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An update on streaming

Variety in bit-rates

The latest trend in streaming audio is to encode your audio at various bit-rates and allow the listener to choose either a low or high quality stream. This works well for users with smartphones who may stream your station on both a cellular network and Wi-fi. It does require a little extra bandwidth on the studio side, since you have to encode and send two streams out (low and high quality) but it does result in a better listener experience.

In addition to quality choices, think about how your listeners are going to connect to your stream. For the longest time, stations used streaming audio to draw traffic to their websites by requiring a login or by forcing an embedded player. Think twice before using that tactic. Many stations now realize that with all the choices out there, it is much better to offer the audio in whatever way the listener wants it, without making them jump through hoops. Simply put, there are millions of choices for radio programming on the Internet, so it makes good business sense to make your station an easy choice by offering it in as many formats, and on as many devices as possible. The reality is that the tools already exist to liberate your stream from your site if someone really wants it, so why not stay ahead of the game and give them what they want?

Streaming audio is a very important decision for your station, one that will have a big effect on your operation. It is worthwhile to spend some time researching the companies out there, and more importantly, testing the technology. More and more listeners are seeking their favorite radio stations on the Internet. Are you going to make it easy for them to listen? If you don't, there's a good chance your competition will.


Tarr is director of engineering, Entercom Milwaukee.


Streaming Resources

Abacast
360-834-5229
www.abacast.com

Akamai Technologies
877-425-2624
www.akamai.com

Grab Networks
703-667-7571
www.grabnetworks.com

Backbone Networks
508-753-5665
www.backbone.com

Barnabas Road Media
877-656-7200
www.barnabasroad.com

Cynocast.com
303-464-8865
www.cynocast.com

Hardata
+54-11-4300-3463
www.hardata.com

Talk Point
866-323-8660
www.talkpoint.com

Jetcast
917-338-1487
www.jetcast.com

Kencast
203-359-6984
www.kencast.com

Liquid Compass
303-839-9400
www.liquidcompass.net
Live365.com
650-345-7400
www.live365.com
RealNetworks
206-674-2700
www.realnetworks.com

Site Shell
203-929-9101
www.siteshell.com

Solutions Radio
201-977-1229
www.solutionsradio.com

Stream Audio
253-238-2187
www.streamaudio.com

Stream Guys
707-667-9479
www.streamguys.com

Stream On
951-801-2309
www.streamon.fm

Stream the World
866-448-4037
www.streamtheworld.com

Streaming 21
408-866-8080
www.streaming21.com

SurferNetwork.com
973-691-7420
www.surfernetwork.com

Viewcast.com
800-540-4119
www.viewcast.com

Warp Radio
303-799-9118
www.warpradio.com

Yes.com
+41 78 855 7117
www.yes.com



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