[Icecast] add AAC+ file header to new streams

oddsock oddsock at oddsock.org
Thu Jun 12 14:04:43 UTC 2008

hate to burst the "collective sigh of relief" bubble, but Flash's HTTP-based
streaming within their player is horribly broken.  First off, in order to
get it to even *stream*, you need to fake the content-length in the initial
response header.  Seemingly innocent at first, what this, in fact, does is
cause the player to download that much data, regardless of "playstate".  So,
lets say you've built a nice flash player with a big ole "stop" button on it
that stops the NetConnection, bingo, the audio stops.  Unfortunately, due to
the content-length header you sent, Flash (in it's infinite wisdom) decides
to keep on downloading the stream unbeknownst to you, wasting a TON of
bandwidth and possibly filling up your hard drive with cache files.

This is all information I got from a LOT of testing with Flash's HTTP-based
streaming with MP3, I suspect that it hasn't changed much, since the
"content-length" tweak is still required for it to connect properly.  I
don't see a whole lot of motivation for them to fix these issues, thus
allowing people to stream using non-Flash Media Servers.

That being said, caching a the AAC+ header is certainly something that can
be done in Icecast, heck, it's REQUIRED for streaming ogg vorbis streams
(caching the first 3 pages of a vorbis stream - containing codebooks and
other critical goodies).

On a side note, Flash's RTMP (proprietary protocol) streaming does work very
well, but, of course, requires a Flash Media Server.. Which has it's share
of problems as well.


On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 5:37 AM, Ross Levis <ross at stationplaylist.com>

> Hi all.
> I believe there is an opportunity to have thousands of Shoutcast servers
> replaced with Icecast.
> What will do this is if Icecast can send a MPEG-4 AAC+ header as the first
> data a player receives when connecting to an audio/aacp stream.
> The reason for this is the AAC+ support added to Adobe Flash player last
> December.  I could hear a loud sigh of relief each around the world when
> this was announced.  There are literally thousands of internet stations
> wanting to use AAC+ embedded in their websites.
> However, it turns out that Flash requires a normal AAC+ file header before
> it will decode the audio.  I believe it's own Flash Media Server provides
> this, but people are not going to spend $1000 on it.
> So the question is, can Icecast be configured to send some initial bytes
> when a listener connects?  Even if a header was extracted and placed into a
> file?
> Thanks,
> Ross.
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> Icecast at xiph.org
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