Icecast video streaming with OBS

In this post I'll outline configuration steps for streaming video from an Icecast server with OBS as the source.

The intention is to be able to self-host a video stream that could be used for a variety of purposes, such as "watch/view together" use.

The configuration below has been tested to keep each connected viewer closely synced to the same point in the stream. The difference in sync between viewers stays roughly between 0-2 seconds in testing. If this isn't of importance to you, then you may benefit from increasing the Icecast queue-size and burst-size.

A self-signed SSL certificate will be generated in this example, with SSL/TLS used for the OBS > Icecast connection, and for the Viewer > Icecast connections. The Icecast server will be streaming publically unless you setup firewalling to do otherwise, or if you password protect the viewer connections (by putting Icecast behind a password protected NGINX proxy or similar).

Setup Icecast

This was tested on a Vultr 1 vCPU / 2GB RAM server running Fedora 33 x64.

  1. Stop firewalld, as the cloud provider's firewall around the instance will suffice for testing. Just make sure port 22 & 443 are accessible.
    systemctl stop firewalld
  2. Install Icecast
    dnf install -y icecast
  3. Generate a self-signed SSL certificate.
    openssl req -x509 -nodes -days 365 -subj '/CN=icecastserver/O=icecastserver/C=SG' -newkey rsa:4096 -keyout /usr/share/icecast/ssl.crt -out /usr/share/icecast/ssl.crtchmod 644 /usr/share/icecast/ssl.crt
  4. Make sure the following items are set within the Icecast configuration, within their respective sections.
    vim /etc/icecast.xml
  5. Start Icecast
    icecast -b -c /etc/icecast.xml

Setup OBS

This was tested with OBS v27.0.1 running on Fedora 33 Linux - If you're intending to use OBS from Windows 10 or OSX, then you'll likely need to check the Troubleshooting section with respect to potential SSL/TLS connection issues.

  1. Setup OBS to stream to Icecast as follows:
    File > Settings > Output
    Output Mode          = Advanced
    Select the "Recording" tab
        Type                       = Custom Output (FFmpeg)
        File path or URL           = icecast://source:<source-password>@<ip-address>:<port>/<mountpoint>.ts
        Container Format           = mpegts
        Muxer Settings             = content_type=video/m2ts tls=1
        Video Bitrate              = 6000 Kbps
        Keyframe interval (frames) = 250
        Show all codecs            = Ticked
        Video Encoder              = libx264
        Audio Bitrate              = 192 Kbps
        Audio Encoder              = libopus
  2. Click Start Recording to start streaming from OBS to the Icecast server.

Connect to the Icecast stream

  1. Open the .ts URL of the Icecast server using your media player of choice (MPV, PotPlayer, VLC etc)

    mpv https://<ip-address>/<mountpoint>.ts


The media player disconnects mid stream or struggles to start the stream, and you don't think it's a bandwidth issue.
  • Try increasing the Icecast queue-size and burst-size, or reducing the Video Bitrate within OBS streaming to Icecast.
As soon as you click Start Recording in OBS, it errors out with Error number -10054 occurred; ffmpeg_data_init failed.
  • In testing, this occured when trying to connect to Icecast over SSL/TLS, but only on Windows 10 and not under Linux (Fedora 34). OBS 27.0.1 was used on both systems. This appears to be due to differences between FFmpeg versions that may end up being used by OBS across these two tested OS setups. A way to fix this on Windows 10 is to use a newer version of FFmpeg with OBS that supports the Icecast tls option to Establish a TLS (HTTPS) connection to Icecast , or to disable SSL/TLS on the Icecast listen-socket that you're connecting to. Both approaches are outlined as below, depending on which you'd prefer to use.
Updating FFmpeg on Windows 10 OBS in order to connect to Icecast over SSL/TLS.
  1. Download a shared release of a recent version of FFmpeg. v4.4 was tested as working. You can grab it from here or here.
  2. Extract the contents of the bin directory into the OBS bin directory, and overwrite any existing files. The path is typically C:\Program Files\obs-studio\bin\
  3. Try connecting OBS to the Icecast server once again now, it should work.
Alternatively: Disable SSL/TLS

You only need to apply this to the icecast listen-socket you connect OBS to, you can still have another listen-socket setup in the Icecast configuration for any viewers to connect with SSL/TLS if desired. You can use the adjusted config below to connect OBS to Icecast on port 8000 without SSL/TLS.

# Set <ssl> to 0 under the <listen-socket> section, and set the <port> to 8000


# Set `tls=0` inside the OBS `Muxer Settings` (OBS will likely still connect if it's set to `tls=1`, as long as SSL isn't enabled on the Icecast `listen-socket` you're connecting to):

        File > Settings > Output

        Output Mode                 = Advanced
        Select the "Recording" tab
        Muxer Settings              = content_type=video/m2ts tls=0
  • Open the .ts URL of the Icecast server using your media player of choice (MPV, PotPlayer, VLC etc)
    mpv http://<ip-address>:8000/<mountpoint>.ts
How can I get this to use a browser friendly video container so I can stream within a web browser?
  • You can try using webm for the Container Format inside OBS, with libvpx or libvpx-vp9 as the Video Encoder. I encountered performance issues on the encoding end when testing this, but your mileage may vary.

This article was updated on Thursday, June 6, 2024