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While waiting for Winamp to disappear on December 20th, which has been formally announced, nothing definite has changed involving the future of Shoutcast, the most popular streaming directory on the web, co-owned with Winamp (by AOL).
Watching the Shoutcast Forums has given a blurred picture, because the admins have been seemingly “in the dark” on any future of the service, apparently not “in-the-loop” as far as the corporate level above them and, co-incidentally trying to solve a rash of unexplained system glitches frustrating many regular users. Businesses which depend on Shoutcast V2 for commercial streaming have no direct connection to an executive level office and depend on the Forums as their only communication pathway with Shoutcast.
Meanwhile, checking with associated 3rd party forums, including Icecast, Edcast, StereoTools, AIMP and others, development has been at a standstill for awhile and one detects an underlying hint that copyright issues are being battled out below the surface.
It seems that the rights to MP3, the most popular streaming format, belong to Technicolor Corporation, and rights payments are due for all commercial users of the MP3 codec. In similar way the emerging AAC codec is ALSO copyrighted, in this case (I think) by Orban Corporation.
For a college education on streaming, listen to THIS WEEK IN RADIO TECH PROGRAM 193