Tips for choosing your audio streaming platform
Streaming technology is gaining increasing notoriety thanks to the growth of the Internet as it allows to get the audio content in high quality to all listeners anywhere in the world.
The invention of this technology dates back to 1995 when the streaming technology company RealNetworks coined the term for the first time. The streaming or streaming media technology is a data transfer service that is processed as asteady and continuous stream, whose main advantage is that the user does not need todownload the entire content to listen to it.
A streaming audio broadcast is a process that has a certain technical requirements and is divided into different stages.
In the signal acquisition phase the audio content flow (music, programs …) is generated fromthe station, in MP3 or AAC and FLV encapsulated sent to the encoding software (Icecast,Shoutcast, Nicecast, etc.. ). At this point of the process is important to have an adequate Internet bandwidth. During transcoding the encoded signal (the signal is inputted to the audiostreaming platform) is decompressed, and then encoded again to the different qualities and devices coming to the end listeners via the Internet.
What’s the difference between MP3 & AAC?
Most common audio files are encoded using a compression algorithm with loss, ie, a processby which some of the audio data is removed in order to obtain the highest possible degree ofcompression, resulting in an output file that sounds as close as possible to the original.
MP3 – MPEG Audio Layer III – is the most common audio file. Not the most efficient but the most compatible format. In MP3 encodings typically 64, 128, 192 or 320 Kbps (kilobits per second) are used.
The AAC, or Advanced Audio Coding files are similar to MP3, but a bit more efficient. The bit speed in the AAC format is roughly twice as fast in the MP3 format. For example: 96Kbps inAAC equals to 192kbps in MP3, that’s why we obtain more quality in less space. An audio fileencoded in HE-AAC at 64kbps can offer similar quality to an MP3 audio file encoded at 128kbps.
In future posts we will discuss important aspects for an online radio station as ways to boost ratings, management of legal issues such as song’s copyright or how to monetize our stationthrough advertising.