Looking for a Live audio broadcast solution

Do any of you know of good free solutions for audio casting a live event?

One of my customers wants to broadcast some lectures live. They expect over 1000 people worldwide would be listening live.

Of course, the lectures start in two days, but I’m not going to try and get that one live - haha.

Second part, would the solution you mention be possible with a single server, or would I have to arrange for multiple servers?

I’ve come up with the following “survey” page

But, I need someone with real world experience, or at least a strong opinion <smile> to help out with understanding what these really need, and how easy they really are to use.

I have no real world experience with any of them (I set many of them up in the past when I was experimenting with media caching, but never did any real work). It’s a kind of strangely defunct category. No movement in years.

One project/company has been doing useful work and releasing frequently: Fluendo. They’re also the de facto source for legal codecs on Linux, so they have at least some credibility. Their open source streaming server Flumotion is here: http://www.flumotion.net/

I think it only streams open formats in the free version, but there is a Java applet player that works on all platforms–you just embed it into your page. So it provides all of the needed infrastructure in a "YouTube" like way.

Icecast is a granddaddy in the field, having been around for years, and seemingly still pretty active.

I dunno about number of simultaneous streams and such. Realistically, most hosting companies don’t have the infrastructure to do efficient streaming, but then most end users don’t have to infrastructure to receive those efficient streams. 1000 streams is probably pushing the boundaries of what you can expect from a single box on a single pipe, but boxes and pipes are faster than when I was paying any attention.

You might consider letting someone else handle serving the streams. Shoutcast is free, though I’m not sure about stream limitations or quality.

Also worth considering: Don’t stream it live. Post it to YouTube a few hours later (assuming you can take video). Google does that for their Talks@Google, and nobody complains. And you can get a lot more viewers over time if they remain available.

Just some thoughts. Let us know what you figure out. (And hopefully, others will chime in if they’ve done this sort of work. We’ve got a pretty wide range of people hanging out here.)