What Kind of Internet Connection Do I Need to Be Able to Stream Radio on My PC?

Internet Radio is very simple in today’s world. Basically you can use the same computer with the same software to stream to 1 listener or thousands of listeners. What is important is that you know how much bandwidth you need and the bit rare you want to use to stream your music.

Bandwidth – Is the amount of data your internet connection can carry from one point to another in a given time period. Than means, Small bandwidth, you will get a few listeners. A big bandwidth will allow you to have more listeners.

Bit rate – Simply refers to the audio quality of the stream, this is measured in computer terms in ‘kbps – kilo bits per second’ or ‘k’ for short. Listening to a station in 128k stereo would sound like CD quality, where as 24k would sound more like listening over the phone.

OK BUT HOW MUCH DO I NEED?

Well here a brief idea:

  • 1 MB = 1024 kb so that means if you stream at 128 kbps
  • 1 MB Upload connection = 8 Listeners
  • 5 MB Upload connection = 40 Listeners
  • 10 MB Upload connection = 80 Listeners

Remember, these are the typical upload connection speeds most people have at home. Also this will vary if you are surfing at the same time you are streaming and if you have a home phone using the internet line to make a call. These means if your use the same connection to do multiple things at the same time it could make your streaming skip and your listeners will hate that.

If your plan is to have as many listeners as you can, I recommend you get the services of an Internet Radio Server (Radio Hosting) This service will give you the capacity to have multiple listeners, keeping your home internet connection with low traffic so you can surf easily and stream at the same time. This will allow you to have more listeners.

Let say your connection is only 1 MB upload and you are streaming at 128 kbps, REMEMBER 1 MB is 1024 kb, that means you will only use 128 kb of the 1024. Your will use that 128 kb to stream to an Internet Radio server or hosting company and your listeners will connect to that server instead to your computer directly. Another big advantage is with this service you will have a static IP.

Static IP – This is the number of your computer when you surf online. It usually looks like this xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (x are numbers). The reason you want a static IP is that unless you have one your IP will change every time you access the internet. That means if you are streaming from your computer you will have to provide to your listeners the right IP of your computer every time so they can listen your streaming. With Static IP the IP number never changes so you can create a link to your Online Radio Station with that IP and you never have to change it.

That is why an Internet Radio Server Services is so convenient. Not only will it give you a Static IP it also give you a fast internet connection to handle more listeners.

In a simple summary, Bit rate + Listeners = The type of Internet Connection you will need.

How to Choose Between Shoutcast Server and a Flash Server?

When you have to choose a streaming method, you are basically faced with two choices. The simplest choice would be for you to use Shoutcast streaming. Basically, Shoutcast is a technology of Winamp which allows you to compress audio files such as MP3 and also allows you to stream them in this compressed format. Shoutcast is specially suited for audio transmission such as the transmission of MP3 files. Technically streaming in Shoutcast format is very easy as you will just have to use Winamp and the Shoutcast plugin. Whatever is playing in your Winamp would be playing in your stream as well. you can also listen to the stream with software such as Winamp, VLC and even Real Player. This is really a great choice if you are thinking of using it for making your internet radio. You can easily create your playlist in Winamp and the same list will be broadcast in your Shoutcast stream. There are many companies which provide Shoutcast service, but its also important that you get good support so that you can have the help that you need with your Shoutcast stream.

However, if you are thinking of streaming video, then Shoutcast will be woefully insufficient. You will need to use Flash streaming to get the best results. With Flash streaming basically your video is encoded using a special H264 encoder and then the encoded data is streamed to a Flash server. Then the stream is given back out to the internet and anyone with the link can watch your stream real time. Unlike Shoutcast, you can use a web player to play back your video with your Flash stream. There are many video players which has been made for Flash streaming and you can easily embed these players into your website. This way, you can give the option to your visitors to watch any video stream online in your website. In order to encode your video, you just need to have a live video source and you will need to have an encoder software such as Adobe Flash Media Encoder to encode it using the H264 protocol. You will also need to have a destination server which runs Flash server. Then you can use the link to distribute your content.

Hence, you are faced with two choices of Shoutcast or Flash streaming when you want to stream your content. Naturally, you will have to factor in the type of content that you have as well as the budget that you have set aside for this. You can get help from the internet to help you decide and you will need to make sure that your stream server service provider is able to provide you with 24 hour support and assistance to help you to achieve your objective. Once you get to hang of it, streaming your content can really be fun and you will become a content provider for the internet as well.

What Are The Different Types of Internet Radio?

The future of music is on the internet. As time goes by, more and more websites will have a focus on music as the public becomes more aware about the different types of internet radio. Internet radio is so powerful because users have instant access to thousands upon thousands of radio stations from around the world in a matter of seconds. As technology advances, and cell phones essentially become computers, these music websites are going to be accessible anywhere, anytime.

Internet radio can come in various forms. Websites provide everything from internet only stations, to custom stations, to AM and FM streaming stations, to instant downloadable songs. Some of these sites provide 100% commercial free stations with no DJ’s and no music interruption whatsoever. Others provide links to live internet radio stations from around the world. Users can listen to everything from dance music in Italy, to Sports in New York, to rock music in Australia.

Many AM and FM radio stations are now streaming the sites on the web via streaming. This is truly live internet radio. This is a growing focus for many radio companies. Upon listening to the radio on a daily basis, listeners are constantly being reminded to listen live online to the stations internet stream.

Recent trends show that videos on the internet are becoming very popular. You Tube, College Humor and Yahoo Videos are just a few websites that have thousands upon thousands of videos. These sites are becoming more popular as computers advance and the videos are able to upload faster and pictures are clearer than ever.

The same can be said for internet radio. Although internet radio is already very popular, it is going to continue to grow in huge numbers. It will be interesting to see what types of sites will receive the most users. AM and FM radio certainly have a head start by being able promote their internet stream through the power of their own airwaves at no charge.

Regardless, there are plenty of options for internet radio.