Frequently Asked Questions

Internet Streaming Fundamentals


The following information is provided to give a general overview of what is involved in streaming audio over the internet. The diagram below details the most common configuration for streaming audio to listeners on the internet. There are variations to what is shown depending on what software you decide to use and what hardware you have available to you.


Simian On-Air PC

Your on-air PC runs Simian to generate your station's content. The audio from your on-air PC is then sent to your stream encoding machine. Encoding is a very resource intensive process, so BSI recommends that you use a dedicated PC to perform your stream encoding.

Stream Encoding PC

The audio from your Simian on-air PC is input into an audio card on your stream encoding PC. Software is used to encode your audio into a digital stream format of your choice. Common encoding programs include RealAudio, ShoutCast, and Windows Media Encoder. The encoding software then sends your stream to your web server.

Web Server

The audio stream from your stream encoding PC is sent to your web server. The web server runs stream serving software which takes the single encoded audio stream and routes it to all the currently connected listeners which allows multiple listeners to receive the same stream. NOTE: It is possible to perform your stream encoding and stream serving on the same machine if your web server is located in the same facility as your Simian on-air PC.

Internet Listeners

Each internet listener hears the same stream. The number of listeners is only limited by your bandwidth. Each listener requires the same amount of bandwidth. For example: 100 listeners require 100 times the bandwidth that 1 listener does. 100 listeners listening to a 128kbps stream could potentially use 4 TB (yes, that's terabytes) of data per month.
Internet streaming diagram

 Last updated Thu, Jul 10 2014 1:25pm

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