DIY Net-Radio Provider Shuts Down

  • DIY Net-Radio Provider Shuts Down
    CNet reports that, which provided free and low-cost streaming audio hosting for just about anyone, has shut down, citing problems with their broadband Internet provider. CNet says they didn’t get a comment from Live365, so it’s unknown what the specific problem is.

    This is just another chink in the ‘net radio armor, as the once ballyhooed on-line radio revolution fizzles out due to high costs and recording industry gouging. It seems that maybe serving out 1000+ 56kbps mp3 streams wasn’t such a cheap thing to do after all.

    Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see net radio become a significant force for grassroots broadcasting, but the simple fact is that the basic facts of streaming media have been overlooked in the rush to see it as the next big thing. In a dense urban area you can service thousands of listeners with a 100 watt FM radio station that costs just a thousand dollars to set up and pennies a day to operate. To serve just a hundred listeners with a low-fi mp3 stream (around 24kbps) you need to have 2400kpbs or 2.4mbps of bandwidth — equivalent to around 2 T1 lines, which currently go for around $1000 a month each. Do the math. If you don’t mind serving a small simultaneous niche audience (like 10 or 20 simultaneous listeners), net radio can be pretty good, but if you want to reach any sort of mass (like the big boys do), then it’s gonna cost big bucks. An operation like Live365 made it artificially cheap because they were absorbing the cost, and likely not making a profit–like so many dot-cot-bombs did. Even if you wanted to break even on the enterprise, you’d have to charge something, like FreeSpeechTV was forced to do earlier this year.

    However, on the brighter side, one way the Internet has succeeded in enabling grassroots media is by providing a convenient way for audio programs to be exchanged and archived. These programs don’t have to be listened to in real-time, becaus they’re intended for download, and so the simultaneous server and bandwidth load can be mitigated. Mostly these programs are intended for and played on radio stations which serve as the final broadcast medium, so the download demand is lower than if they were serving the listeners directly from the server. A good example of this model in action is the A-infos Radio Project.

  • Posted





    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *