The 7 Best SHOUTcast Hosting Services
When you are starting to plan your online radio station, you want to make sure you are delivering the best possible content. You look for good DJs, the right genres of music, areas to advertise your new station, and the right platform to get your music out there. Nearly 90,000 use SHOUTcast DNAS (Distributed Network Audio Server) to stream their audio.
However, just as important as the platform is the host. With internet radio broadcasting gaining in popularity, reach your fans with a safe, reliable web host. Read on for our top SHOUTcast Hosting recommendations.
What is SHOUTcast?
SHOUTcast allows you to host just about any radio station you like. It stands out from other internet radio platforms because it focuses on the users and it is easily accessible. SHOUTcast uses mp3 technology to delivery audio and NSV for audio/video.
To use SHOUTcast, you will install the software program SHOUTcast DNAS, or SC_SERV onto the network server. Therefore, all users who want to listen to a SHOUTcast stream will connect to the SHOUTcast DNAS. The DNAS will also update the SHOUTcast directory with information relevant to the audio stream.
The Shoutcast Radio DNAS Server is available for these platforms:
- Windows - All versions
- Linux glibcSpecific Hardware and Software Requirements
- BSD 8.x
- Mac OS X
- Raspbian (Raspberry Pi)
Do I Need A SHOUTcast-specific Plan?
Many times, it is possible to run SHOUTcast on your current web hosting plan, if you have one. Many people who are just starting out will choose this route because it can save them time and hassle.
Top Features to Consider
For those who are looking to switch to a new plan or are just starting out, here are a few necessary features you should consider.
Ideally, you want your uptime to be 100%, but this is usually nearly impossible. There higher the uptime guarantee percentage, the less time your website will spend offline. For those who use SHOUTcast as a money-maker or to reach as many people as possible consistently, you will want an uptime guarantee of at least 99.94%.
It's a good idea to check with a prospective hosting service to see if they've specified their uptime guarantees in a Service Level Agreement (SLA), including monetary compensation for downtime.
As we mentioned earlier, a cheaper host might mean that you will experience loading speed. Depending on your needs and plans for your radio station, that might not be a bad thing for you.
However, if you want a fast, reliable speed, make sure you find a host that can give you a fast server response time.
Scalability. Dreaming of growing your radio station one day?
Make your life easier later down the line by choosing a host that can scale up with you as your station gets bigger. You can even select a hosting provider like a cloud host that can scale up and down with you if you get unexpected traffic spikes.
Good Customer Service
This should go without saying, but find a host that is responsive and can help you with any issues that come up. You want a host that is available 24/7 via phone, email, and chat.
One that can respond quickly and resolve problems is one that you will want to sign with.
ShoutCAST Hosting Plan
The hosting plan depends on what you want kind of radio station you want to create. Is this just for your friends and family to hear broadcasts? If so, you can consider looking into a cheaper plan through a shared host. Everything will be pre-configured for you which makes it easy for you to concentrate on just providing an exceptional listening experience.
However, going cheap can lead to slow loading times, so to make the best possible experience for your listeners, you want a host that can provide bandwidth and scalability.
You will have more restricts with a shared hosting plan such as the number of listeners or broadcasts that you can have and voice quality. If you are looking to send this out to more than just close friends and family, you probably do not want to go with a shared hosting plan.
You should also look at the bandwidth offered in your desired plan. Sometimes you might see a hosting provider that offers “unlimited” hosting. Unlimited, however, is a bit of false advertising.
You will only receive an unlimited amount of bandwidth, CPU, storage, etc. until you exceed “normal” usage. “Normal” can mean very different things to different websites and providers, so it is vital that you are doing your research beforehand to make sure you won’t experience snail-like speeds once you exceed a certain level.
Depending on your budget, amount of listenings, and the desired level of quality of your broadcasts, you might want to consider cloud hosting, VPS hosting, or a dedicated server hosting. With each of these plans, you will experience a significant level of resources dedicated to you and your website.
While all three of these types of hosting plans are more expensive than shared hosting, you do get enhanced performance and security. You will also see greater levels of flexibility, and you can handle much higher levels of traffic.
Before committing to a two-year hosting plan, make sure it is the right one for you! Look at your expected level of traffic and the quality of your radio show you want to put out there. SHOUTcast is an excellent program for hosting a radio show, but you need to have a great host that can handle your needs. Check out our top recommended hosting providers to find the right plan for you!
The Top SHOUTcast Hosting Providers