"Good morning, Vietnam!": How to start your Internet radio

What to read, what to listen, what to watch and what to buy - today's choice of the global network user is huge. Blogs and communities in social networks have replaced newspapers, new ways of “packaging” of old and completely new types of content have appeared.

Earlier we talked about what is happening with radio today ( here and here ). In particular, we mentioned that the radio is gradually "going online." The phenomenon of Internet radio stations is that they appear faster than you say “switch”.

Everyone can open Internet radio: the process of organizing and administering is cheap enough (especially compared to the FM segment), and for online broadcasting (so far) no special licenses are required.

Photo Axel Schwenke CC

What is it all for

At the initial stage, the most important thing is to determine the goals for which you are organizing the project. The number of attachments, hardware and software parameters directly depend on them.

The goals of creating Internet radio can be different: someone wants to make money by launching a large-scale project, someone makes a radio “for friends”, there are highly specialized radio stations (by music, by occupation or hobby), and some just want to “play” in RDJ ”- why not?

From the goal of creating Internet radio depends on its content. For example, there are radio stations that play only music around the clock. There are entire projects with their staff of presenters, conversational programs, broadcasting networks and other attributes that serious radio stations have.

For example, Chiplduk radio at one time fired due to its uniqueness: the broadcast format is built so that it is impossible to listen to it “just in the background”, the listener's attention is constantly riveted by strange, funny, and sometimes absurd and insane headings.

On the other hand, many listeners of on-air radio go to the Internet precisely for music, in search of a “random playlist” (or a very specific genre / performer / trend in music).

People are interested in content without ads, presenters and jingles

And yet, we will not consider the creation of an Internet radio station as a business project in this article; we will limit ourselves to an averaged, “amateur” model that can be assembled right at home and have fun.

Where will we broadcast

Here we will talk not about the coverage area (obviously, we are broadcasting everywhere where there is Internet) and not about the location of the studio, which we have already decided to do at home. Define hosting and streaming media server (or "broadcast server", "broadcaster"). It can be rented.

The peculiarity of Internet radio stations is that the number of simultaneous listeners directly depends on the speed of the stream and the quality of the broadcast. Therefore, it is important that the speed “does not sag” due to the fact that another 5-10 or 100 listeners will connect to you.

"Broadcast Server" we need to distribute the digital audio stream. The most popular are IceCast and ShoutCast . Both this and the other service have their advantages. It is believed that IceCast is more functional, but ShoutCast has a shorter reference to the audio stream (which, of course, is not the coolest advantage, but nonetheless).

At the same time, ShoutCast is a semi-commercial service, and its competitor works with open source code and also supports UTF-8 tags for organizing Russian-language annotations. Therefore, as a rule, IceCast is often chosen as the “broadcaster”.

After selecting the streaming media server, you need to configure it. Despite the fact that all the "factory" documentation for services in English, on the Internet you can easily find instructions for installation and configuration.

The configuration includes many functions: these are the parameters of audio streams, the rules of switching and naming. The “broadcast server” setup stage is one of the most important in the process of creating your own Internet radio station. There are many problems and questions.

How are we going to broadcast

For the organization of the broadcast there are several different ways. The simplest (and most uninteresting) is the retransmission of an already finished broadcast to its listeners. For this, a relay is used, which takes a ready link to the audio stream of the radio station and redirects it to all who connect to it.

The second way is avtodij. For it, you need to program a playlist, according to which the content will go on the air. We have already written about software that is used on the radio, but you can use simpler programs, such as RadioBoss or SamBroadcaster , for organizing Internet broadcasting.

This software allows you to program the air as flexibly as possible and organize continuous broadcasting with minimal intervention of a living person. You can “arrange” the content manually, or you can program it so that the music of a particular genre comes out at a certain time. Setting up software requires time and effort, so for beginners, Internet broadcasters are advised to ask for advice on specialized resources and forums.

At any stage of the ether a live person can interfere with the process - this is the third way of broadcasting. Playlist line up manually and change in "real time". Tracks can be switched earlier or later in accordance with the on-air grid (if it was compiled). You can also organize "live" broadcasts leading.

To receive an audio stream from the listeners, we need a player on the site that supports streaming broadcasting (for example, this one ). Plus programs that will play the stream on local computers. And if there is an application for listening from a smartphone - this is the highest degree of concern for your audience.

Choose "iron"

This is one of the most enjoyable, but also resource-intensive stages. To organize online broadcasting requires not only a computer with the Internet.

Option with the release of the lead in the air implies the presence of a microphone. Sound processing is required here - without it, the sound will be shallow, “subsidence” will appear. The ideal option is an external sound card . For additional sound processing, you can use a special software like digispot .

For the convenience of controlling the broadcast, you may need a mixing console (at least the simplest). If finances allow, it is best to take not the cheapest and with faders for convenience. The presence of several channels for audio output expands the capabilities of the radio station.

As an experiment, you can display a telephone hybrid, a guest DJ console (if DJs come to visit and play their own music), as well as channels for musical instruments, if required by the air.

As we already wrote above, everything depends on the goals of the radio station, but the organization of such functionality will cost ten times cheaper than for the FM segment.

Microphone is also better to choose averaged. Of course, you can take any, even from the headphones, but then all the efforts with the hardware and software sound processing will come to naught. The microphone must be equipped with a pop filter .

In general, this set of tools is enough to make a good Internet radio. Of course, it will be amateur, but if properly configured, it will sound very professional. Now you can start developing the broadcasting grid, recruit several enthusiasts to work on the air, program the robot and begin to conquer the Internet.

Examples of our audio experiments:

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/405579/

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