[Icecast] Any reliable command line clients?

Joel Ebel jbebel at ncsu.edu
Wed Feb 9 12:59:16 PST 2005

Is anyone using icecast and a client in any sort of reliable setting, 
such as a backup studio to transmitter link for a radio station? 
Something the requires reliability and good audio quality?  What client 
are you using?  I ask because I haven't found any good clients that meet 
my needs.  Here are my requirements:

1.  It should run in linux, for security and stability.

2.  It should be command line based as there is no need to run X to get 
audio.  It just adds another unnecessary layer of instability and 
insecurity.  And being in a remote location, command line control is a 

3.  It should support listener authentication since the backup stream 
should be publicly available.

4.  It should preferably support ogg because I like it better, but if I 
have to use mp3 for the sake of stability or audio quality, I will.

I haven't found anything yet that meets all these.  Here's what I've 
tried and the results.

ogg123:  The obvious choice.  But it can't seem to do it for long. 
After several hours it begins to get a very repeatable pattern of quick 
hisses.  Usually pairs of two, the first one long, the second short. 
Perhaps every 2 to 3 seconds.  Also, I notice that the buffer keeps 
decreasing as it plays.  I've tried with multiple sound cards just in 
case it was a sound card clock inconsistency, but it does the same thing 
in both cases.

zinf:  This worked well for longer using the cmdline.ui.  But 
inevitably, every time I've tried it, after a few days it just quits 
without explanation.  That's not really good either.  I need something 
that will always work.  I haven't tried zinf with mp3 yet, but I don't 
know why it would be any different.

Are there any other command line ogg players?  As far as I know, you 
can't run xmms without x, hence the name.

For mp3 I tried mpg321, which seems to be the popular choice. 
Unfortunately it doesn't seem to support authentication.  Plus the audio 
quality is terrible.  It gets lots of hisses about every 3 seconds, and 
a few times it just gets stuck on a short clip of sound over and over 
again for a long period of time.  Not good either.

mpg123 does support listener authentication.  It might be my only 
option, but I haven't yet tried it for an extended period of time.

What are others using?  I briefly tried to get alsaplayer working in 
text mode unsuccessfully, but if anyone recommends it I'll give it a shot.


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