There are many similarities and some very big differences between the two programs.  We will try to explore some of each to help you make an informed decision for which is best for you.  As a streamer, DJ or broadcaster, both programs do essentially the same –  they will receive your broadcast from your broadcast software on your PC and rebroadcast that audio stream multiple times to the many people who have your address and listen in.    Both can accept streams in either Shoutcast or Icecast formats plus a handful of other audio formats.    So for the casual user, both are fine and work well.    In many cases, Centova based streams can be a bit more costly, more on that later.

On the server side –  the differences become more apparent.  Centovacast is NOT free and requires you to purchase a license and really only operates or is supported on a single Linux version of CentOS.   Azuracast is an open source platform that can be used free of charge, no license required and can be installed on most versions of Linux,    Of course there is the cost of renting server space, most instances of Linux are also open source and free to use. In both cases, you do NOT need to purchase additional cost items such as control panels (cPanel, etc) which only add additional expense to your server side set up.

Also – for users interested in secure connections using SSL or https:// Azuracast offers a simple, single line install code to install LetsEncrypt – A completely free way to secure your server without paying services out there who charge as much as $70USD per year for an SSL certificate.

Some Application Comparisons

Audio Streaming (Shoutcast or Icecast)YESYES
Scheduled ProgrammingYESYES
Multiple PlaylistsYESYES
Public PageYESYES
Open Source/Free to InstallYESNO
Automated Song RequestsYESNO
Custom Branding (Server Side)YESNO
Hybrid Streaming – Iceast or Shoutcast/Same StreamYESNO
Built in ‘Web DJ’  – No additional software needed
such as SAM, Mixx, Virtual DJ, etc
Bulk Upload via FTPYES

APLSTREAMING.COM has chosen to migrate all our server and client accounts to Azuracast for several reasons.

  1. Cost – Higher operating costs mean higher stream and server costs to our clients. Providing a superior product and experience to our clients at a competitive cost is what we strive for and allows us to provide a much higher level of customer support and service to all our clients.
  2. Performance – After years of running Centovacast and comparing both server and listener data, Azuracast out performs Centova by a large volume.  Less server load and faster cycle times provide a stronger and more reliable stream and/or server for our clients and their listeners.
  3. Reliability – Centova has been considered the industry leader for some time.  With that, they are comfortable with the product they have and the monthly fees that continue to roll in.    The Azuracast team and project is an ever growing community of both users and developers who continually strive to provide a better product.  Frequent updates and added features are frequent and APL is proud to be a regular patron and contributor to this project.    If you wish to donate or support the continued development of the Azuracast project, we encourage you to do so thru and follow the donate link provided.
  4.  Community – Again, regardless of whether your interest is in using a simple broadcast stream as a DJ or performer or you wish to run your own station or server.  Hands down, the Azuracast community of users and developers have several outlets online with all manner of help, guides, how-to’s plus many interactive forums available for those who may be new to streaming or just have questions.

Those with extensive backgrounds with stream servers or Linux will likely find installation of either to be pretty straightforward. Due to licensing requirements and OS restrictions, Centova set up is much more time consuming and requires some back and forth between being logged in to both your server and the Centova site, verifications, etc. The Azuracast set up has few requirements, most are included in the most current versions of Linux such a Ubuntu 18.04 for example. Install requirements and instructions can be viewed here:

Those with little to no server side experience can easily rent a fully configured, set up and ready to run Azuracast server for little cost thru and requires no programming or Linux knowledge and allows you to start streaming or selling and sharing streams on your server immediately.

In closing –  this is not meant as an endorsement of one or a bashing of another.  This is meant to explore some of the differences between the two programs and explain why and APL Audio has chosen to provide our streaming services using the Azuracast platform.    A special thank you  to Buster ‘Silver Eagle Neece’ and the entire Azuracast team for all their efforts, time and skills.  Again, we encourage all who enjoy this platform to consider supporting thru the donation link above or booking your streaming services thru so we may continue to support the project and it’s continued growth.