7 Replies to “How To Create An Internet Radio Station”

  1. Yup, Whole Wheat is set up that way more or less. When I first started the webcast I spent a lot of time in the Winamp forums reading.

    The tech part of getting the audio out of a computer isn’t that tough. But once you’re on-the-air, the real ‘fun’ begins. It’s very similar to starting a blog … publishing ain’t the tough part. What you’re going to write about, what your style is going to be, where you’re going to get an audience, how you’re going to ‘compete’ against a billion other blogs … it’s very similar with a webcast. The majority of webcasts are, in my opinion, like the majority of blogs; not much that interests me.

    BTW, there’s one thing left out of that list of things you need. We’ve found it helps to have an idiot who knows very little about anything (and even less about broadcasting) to sit behind the microphone and offer grandiose opinions about everything.

  2. It helps to have a flock of faithful morons to listen too, but that’s not really necessary, as Jim often demonstrates, with the power of the internet, you too can blabber into billions of bits and bytes that will never be re-encoded into a rational thought.

  3. i ran a shoutcast station for a few weeks once. I even played DJ for it. Everyone says i have the best radio voice they’ve ever heard… :/

    it was fun while it lasted, i just got tired of it. i would come home every day and there might be 3 or 4 people listening, so i’d say hi how ya doin, and jammer off some stoner comments, and get them back to their zeppelin music.

  4. That’s probably what would happen if I ever gave it go. Only I’d be blasting ’em with Townes Van Zandt and Bob Marley and the Be Good Tanyas and Beethoven. And I’d get tired of it — unless people were actually listening and I somehow got good at making it interesting.

    I had a radio show at a small university once, and I was convinced no one not only listened to my show — no one listened to the radio station, period. During what was to be my last show, I said, “Okay everybody, somebody, anybody, please call in now and tell me what you want to hear. I will play anything. You wanna hear Yoko Ono? If we have it, I’ll play it. If you want me to play the complete 3 and half hour Woodstock concert, I will. Just give me a call.” I sat there and talked for about 30 minutes asking people to call. No one did. I said, “The hell with this,” and went home. I can see the same thing happening with a webcast. Unless someone’s listening, what’s the point? I wonder what it was like for Jim when he first got WWR on the go.

    I’d like to be WWR’s east coast offiliate — because usually when I tune in to WWR at the beginning of my day, there’s something like 2 people listening. Jim doesn’t come on live until I’m making supper, and without a live presence, WWR is pretty inactive for most of the day, at least where I’m living.

    It’d be great if WWR could cover all the time zones, but that would mean handing the mic over to someone else — someone other than Jim, other than Esther. And it just wouldn’t be WWR then, would it?

  5. Lots of comments and too little time so I’ll try to be brief…

    – Great story about your radio show. I often wondered the same thing when I volunteered at the local station here. That’s one thing I love about webcasting … exact listener stats are easily available and reportable. I have a feeling that terrestrial radio is frightened of that capability. Most webcasts for terrestrial stations (even internet only webcasts) do not publicly post their listener stats. I suspect it’s because listener stats have been inflated for so long to entice advertising dollars that no one wants to confess the truth about how many people actually are listening at any point in time.

    – When it first started, I tried not to look at how many people were listening. But I’d get so damn excited if even 1 person was listening that I’d talk directly to them, probably for a long time. It’s how we ‘hooked’ some of the early listeners (Sol for example) because they couldn’t believe someone was talking directly to them.

    – Yeah, there’s a direct correlation between someone live on the mic and number of listeners. Otherwise it’s ‘canned’ and that’s exactly why I find most webcasts pointless. The warmth of radio (to me) is provided by having a live voice on the other end.

    – It would be more ‘Whole Wheat’ with other voices. I went through a phase once where I tried to get other remote DJs. It became obvious that it wasn’t going to work for 2 reasons: 1) People who have the extroverted nature required often don’t have the technical skills or time to tweak around with Winamp, plugins, audio gear etc. and 2) People who have the technical skills are generally listening because they want to LISTEN and not be behind a mic.

    I would be more than happy (ecstatic in fact) to hand over the stream to someone at a remote location (easily done technically by them just streaming from their computer and I tune to their stream) if they wanted to do shows from their end. The biggest hitch is that they’d have to play indie music, preferably from their local area / country. If I had discovered Whole Wheat Radio as a listener, all else being the same, I would have volunteered to do a weekly hour show from Talkeetna that highlighted our local and Alaskan musicians.

    Obviously, if anyone is seriously interested in doing that – and you have the time and technical patience to work it through – email me and let’s do it! jim@wholewheatradio.org

  6. I’m moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in a month — where I hope to have a high-speed connection. And (once my thesis is finished), I should have plenty of time on my hands. So what I’m saying is, under those circumstances, I might have “the time and technical patience” you spoke of. There’s a whole — I’m not sure how to say it — blog mentality that people fall into, that is, working on something every day not because it’s meaningful, just that it’s a burden you feel obligated to fulfill. That’s the trap of this kind of thing. (I won’t name names, but sometimes I wonder why some people put so much time and effort into blogs that really don’t make any kind of difference to anyone. Like the guy at the radio station putting all that energy into the microphone, and nobody is listening.)

    Listen to my Tom Waits’s covers to get a sense of my speaking voice (on a good day).

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