audio on the internet - internet radio, podcasts and hosting audio files

I received and email from the guys at who are setting up a non-profit project involved in 'Sharing the stories of Pacific Radio'. The site has a wealth of information, but they are looking for assistance in putting audio on their site, so people can listen to some of the radio programs. Unfortunately I don't have a great deal of spare time to assist them in depth, but I can provide some advice if that's of use so I replied as such. Perhaps this will be useful to others as well. We were always getting asked for advice on how to do internet radio (it's rather easy once you do it - people think it's harder than it actually is!), and these days with podcasting being so popular and becoming more prominent, anyone can create, broadcast and distribute their own radio programs, whether they be music related, talk show/story format or a combination. anyway, here's a few ideas, I'll try to post more as I get a chance. perhaps some tutorials or help notes on how to setup these things. posting video shows/videoblogs is what I've been trying out lately too, though most of my videos are still offline as I practice editing and capturing the story element.

I worked on an internet radio project
and had a weekly (& some times twice weekly) show on the station for
about 4.5 years. the show was done from home, so I had to setup a
mini-radio studio using a couple of pcs, turntables, cd players,
minidisc, microphones etc. it was more convenient than actually going
to a radio station as I could do the show from home and have guests
come in for a dj set or to play live or have an interview/chat. this
is similar to what a radio station does, but doing it from home is
different from working at a radio station per se. (less politics for
one!) the server was in sydney, or usa (plus relay servers in other
places) but we had shows broadcast from cities around the world. I was
originally in brisbane, then moved to sydney, but also did a couple of
shows from uk whilst on holidays, so it didn't matter where I was
physically in the world. I've setup net radio servers on pcs at home
(using shoutcast/oddcast server technologies) to do my own shows
separate from the station, and have setup some podcasts with local and
remote files to see how it was done, though I haven't had time to do a
regular show since moving overseas. I'll only be in Auckland until
next March or so when I return to UK for work, but I'll still be
available on email.

there are a few options for audio on your website, forgive me if I'm
repeating what you already know,

- internet radio - your site is the server
- internet radio - server hosted remotely (sometimes there is a cost
involved in this)
- posting individual audio files onto your site (hosted locally) (mp3
would be the most commonly used for listeners)
- posting links to audio files/mp3s on your site but the files are
hosted remotely
- distributing the files as podcasts using rss feeds - audio files
hosted locally
- distributing the files as podcasts using rss feeds - audio files
hosted remotely

you could have one or all or a combination of the above depending on
things such as:

- amount of webspace you have available for hosting files (diskspace,
file management)
- the amount of bandwidth you have available for people downloading
files (it can become expensive, as you will pay the costs of visitors
downloading if files are hosted locally or served from your local
- the amount of resources you have for server maintence, remote access
to be able to restart server (eg for internet radio option)
- cost factors such as remote server fees (but then the remote server
company manages the servers so it's similar to website hosting costs &
less hassle for you)
- other features which help create/build community such as irc/chat,
forums, shoutboxes, answering emails from listeners,
newsletters/maillists, ability for listeners to leave comments on the
website for show feedback - so the listeners and the radio
broadcasters can give/receive feedback. we found this was really
useful as it created a vibe and people wanted to be involved and it
kept people interested as they felt part of the community
- rss feeds on your site for podcasts, so people can subscribe to the
podcast feed, then whenever a new show is available it is sent to
their podcast software (eg itunes, ipodder/lemon, doppler). rss feeds
can be hosted locally if you're website CMS/blogging system supports
it or they can be created externally and linked to your site if you
don't have rss capabilities already.
- licencing costs eg APRA/AMCOS are the Australian organisations, I'm
not sure what are the equivalent NZ orgs.


::: category:

::: location: