How and Why to Stream Live Audio

Posted on Jan 11 2016 - 4:49pm by Editor

Live audio streams are a great way to allow anyone to listen to your audio uploads across the Internet. From concerts to recording sessions to talk shows, you can stream anything to your audience! Whether you’re trying to market your brand or simply trying to start your own web cast show or program, streaming live audio is a great way to connect with a new audience. If you’re just getting started in the world of live audio streaming, here are some basic tips to follow to get you started on the path to a smooth and successful live stream.

Live audio streams

Optimize your computer and Internet capabilities.

Make sure you have a fast reliable Internet connection to share your live audio stream. Your computer will be handling a lot of information, so you need to defragment your hard drive, turn off your network and file sharing and close all unused programs before starting your live stream.

Eventually, mobile devices may overtake Internet usage, with Cisco estimating that mobile devices will account for 66 percent of traffic. Therefore, it’s not a far reach to say that you can also consider using your mobile devices for broadcasting.

Choose an audio capture device.

Use an external audio recording device like a microphone or Mixer to capture the audio to your computer or use files already uploaded to your computer’s hard drive. And make sure to test your microphone before hand, as Entrepreneur reminds.

Use an audio encoder to convert your audio.

Audio encoders compress and decompress audio files to a chosen audio format, like mp3, wav and flac. Keep in mind that the audio quality ranges based on the format you use. Mp3 has a much lower level of quality than flac does, for example.

Make sure you keep the bit rate you submitted.

The most common bit rate speeds are 20, 32, 64 and 128 kilobytes per second (kbps). While 20 kbps tends to be used for voice audio like talk shows, 32 kbps is the standard bit rate for music broadcasts and higher quality talk broadcasts on FM radio and 64 kbps delivers great audio quality about on par with a CD or mp3. Broadcasts with 128 kbps are the highest quality.

Check your upload speed.

When you broadcast live audio, it’s important that the upload speed of your encoder be at least two and a half times that of the bit rate, or data transferred per second, you broadcast at. If you stream at a speed that matches your computer, you will have buffering times.

Keep the capabilities of your audience’s computers in mind.

This includes audio speed. Your audience will most likely have one and a half times the download capacity of the bit rate of your live audio stream.

Stream your audio with a Content Distribution Network (CDN).

Use content distribution networks to push or pull the audio to the Internet. Push the audio by having your audio encoder send the file to your Content Distribution Network. Pull the audio by allowing your Content Distribution Network to access your computer through its IP address.

So why should you stream live audio and video content to your online audience?

Online broadcasts or events allow a wider reach.

Online broadcasts allow your audience to hear or see an event that they would not have been able to see in person. The online audience can experience the broadcast for themselves rather than hearing details from a journalist or blogger.

Online broadcasts save money.

Broadcasting an event online rather than hosting in person saves tens of thousands of dollars in space rentals, lighting, catering, travel and lodging. Why host an event in person when you can reach more people and save tens of thousands of dollars by going virtual?

Online broadcasts have evolved to allow audience interaction.

As long as you’re engaging your audience during your broadcast, there’s virtually no difference between an online broadcast and an in-person event. New platforms allow presenters to host interactive video and audio events and extend their reach to a digital audience, who can actively participate. These platforms also allow presenters to engage their audience with visuals and fun content.

Blue Jeans is a great way to go. You can broadcast live audio, video, and other content to thousands of users using the signature video collaboration service with multiple broadcasting capabilities. The interactive service allows up to 100 interactive presenters and 3,000 remote attendees, who can view and interact with the video content from any room system, browser or mobile device. You can also transition passive viewers to active video participants.

With traditional video conferencing techniques, it’s difficult to break the barrier between presenters and attendees, but this service promotes interactive video events in which the presenter can enable any of the attendees to go live during the presentation. The attendee simply virtually raises his or her hand. The moderator then invites the attendee to go live and the attendee accepts the invite and becomes an interactive participant.

So extend your reach to your digital audience today by streaming your live audio and video and giving your online audience an opportunity to interact with you as a presenter.