Director for The Future of Music Coalition, had this to say about icecast during the early days if the development process (20 April 2000).  “So then we had a platform for running Internet radio which we used.  Suddenly hundreds of other stations and bands began to use this software as well. So the technology evolved and Jack was able to make it better.  Whereas originally the software just streamed to MP3 players, eventually we figured out how to make it work on the Real Audio Players and the Windows Media Player, and now it works on most other players.   So now, you can use our software to stream an unlimited number of streams to the Real Audio player.  It sounds better than streaming using the Real Audio software, and it’s free.” [ii]
For more information on the Icecast project and to download the server and other third party software applications compatible with icecast, refer to:
http://www.icecast.org/index.php
>> This link still works to take you directly to the icecast platform web page.  I like this succinct definition of icecast:
icecast is free server software for streaming multimedia. <<
A detailed systematic guide for the installation and implementation of Icecast is available from: http://melmoth.dyndns.org/stream/doc/index.html
>> I received a problem loading error when trying to link to this documentation.  I believe everything you should need to support icecast would be available at the previous link :
http://www.icecast.org/index.php  <<


[i] Icecast Online Documentation.  Downloaded 01/24/04  from:
http://melmoth.dyndns.org/stream/doc/index.html
[ii] Toomey, Jenny. Music in the Digital Age.  Future of Music Coalition.  Downloaded 02/27/04  from: http://www.futureofmusic.com/articles/ziskinterview.cfm
>> The Zisk interview did not come up in the link, but the future of music web site is still valid for all types of information on Internet radio, streaming, and music technology.  One of my favorite web sites/organizations devoted to improving the lives of independent musicians, and the technologies that support them.   I suspect the article has been archived due to the age of it. (02/27/2004)<<
http://www.futureofmusic.com

mike

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