Posted By Paul Kafasis on March 1st, 2018
Today, our internet radio tool Nicecast is being retired from active development. Nicecast is no longer available for purchase, and we do not plan any further updates. Nicecast will be supported on MacOS 10.10 through 10.13 until the end of 2018, after which it will be fully deprecated.
Please read on for more details.
Nicecast was one of Rogue Amoeba’s earliest apps, first released way back in 2003, and receiving more than sixty updates since then. Soon after Audio Hijack provided the ability to record any audio on the Mac, users asked us to make it possible to broadcast any audio to the world. At the time, it was very difficult to create an online radio station.
So it was that we decided to join our powerful audio capture with a simple user interface on top of the open-source command-line icecast MP3 streaming server. With Nicecast, even novices could get started streaming audio from their Macs to listeners around the globe.
In short order, Nicecast users were providing hundreds of different streams for the world. Hobbyists were able to live out their DJ fantasies, while terrestrial radio stations could easily provide online access to their content as well. It was very exciting, and we improved the app significantly in the first few years.
However, Nicecast never gained widespread popularity, and thus has always been a junior player in our product lineup. As well, after a brief ascendancy, internet radio has not continued to grow. While it is certainly still in use today, it is small niche compared to the promise it originally showed. The vast majority of listeners rock out with streaming music services like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and many others.
Our customers are best served when we optimize our limited resources, and so the time has come to put Nicecast out to pasture. The waning popularity of internet radio, coupled with pending changes to MacOS which will break 32-bit apps, are leading us to retire the product.
If you’re an existing user of Nicecast, you can of course continue to use it on supported systems (that’s MacOS 10.10 – 10.13). Nothing will change for you in the short-term. If you need to download the software again, the last planned version, 1.11.13, is available from our Legacy page. Technical support will be continued for licensed users through the end of 2018, after which the application will be fully deprecated.
Due to Nicecast’s 32-bit nature, we expect that changes Apple plans for future MacOS updates will render the two wholly incompatible. As such, you should be extremely cautious with any production environments running Nicecast, and avoid updating them past MacOS 10.13.
We encourage our existing users, as well as any new users looking for Nicecast, to find alternate solutions for broadcasting content online. Other solutions for creating an internet radio station do exist. To run a local streaming server on your Mac, installation of the command-line icecast is possible using Homebrew or MacPorts.
Feeding audio into any streaming server, local or remote, is possible with several different tools. The icecast website maintains a useful list of third party apps, with Mac tools like Ladiocast and broadcast using this tool (aka “butt”) being of special note. It’s also worth mentioning that our audio routing tool Loopback will enable you to feed any audio from your Mac into these tools for broadcasting.
Update (March 2nd, 2018): We got a lot of questions from users, so we’ve taken the time to expand on the above in a separate blog post. Please see “Broadcasting From the Mac Without Nicecast” for more complete instructions to help you transition away from Nicecast.
While Nicecast is now retired, we are considering future solutions to help users broadcast to more modern streaming options. In particular, we know many podcasters provide a live stream using Nicecast, and hope to eventually provide a more comprehensive solution for that use case. Following this blog is the best way to stay up to date with our latest news.
It’s sad to retire an application, particularly one that’s been developed for almost fifteen years. Nicecast solved a real problem in a fun, useful way. Unfortunately, that problem space just wasn’t big enough, and the world passed the app by. We’re sad to see Nicecast go, but excited to dedicate our energies to more modern projects which will help even more users.
If you’re an existing Nicecast owner with further questions, please get in touch directly.