Need Streaming Radio Advice/Help

Forum: LXer Meta ForumTotal Replies: 6
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Jan 19, 2007
2:29 PM EDT
Ok, So I got this email from my friend who runs a local radio station:

Quoting: {Station} is seriously looking into a timetable for streaming our signal beginnig this summer. Part of my job is getting pricing for hardware.

Recommendation is for Windows Media 9 (or 10-professional). I read on the site that this software "requires" Windows Server 2003 to run properly. What's the street price on such an oddity? And does that mean we need some special box to act as a server or can any old one work since we're not really storing anything but simply encoding it and sending it out to the web?

So uh, what should I say? The fact that the "recommendation" is for Windows Media server on Win 2003 about makes me cry.

So I guess the issues come down to:

1. How do I go about figuring out what kinda cost would be involved should they go with t3h 3v1l media server? (I looked a little but couldn't figure out how the CAL licensing would work for that, and I know that the cost would be a good argument in getting him NOT to use MS. I'm pretty sure the question about using an old machine would just be a plain NO considering they'd all be several years old and probably couldn't handle server 2003 very well, let alone encoding streaming audio full time on it.)

2. How do I go about trying to convince him to go foss instead? (I assume that he'd unfortunately still be stuck using mp3 or some such for streaming, as he probably wouldn't go for ogg since people can't just click on the stream and play it with WMP.)

3. What solutions are in the foss world for such a project?

So what do you guys think? Is it a hopeless case? Or you think we might be able to talk them into using foss for it?

Thanks for any help.

Mark II

Jan 19, 2007
2:57 PM EDT
Not my thing, but apparently people are doing this just fine with Linux. Take a look at this article:

> since people can't just click on the stream and play it with WMP

Well, turn about is fair play :D

Actually, there should be no reason that he can't use mp3.

Jan 19, 2007
3:40 PM EDT
I assume bandwidth requirements have been sorted out? I mean, you can't host this from the station itself. You'd have to get the signal from the studio to the server at a datacenter. And no, a radio hooked to a line-in won't cut it :-)

That means renting, not buyinh hardware. Unless the station has a big fat dedicated pipe to the net, which I doubt.

So, you're looking at a (dedicated) streaming server + a simple server at the station that encodes the signal and sends it to the datacenter server (Win2K or XP, 1 Ghz PC with dedicated broadband. see [url= Audio Minimum Requirements.pdf] Audio M...[/url]). The streaming server using Windows Media will cost you about $1 per listener per month at 32 kbps. 56kbps is about $2 and 128 kbps about $4. So, if you want to serve up to 200 listeners online at 56kbps then that's about $400 a month (see e.g.

Looking at a random different provider (pricelist at it seems that renting a similar server that uses Linux+IceCast is about 33% cheaper (GBP 86 as opposed to GPB 122 there). And it doesn't matter where the signal comes from. If they're afraid of Linux, they can still use a 1 Ghz windows box to feed the mp3 stream to IceCast :-)

Edit: If they really want to buy and self-host, it would be about $999 for Win2K3 + $1999 for a decent server (no extra CAL's required) + whatever the cost if the uplink. I think you can figure out how expensive a line is that can hold 200 56kbps streams :-)

Jan 20, 2007
12:53 PM EDT
heh. I have no idea if anything has been sorted out. That email is the extent of my current information.

That's some good info so far. At least it will give them something to think about.

I'll keep ya updated.

Jan 22, 2007
11:09 AM EDT
This being an existing station, I would REALLY, REALLY, REALLY recommend Campcaster.

If this was a group looking to get into being a station on the net that's one thing but an existing station is used to working in a certain way. Campcaster automates a number of procedures radio stations are used to.

Go check it out.

Jan 22, 2007
1:16 PM EDT

Ok, I have more information. They are doing a stream out to their webhost Churchquest ( ), who will then do the internet stream for people to listen to.

Apparently the station is getting a T1 line in for the station-host stream.

My friend at the station said his radio group also mentioned dedicated streaming appliances that are fairly inexpensive (Around $400 I think he said). I'm guessing they run some sort of *nix or similar, cuz he said one of the selling points is that they don't run windows. :)

Jan 22, 2007
3:27 PM EDT
Quoting:My friend at the station said his radio group also mentioned dedicated streaming appliances that are fairly inexpensive (Around $400 I think he said).

Those would work too. They probably run some form of Linux with gstreamer, lame, ffmpeg or xine simply encoding whatever comes into the line-in and push it out the ethernet port. I recommend you read up on a bunch of reviews of such appliances.

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