Internet Radio Zine

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Internet Radio - Evolution, Advantages and How It Works

The sole method of obtaining radio broadcasts online until the 21st century, was via your PC. With today's wireless connectivity, web broadcasts can now be channeled through car radios, cell phones and other mobile devices.

Advantages Offered by Internet Radio against Traditional Radio

Two factors restrict the capabilities of traditional radio broadcasts: transmitter power (about 100 miles) and the broadcast spectrum at hand (at most, around 24 local channels).

Of course, we know that Internet radio has no geographic limitations, which is just another way of saying its potential is as huge as cyberspace itself. As opposed to traditional radio, Internet radio also goes beyond audio. It can be enriched by photos or images, links and text, and even interactive features, such as chat rooms, forums and the like.

This technology allows people not only to listen to music or radio programs, but also to do many other things at the same time, enriching the relationship between consumers and advertisers as their interactions deepen and become more personal. This enhanced media capability can also be used in many other ways. With online radio, for example, you can provide trainings or seminars, and supply links to documents and payment options.

Cost, of course, remains to be among the most obvious advantages Internet radio has over traditional radio. Being "on the air" online is far less pricey for Internet broadcasters, who can even target particular communities of listeners looking for certain types of music or having special interests.

So how does Internet broadcasting happen? First, the audio goes into the Internet broadcaster's encoding computer via a sound card. The audio from the sound card is then translated by the encoder system into streaming format. This audio is sampled by the encoder and is then compressed it so it can be transmitted to a high-bandwidth server. The server delivers the audio data stream over the Internet and into the plug-in or player software that is installed on the listener's computer, and there, the stream will be translated into humanly appreciable sound. For more details about internet radio, visit

The two ways through which audio can be delivered over the Internet are by downloading and by media streaming. Downloading involves storing a file on the user's computer. Audio streaming only plays the file without storing it. It is an ongoing broadcast that entails the use of an encoder, a server and a player. The audio content is converted into streaming format by the encoder, made available on the Internet by the server and then retrieved by the user through the player.

When the encoder and streamer work simultaneously in real-time, it is called a live broadcast. An audio feed goes to the sound card of the encoding computer at the broadcast location, and the stream is fed into the streaming server. With a large amount of computing resources being required by the process, it's a must that the streaming server be a dedicated server.