I think my station is bu..f.f..er…ing!

Oh no! We hate it when this happens just as much as you. So let’s get this fixed ASAP.

Please see our updated blog on how to further diagnose and prevent buffering.

What causes buffering?

There are several reasons your station could be buffering. In most cases, there are a lack of resources at one end or the other. However, the chances are greater if you are broadcasting remotely from a studio or PC. During a live broadcast, the streaming source depends on the “hops” and distance between your location and the server. In rare cases, a bottleneck or an intermittent issue can cause excessive latency.

The best way to diagnose this is by executing a traceroute during a buffering period. Although, this may only be suited for advanced users. The next best thing would be listening to the Auto DJ to bypass the upstream “hops” previously mentioned.

Fortunately, there is a short prebuffer built into Shoutcast servers and a burst-on-connect config for Icecast servers when the listener connects to prevent poor quality (much like Netflix). So, technically, you are never quite live. The signal would have to be perpetually perfect for this to happen.

Troubleshooting Checklist

  • Computing Resources – be sure to dedicate enough processing power to the PC sourcing your remote SHOUTcast or Icecast server. You may wish to avoid multitasking or running programs with excessive resource usage. I.e. RAM, CPU.
  • WiFi vs Wired – a wired connection is always faster than a wireless one. Try it.
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) – As a reality check, test your ISP upstream speed. Download and upload speeds are two very different things. If necessary encode in AAC+ format to preserve audio quality at a lower bitrate.

AAC+ 48 Kbps = AAC 96 Kbps = MP3 128 Kbps

  • Traceroute – not all people know how to do a traceroute, but the results are a real help, as are screenshots, to our senior support team.

If you checked off each item on the troubleshooting list above and are still having problems, please submit a support ticket for further assistance.

Updated on March 5, 2024

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