Once you have a domain, web hosting, and a cloud-based radio station management system lined up, the next logical step is to get a Steam Provider. What are these and why are they needed to operate an Internet radio station?
What are Stream Providers? These are companies who connect your cloud-based hosting service (where all or your content is stored) to the Internet backbone. In other words, they stream the content from your cloud-based hosting service out over the Internet so that listeners can tune in. They are a necessary component of an Internet radio station.
There are many good and reputable Stream Providers. What I look for are:
- Time in the business.
- Stream Package Price. It is reasonable and a good value?
- Customer feedback. Is it good?
- Number of concurrent listeners in a package
- MP3 Stream bitrates. (I prefer at a minimum 64kbps, but 128kbps is better). If AAC, 64kbps is good.
My preferred choice is WaveStreaming. (I am not affiliated with them). I find their packages very reasonable and they are a very reliable service. I recommend their XL package that gives you a generous 1000GB of bandwidth, up to 1000 listeners can be connected to your station at a time, and you can stream your content at up to 128kbps rates which is CD-quality. (RippedRadio Smooth Jazz streams at 128kbps). The XL package will run you $49/month.
It should be noted that WaveStreaming also offers stream hosting and a platform to run and automate you station from “The Cloud” (Radio.io), but I do not use them because I think LiveWeb DJ is a much easier platform to use and it is a better value. LiveWebDJ and WaveStreaming work seamlessly together.
In a nutshell, this is how it works: Once you get a WaveStreaming account, they will provide you with the information you need to input into the “Encoder” section within LiveWebDJ.
If you already have your content uploaded to LiveWebDJ, you will see a button that will allow you to turn your station on and you are in business!
The great thing I that I like about LiveWebDJ and WaveStreaming working in unison, is that they both have “code snippets” that you can paste onto your radio station website that makes it easy for your visitors to listen, to see what is playing, what is coming up next and more. You can see an example of this on my “Listen” page.
The image below shows the information WaveStreaming will provide you to enter into the Encoder section within LiveWebDJ. (Primarily the Encoder Type, Bitrate, Sample Rate, Channels, Server Type, Server IP, Server Port, Source Password, Admin Password and Server Stream ID.
When time permits, I want to create a video tutorial series that walks one through the process of setting all of this up as described here.
In my next post, I will discuss a very important aspect of operating an Internet radio station, licensing.