Internet Radio - Listen to Online Radio Anytime
Internet radio is an analog audio stream transmitted through the Internet using radio stations. Broadcasting over the Internet is commonly called webcasting because it isn't transmitted widely over conventional radio signals. Rather, it's transmitted as data, which can be viewed by a computer or device on the Internet. The data can then be played back by a personal computer, portable media player (like an iPod), or mobile phone.
The Internet radio streams are usually stored in WMA file formats, which are similar to audio files. The format stores the track name, track number, album name, and artist name for every broadcasted radio show. Internet radio stations can be found by browsing through live radio stations on the Internet or by subscribing to Internet feeds from Internet radio stations. These online feeds can be publicly or privately hosted by Internet radio stations, and they can be freely or secretly hosted by a number of third-party websites.
Internet broadcasts are different from regular radio broadcasts in that they are not bounded by regular time slots and advertising. Instead, internet radio broadcasts are usually "on demand." This means that a listener can request that a certain song is played at a certain time. For many radio stations, songs are selected from a database, and internet broadcasts can be requested by any user.
In addition to being available for download, internet radio can also be listened to over the internet by logging into an audio website. Then, the listener can choose to play the radio show by browsing through categories of songs or simply listen to the radio show. If a song is played while you are offline, you can "download" the song and have the song converted to an MP3 file. This conversion process is very similar to what is done when you download regular music from a website.
There are a number of features that online radio services provide that make listening to internet radio shows even more enjoyable. Most services allow listeners to find great live concerts by artists they are interested in. Most internet radio stations also have on-air contests and giveaways to encourage visitors to listen. Most of these radio stations also provide background information about their presenters and the topics they cover, which allow listeners to get to know the people on-air.
There are still a number of ways to listen to internet radio shows. Although most listeners listen online, some still listen to traditional radio stations. Podcasts, which allow a user to record an audio file and publish it to the internet, are one way to listen to internet radio shows. Podcasts can be downloaded free of charge, and listeners can even send in their own mp3 files for others to play.