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.

Use Online Audio to Make a More Personal Connection

Audio can be the perfect vehicle for business owners – especially speakers, trainers, consultants, coaches and other infopreneurs – to distribute their message and promote their business. It makes a stronger connection than just written text, and it’s easier to produce than high-quality video.

In the past it was costly and difficult to provide audio online. The Internet was slow, special software was required and the quality was poor. But that’s no longer the case. Now it’s easy to deliver high quality, fast loading audio content on your website.

Why audio?

Here are some benefits of using audio on your Web site and in other ways:

  • Make a personal connection: Audio creates a more personal connection than written text, because the audience hears your voice.
  • Create an experience: You can combine music, voice, sound effects and more into a richer experience than written text.
  • Portable audio devices: People don’t have to listen at their computer, and can do it while multi-tasking.
  • Easy to create: It’s easy to record audio – all you need is a microphone.
  • Teach something: Some of your educational material might translate well to audio.
  • Take control: It’s relatively easy to record, edit and publish audio yourself.
  • Gain a competitive advantage: Despite these many advantages, most businesses are not using online audio effectively.

Why now?

Three things now make online audio feasible and attractive:

  • Better Tools: There are easy tools for you to create high-quality audio clips and publish them on the Internet. You no longer require specialized complex equipment and software.
  • Broadband Internet: The cost of broadband Internet has decreased, and more and more people now have access. In the past the problem with audio was that it took a while to download and streaming audio quality was terrible – a jerky buffered sound. Broadband has now made it possible to have high quality streaming audio and easier download of large audio files.
  • MP3 and embedded players: In the past, there were many different audio formats and players. So it was a bit “hit or miss” as to whether your users could listen to your audio clips. Now this has sorted itself out into two standards: MP3 as the de facto standard for audio files; and HTML5 or Flash as the commonly-used technology for playing audio on Web sites.

What content works best in audio?

There are many types of content you can publish – here are just a few:

  • Articles: Read your newsletter articles out loud.
  • Teleseminars: Record your teleseminars and publish the recordings.
  • Webinars: If your webinars aren’t highly visual, you can publish them as audio as well.
  • CD extracts: If you have already created CD products, convert them into downloadable MP3 files.
  • Interviews: Interview other experts, or ask them to interview you.
  • Book reviews: When you finish reading a book, record a brief book review.
  • Presentations: Record your workshops, seminars and other presentations.
  • Consulting sessions: Record private coaching, mentoring or consulting sessions.
  • Audio books: Read your book out loud to convert it into an audiobook.
  • New material: Create brand-new material!