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Centova Technologies

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How do I specify Unlimited Listeners or Unlimited Bandwidth?


I want to give my clients Unlimited Listeners or Unlimited Bandwidth. How can I do this in Centova Cast?


Short answer: this is not possible.

Long answer:

The number of listeners you can support will always be limited by your network speed. If your server provider gives you a 10Mbps port, for example, and you have a 128kbps stream, then the maximum number of simultaneous listeners you could ever sustain is 10240 divided by 128 = 80 listeners.

You can adjust that calculation accordingly for your own port speed and bit rate to determine an appropriate listener limit.

I don't care about port speeds and all that -- can't I just remove the limit?

It is important to consider what will happen if you set your listener limit higher than your port speed can accommodate.

Example: Say your port speed only allows you to have 80 listeners but you set your listener limit to 100. If 100 listeners connect simultaneously, then ALL of your listeners will start being starved for bandwidth (because your port can't handle those extra 20 listeners). At that time, ALL 100 of your listeners will start to hear stuttering audio or buffering problems, making the stream unusable for everyone.

Setting a reasonable listener limit is essential to the proper functioning of your stream. For this reason, Centova Cast will not allow you to specify "unlimited" listeners when creating a stream.

Even if you don't care about the potential for disaster described above, there are two technical limitations which make this impossible:

  1. You can't omit the listener limit because SHOUTcast DNAS and IceCast both require a specific listener limit to be configured in their configuration files. They won't start without one.

  2. You cannot simply set a very high listener limit (such as 999999) to simulate an "unlimited" value, because SHOUTcast DNAS and IceCast are designed to pre-allocate resources at startup for every potential listener.

    Not only will this cause SHOUTcast DNAS and IceCast to consume huge amounts of memory, it may in fact cause them to crash at startup.

In a nutshell, this is not possible.