Podcasting 101

Podcasting is exciting and fun work of a number of people these days. Thus, for those who want to try their hands at it, they are advised to read Podcasting 101: An introductory guide to creating your own Podcast (Podcasts, Broadcasting, Technology, Audio, Radio, Internet, Education) to learn about everything the path to podcasting. The book provides step-by-step guide along with important information on strategies and equipment that people will need in their first podcasting gig.

The methods provided have already been test by a number of people. Moreover, some notable tips serve as extra benefits that can aid people in podcasting. Specific hardware and their descriptions and functions are also provided in the book. In addition, readers will learn more about utilizing podcasting as extra source of income. Some sections are allotted for discussing recording process and networking related to podcasts. In summary, the book is comprehensive and information-packed material providing readers with basics of podcasting.

Making Money With Your Station

 

How To Start Your Own Internet Radio Station In 10 minutes And Make $1000 dollar or more monthly is a book written for those who want to earn some money through online radio stations. It comes with 36 pages of information published by Amazon Digital Services LLC in January 2014.

PROS

The book provides links, which people can find very useful. Though the book comes with only 36 pages, all its contents have value and directly discuss online radio stations. Thus, readers do not need that much time to obtain the information that they need from the material. On the other hand, the book explains in details the procedure regarding establishment of online radio stations.

CONS

The book requires some editing given the typographical lessons found in its contents. In addition, some buyers noted incompleteness of sentences and presence of misspelled words, which add to the difficulty of reading the book. Meanwhile, others argue that some of the information contained in the book is already outdated. Thus, these details may not be valid for readers these days anymore.

 

How To Launch Online Radio

Though setting up an online radio station may not that be complicated, it is no easy feat either. People must still learn about the process of planning, building, and launching online radio stations. This is where Internet Radio 2016: How to build and launch an online radio station comes in. This is a recommended book for people who want to broadcast using the internet.
The book provides some remarkable information, including topics on licensing and copyright issues and sections on policies implemented in other countries and related differences.
In addition, the material also reserves sections for discussing technical requirements needed for establishing online radio stations. Some of these technologies include those that should be present in the studio and those that are used for playback, automation, and playout. Related equipment are properly described and some recommendations are provided to aid the readers choose the appropriate equipment for their intended online radio.
Another section focuses on audio processing equipment, with emphasis on internet transmission standards and protocols and essential directory entries, which are vital in promoting online radio stations.
Readers will also have access to various appendices, which include links for websites of suppliers and sources that they can contact for their needs. A supplementary Glossary section at the end us very useful for those who do not know well unique jargons used in field of online radio and streaming.

How To Run A Radio Station

How to Set Up, Run and Make Money from an Internet Radio Station – Kindle Book

Running an online radio station is considered one of the latest hobbies that a number of people are becoming interested to. Some start with establishing small ones in their homes, whereas others greatly succeed and end up having large listener base. Moreover, online radio stations serve as another means of earning additional extra income.
Thus, for those who are wanting to try setting up their online radio station, they should try reading How to Set Up, Run and Make Money from an Internet Radio Station. This book will provide them everything that they need to know establish their own online radio station. People will also learn about the right equipment to use, the procedure for establishing an on radio, sources of their music, and how an online radio can be used as source income. The material is perfect for beginners and for those who want to deepen their knowledge regarding online radios.
PROS
Many people commend that the booklet contains much substance even though it comes with small number of pages. In addition, others point at that reading the book is a perfect starting point for setting up online radio stations. With regard to writing, the booklet is straight to the point and does not divert by using flowery words. in summary, the book is very informative and is a great buy for people who aspire to run their own online radio programs.
CONS
As is normally found with some Amazon Kindle publications, the book contains some typographical errors. Likewise, the title is not that appealing to most readers. Some people also noted that the author could have expanded some topics, including when using other platforms for setting up online radios. In addition, readers will appreciate the material more if it is released in proof-read and edited version. Meanwhile, some think that given the number of its pages, the book only rips off people’s money.

How Online Radio Works

All people know about radios. However, the term online radio may cause some eyebrows to raise. Online radio is not that different from old-school radio; it involves streaming pre-recorded or live audio over the internet. Online radio is a new trend in internet-driven world, as it enables reaching people in various part of the world.

An online radio has three basic components;

  1. The source is the owner/manager of the stations; this component is responsible for providing audio inputs, including audio clips or files from CDs.

  2. The server is where all audio files go to before it streamed and shared with other people over the internet.

  3. The listeners include the intended audience of broadcasted audio. These people connect to the servers in order to stream online radios.

WHY PEOPLE LOVE ONLINE RADIOS

  • Advertisers benefits from online radio as people remember more what they hear online when it is accompanied by visual images.

  • Print ads that accompany online radio are also effective in evoking emotions of people. As a result, better response percentage is associated with high quality online radio ads.

  • The positive emotional impact of radio ads parallels that of television. Thus, online radio ad campaigns can be considered effective.

RESULTS OF INTERNET RADIO ADVERTISING IMPACT STUDY

  • In 2012, 42% of US broadband households connect to internet radio

  • Internet radio listeners comprise the following statistics: 42% households with children, 64% families that have their own home, and 22% homeowners that earn $100k annually

  • Radio and digital advertising both contribute in improved ad recall.

  • Online ad response increased by thrice the rate when people also listen to online radio

  • A number of internet users are also online radio listeners.

ONLINE RADIO IS COST EFFECTIVE

  • Running an online radio requires much less money compared with AM/FM programs. Moreover, there are various sites that people can use in hosting radio programs at very low prices.

  • Online production need not the involvement of professionals. Each person can make his own online radio and even invite friends or co-host to his programs

  • Files can be saved and stored for long periods of time.

BENEFITS OF ONLINE RADIO TO BLOGGERS

  • AFFORDABILITY AND GREAT START

It is now easier to reach more people with internet radio. People need not to worry anymore about paid time slots and buying every expensive equipment.

Setting up online radio only requires a computer/laptop and microphone as basic components.

Bloggers can also use online radio in increasing traffic to their sites and improving return rates of ad campaigns.

  • FREE AD CAMPAIGNS

Some websites already have a following, and internet radio is one way of maintaining these loyal listeners.

  • EXPANDED LISTENER BASE

In tradition radio, audio files are streamed only once. Thus, not all people have the chance of hearing their most favorite music or some important information. On the other hand, internet radio includes streaming, and listeners have the liberty of listening to materials that they prefer multiple times. Some podcasts are also created and uploaded so that people can download them and hear them at a later period.

  • INCREASED ACTIVENESS

As people are connected via the internet, in case of streaming-related problem, some listeners provide useful tips that can aid in smooth programming of online radios.

  • ONLINE RADIO IS EASY TO START AND TO ABANDON

Online radio are not really a stable mode of earning money, that is why advertisers and sponsors are sought by various radio stations. However, in case that there is really no remedy for a dying station, then the owner should just stop running radio programs

HOSTING ONLINE RADIO STATIONS

  1. USE THE COMPUTER AS STREAMING SERVER

People must possess sufficient technical knowledge and basic skills in using audio editing software, such as Audacity. Other important tools in streaming to a particular PCs server are the following:

  • Icecast

Icecast is free tool and allows people to stream audio material all week.

  • Broadwave

Broadwave is perfect for streaming through PCs and internet. Moreover, people need not to download software before they. Utilizing their website is really perfect for this matter.

  • Freecast

Freecast does not limit the number of listeners that can tune in. Users only need to ensure that their broadband can accommodate large numbers of streamers.

  1. USING THIRD-PARTY STREAMING HOSTS

  • Live365

Live365 hosts a number of radio stations that focus on wide range of topics. This is perfect for beginners who are looking for solid listener case.

  • BlogTalkRadio

This third-party streaming host is fairly easy to use and set up. In this streaming host, a radio station owner can start streaming after dialing a certain phone number. Then, guests who want to join may call in for approval.

  • Radio Streaming Services

This host is one of the latest internet platforms for streaming. It provides users with statistical data that are useful for businesses and for ad campaign use.

  • ShoutCheap

This provides online radio programmers with server for around $5/25 listeners. The price increases with increasing number of listeners. However, the perk of subscribing to this host is the possibility of increasing customers.

Podcasting Tips

Serial, TED Radio Hour, and The Nerdist are just some of most popular podcasts today. These programs inspired people try their luck on starting their own podcasts. However, podcasting is not that easy. People need to realize some important things before they can record their first audio program.

  1. COMMITMENT IS IMPORTANT

If they are going to start their own podcasts, people should be dedicated to what they will do be doing. Podcasting does not just involve recording audio files but also intense preparation and post-production processes. Moreover, podcasts should not just be just any topic, it should be something that must really make sense. In short, any podcast should be considered a major project.

In addition, recording podcasts also take considerable amount of time, especially the post-production process. Podcasts should also be broadcasted at a regular schedule in order to engage the attention and gain loyalty of listener base. Thus, all episodes should be planned and recorded in time for release. Nevertheless, podcasting can be exciting work even though extreme effort is constantly required.

Likewise, people should realize that podcasting is not a fountain of money. Though some earn money from it, they get help from advertisements and sponsorships just to get by. Thus, for those who want to keep their programs, they must build a solid listener base in order to earn the faith of advertises.

  1. PODCAST STARTERS

  • MICS

People need not expensive mics for their podcasts. The most important thing is that the equipment is working. However, when they look for the ones to be used during recording, they will recognize that microphones can be with USB cable or analogs. USB mics can be connected directly to computers in laptops; these things work by converting analog sounds (in this case, voices of the people recording) into digital format. This task is easier to accomplish though there is the danger of producing low quality audio file.

Meanwhile, analog mics require XLR connectors. In this cases, additional device is needed to transfer audio files to the computer. On the good side, people can expect that they will be producing quality audio file. In addition, other sound equipment can be used with analog mics.

  • PORTABLE XLR RECORDER

When using analog mics, people should also own portable XLR recorders capturing and conversion of audio files into digital format. In addition, portable XLR recorders can be used for basic sound adjustments. Use of such equipment also enables automatic storage of audios in storage devices, such as memory cards, which can then be plug in PCs or laptops. On the downside, price of portable XLR recorders can be quite steep, ranging from $100 to $500, depending on the number of channels included.

  • AUDIO INTERFACE

Some podcasters use audio interface for their podcasts. These devices are used for directly recording audio files using analog microphones. In this case, analog mics are used but the audio files are directly converted into digital format. Audio interfaces are connected via USB and Firewire.

  • COMPUTER/LAPTOP

Any laptop or program equipped with any kind of operating system can be used in podcast uploading. However, some specific ports should be present for connection of dedicated recording devices. USB ports are required for USB mics, whereas portable XLR recorders or audio interfaces are required when using analog mics. Other important ports include 3.5 mm audio-in jack and Firewire port. Thus, before buying any audio equipment or recording device, people should take note first if their computers or laptops are compatible with such things.

  • AUDIO EDITING SOFTWARE

Digital Audio Workstation is used for actual recording and editing. People may use free software, such as Audacity, which have functions for basic auditing. However, some programs, such as Reason or Pro Tools, require paid licenses.

  • POP FILTERS

Though it is really necessary pop filters, they are very useful in producing clearer audio sound. These things are used in minimizing plosives during recording. Pop filters are quite cheap, whereas in other cases, people opt to make their own.

STEPS IN STARTING YOUR OWN PODCAST PROGRAM

  1. SELECTING A TOPIC AND FINDING NICHE

Podcast programs are quite popular, and the topics cover a wide range of things. Thus, for those who will just be starting their programs, they must think of very interesting topics that are apt to catch the attention of the people. For instance, when the topic is about music, the podcast should focus on more specific aspects, such as culture, people, and genre. After narrowing the topic, thinking of more details that should be discussed becomes easier.

  1. INSTALL AND SETUP AUDACITY

Audacity is not only a free audio editing tool but also the perfect program for beginners. The software is available in Windows, OSX, and Linux format. After installing, Audacity should be properly set up. Mic should be connected to the PC and tested whether it works well with the program. User may conduct test recording and save the test audio file in MP3 format by installing the Lame MP3 encoder.

  1. RECORDING AND EDITING WITH AUDACITY

Audacity is pretty easy to use but users should ensure that their mic is compatible with the program first. Users should allot 5-second recording space for their tracks. Projects may also be saved while they are still in progress. After recording, Audacity can also be used in addition other tracks on a podcast. Moreover, the tracks can be trimmed, copied, and modified with effects as deemed necessary.

  1. TAGGING AND EXPORTING MP3s IN AUDACITY

After editing audio files, they can already be uploaded online. However, people should ensure that metadata of their podcasts are properly edited. Then, Audacity can be used in exporting audio as MP3 files.

Podcasts should also have very interesting names that will attract people into listening. Podcast titles should also contain some information regarding the topic that people will be listening to. In other cases, people also add cover art for their podcasts.

Tips On Starting A Podcast

Podcasting is not just recording audio files and sharing it to the world. The production process requires careful planning, research, and dedication. In addition, all the necessary equipment must be obtained first before an episode can be recorded, post-edited, and uploaded for listening. Thus, for those who are curious about starting their own podcasts, they must be equipped with some pertinent information first.

  1. STARTING A PODCAST

Most people already have an idea regarding what a podcast is. Statistics have already shown that a great number of people are podcast listeners. In fact, in 2013, around 1 billion podcast subscriptions were purchased. And the number continually increased in the past five years. Thanks to mobile internet and Wi-Fi, people are now constantly connected to the web via their phones, and this only favored the popularity of podcasts.

In addition, people can listen to podcasts anywhere in the world as long as they have internet connection. Thus, more and more people can now be reached by such audio programs.

On the other hand, before sharing any podcast into the world, a person should identify and narrow the niche of topics from where he should start. Podcasts are very helpful in connecting with other people, especially with those in various corners of the world. Moreover, though, some money must be shed out, the costs of starting a podcast program are not that much.

People can also listen to podcasts that while they are still doing other activities, such as driving, exercising, and other usual house chores.

Thus, it is not that surprising that a number of people are wanting to get their hand into starting their own podcasts.

Though podcast requires planning and preparation, people should not spend most of their time in pre-production. Likewise, they only need to ensure that they all have the basic equipment and they are set for recoding their first audio files.

  1. WHAT DO PEOPLE LOVE ABOUT PODCASTS

One of the primary things that people love in podcasts is radio voice of the speakers. Some people have great radio voice, whereas others require more practice to achieve the tone that interest people. A good radio voice can be achieved through the following:

  • Personality

In recording podcasts, the goal of the speaker is to catch the attention of the listeners through the personality that people can perceive through their voice.

  • Speaking style

People should be careful not to talk too fast in their podcasts. However, prior to recording, they must prepare first what they will be saying. Though scripts are necessary, they should not sound weird after recording. Thus, the person recording must apply the appropriate speaking style during podcast recording. People should also practice in speaking softly. In podcasts that appeal to emotions, most people prefer hearing pleasant voices than intense ones. Likewise, while speaking, people should ensure that the volume and speed of their voice remains constant. Proper distance from the mic should also be ensured.

  • Technique in using the mic

Applying proper technique in using the mic also aids in achieving professionally sounding audio file. First factor involved in proper mic usage is distance. This variable greatly affects the quality of the voice in recording. Though some experienced podcasters may suggest specific distance from the mic, it is also important to consider the manufacturer’s instruction and to make some tests to determine the appropriate distance for mic use.

  • Using pop filter

Pop filters are used in diminishing plosive sounds. These things prevent annoying bursting sounds while a person is speaking. People are advised to buy those that are made with nylon or mesh wire.

  • Ensuring that the mic stays in place

Since mic will be constantly used when recording audio files for podcasting, it is only right that people invest in a boom stand. This way, speakers need not to worry about their mics while recording. Moreover, setting the mic on a boom stand prevents recording static and other unnecessary sounds.

  • Combining mics with headphones

There headset/mic combos that can be bought from the market, but people should try using pro set headphones and pro mic simultaneously.

  1. PLANNING THE PODCAST

Identifying podcast content is primary issue that must be resolved before recording any audio files. In this regard, podcasters may do some research to determine the interest of listeners. Podcasts may in the form of an interview or a program featuring a friend or a co-host. Speakers should also be equipped with adequate knowledge about the topic of podcast.

  • LENGTH AND FREQUENCY OF EPISDOES

There are optimum length and frequency for podcast episodes. Podcasts that are aired daily or twice daily should not last for more than 15 minutes. However, in special cases, the duration may be up to 20 minutes.

For programs airing once a week, 15 to 60-minute podcasts will do. Meanwhile, monthly podcasts may last for as long as 1 to 1.5 hours.

Bimonthly podcast release is very rare, and this situation poses difficulty in maintaining loyal audience. Thus, people should try sticking to abovementioned episode frequencies and duration.

  • Podcast equipment

Basic start package normally incudes headset, mic, and laptop/PC. Some experts may suggest using additional components.

  • Software

Beginners may start with using freeware audio editing tool, such as Audacity. Meanwhile, some podcasters invest in paid programs, including GarageBand, which is normally pre-installed in Macs.

  1. RECORDING THE FIRST EPISODE

Before recording, people should review important factors such as mic distance, duration, attitude while when talking with another person in the podcast. After recording, audio file can then be edited for distribution. Abovementioned software can be sued for this purpose. Meanwhile, RSS feeds should be given attention as it greatly aids in expanding listener based.

  1. HOSTING PODCASTS

Some websites offer specific platforms for hosting podcasts. Podcast hosts are necessary because of certain variables, such bandwidth, RSS feed, embedding, and sharing options. In addition, hosting websites are perfect for distributing podcasts in various platforms.

  1. PROMOTING AND SUBMITTING TO DIRECTORIES

Podcasts should be submitted to directories, and their rankings on listing must also be optimized. People may use applications to achieve this purpose or embed their podcasts to various websites.

Create A Podcast

Podcasting is one of the most popular means by which people share their ideas today. The process appears to be easy, but producing clearly audible and professionally recorded audio actually requires sufficient time, money, and equipment.

For those who want to make a seamless podcast, there are some tips that they can try out to ensure that quality and content of their final audio.

PLANNING AND PRE-PRODUCTION

Before people can proceed with recording their podcasts, they should properly plan for what should be included and said on their audio. In addition, they must consider some important factors, as follows:

  • THEME

The theme of a podcast can be anything, and people will basically never run out of things to talk about. The theme may be about local issues or those from other places. However, what people should remember is that they should choose a topic that they find interesting. This way, they will be more passionate to talk about the topic, and it is highly possible that they can add a number of things to the discussion. In addition, they will not notice how time passes by if they enjoy recording their podcasts. As result, their podcast will sound more entertaining. People can also expand their horizon and focus on other topics that may be related to their interests.

  • LENGTH AND FORMAT OF PODCAST

Normally, length of podcasts is less than 60 minutes. Aside from total length, media such as songs or pre-recorded introductions should be accounted for and their times should be taken into account. Though exact timing is not always achievable, people should aspire to achieve such goal when recording their podcasts.

  • SCRIPT OF PODCAST

After selecting a topic for a podcast, the next thing that should be accomplished is podcast script. Though improvisation is may prove to be necessary, podcasters should still follow specific outline to avoid diverting from the topic. Having an outline is also very important in smooth transition from different sub-topics.

  • SCHEDULE

People should determine how many times their podcasts will be aired. Normally, podcasts are aired once or twice a week, though in other cases airing may done once a month.

PODCASTING EQUIPMENT

Equipment is where most money will go in podcasting. Some of the equipment needed include mics, headphones, mixer, and recording software. However, in other cases, people use additional equipment to improve and ensure quality of final podcast.

  • RECORDING SOFTWARE

One of most commonly used recording programs is Pro Tools. However, people may also use free tools, such as Audacity, which is an open-source editing and recording software. This software is compatible with a number of systems and is perfect for amateurs. Users can record live audio with audacity and import files with different formats. Audacity also has recovery options that help people in retrieving their work in case that their computer system crashes.

Another free audio editing software is Acoustica Basic Edition. Users can record and edit audio using the software, but they have to pay premium for other advanced features.

  • USB MIC

Extra microphones may prove to be important in recording podcasts. Some notable USB mics include CAD 37 and Fifine USB Plug & Play. These mics can be directly plug into computer and used with recording applications. In return, people can record smooth and flawless podcasts. Each recording session should also be supplemented with sufficient number of mics to ensure that all participants can be heard. When using a mixer, the mics to be used should be compatible with it.

  • MIXER

Though mixer is generally not needed in recording podcasts, it can be used to directly record and store audio files. Mixers also enable users to confer greater control and use more effects on their files. Moreover, mixers can also be used in adding movie or music clips in a podcast.

  • HEADPHONES

Any headphones will do in a podcast as long as the users can clearly hear everything. However, quality headphones may be necessary when using a mixer, as these are important in adjusting audio channels.

  • POP FILTER

Pop filters are used to minimize explosive sounds, which are normally heard from some people when they talk. Some inexpensive pop filters include DragonPad’s generic products ($8) and Nady’s clamp-on filter ($11). These products are aimed at eliminating sudden bursts in air pressure and bassy sounds.

RECORDING AND EDITING

  • RECORDING

Technical and creative factors should be considered during podcast recording. However, everything will possibly turn out just fine once this task is already accomplished.

  • POST PRODUCTION

Post-production is one of the most vital aspects of podcasting. In this step, multitrack recordings are created and the material for final audio output is edited carefully. For beginners, some complex tasks may be hard to achieve but with enough practice, they will be able to do more with their podcasts. Some of the things done during post-production include trimming audio files, adjusting bit rate, and other variables. Beginners are also advised to learn more about post-production through tutorial; they may start by using inexpensive software first.

  • UPLOADING TO HOST SITE

Podcasts should be hosted online. People may use websites, such as WordPress and Blogger, which are free for use and can be effective in hosting audio files. Meanwhile, some paid hosting sites, such as HostGator, allow subscriber to use more advanced features.

Meanwhile, when using WordPress, RSS2 enclosure is automatically added after placing a link. As a result, podcasts can be used immediately.

  • INDEXING

Podcasts are XML files, and content management systems, including Squarespace and WordPress, can be used with plug-ins for creating podcast XML feed. Apple’s podcast specifications are recommended for optimum results. Once XML files are uploaded online, RSS validators are used to check accuracy of feeds before they are sent to iTunes store. Other podcast platforms, such as Google Music, Stitcher, and Soundcloud, should also be considered.

DISTRIBUTION

  • SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media networks are effective grounds for connecting listeners. Post notifications on various social media are effective in informing people regarding new podcasts and developments. Such platforms should also be taken advantage in order to engage and maintain interest of listeners.

  • WEBSITES

People may also use websites to host all episodes of podcast series. These websites should include necessary information regarding about each episode.

  • Livestream

    There are also companies that can live stream on location but this is usually not cheap. We have used Phoenix Live Stream when we broadcasted in Arizona.

The Basics Overview

Having your own radio station is not a bad idea. However, the problem is how one can accomplish such feat. Curious minds need not to feel down because there are actual means of setting up radio stations from scratch. In setting up radio stations, people should learn about basics of internet radio, automated broadcasting, live broadcasting, and station branding.

Before they can start setting up their own radio stations, some questions may pop up into people’s minds. First is that whether they will be needing expensive equipment. Well, they may now let out their sigh of relief because all that they will need are computer or laptop, internet connection, and microphone. People may also broadcast live 24/7 though they should have dedicated machine for audio streaming.

In addition, people need not to seek license for internet radio broadcasting, though they may have to learn about some regulations when playing commercial music.

  1. BASICS OF INTERNET RADIO

Internet broadcasting involves 3 components or stages: source, server, and listener. Source is computer or laptop, which is used for mixing and converting audio into stream of data packets. Server functions in polishing and dispensing audio stream to corresponding channels. Listeners involve the people tuning in to radio station online via streaming link or player.

OTHER FUNDAMENTALS

  • SERVER COSTS

Though setting up internet radio station requires few equipment, people will still need to spend money on servers, whose price will vary depending on specifications preferred by subscribers. Some of these servers may offer very low prices for their services but people should be careful as they may only suffer in the end.

  • BANDWIDTH

Bandwidth pertains to the material streamed to listeners. This also comes with a price depending on quality and frequency of broadcasting. People may use Radio Toolbox for estimating bandwidth for their radio stations.

  • CAPS ON LISTENERS

Listener caps prevent overloading on servers and mismanagement of streams.

  • MODERATION OF MEDIA

Radio stations require storage space for uploaded music tracks.

  • TUNING MECHANISMS

Listeners may listen to internet radio stations thought ports, embedded players, or radio directories. Various means of listening are effective in attracting more listeners, other platforms may include mobile apps or third-party locations or directories.

  1. AUTOMATED BROADCASTING

Broadcasting 24/7 is no easy feat. Thus, people should seek automation services for their internet radio stations. Such services may aid in broadcasting all day seven days a week. Moreover, owners need not to worry about managing their stations.

  • INVITING FRIENDS AND OTHER DJs

Another mode of automating internet radio stations is by inviting friends or DJs for specific broadcasts when the owner is not available. Stations owners may schedule when the invited party can take over broadcasts. DJs and other colleagues may also be given their own time slots.

  • LIVE BROADCASTING

Aside from automated radio broadcasting, listeners also dig live ones. In live broadcasts, the owner or assigned DJ may talk about current events, greet listeners, and tell something about broadcasted tracks.

  • STATION BRANDING

Internet radio stations become more easily recognizable when they have their own logo, solo, or specific music genre.

  • STANDING OUT

24/7 broadcast is not enough to make an internet radio station popular. It should have something that listeners find unique and worth tuning in to. Thus, station owners should realize that one thing that will catch the attention of their people and use that to increase the number of their listeners.

How To Start Your Own Radio Station For Free

Old-school individuals probably prefer tuning on radio than bringing their players and allowing digital technology play music for them. However, people should admit that finding legitimate radio is not easy to accomplish these days. Fortunately, there’s a way for people to build their own radio station by just using PC and broadband connection.

THE SHORT-CUT

The easiest way of streaming music to different people is by using male-to-male 3.5 mm RCA audio cable. One just needs to plug the ends to microphone and headphone jacks and initiate conference of Skype or any web-based streaming service.

Meanwhile, computers function in feeding audio output to audio input. From there, music can be broadcasted to anyone who is present on stream. PC owner may then start playing music through MP3 players.

Some web-based streaming services allow support YouTube playlists, so radio station owners need to worry about what their listeners will listen to once they sign off.

However, for those who want to achieve more in creating their own radio station, they must exert extra amount of effort. The following includes the procedure for setting up an online radio station that can be stream in servers, such as Icecast or Shoutcast.

  1. GEAR PREPARATION

The primary tools for setting up a radio station include mic and various apps for playing music files, turning audio feed into streamable sources, and for sharing stream to various listeners.

For those who barely have idea on what these apps are, they may start with using Winamp. With Winamp they can use Edcast plug-in to turn music into stream and Icecast2 as server. Amateurs will have no trouble using the plug-ins.

lame_enc.dll must be downloaded to enable broadcasting of MP3 files, which are more compatible in older audio players. Users need only to download zipped file, extract lame_enc.dll, and transfer it to Winamp’s root directory.

  1. SETTING UP SERVERs

The station owner must know how many people would listen to his radio. Music stream is highly dependent on upstream speed of internet connection. More listeners can tune into a radio with faster upstream speeds.

Connection speeds and digital audio quality can be used to calculate the optimum bandwidth for a radio station. The formula is as follows:

Simultaneous listeners x Audio bitrate = Required bandwidth

Home PCs with typical cable or DSL connection do not have commendable upstream speeds. Most home DSL connections would have upstream speeds of 500 kbps, but high-quality MP3 feeds requires streaming speed of at least 192 kbps. In this case, only two listeners may tune in to the radio station.

Though feed quality can be lowered, this may worsen audio quality of stream. However, for talk radio, low-quality speeds may work just fine.

However, aspiring radio station owners need not to worry much since they need not to install their servers on their own PCs. They can use Winamp for playing music and Edcast for sourcing, then send stream to dedicated radio stream server in internet. These web-based radio stream servers are usually equipped with high-bandwidth connection and allow PC users to send one stream. In this case, internet connection need not to be regulated as a single stream is sent to the server, which accommodates each listener who has his own broadband connection.

People may sign up for dedicated radio servers, whose price starts at $6 depending on radio traffic. Prices for dedicated radio servers are comparatively lower than that of home internet connection. Moreover, people can easily use such servers.

When they want to run their own server, PC users should install Icecast2. After installation and opening the app, they must access Edit Configuration from Configuration menu and open icecast.xml. File contents should be edited as follows:

  • Include maximum number of listeners for radio station in “sources” tag.

  • Add password for streaming app (Edcast) in “source-password” tag.

  • Change “relay-password” and “admin-password” from default “hackme.”

  • Add IP address on “hostname” tag. For broadcasting in personal network, IP address of internal network should be added. External IP address can be searched on WhatsMyIP.net.

  • Port for streaming music can be specified in “port” tag. The default is 8000.

After editing, icecast.xml is saved in root icecast2 directory. After saving, user may click Start Server in Icecast2’s main window.

  1. CONFIGURING SOURCE APP

After setting up stream server, Edcast may now be utilized for streaming. To access plug-in, Winamp must be opened first. Then, users should access Preferences Plug-ins DSP/Effect. After selecting edcast DSP v3 [dsp_edcast.dll], users should click Configure active plugin.

Users may set Edcast to use microphone jack or Winamp playlist. The mic can be easily enabled or disabled through image button. When mic is disabled, Edcast utilizes Winamp as input. Through trial and error and by clicking on sound-level and toggling mic on and off, users can determine whether input is working.

Next step includes accessing Add Encoder in Edcast to add new entries. New entries can be configured by double-clicking on them. In this case, users should plug-in their preferred server settings. Server types must be set to corresponding protocols depending on server used. Server’s IP is placed in Server IP field. Corresponding port and password must be indicated as well.

For Icecast2, path must be indicated in “mouthpoint” entry in Basic Settings tab. Path depends on encoder type. For example, Ogg Vorbis streams can be designated as “/whatever.ogg,” whereas AAC streams can be called “/whatever.aac.” Users normally notice this string at end of radio stations URL.

  1. PLAYING MUSIC

After setting up and configuring Icecast2 and Edcast, Winamp can now be used to play music. Clicking on Connect in Edcast enables connections to radio server and streaming music. Users can share IP addresses to listeners though they are advised to register their domain name first to avoid having constantly changing IP address.

  1. BE AWARE OF THE LAW

Should they decide to set up radio stations, people should realize that there are laws surrounding broadcasting someone else’s music. Thus, permission must be sought from both artist and recording company.