Online radio is either live or pre-recorded MP3 file. The good side with online radio is that you are not limited to one geographic area or dependent on syndication partners to pick up your show for you to be heard.
For the radio to be effective, three elements are involved:
• The source which is you. You add sounds such as inputs from CDs, clips, or live voice.
• The server that mixes all the sounds and puts them together in a format that can be streamed at the click of a button.
• The listener. The listener connects to your server and is able to hear anything that you are streaming.
How to start and host an online radio station
For you to start the station you need the following:
• CD player
• Ripper software that copies audio tracks from a CD and onto the computer hard drive
• Assorted recording and editing software
• Audio mixer
• Digital audio card
• Outboard audio gear which includes compressor and equalizer
• Dedicated computer with encoder software
• Streaming media server
Once you have the right equipment and knowledge, you should now host your radio channels on a third party streaming host.
To be on the safe side you should start with free trials or packages then upgrade as your audience grows. The good side is that there are many third party streaming hosts that you can use.
Some of the most reputable ones are: live365, blog talk radio, shout cheap, radio streaming services and many others. You only need to research and find the third party host that meets your ideals.
How to get the audio over the internet
There are two ways in which you can deliver audio over the internet: downloads or streaming media. In downloads an audio file is stored on the user’s computer while in streaming media the information is not stored; it’s only played.
Getting audio over the internet is easy: the audio enters the broadcaster’s encoding computer through a sound card then the encoder system translates the audio from the sound card into streaming format.
The encoder then samples the incoming audio and compresses the information so that it can be sent over the internet.
The compressed audio is sent to the server which usually has a high bandwidth connection to the internet. The server sends the audio data stream to the plug-in on a listener’s computer or the player software.
The plug-in then translates the audio data stream from the server and translates it into the sound heard by the listener.