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Icecast logo large 2004.svg
Developer(s)Xiph.Org Foundation
Initial release1999; 19 years ago (1999)
Stable release
2.4.4 / October 31, 2018; 18 days ago (2018-10-31)[1]
Preview release
2.5 beta2 / 19 May 2018; 5 months ago (2018-05-19)[2]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC
Operating systemUnix-like and Microsoft Windows
Typestreaming media server
LicenseGNU GPL

Icecast is a streaming media project released as free software maintained by the Foundation. It also refers specifically to the server program which is part of the project. Icecast was created in December 1998/January 1999 by Jack Moffitt[3][4] and Barath Raghavan[4] to provide an open source audio streaming server that anyone could modify, use, and tinker with. Version 2, a ground-up rewrite aimed at multi-format support (initially targeting Ogg Vorbis) and scalability, was started in 2001 and released in January 2004.[4]

In 2006 Icecast has been described as 'one of the leading open source peer-to-peer streaming solutions'.[5]


Icecast was originally developed as a solution to deal with his University's (SMU) radio station and its constant loss of FCC licensing and its state at the time to only reach listeners in the building where the dj's booth was located. Seeing that all of the dorms throughout campus had ethernet and cost for purchasing a third party solution, such as RealAudio, was prohibitive. So Jack created Icecast. With that not only was SMU's broadcast reach increased throughout campus so was the internet radio and broadcast industry changed. Initially developed to support mp3's, Vorbis was added shortly after as Chris "Monty" Montgomery and Jack Moffitt are after all the cofounders of the Foundation.

Technical details[edit]

The Icecast server is capable of streaming audio content as Opus or Vorbis[6] over standard HTTP, video as WebM or Theora[6] over HTTP, MP3[6] over the communications protocol used by SHOUTcast, AAC,[4] and NSV[4] over the SHOUTcast protocol (Theora, AAC, and NSV are only supported in version 2.2.0 and newer).

Icecast requires external programs, called "source clients", to originate the streams,[7] and the Icecast project includes a source client program known as IceS.[8] The source runs typically in the place where the audio is generated (e.g., a studio) and the Icecast server in a place where a lot of bandwidth is available (e.g., a colocation centre). Since version 2.4.0 source clients can use plain HTTP standard PUT requests instead of the custom SOURCE method.[4]

Supported file formats[edit]

Source Clients Input Formats Output Formats
MP3 AAC Ogg Vorbis FLAC WAV MP3 AAC/AAC+ Ogg Vorbis Ogg Opus Ogg FLAC NSV video Ogg Theora video WebM video
IceS 0.4 Yes No Yes No No Yes No No No No No No No
IceS 2.0 No No Yes No No No No Yes No No No Yes No
Liquidsoap Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No
Live DSP Input N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Icecast Release 2.4.4". 31 October 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Icecast Release 2.5 beta2". 19 May 2018. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  3. ^ "about jack moffitt". Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "News Archive". Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  5. ^ Joe Follansbee (2006). Hands-on Guide to Streaming Media: An Introduction to Delivering On-demand Media. Taylor & Francis. pp. 227–. ISBN 978-0-240-80863-5.
  6. ^ a b c "Icecast". Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Icecast Docs - Introduction". Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  8. ^ "IceS". Retrieved 13 March 2015.

External links[edit]