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.