I was wondering if it is possible to run a shoutcast server or functional equivalent on a dreamhost hosting account… or is that something for which I would need a virtual dedicated/dedicated server?
You’d need a dedicated or VPS server to run a shoutcast server. DreamHost doesn’t allow persistent processes under their shared accounts, and therefore a shoutcast server would be out of the question (as it is persistently running).
As a suggestion for running a semi-cheap shoutcast server, assuming you’re somewhat proficient with *nix (Linux) systems, try VPSLink. They run fairly cheap, but un-managed VPS’s that, under a Level 1 plan, should be sufficient to run a shoutcast server.
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