[Icecast] a few more questions...

Michael Smith msmith at xiph.org
Wed Aug 31 21:19:54 UTC 2005

On 8/31/05, Michael Hale <giftculture at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I sent the last email prematurely - I had a few more questions.  I
> don't wish to start a holy war here, but are there certain OSs /
> Distros that are preferred for running very busy icecast servers?
> We're a Solaris shop currently, but don't mind using linux or BSD if
> that would make things easier.

Icecast gets more testing on linux, but other OSes should be fine.
Icecast on solaris should scale just as well, I'd expect.

However, notably we don't have much experience with very large icecast
installations, and we've tended not to get much (if any) feedback from
the few users who DO run very large installations, so we're not really
all that sure how well it scales to thousands of users.

> I see there is a Fedora Core RPM on the icecast page - does that
> indicate that Redhad would be a preferred distro to use?

Not really. I'm not sure what linux distributions the other developers
use, most of my development historically has been done on debian
(though my current system is ubuntu) - but we generally leave the
packaging to third parties.

> What are people's experience around here that run large (20k plus
> listener) icecast setups?  What hardware / OSs do you use and why?

I don't know of any icecast setups of more than about 5k or so users,
though they may exist. I'd expect some minor (and easily fixable if we
actually had access to such large (real, rather than using synthetic
clients) installations) scalability issues, but I could be wrong. I'd
expect the windows version to have much more serious issues, other
OSes such as linux, solaris, or *bsd should basically be fine,.

> Also, can icecast relay WMA9?  We decided to go with the Spacial Audio
> SOS product to deal with AFTRA requirements, and it supports encoding
> to mp3, mp3pro, WMA9, and OGG - is it much of a headache to have an
> icecast server be able to relay mp3 and WMA9 streams at the same time?

Our primary aim is to have excellent support for free formats
(primarily, this means the xiph codecs - we'd be happy to help out
with any other freely usable formats, though). As a concession to
existing icecast users, we have basic mp3 support (basically we just
pass it through untouched), and this mechanism works for some other
codecs as well. However, we will not add explicit support for any
other formats, nor will we support usage of icecast with other formats
(i.e. if it breaks, you're entirely on your own). I don't know if WMA9
requires explicit support or not.


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