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Word Count: 979
Web Radio Instant global radio or Web radio is the latest manifestation of the Internets multimedia successor the World Wide Web Improved technology and content are turning Web radio into a mass medium Hickman 30 The Web radio concept is mainly underlined by the concept of Webcasting or broadcasting station content over the Internet Online users who visit the Web pages of Webcasting stations can find archived and live audio covering news business sports and many different types of music Thomas 38 Although the most prominent reason for the increase in Web radio activity is advancement in related technology there are multiple other reasons The key has been the development of software that allows a digital recording stored on a computer to be transmitted over the Internet and played instantly and continuously as it is received by the listeners computer Your Very Own 516 This technique is known as streaming and was pioneered by RealNetworks In the streaming process the digitized clips are sent over the Internet as a stream of compressed data packets OMalley 64 Free audio-player software that works with Web browsers then decompresses and assembles these packets at the users computer and automatically plays them back as they are received Streaming systems typically use a buffering system that stores an extra few seconds worth of data to prevent Internet hiccups from disrupting the steady flow of audio not unlike the shock-protection systems on portable compact disc players OMalley 64 As reported in 1995 listening to broadcasts on your computer is akin to dialing in a tinny transistor radio on the fringes of reception area even with hotshot multimedia speakers Silverthorne A1 Advancements have made it so Web-based audio now offers near-CD quality even over a modem of average speed Hickman 30 The broadcast quality depends largely on the amount of traffic on the Internet Your Very Own 516 Sites will have varying degrees of quality and
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