SHOUTcast is a free-of-charge audio homesteading solution. It permits anyone on the internet to broadcast audio from their PC to listeners across the Internet or any other IP-based network (Office LANs, college campuses, etc.).

SHOUTcast’s underlying technology for audio delivery is MPEG Layer 3, also known as MP3 technology. The SHOUTcast system can deliver audio in a live situation, or can deliver audio on-demand for archived broadcasts.

How SHOUTcast works…

The SHOUTcast audio homesteading system is comprised of three simple components. They are explained in detail below:


Listeners tune in to SHOUTcast broadcasts by using a player compatible with streaming MP3 audio. Users can visit the SHOUTcast directory to locate a stream they’d like to listen to. Recommended players are listed below:

Windows users should use Winamp.Linux/X Windows users can use Amarok or XMMS.


Persons wanting to broadcast will need to run their own server, as per the instructions below, or find someone willing to run one for them. Once a server?s located, broadcasters use Winamp and a plug-in called the SHOUTcast Source for Winamp Plug-In to send audio from Winamp to the SHOUTcast server. The tools are available here, and there’s an entire section of the documentation dedicated to the plug-in.


The magic of the SHOUTcast system happens inside the SHOUTcast Distributed Network Audio Server (DNAS). This software runs on a server attached to an IP network with lots of bandwidth, and is responsible for receiving audio from a broadcaster, updating the SHOUTcast directory with information about what the broadcaster is sending, and sending the broadcast out to listeners. More information is in the server section of the documentation.