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.

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 and Icecast when the listener connects to prevent poor quality (much like Netflix). So, technically, you are never quite live. The signal would have to be perfect for this to occur.

Troubleshooting Checklist

  1. Computer 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.
  2. Wifi vs Ethernet – a wired connection is always faster than wifi where available.
  3. Internet Service Provider – as a reality check test your ISP upstream speed and do the quick math to see if the amount of devices connected at your location is reasonable.
  4. Traceroute – not all people know how to do a traceroute, but the results can often be quite revealing and pinpoint the problem. As a matter of fact, our techs regularly request traceroutes and/or screenshots.
Updated on November 19, 2020

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