The purpose of SHOUTcast is simple. SHOUTcast hosting servers allow you to host an online radio station. To put it simply, SHOUTcast in itself is a free software developed by AOL that has the capability to take a single piece of audio and distribute it to a number of clients. Of course, this is putting it rather simplistically, but that explains the essence of SHOUTcast hosting.
There are a number of advantages in using SHOUTcast:
* It is widely used
* Enjoys popular support
* Low cost
* A large number of radio station support SHOUTcast
These days, more and more people are interested in SHOUTcast servers. But, it must be remembered that running a server that does an awesome job of filling the world with music is not an easy job. Before you can beam out your music, you have to configure the server, upload music and configure some more. So, choosing the right SHOUTcast hosting service is the only way to make your life easy.
All SHOUTcast hosting servers do the same thing. However, there is a difference in the number of tools offered by various hosting servers. Depending on these tools, you have greater ability to control your server. Additional features are great. The network over which the streams are delivered decides the quality of the service. Similarly, some SHOUTcast hosting services offer great customer support. The price is also a factor that should figure in choosing the right hosting service.
Some of the nifty features that you must look for in your SHOUTcast hosting service provider are the level of customer support they offer, their up time report and of course, customer reviews about the quality of their service. Without prompt customer support, it is practically impossible for an average person to configure the server and get the music going. The best way is to read through customer reviews. You’ll know what other customers feel about the service of these hosting services. Better still, choose a service that allows you a trial period. That way, you get a chance to evaluate the services of the host firsthand.
Another important feature is the number of listeners the package supports. If you are running a home radio station that is meant for your pals, you could do with a package that allows 8-10 listeners. However, a large radio station requires a bigger listening capacity. If your hosting service does not provide sufficient power, then, your listeners are going to drop you.
Radio stations must never suffer from downtime. Listeners don’t like their stations drawing a blank. Therefore, choose a hosting service that guarantees you minimal downtime. This is important.
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