The importance of proper processing and level management of internet streams can not be overemphasized.
Take for example a certain, highly-rated terrestrial radio station in a top 5 market whose audio stream I was fond of listening to. I say “was” because I no longer listen.
Simple. This station’s stream has no - or at the most very inadequate - level management and audio processing. The substandard fidelity is bad enough, but the level situation eventually made the listening experience completely unbearable.
Music would begin at one level, then on would come the air personality, maybe 10dB hotter, blasting me right in the ears. Then, the station would go into a spot break. The first spot would start and it would be way off in the background. The second spot would begin and it would be roaring loud. Spot levels were all over the place. Finally, the station bumper played and it was barely audible. The music began at yet another level and I knew that the whole painful experience would start all over again.
I do notice that some stations’ internet streams are beginning to show in the Arbitrons. Let me point out that this station’s internet stream does not yet show any ratings. It is no wonder.
One of the problems is that, up to now, internet streams have been often viewed as a plaything and therefore have not had the proper attention when it comes to processing and level management. Often, internet-only spots (with different levels) would be inserted from another location, complicating the presentation even more.
Folks: Rehearsal is over. It is now showtime. Is your stream ready for primetime?
Please allow me to direct your attention to the experience of Wolf On The Net, the popular alternative rock streaming service, who have has great success with the utilization of the Omnia A/XE.