Running a Successful Online Radio Station

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Running a Successful Online Radio Station

Post by Indy »

Some important tips for running a station and making it seem as professional as possible:

1. Get a "tech guy" (or guys). Often the person starting a station is the person who wants to DJ or host a show and manage the other DJs. This is an important role in a station for sure, but you need that tech guy too. This person should be able to run a Linux server, set up a SHOUTcast server, install PHP scripts, edit configuration files, know IRC hostmasks and technical details, etc. Without this person you will be fumbling trying to get things working, and when (yes, when) they break you will have nobody to fix it quickly and get it going again.

2. Make sure all your DJs (and AutoDJs, if any) are all using the same codec, samplerate, and stereo/mono settings. There is nothing more embarrassing for your station than when there is a DJ transition and your listeners all have to reconnect because the audio has gone all chipmunky or is playing in super slo-mo. For MP3 at least, the bitrate can change between DJs without issue as long as the other settings match.

3. Along with #2 above all your DJs should have their audio levels set up as close as possible to each other; this avoids big audio shifts between DJs as well.

4. It's a good idea to have a testing SHOUTcast set up with all the same settings as your main except the IP and port. This lets you make sure your DJs have all their settings right without messing up on the main stream.

5. High and low bitrate servers. If you have a high and low bitrate server(s) use a dedicated transcoder to re-encode from the high bitrate server and feed the low bitrate server(s). This will ensure the LB servers are always up and you won't be forcing your DJs to feed all the streams, just the one high-speed.
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