WWW FAQs: How do I broadcast my own prerecorded music or talk show on the Internet?

2006-07-24: Here's the big question: do you need to go out live? If not, broadcasting your own recordings is really easy. Creating a playlist of your own MP3 recordings that plays continuously on a web page, perhaps in a popup player window, is straightforward stuff. And your listeners don't have to have special software, except for the Flash player that the vast majority of web users already have on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers. That gives you access to a larger audience.

To broadcast your prerecorded songs or talk shows, just follow the instructions in my article how do I embed sound and music in a page?

However, if your recordings are popular enough to rack up serious bandwidth charges with your web host, or you don't have your own "serious" (as in: not free!) website that allows you to upload MP3 files, then you might want to consider hosting your own recordings on Live365.Com. Live365 offers lower monthly rates for those who own the rights to their own music, and your music will be hosted by a professional service that can't be overwhelmed by a sudden spike in popularity.

"But I want to reach millions of people for free!"

Those who want to distribute their own original material to thousands or millions of people without paying hosting fees should consider distributing their MP3 files via BitTorrent. This allows more or less unlimited users to listen to your show without incurring high hosting fees. But listeners must be savvy enough to install the BitTorrent software. And they must be willing to wait for the entire show to download before playback begins.

It's also possible to broadcast your music on a website you host for free at home, although there are significant disadvantages to doing that.
Publishing your recordings on your website isn't everything. You can expand your audience by creating a podcast. This allows you to easily reach users who prefer to listen on portable audio devices, like Apple's iPod, and those who prefer to subscribe to all of their audio programs in one convenient place.

Now you know how to broadcast your prerecorded music. But what about live performances? That's the tricky bit. See the article How do I broadcast my own live music or talk show on the Internet?

Legal Note: yes, you may use sample HTML, Javascript, PHP and other code presented above in your own projects. You may not reproduce large portions of the text of the article without our express permission.

Got a LiveJournal account? Keep up with the latest articles in this FAQ by adding our syndicated feed to your friends list!