The necessary costs to maintain an online radio station are lower than to host a traditional radio station. The required amount of money to pay the electricity, royalty fees, ISP bills and server maintenance can be decently acquired from running advertisement.
Let's check out a few of the online radio stations.
Winamp's take on Internet radio: the aforementioned Shoutcast. These streams work in Winamp and give you a huge list to search for radio channels. At the time of writing there are 951 pages of stations, and each page has 20 stations. Let's do some quick math: a total of 19,020. Decades ago nobody ever could embrace that many radios...
Live365 has thousands of unique radio stations in 300+ genres. That's variety!
YottaMusic features a huge music library with over 3,400,000 songs. That's a lot!
Slacker offers two media players -- desktop radio and web player. It gives you access to a wide range of radio stations varying between more than a few dozen genres.
Yahoo Music definitely occupies a great position on the online radio podium. To access this portal you're required to have a Yahoo! Account. Once you are in you can watch your favorite videos and listen to great songs.
Another excellent portal is AOL's Radio; it features on XM satellite radio.
My personal favorite is Digitally Imported FM . This service specializes in electronic dance music genres. Their network consists of 20 radio stations and you get everything from trance, hardcore, techno, chillout, drum 'n' bass, progressive, break, ambient and so forth. But Sky.FM is part of their network and that sports 25+ other stations.
Pandora has a different approach to online radio. This service offers a minimalist and resource hog-free multimedia player that is based on the Flash platform and, therefore, is web-based; it runs within your browser. The user has the ability to create a personal radio station based on his/her preferred parameters. Unfortunately, right now Pandora is available only in the USA, Canada (and temporarily UK).
Picking an artist, band, album or song title allows the so-called "Music Genome Project" to analyze the user submitted parameters, and create the required station with an automatically generated playlist. Ultimately the user/listener has the opportunity to rate the broadcast songs with "positive" or "negative." The more the listeners get involved into the Pandora project, the better the systems get over time.
The overly popular Last.fm won't be neglected, but it's a topic for the next chapter.
As a side note, if you are a music mixing enthusiast then you won't want to miss YourSpins. You can mix tracks from your artists, share them with your friends, post them on your blog or homepage, turn them into ringtones, and meet other mixers.
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