SHOUTcast Distributed Network Audio Server
Original author(s) Nullsoft (Stephen 'Tag Loomis, Tom Pepper and Justin Frankel)
Developer(s) Radionomy
Stable release
2.4.7 (Build 256) / March 31, 2015 (2015-03-31)
Development status Active
Platform Cross-platform
Type Streaming media
License Proprietary

SHOUTcast is cross-platform proprietary software for streaming media over the Internet. The software, developed by Nullsoft, is available free of charge. It allows digital audio content, primarily in MP3 or High-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding format, to be broadcast to and from media player software, enabling the creation of Internet radio "stations".

The most common use of SHOUTcast is for creating or listening to Internet audio broadcasts; however, video streams exist as well. Some traditional radio stations use SHOUTcast to extend their presence onto the Web.

SHOUTcast Radio is a related website which provides a directory of SHOUTcast stations.


Created in 1998,[1] SHOUTcast's streaming protocol uses metadata tags and responses that all start with ICY, which stands for "I Can Yell." Nullsoft was purchased by AOL on June 1, 1999.

On January 14, 2014, AOL sold Nullsoft to Belgian online radio aggregator Radionomy; no financial details were publicly announced.[2][3][4]


The SHOUTcast software uses a client–server model, with each component communicating via a network protocol that intermingles audio or video data with metadata such as song titles and the station name. It uses HTTP as a transport protocol. Although multicast was planned, it was never developed.

SHOUTcast servers and clients are available for FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and Solaris. Client-only versions exist for Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS (iPad, iPhone), Palm OS and webOS (Radio Hibiki), PlayStation Portable, Windows Mobile, Symbian S60 and UIQ,[5] Nintendo DS (DSOrganize), and Wii.

The output format is supported by multiple clients, including Nullsoft's own Winamp as well as Amarok, Exaile, foobar2000, iTunes, Songbird, Totem, XMMS, and Zinf. If the client does not support the SHOUTcast protocol, then the SHOUTcast server sends the stream without the metadata thus allowing it to be heard/viewed in clients like Windows Media Player. SHOUTcast servers are usually linked to by means of playlist files, which are small text files (usually with extensions .pls or .m3u) that contain the URL of the SHOUTcast server. When that URL is visited in a Web browser which identifies itself as Mozilla-compatible (as most do), the server will return a generated SHOUTcast server info/status page, rather than streaming audio.


A feature of SHOUTcast servers is the ability to optionally publish server information, including the current number of listeners, in a directory of stations that AOL maintains on the SHOUTcast website. Site visitors can pick a station to listen to and download a playlist file for use in their own SHOUTcast-capable media player.

In September 2008, AOL redesigned the SHOUTcast website,[6] which had been roughly the same since 2000. In 2010, SHOUTcast again redesigned it with more of an AOL look.[7] As part of the redesign, the directory and services were rebranded as "SHOUTcast Radio", rather than "SHOUTcast Streaming Technology." The redesign included a fully functional option to view the site and directory with the old layout. At the time VideoLAN said that AOL's license for use of the SHOUTcast Radio servers would “[force] us to integrate the spyware and adware based Shoutcast Radio Toolbar inside your browser.” and thus prevents open source software from using the SHOUTcast Radio servers.[8]


SHOUTcast said in 2011 that up to 900,000 concurrent listeners could be seen on public streams during peak hours. The audience on private streams is unknown. The maximum and minimum number of listeners fluctuates widely during a day, with roughly three times as many listeners during peak hours as at low use times. This would indicate US-centric use of the platform compared with platforms that have a worldwide audience and do not see such a wide variation throughout the day. As of May 2014 SHOUTcast Radio included over 50,000 stations.

Concurrent server growth
Concurrent listener growth

Supported file formats

Source Clients Input Formats Output Formats
MP3 AAC Ogg Vorbis FLAC WAV MP3 AAC/AAC+ NSV video
sc_trans v1 Yes No No No No Yes No Yes
sc_trans v2 Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes, requires a license key Yes Yes, but unsupported
Liquidsoap Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Live DSP Input N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes Yes

Version history

Version Platform Release date Notes and significant changes
  • Windows 32-bit (Windows 2000 and up)
  • Windows 64-bit (Windows XP64 and up)
  • Linux 64-bit
  • BSD (8.x)
  • Raspbian (Raspberry Pi - works on RPi A/A+/B/B+ and RPi2)
  • Mac OS X (Intel)
(31 March 2015)

Current Version [9]

2.4.2 build 167/168
(30 October 2014 / 10 November 2014)
2.4.1 build 164/165
(27 October 2014 / 29 October 2014) *release not supported. Superseded by 2.4.2
2.4.0 build 147
(9 September 2014) First version to include built in adserver allowing broadcasters to create revenue from their streams.
2.2.2 build 123
(31 July 2014) First version released by new parent company Radionomy
2.2.1 build 109
(29 November 2013) Last version released under AOL ownership
2.2.0 build 107
(16 October 2013)
2.0.0 build 29
(31 July 2011) First non-beta 2.0 release
1.9.8 Windows, Linux 2004 last version of SHOUTcast v1


See also


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/18/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.