Audio Streaming Services

Audio streaming services allow musicians, vocalists, and DJ wannabes to produce and air their own radio shows in cyberspace, commercial- free and amazingly affordable. Thanks to high capacity bandwidth servers, vocalists, groups, and musicians can drive a targeted listening audience to tune in to live or static audio content from anywhere in the world. Using downloadable software and a password, clients connect to audio servers via a transcoder on a client PC. The audio server can then broadcast live or static content across the worldwide web to a global audience. Server provider websites contain links and listings of client radio stations to direct a specific listening audience to the client's station. Sorted by artist's name, style of music, or trade name, station listings are automatically updated by the provider's server. Country music, gospel, contemporary, and rhythm and blues lovers can easily find the client's station and tune in to a live broadcast in real time or sample a static recording.

Live concerts with DJs add to the ambiance and excitement of a new group trying to break into the business of music. Audio streaming services are great for airing concert promotions and tours. Agents and promoters can book more gigs by having interested parties preview a live performance and get a taste of the group's potential to impact a crowd. Live content can even be broadcast from a DJ's turntable using downloadable software and built-in USB audio output. Promoters can broadcast static audio content and post a link on the group's website to direct users to listen on demand at any time. To help drive audiences to the streaming server, entertainers can host a link to the server on their website.

New performers or seasoned entertainers can boost product sales not only by using audio streaming, but also by adding a link to a streaming video server for a total multimedia package at very little cost. High quality broadband audio and video demos offering live or static performances beat the high cost of producing a demo CD in the studio and the headache of trying to convince a major radio or television station to feature a demo on a playlist or program. But streaming videos can provide a low-cost platform for those who want to break into television but lack the cash to invest in big ticket promotional campaigns. By having 24/7 web-based radio and television stations, performers can afford to produce a slammin' audio/video demo package that can potentially rock the worldwide web!

Small and large ministries can also take advantage of this awesome Internet technology. Thanks to audio streaming services and a video streaming server, it doesn't take a million dollar advertising budget to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:18-20)

Ministries, musicians, vocalists, and choirs can invest in a high quality affordable video camera and digital mixing board to produce dynamic multimedia packages that rival those costing tens of thousands of dollars. With a streaming video server, churches can expand outreach to the unchurched, the home-bound, or nursing home patients who cannot regularly attend services. Simply include links to the church's online radio and television stations in weekly bulletins or letters to shut-in members. Those with Internet access can log onto the site and access MP3 uploads to hear and view live services, or listen to sermons on demand at their convenience. Youth bands, children's choirs, praise teams, and liturgical dance ministries can all take advantage of high-tech streaming media to help promote the gospel, or to review and improve on performances to the glory of God.

In the corporate world, large and small companies can utilize streaming technology to share audio and video training sessions. Simply videotape a corporate trainer and distribute links to the server's URL, or post a link on the company website. Employees who can't attend special conferences in person can access real-time broadcasts of important meetings or download static content months later. Contracting with a streaming video server to televise training sessions or present an interactive annual report to shareholders is an added plus to strategic marketing. For a relatively low cost, large and small companies can keep employees, shareholders, and potential investors abreast of innovative procedures, upcoming policy changes, and workplace regulations. Instead of spending thousands on slick sales brochures, companies can invest fewer dollars into producing and airing informative videos in living color to make a visual impact two dimensional pieces can never deliver.

Entertainers, ministries, bands, and other performers can browse the Internet to find audio streaming services or locate providers of an online streaming video server. Individuals or organizations seeking to start their own online radio or television on a budget should also ask associates in the field of performing arts or corporate training to suggest a reputable provider. Clients should go online to compare pricing and packages to get the best bang for the buck. Reputable companies should have references and a good track record in providing technical support and high quality connectivity. But the key to producing a quality station that people will want to listen to is to first, pull together a talented group of individuals who know how to perform professionally. Next, hire good DJs, sound engineers, and mixers who are skilled at creating a professional broadcast or videotape. Remember: streaming technology is an awesome medium that exposes performers to a multilingual audience, but top notch quality is the same in any language.

Video Hosting Service

The services of a streaming video hosting provider add a whole new visual and aural element to an individual's or company's website. Additionally, with this technology, the major free email hosts and internet service providers (ISPs) add video clips to their home pages in such sections as news, sports, and entertainment. The providers' customers can watch brief videos of breaking news headlines, sports victories, or celebrity antics as they access email. Many other applications of the technology are designed to give consumers needed information. The internet is a competitive marketplace and major businesses spend a great deal of money to entice visitors. Many people, particularly moms and commuters, want the answers to two questions first thing in the morning: what's the weather like and how is the traffic flowing? Individuals can check email and then check weather and traffic from the home computer before stepping out the front door. The major internet service providers and the websites of both national and local news stations often provide this information. Videos of weather forecasts help busy moms get the children ready for school. Videos provided by government transportation agencies help commuters plan the morning driving route to avoid any accidents or road construction. These types of applications require the website owners to utilize a video hosting service that can provide the visual and audio quality that will keep visitors returning to the site to get the needed information.

There are several free streaming video hosting providers that offer space to anyone with a camera. Some of these are major community websites. Individuals open an account by registering with the website. Then the individual can post all kinds of messages, photos, and videos. The user often has the option of allowing the web page to be entirely public, allowing access to anyone and everyone, or private so that only certain people can view it. Practically every teenager seems to have one or more of these types of accounts that allow them to interact with friends. Unfortunately, what should be a fun sharing experience can turn into a nightmare when teens use the community to bully peers, identities are stolen when personal information becomes too public, or predators prey on the innocent. Parents must educate children, even teens, on the dangers of posting too much personal information and should monitor the page so that they can keep an eye on who else is viewing it.

Another well-known video hosting service website allows just about anyone to post videos. These range from the absolutely ridiculous to the hilariously creative to the seriously convicting. More than one person has gained his or her allotted fifteen minutes of fame by getting millions of viewing hits on a posted video clip or series of clips. Sometimes these are picked up by the cable news channels and given an even broader audience. This happened not too long ago when someone captured the trouncing of a high school cheerleader as the football team ran onto the field before a game. Fortunately, the young girl wasn't seriously injured, but the recording made it to the major website and from there to television. There's an ugly side to this phenomena, too. Some teenagers get a thrill out of filming another teen getting beat up. These horrendous stories also have made recent headlines and are a tragic commentary on a youth subculture in desperate need of the truths of Scripture. "Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom. . . . Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures" (Job 36:5, 9-11).

Personal and commercial website owners may want to include videos to promote specific interests, products, or services. The website owner is advised to check first with his or her current internet service provider as streaming video hosting may be one of the features that is provided with the website. If not, or if the bandwidth is not adequate, the owner may be able to stay with the current ISP and upgrade to a package of services that includes video hosting. If this isn't a viable option, he might choose to purchase a separate video hosting service from another vendor. A third option is to find another ISP that packages all the desired services into one bundle. This may be more cost-effective than contracting with two separate companies.

Bandwidth transfer allowance is an important criterion when choosing a streaming video hosting provider. In turn, the bandwidth usage is based on such factors as the connection speeds that are encoded into the clip, the number of visitors who watch the clip and at what speeds, and the video's length. If the total viewing averages less than a thousand minutes a day, industry experts recommend small business packages. But if the total viewing time increases to approximately 20,000 minutes a day, then the owner may want to consider utilizing dedicated servers or self-hosting the clips. Another consideration is the use of advertising. A free video hosting service will almost always include advertisements in the video and the website owner has no control over what products or services those ads are promoting. This may be reason enough to contract with a streaming video hosting company who doesn't rely on advertising to obtain revenue. A business owner should also read the fine print of any agreement to ensure that she retains complete ownership of the video's content. Posting videos can be fun for individuals and important promotional tools for businesses. Watching posted videos provides important information and entertainment for consumers.

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