Web Radio FAQ: How Does This Technology Work?

How do Web radio services stream music over the net?

The Sound of Music
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Web Radio FAQ: How Does Internet Radio work?

In this Web Radio FAQ, we take a brief look at how this technology works and what its benefits are.

The Technology

Web radio, or more commonly referred to as Internet radio is a technology that continuously transmits audio (streaming audio) over the internet to your computer. This technique of broadcasting audio using data transmission is very much like listening to terrestrial radio.

Audio Formats

There are a few audio formats that Internet radio uses like, MP3, OGG, WMA, RA, AAC Plus, etc. Most up-to-date software media players can play streaming audio using these popular formats.


The most obvious benefit of using Web radio is access to thousands of radio stations that you wouldn’t normally be able to listen to due to your locale. Another advantage is an almost unlimited supply of music, live events, radio shows, etc., that you can listen to in real-time. This on-demand audio technology gives you access to entertainment at any time of the day without having to first download files to your hard drive (Podcasts).