When To Choose Shoutcast Hosting

A company chooses Shoutcast hosting for a very specific type of website: a streaming media service. This can include an array of various types of websites, all typified under the umbrella of “Internet radio”. It requires a hosting solution that is setup to use the Shoutcast software, published by Nullsoft, and now owned by AOL.

Website types can be broadly categorized in several categories.  The simplest websites are one-way. They provide information for website visitors, but receive no responses.  These can be dictionary websites, sites that publish family photos, or governmental document providers.  Sites that are more complex accept two-way transactions.  These can include sites that register customers (such as a real estate site that publishes listings in exchange for customer referrals) or survey sites that store the answers to customer questions.  Sites that are even more complex involve third party sites, such as a storefront, which directs customers temporarily to a credit card clearing website. However, a website that delivers streaming media does not fit well into any of these categories.

A novice might think that a streaming media website could fit into the first, most simple category for a website since it is just delivering data one way.  However, streaming media is more than a website that simply delivers large files.  This is actually a benefit to the website owner, who does not need to deal with the distribution of large, copyrighted material.

The first thing that Shoutcast hosting provides is synchronized data delivery. Any customer viewing the website will be receiving the exact same data at the same time.  In the case of Internet Radio, each visitor listens to the same music as if it were broadcast over the airwaves. However, this synchronization is much more difficult over the internet.  The Shoutcast software takes care of potential problems such as varying internet connection bandwidths and data routing speeds. It does all the work for the website owner.  In addition, it handles such requirements as the “initiation sequence” for new visitors, which can insert a special advertisement into the stream, often a request for a subscription. It can also coordinate the stream for paying subscribers that do not receive commercials to free subscribers that do.

Other features of Shoutcast hosting include the ability to protect copyrighted materials in a way that leaves the owner with zero liability. It can also coordinate messages, such as playlists that come up on the user’s browser. With some hosting companies, video media can also be streamed with Shoutcast.

If you are considering setting up a website for streaming media, consider Shoutcast hosting. Use Shoutcast hosting for applications such as Internet Radio. If you are a radio station wishing to establish a web presence, Shoutcast is a strong solution.

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