PeerCast.org was established in April 2002 as a non-profit site providing free peer-to-peer broadcasting software. The aim of the project is to create an easy to use, simple and reliable software client that enables anyone to broadcast streaming media on the Internet without the need for expensive servers or bandwidth.
PeerCast offers considerable savings for broadcasters because they do not have to provide bandwidth for all of their listeners. A single 56K modem can be used to broadcast to the entire network.
PeerCast is a robust network because there is no central server, each user can be a client, server or broadcaster of streams. It offers anonymity for broadcasters because there is no easy way to trace back to the original stream, it is even possible to broadcast directly to a single client located in a different country and have that provide the source for the entire network.
PeerCast can also serve streams directly to any media player. This means that it can be used in place of a Shoutcast/Icecast server to provide both direct and P2P streaming at the same time.
It works in much the same way as other P2P fileshare clients except that instead of downloading files, the users download streams. These streams are then exchanged in real-time with other users. No data is stored locally on any machine connected to the network.
The client software has the ability to serve web pages to normal browsers such as Mozilla and Internet Explorer. This means that people on your LAN can search for and listen to channels without having to install the client software on their PC. Offices can have one PeerCast client providing audio streams to the entire LAN. Or you can set up a private network with your friends on the Internet to listen to music. Its your choice about whether you connect directly to the PeerCast network or not.