[Icecast] Icecast2 Station with multiple scheduled DJs?

Patrick Bohnet hquu at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 25 19:27:34 PDT 2010

I ended up solving the problem with liquidsoap and two icecast servers.

I have an "internal" icecast server that has 10 mount points... one for each DJ 
with a limit of three listeners on each mount point. A DJ can connect early and 
do sound balancing and checks before hand

I then have a liquidsoap script that listens to each of the 10 internal mount 
points, and rebroadcasts one of them to the external "public" icecast server 
mount point. This switchboard script also has an internal "jukebox" that it 
kicks in when no DJ is playing, or if a DJ drops signal automatically... all 
with out any interuption to the external listener. The switchboard script has a 
bunch of other features, but its main job was to "switch" between the private 
streams based on a file that is changed, and provide backup music if anything 
faltered. The switching of the file was handled by an external php based program 
and website, so could be integrated into any solution basically.

it could technically be run from a single ice cast server, or from multiple 
shoutcast servers... the switchboard script did not care... it had N amount of 
sources, a shell script that told it which of the sources was "live", a backup 
smart play list of music if nobody was live or someone dropped, and a target to 
rebroadcast to.

 "Can I burn softly, a silent ember?"
Patrick Bohnet
Demon Kitty Productions

From: John List <johnlist at gulfbridge.net>
To: Patrick Bohnet <hquu at yahoo.com>
Cc: icecast at xiph.org
Sent: Sat, September 25, 2010 1:54:34 PM
Subject: Re: [Icecast] Icecast2 Station with multiple scheduled DJs?

 At WXBH-LP we had a similar need, and we solved it using mpd (music player 
daemon) to coordinate our feed to icecast.

mpd is a music player (supporting playlists, etc.) originally designed for local 
network streaming, but it has several attributes that make it suitable for other 

	* Items in its playlists can be local audio files or remote streams (e.g. DJ 
	* It can output a stream directly to icecast.
	* As a daemon it can be controlled by various clients including ones accessible 
from the command line, the web, and telnet/ssh. This has allowed us to build a 
scheduling system around it to cause it to play particular playlists at their 
scheduled times.

Each remote DJ must generate his/her own stream to be picked up by mpd. We make 
this easy by defining multiple "remote" streams for their use on our icecast 
server. This has the advantage of letting them connect to the remote stream 
early so they and we can verify that all is well. At the scheduled time, that 
remote stream is then "played" from a playlist on mpd.

We are a low-power FM station in the Louisville, Kentucky, area, and we are run 
collectively, so having a distributed architecture (allowing remote DJs) is 
important to us. Our mpd server, icecast server, and transmitter are currently 
in three separate locations. A computer at the the transmitter site subscribes 
to the icecast stream.

Unfortunately, it looks like we will be scrapping this system in a few weeks in 
favor of a proprietary system (SAM Broadcaster) because it offers superior sound 
level compression (i.e. it plays stuff louder) which has a direct effect on the 
strength of our broadcast signal (which is important when you are limited to 100 

Until we switch away from mpd, you can learn more at our website, 
http://wxbh.org/OurStationSoftware.html and you can monitor the system's 
operation from http:// studio.wxbh.org/Console.html .  

If anyone is interested in what we've done, I'll be happy to tell more and share 

-John Hicks
(For best results in communicating with me directly, substitute my name 
"johnhicks" in place of "johnlist" in my email address.)

On 05/24/2010 12:10 PM, Patrick Bohnet wrote: 
I have been playing with Icecast only for a couple of days, and I am trying to 
figure out how to do something.  I want a listener to have to only deal with one 
stream, but I want to be able to switch the source of that stream between 
multiple sources (DJs). The core idea is that the listener only deals with 
/live.mp3 while in the background I can problematically switch between a series 
of live sources (DJs) or an "Auto DJ Playlist" source - all based on a schedule 
for 24/7 content. The total amount of DJs is currently unknown (4+), as this is 
just the planing stages.  So far I only have two ideas, neither of which seams 
optimal 1) use the move listener function to constantly shift users around to 
the correct DJ stream. 2) use a third party restream program, such as 
StreamTranscoder or LiquidSoap 3) use 4 dj mount points that fallback to each 
other and finally to the autoDJ, and make the DJs pick a stream to take over 
when their show starts. (this untested)  (Long discussion on how I don't know 
how to do that, and ways that I have tried)  So far I have tried the following 
(this is on a Debian machine running Icecast 2.3.2, all mounts are 128 kbs mp3, 
i can try a win32 version of icecast2, but I assume there should be no 
functional difference)  
******************************************************************* This was my 
first setup to familiarize my self with icecast mount /EDH.mp3 is hidden  and 
not public - it has a source of Winamp and edcast playing music from an old 
windows box I have mount /live.mp3 has a fallback to /EDH.mp3 with a fallback 
override of 1  If the listener connects(windows media player on a windows box) 
to /live.mp3.m3u they hear the autoDJ until i connect to /live.mp3 with SAM, 
afterwhich they hear me, until I disconnect... so far so good  
******************************************************************* Next I tried 
the following, i wanted to try to swap the listener between two live sources 
mount /dj1.mp3 is playing music from Winamp/edcast on my old windows machine 
(classical music) mount /dj2.mp3 is playing music from Winamp/edcast on a second 
windows machine (Ozzy Osborn) mount /live.mp3 is setup with /dj1.mp3 as the 
fallback with fallback override set to 1  When a listener connects (using 
windows media player on a third windows machine), they hear dj1 I then, via the 
web interface (http://www.icecast.org/docs/icecast-trunk/icecast2_admn.html i.e. 
/admin/fallbacks?mount=/live.mp3&fallback=/dj2.mp3 ), change the fallback of 
/live.mp3 to /dj2.mp3 the listener still hears dj1 and does not hear dj2. if i 
disconnect the listener and re connect, I still heard dj1 and not dj2 even 
though when I use /admin/listmounts i see that /dj2.mp3 is listed as the new 
fallback. If i change the /etc/icecast2/icecast.xml to change the fallback there 
and then run /etc/init.d/icecast2 reload to reload the config, the listener 
still hears dj1, even on a listener reconnect.  I even try a 
/etc/init.d/icecast2 restart and it does not change. only when I do a stop/start 
does any new connections to /live.mp3 switch to dj2  now, I am able to move 
listeners via the web interface from /live.mp3 to /dj2.mp3 and they hear dj2. 
But if i try to move them back to /live.mp3 (thinking that it might then trigger 
the "new" fallback) they again hear dj1 With some complicated checking, this 
might be a solution.  
******************************************************************* Next i tried 
using two icecast servers Server A I remove /live.mp3 from server A, otherwise 
it is the same server as before Server B (second Debian box, same subnet as all 
the machines, otherwise identical configuration as Server A) I add a relay 
called /live.mp3 which is using /dj1.mp3 from Server A as the source  If a user 
connects to /live.mp3 they hear dj1 if i change the xml (since there does not 
seam to be a web interface for editing relays) to point it to dj2 and do 
/etc/init.d/icecast2 reload nothing changes. The listener still hears dj1, even 
on a listener reconnect. If i do a stop/start only then does the listener hear 
the dj2, but it forces a reconnect and interrupts the user.  
******************************************************************* Finally I 
tried using a third party program to act as the go between Server A (still has 
/dj1.mp3 and /dj2.mp3 with no change) Server B changed /live.mp3 from a relay to 
a mount with a fallback to /EDH.mp3 added /EDH.mp3 to this server and used a 
third windows box with Winamp and edcast to stream) on server B, I am running 
streamtranscoder from oddcast to stream /dj1.mp3 to /live.mp3  when a listener 
connects to server b /live.mp3 they hear dj1 when i stop the streamsstranscoder 
and run the one that points to /dj2.mp3 the user hears the autodj for just a 
second then they hear dj2 this solution does not actually need two icecast 
servers, i just had things setup this way and did not want to move them around 
just for this test this solution is re encoding the mp3 stream, which is a loss 
of quality  ******************************************************************* 
it looks like my best option might be to have the DJs broadcast in 256kbs mount 
points that are hidden, and use liquidsoap to rebroadcast it to the live stream 
in 128kbs mp3. I can then control liquidsoap via an external programmatic 
interface which allows me to switch from DJ to DJ based on a timer, or to 
manually switch to a different show outside of the timer. I just don't like that 
it will reencode the audio.  I was planning on using liquidsoap as the final 
auto dj (winamp/edcast was just for testing) anyway           
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