Internet Radio Essay

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Internet Radio

When a new technology is pioneered or discovered it is often the case that this new technology is used to emulate the function of old technologies, for example, when Marconi was inventing the radio he was trying to emulate the function of the telegraph system and saw the defracation of radio waves as an obstacle. Eventually these new technologies mature and the advantages and disadvantages are weighed up and used in their most effective capacity. Internet radio is a prime example of this kind of technology convergence, which uses the world wide web, “the publicly available worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching over the internet protocol (IP)…..made up of thousands
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December 3, 1994 saw the birth of the first twenty four hour streaming internet radio station. (Naughton, John 2004)

The advantages that internet radio holds over regular broadcast radio are plentiful. Analogue radio depends on the strength of their transmitters signal which causes static eventually dies the further away a listener gets from it. Internet radio on the other hand is a sound file which is constantly down loaded from an internet site and due to their lack of dependence on transmitter signals can be heard clearly from anywhere in the world. Also, when RealPlayer was first conceived traditional broadcast governing bodies had no control over a seemingly ‘free’ internet space, eradicating the need to fight for a limited number of very expensive broadcast licenses. In addition to this there was no requirement to pay royalties on songs played over the internet networks, making the only expenses the cost of using a host site and buying software and equipment that can be purchased from any electronics store.

The relative cheapness of internet radio took pressure off the stations to appeal to a wide range of listeners or advertisers. This not only means that countless radio stations have materialised over the past decade, from corporately owned stations to internet ‘ham’ radio, but that internet radio has the option of appealing to niche markets and specific music needs. For example, a dance music radio station can be broken down into stations

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