Streaming your radio station online is now a necessity to provide your listeners with as many possible ways to ‘tune in’. With the popularity of on-demand services growing, and 3/4G coverage extending radio stations can’t afford not to have an online stream. Thankfully, with the right equipment and streaming provider it is very simple to get your station online.
Step 1 – Process the Audio Correctly
The first consideration is audio processing – online streaming has very different requirements to broadcast processing for FM. There is no pre-emphasis, 15kHz low pass filtering or composite clipping. A station faces two choices, buy a dedicated streaming processor, or find a broadcast processor with dual processing paths.
The DSPX-FM is one such processor, with a composite output to feed the stations FM transmitter and analog and digital AES/EBU either of which can feed the web stream. Dual processing paths allow the web stream to be processed simultaneously, with full 20Hz-20kHz output. The FM analogue path has a multi-band distortion-controlled clipper, while the second path, tapped via analogue and AES/EBU digital output connectors, incorporates a bit rate optimized, look-ahead limiter. The included 16 factory presets, as well as intuitive local and remote interfaces help you get your DSPX-FM setup fast. Whether you are a processing novice or expert, you’ll easily achieve a signature sound for your station’s format – both over FM and online.
Step 2 – Convert to an IP Audio Stream
Once your audio has been processed and ready to distribute, you will need to use an IP audio encoder to convert the audio to a digital IP stream. There are many ways to do this, from dedicated hardware to software solutions that run on a PC or Mac. Our suggestion is a dedicated hardware solution such as the Sonifex PS-Send. It has no moving parts and is passively cooled so is ultra reliable and doesn’t require any maintenance.
The PS-SEND has balanced analog and AES/EBU inputs which allow simple connection to the DSPX-FM. All the configuration settings for the unit are accessed via a local web-server built into it and it supports G.711, WAV and MP3 Layer 1/2 codecs.
Step 3 – Choose a Streaming Radio Provider
The hardest part of getting a station online is choosing a streaming radio provider – there are so many options available. Each have different packages and website integration options and it can seem impossible to compare each to decide which is right for your station. As well as the features each provider offers, it is important to consider service uptime records, and support options should you have any issues.
We’ve done the hard work for you, after testing many options BW Broadcast has partnered with Wavestreaming as we feel they offer the best combination of features, value and support for professional broadcasters. Established in 2004, Wavestreaming has grown to become a market leader in online radio; providing broadcasting solutions to over 5000 stations worldwide.
Their audio streaming services and embeddable radio players enable a multitude of clients including commercial radio stations, DJs, record labels, religious and charitable organisations, sport & news broadcasters and media companies, to easily broadcast to their audiences. Wavestreaming’s network of strategically located servers provide an uptime of 99.9%, ensuring constant 24/7 connectivity to your listeners. The server capability is strengthened by their close partnership with SHOUTcast. Used by over 50,000 radio stations worldwide, SHOUTcast is the industry standard platform for stations who want to broadcast online.
Firstly, you’ll need to choose the level of service you want. Their packages priced at $29 to $99 per month are designed to suit most small to mid sized stations but can be indefinitely scaled as a station grows. Larger enterprise solutions are also available and Wavestreaming’s internet radio packages provide you with all the bandwidth and speed you’ll ever need, whether you are a local station or an internationally recognised brand.
Once you have selected and purchased the package that’s right for you, you will be given access to Wavepanel, Wavestreaming’s custom software which is your control centre for managing your station. Once you are set up, a web player can be easily customised and embedded into any existing website. You can even broadcast directly onto your Facebook page or straight to your listeners iPhone.
Wavestreaming’s Advanced Features
Wavepanel has some incredibly powerful realtime analytics and tracking capabilities that enable you to gain valuable insights into your listeners. These stats allow you to identify trends and make more informed decisions about your listeners. Twitter integration is also available that automatically updates your followers with your ‘now playing’ information.
- 8 Year Track 99.9% Uptime Records
- Geo-location – Lets you see where your listeners are located
- Radio Directories & Apps – free listing (SHOUTcast, TuneIn, iTunes + more)
- Cross Platform Compatible – Tune in Online, iTunes, Windows Media, Winamp etc
- Player suite uses Latest HTML5 technology
- Works on mobile, tablet and desktop
- Customisable themes
- Easy Facebook integration
With their full suite of tools and unparalleled uptime, Wavestreaming make it easier than ever to get your station up and running online, whilst enabling you to seamlessly integrate with your existing systems.
They can even provide you with a range of free and custom training packages to get you quickly up to speed. Click the banner below for more information.