How to Stream Radio on My Website

By Scott Shpak

Streamed audio is available through any computer, cell phone or tablet with access to the Web.
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The basic concept of streaming media dates back to a patent from 1922 for "efficient transmission of information by signals over wires," which was the basis for the background music company Muzak. In the digital age, Internet radio stations have augmented traditional broadcast radio and the more recent satellite radio with content provided through streams originating on the Web. You can embed these Internet radio streams into your websites.

How Internet Radio Works

Internet radio stations take advantage of the Web's capability to deliver digital information regardless of weather and geographical conditions.The broadcast originates from the station's computers and then is uploaded to the Net using multicast servers, which can supply multiple streams from single servers while maintaining sufficient bandwidth to ensure streaming without interruption. An Internet radio station has a universal resource locator address, as any website does, and this URL is the basis for both listening and incorporating into your website.

Internet Radio Widgets

Radio station widgets are the quickest way to add Internet radio stations to a website or blog page. Widgets are small bits of code embedded in the programming for your page that connect users to, in this case, the Internet radio station of your choice. In essence, you turn your website into a receiver, aiding the distribution of the radio station or streaming provider. Content providers such as iTunes, Spotify and Live365 all offer content widgets with various degrees of customization.

Generating Widget Code

Generating the code needed to embed the streamed radio into your web page or blog is usually a simple process, driven by the provider of your stream. Using Live365 as an example, widget creation starts by selecting a genre from a drop-down menu and clicking the "Go" button. You can then select background and text colors to fit with your site's palette. Clicking "Show HTML code" generates the code needed to embed that player widget into your page. Many such widget services are free, though available features may be limited, or content may be supported by advertising, compared to paid subscription services.

Embedding the Widget Code in Your Website

Once your widget code is generated, it is usually a matter of copying the code and pasting it within your Web page. How and where you paste may depend on how you created your website, though many website creation services will have tools to embed this code. Embedding widgets into blogs follows a similar process using your generated code, although free accounts may restrict the type of services you can embed.