Breaking the shoutcast ceiling

The Shoutcast platform is what connects broadcasters with listeners. It establishes an audio stream between your station’s output and the media players of your listeners.

It’s this precise connection between the listener and the station that allows you to accurately count how many people are connected.

The Shoutcast platform is typically sold with a fixed number of listener connections being possible. The more simultaneous listeners you expect to connect to your station, the more slots you need to purchase in anticipation of them all showing up at the same time. And of course, the more slots you want, the more it costs.

When 1Radio started, we had a max limit of 10 simultaneous listeners. And a for a few weeks or more, this was quite sufficient. This figure was chosen as it was the cheapest entry level and fairly unambitious. I had no idea of how many listeners we could expect to tune in. Indeed, I had no idea if we would even have DJs, nevermind listeners.

Gradually, shows would attract more than the maximum ten listeners we could accommodate. And so, we had to increase our capacity. First to 20, then 50, then 100 and finally 500.

Occasionally, a presenter would somehow attract more than 500 listeners but on the whole, we remained comfortably inside that upper limit. 

Ceejay was one presenter who could regularly break the ceiling with his interview shows.

Other times, we'd attract a swarm of bots and rippers and the number of listeners would peak unexpectedly for a few songs then fall away again just as rapidly.

This ceiling of 500 listeners proved to be sufficient for most of the life of 1Radio.

Posted by Tim on Sat 05 Nov 2022 at 12:53 and viewed 1,492 times.

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