Straining the Internet Stream at Wired For Sound Radio (Artisan Radio)

This is the final weekend of broadcasting for Wired For Sound Radio ( , the sister station of Artisan Radio. 24/7 streaming of the music of Cliff Richard.

There certainly are some rabid Cliff fans out there. We ran a series of specials, including an interview with Cliff, 2 hours of fan requests and more. In the past, these kinds of special events ran our simultaneous listener total way, way up. This weekend, we peaked at slightly less than 100.

Just a quick word on our setup - we run (soon to be ran) our own server, with a Business high speed cable connection which allows well over 10 Mbps download, and 5 Mbps upload. With the station streaming at 40KBps, that gives us upload bandwidth to support (at least theoretically) 125 simultaneous listeners.

Well, I'm happy to report that we were able to do that. There were no discernable hiccups once a listener connected; as the # of users went up, occasionally there were delays in connecting. The server runs Windows 2000, by far the best Windows O/S for real time response. Icecast to serve the stream. It's not a particularly powerful computer - a 3 Ghz single core processor, and 2 GB of memory. And on another computer, Zara for automation and OddCast for generating the stream.

It just goes to show that you can support a good number of listeners at a reasonable bitrate with your own server, and you don't have to rely on external providers, whose reliability can be questionable - and the right Internet plan, of course. Generally, uploading is the achilles heel of even Business internet plans.

It also goes to show that special event programming, appropriately promoted, tends to generate more response than run of the mill stuff (prior to this weekend, the typical number of listeners varied between 1-10).

Interesting to Observe

One thing about the experience just described is how the audience so quickly locate and connect to special events.

It would seem that persons with keen interests are searching those interests on an ongoing basis.

Using myself as a comparison, I only tend to search special interests on the rare occasion.

The sociological makeup of the internet is highly fascinating.

Carl Blare

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