SHOUTcast.com Forced Changes & Feature Removal.
Over the past few weeks we have received a number of requests regarding SHOUTcast.com (creators of the SHOUTcast server & desktop software) now moving in a new direction, one that takes free and widely used software and places it behind a paid plan system.
Why are they doing this?
Well you would need to ask them, we understand the business decision behind it, but we fail to understand the way it has been implemented and lack of care not only to it's users (without users SHOUTcast wouldn't exist) but it's host partners such as Dribb that have been the backbone to making SHOUTcast a popular broadcast platform.
What does this all mean?
Well, if Dribb.com update server software to the latest SHOUTcast version, you are on the new "free" plan and lose the features such as AAC and you have a limit of 128kbps max MP3 broadcast, unless you pay SHOUTcast.com directly for the new "paid" plan to get back the features you have already been using for years. Please note the fee plan and paid plan are ONLY for use of the SHOUTcast software.
What happens if Dribb.com do not update the server software?
You get to keep the functions and features as you have been using, however the SHOUTcast.com directory listing will no longer work, this means your station will not be listed on the SHOUTcast.com directory.
Why do we lose the directory listing?
Essentially SHOUTcast.com wish to force everyone to pay them, so they have changed the authhash functionality, this means you cannot use the new authhash generated on SHOUTcast.com on your older SHOUTcast server page as the new ones are not compatible.
But my SHOUTcast.com radio manager page is still old version with old authhash?
You will have seen a notice on the site, you currently have the option to switch to the new system/site or stay with the old one for now, however you will inevitably be forced to use the new one as they have a set switch date that will force a switch regardless, so your old authhash functionality will not work.
WHAT CAN WE DO???
If you are not planning to use the SHOUTcast paid plan for the software (and we do not think you should, simply because you are paying for what you have already been using for years, and because of the way they have handled this all) it looks like the best option is to switch to Icecast, Icecast is Open Source (so won't ever be charged).
What are Dribb.com's future plans on this all?
We have been having several meetings, the outcome being that we will need to update the server software in order to stay secure and up to date, but we will provide a 30 day warning of this happening, customers will need to be aware that from the date we update they may lose functionality, customers must be aware that Dribb.com are not responsible for this nor can we stop it or prevent it.
What happens if i wish to switch to Icecast?
Dribb.com Direct Customers: You can submit a support ticket and our team will handle your request, please note the switch includes setting up your account from new, you can keep the same username, IPs and port numbers however some data such as statistics, logs, playlists and such will not be saved, audio files stored (for AutoDJ) can be saved, depending on the amount of files stored, you may wish to have a backup available yourself
Dribb.com Resellers: You must pass all this information on to your customers, as soon as we issue the 30 day switch warning please pass this on also, your customers have the same options, however you will need to handle the account switches yourself, we can be available to assist but we can not do this for you, since you provide this level of support yourself to your customers.
EDIT: There are no added costs in switching to Icecast, it is free to switch to Icecast, and you do not need to switch now, once we issue the 30 day warning, you will have the full 30 days to switch, please submit a support ticket.
The changes don't really bother me, so what happens?
When you are switched to the new version, you will simply lose the functionality not available in the now "free software plan", if this isn't an issue for you then nothing will change and you will be fine on the new version.
Can't you include this in the Dribb.com plans?
No, it is simply above the cost of our plans and it would not be a financially viable option.
How about increasing your Dribb.com plan prices to include it or add it as an add-on?
Not everyone will want this so we do not see any reason to force an increase of price to include something that is optional, since customers can already opt to pay for the new software plan direct with SHOUTcast.com anyway if they wanted it. The radio manager mini-site on SHOUTcast.com is aimed at direct-to-customer control, we do not see adding it as an add-on an option.
I'm not happy, I will cancel my Dribb.com plan!
Please be aware that every service provider that offers SHOUTcast servers/streaming services will have this same problem, since this is not a service provider issue it is a core software company issue, you are not going to avoid it by moving providers.
You can view the paid plans here: https://shoutcast.com/Pricing << Pricing is per server instance (per stream account).
We would love to hear from you, we also suggest directing all comments and anger over this to SHOUTcast.com directly, sadly do not expect much of a reply from them, their customer service is lacking, not bad for a company now looking to charge you...
We hope that SHOUTcast.com listens to feedback and act, we hope negative impact drives them to be different, be better and remember who made them what they are today...the users, the stations...deserve better than this.
Dribb.com Customer Services