Charlie Britton Developer. http://chza.me/

Creating a Successful Online Radio Station

In today’s post I am going to be explaining just how to make an online radio station.

Naming & Website

The first thing I did was to pick a genre for my station. For example, I like chillout music and drum and bass. i had a quick search on YouTube and I found some tracks that I liked to listen to. I then went on to ovh.co.uk and had a look at a domain for my station. I had decided to call my station ‘Just Chill DnB’ and I thought I could get the domain justchilldnb.com, then I tried to cut down on the characters in the domain and eventually got chilldnb.com. After that, I registered the domain for a year, which set me back £8 (~$10).

Station Server

The next thing that i did was rent a small VPS from OVH so that I could host my website and Radio Automation Software.

I opted for a £3 (~$4) VPS which is by far the best deal I have found in terms of computing power/price. The £3 VPS has 2GB ram, a 10GB SSD, and 1 ‘vCore’ which is adequate for a light bit of web hosting and radio. I used Centos 6 and once I’d bought my VPS, I changed my SSH settings to only accept connections from port 22 to port XYZ to stop basic brute force attacks, disabled root login and setup public key authentication.

After that, I created the account chill-dnb for the radio automation software and nginx web server. I then installed VNC on my VPS so that I could configure the radio automation software. Installing nginx was easy, as I followed a lovely DigitalOcean tutorial which got me all setup for serving the web content. I used the Virtual Hosts to allow me to serve multiple websites for if I decided to create another radio station in the future. I then put my website placeholder on the VPS and pointed my website to the IP of my VPS and that was replaced with a proper website later on.

As for the radio automation, I’d opted for an old piece of software made to run on Windows XP and I used wine to allow me to run it on Linux. I then built up a library of royalty free songs that I liked and copied them over to my VPS using FTP, which DigitalOcean made another good tutorial on. After that, I recorded some Idents (20-30 is good) and also uploaded them. I made some advert songs to keep SHOUTcast happy and built an automatic playlist so that I didnt have to pick out songs every day, then I made sure that it streamed properly and did what I wanted it to do.

Making it Public

I went onto the SHOUTcast website and clicked ‘Broadcast Now’ and chose their hosted version (meaning I didn’t have to worry about bandwidth), where i input my details and my logo. I then had a good old long listen to the station to make sure that I was happy with it, before I added it to TuneIn (this got me so many more listeners)! Finally, I created a Facebook page and setup a Twitter account. Since then, I have peaked at around 35 concurrent listeners without really touching the station and I could easily improve this by running giveaways and being more active on social media. If you have the time and are willing to do this, checkout the links at the bottom.

Conclusion

Making an online radio station can be a fun and thrilling project, for a total cost of £44 (~$55), and can help develop Linux knowledge (I know that I am much better working in the command line and with Linux now) and can be really great if you are wanting to get into computers and play around with web development and coding. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and enjoy the rest of your day :-)

Edit (30/10/17): I have had my first paycheck!

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