Understanding Internet Radio - Evolution, Advantages and the System
Until the current century, your PC was the only means to obtain Internet radio broadcasts. As wireless connectivity becomes more popular today, web broadcasts are now easily fed into mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets, and car radios.
Advantages of Internet Radio over Traditional Radio
There are two key factors that limit traditional radio broadcasts - the station's transmitter power (usually 100 miles) and the broadcast spectrum available (about 24 local channels at most).
Of course, we all know that Internet radio comes with no geographic limitations, meaning its potential is as endless as cyberspace itself. As opposed to traditional radio, Internet radio also goes beyond audio. It may accompanied by graphics or pictures, links, text and even message boards, chat rooms and other interactive offerings. This advancement enables people to do more than listen to music or radio programs, allowing the relationship between advertisers and consumers to grow deeper as they become more interactive and intimate. This improved media capability can also be useful in several other ways. With Internet radio, for instance, trainings or seminars can be conducted, and links to documents and payment options may be provided. To understand more about internet radio, visit http://www.ehow.com/tech/on-web/internet-radio/.
Of course, cost is still one of the clearest advantages of Internet radio compared to traditional radio. Getting "on the air" online is far cheaper for Internet broadcasters, who can also target specific communities of listeners who are on certain music or interests.
So how does Internet radio work? First, the audio goes into the Internet broadcaster's encoding computer via a sound card. The encoder system then converts the audio in the sound card into streaming form. The audio, after being sampled by the encoder, is compressed and then 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.
Audio may be delivered over the web in two ways - through downloading or media streaming. Downloading involves storing a file on the user's computer. Audio streaming only plays the file without storing it. It is a continuing broadcast that works through an encoder, a server and a player. The file is converted by the encoder to streaming format, then it is made available online by the server, and finally, the user retrieves the content through the player. Know more about radio station.
When the encoder and streamer work simultaneously in real-time, it is called a live broadcast. An audio feed goes into the sound card of the encoding computer at the broadcast site, and the stream is sent to the streaming server. As this need a big amount of computing resources, it is important that the streaming server is a dedicated server.