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Until the phenomenon of podcasting reared its head just a few short months ago, much of the audio content on the Internet came in the form of streaming audio. Streaming audio is an audio feed that is downloaded dynamically (as you listen to it) from a source somewhere on the Internet to a media player on your computer. Internet radio uses this technology, as do many movie preview sites that show movie trailers. Streaming is also used by commercial Web sites like Amazon.com (where users can hear samples of songs being sold ) and Audible.com (where users can listen to entire books ).

Ultimately, streaming audio is not the most important pathway for getting your podcasts heard; RSS feeds are by far the best method. That said, if you want to use it, you can provide streaming audio in several ways, including:

  • Formatting the file link so that it starts playing the file as soon as the link is clicked.

  • Using a flash-based player on your Web site to stream the audio files.

  • Using a Web service like Live365 (www.live365.com), which offers packages for hosting your material and stream it out for you (Figure 4.10). The costs of sites like this vary depending on the package and features chosen.

    Figure 4.10. Sites like Live365 can stream your material if you are gung-ho on having streaming audio of your podcasts.


Available only for the Mac, Nicecast (www.rogueamoeba.com/nicecast; Figure 4.11) is an Internet broadcaster that allows users to broadcast MP3 files to the Internet via iTunes. Although it's not practical for large-scale podcasting, Nicecast is a very ingenious way to enable streaming audio from a Macintosh computer running OS X (required).

Figure 4.11. Nicecast allows Mac users to stream podcasts onto the Internet in a limited way.

The feature list of Nicecast includes:

  • The ability to broadcast a live event

  • Via iTunes, the ability to broadcast podcasts one after another

  • The ability to add voice-overs and digital effects to outgoing streaming content

Nicecast is best used by those who want to enable a few select people to stream their podcasts; this is not the answer for large-scale dissemination of a podcast. Still, at only $10, it is a very handy piece of software to have around, and it allows you to broadcast your podcasts over the Internet, if only in a limited way.

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