I've got some experience with Shoutcast streaming and incorporating Skype callers into a live Shoutcast stream using a mixer or a computer with two sound cards. Blog Talk Radio has managed to make it so easy that a person can host a talk show using only a telephone!
I'm looking to target a US-based niche market of folks who don't use the telephone as a mic, but are willing to invest in a small desktop mixer, microphone and stand. I want to be able to offer different bitrates, i.e. 32kbps for talk shows, and 96 and 128 kbps for music shows.
One of the complaints that I'm hearing about BlogTalkRadio is that there are schedule limitations. For example, apparently because there are a limited number of prime-time slots available, a show may have to be streamed in an inconvenient time slot. I want to provide a premium, turnkey service as well for those who want to host a show but need web design and marketing expertise. For example, I want to provide customized branded widgets and embedded players that reflect the client's program.
As a broadcaster, I've dealt exclusively with streaming providers. Now that I'm looking to take on streaming clients, I know that I need a dedicated server. However, what I'm not sure about is what are my specific technical needs if for example I want to be able to handle 10-12 simultaneous streams with an average of 150 listeners each.
Hardware is pretty inexpensive to rent these days, so I would suggest a quad core CPU, like an Intel Core2Quad or similar. You'll want 4GB or 8GB of memory, and it couldn't hurt to have 2 identical hard drives running RAID1 for data mirroring.
The amount of bandwidth you will need will vary based on amount of listeners and average bit rate. For now I think it will be safe to go with a machine on a 100 mbit port with 5-10TB of bandwidth (1 TB is 1000GB).
We're not allowed to solicit your business here, but I'm sure you can find a few good options if you review the offers section of the forum.
Thanks a bunch. I'm looking at the offers section now.
If the "thanks" was directed at me...you're welcome! It's a tremendous privilege to be able to bounce ideas off seasoned veterans and knowledgeable folks like those here in this forum. Therefore in the interest of not wanting to waste anyone's time or add to frustration, I try to be as clear and thorough as possible whenever I am soliciting feedback.
Thanks. I'm retiring from teaching middle school science in a couple of months. I'm looking for a business that will enable me to be as mobile as possible...a business that I can run from an office in the Caribbean!
Just out of curiosity, why would he need a quad-core cpu with 4-8 GB of memory to run voip apps? Admittedly I don't have much experience with shoutcast, but with teamspeak you can easily run dozens of servers on a simple VPS. Unless teamspeak is far superior in terms of optimization, I don't know why this would be any different?
In fact it seems a little better if the OP perhaps went with a few good VPS providers in different datacenters for redundancy, and then had a dynamically assigned host address--like a poor mans BGP, geographic redundancy--http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E14148_02/wlcp/ocsg41_otn/admin/geo.html and global load balancing--http://www.brocade.com/solutions-technology/enterprise/application-delivery/geographic-redundancy-and-scalability/index.page
A radio broadcast is much more sensitive to downtime because as soon as the stream goes down, listeners will instantly switch to another service. Dynamically assigning addresses of 2 servers (shout1 and shout2), to say live.something.com may make more sense.