[icecast] playlist streams

Michael Smith msmith at xiph.org
Mon Mar 10 04:59:28 PST 2003

On Monday 10 March 2003 15:47, Ross Levis wrote:
> Hello again
> No replies regarding memory requirements!
> I have an idea to provide 1000's of streams without the requirement of
> 100's of source PC's, and perhaps without even requiring Icecast at all.
> But I'm not sure if this will work.
> We will have thousands of 24 hour playlists generated everyday by
> software I'm developing.  If we encode all our audio files at 32kb/s,
> could we not just supply a link to the playlist files directly on our
> server.  So in effect, our server is just acting like a hard disk and
> listeners are playing the files directly.  Would this work?

Yes. There are two possibilities here: either run them as normal streams, or 
use the file serving functionality in icecast.

As normal streams, you'd just tell your source client (assuming you're using 
one which is capable - ices can do this, as can many others) to send the 
preencoded files.

For file serving, you don't get rate control or anything like that - icecast 
does this, but in this case is acting just like a normal web server (though 
the implementation means that it'll be better than something like apache for 
serving thousands of simultaneous clients). However, there are 
highly-optimised web servers that can do better still. You lose all the 
advantages of icecast by taking this approach, but it is simple to run.

> What I also envisage is writing software that continually trims songs
> from the top of the playlists as time goes by throughout the day so new
> listeners will start listening at roughly the scheduled time.  The only
> problem I can think of is file security.  Is there any way to prevent
> the individual songs from being downloaded?

No. This is what 'no rate control' means in the previous sentence. You can't 
easily or reliably prevent this from happening

> As an alternative, am I right in assuming IceCast is capable of
> providing streams directly from playlist files?  Is there any other
> major advantages of using Icecast compared to the direct access method
> above?

As described above - yes. The advantages are that you can get various 
statistics on client connections (though much of the admin interface is 
imcomplete, there's quite a bit there in one form or another), rate control, 
automatic dropping of clients which can't read the stream fast enough, etc.


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