Hosting on internet radio: how do I do it?

8 03 2011

Some time ago, a regular BounceRadio listener asked me how I determine what I play on my shows.

For those who don’t yet know: I host two shows every week on net radio station BounceRadio.net.

Over The Hump (Wednesdays, 10pm-1am Eastern) is a mix of what I call “the lighter side of rock” (meaning that it is still mostly rock, but not the driving, head-banging music you hear elsewhere) and contemporary instrumental: new age, jazz, rock instrumentals, and more.

The Musical Journey (Fridays, 7-10pm Eastern) is mostly what is called classic rock, but sometimes I will play something a little different. Hour three of this show is the Double Play Hour, with pairs of songs by the same artist.

Now, what separates internet radio from most conventional radio stations? In addition to the host, I am also the show’s producer and engineer, and the responsibility for selecting the music for the show is all mine. Instead of going to a regular radio station to host my show, I’m able to handle everything here at home. To listen, there are a number of options: you can go to the chat room on our website. We’re a listed station on both iTunes and Windows Media Player. Or you can use a number of other devices: iPhone, Blackberry, and more.

Is BounceRadio.net a legal entity? You bet it is! We’re a fully licensed radio station, and we are bound by the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Now, how do I choose the music for the shows? Well, if I told you everything, I’d have to hire hit men to track you down…just kidding!

One of the best resources I use is the fact that many conventional stations publish playlists of songs they have played. How much of a playlist they put up varies with each station: some post a few hours of songs, while others will have songs from the past few days listed.

Some stations play music that is better suited for Over The Hump, while others play music that I’ll want for The Musical Journey. I go with a mix of songs through the decades – not just one particular era or style, unless I’m using that style for a themed edition of The Musical Journey (which happens around once a month). I’m also careful to not play any one artist every single week. There are tons of artists out there that have provided us with some great music, so I mix up my music choices.

But using radio station playlists is not the only resource I draw from. Sometimes, I’ll hear a song and think, “I must play that one!” and add it to my own playlist. And as always, I welcome requests from listeners.

After I have enough music for the show, I pull each song into my Winamp player, and sort the songs into the order in which I wish to play them. Add the promos to the mix, and I’m ready to go! Just load the playlist into my broadcasting software, and I’m all set!

I’ve been hosting shows on BounceRadio.net for nearly 4 years now – the 4th anniversary is in mid-April. And I’m having a blast with it!

Does hosting a show like this sound fun to you? Why not join us? At BounceRadio.net, we’re always on the lookout for great new voices to join our group. If you think you have what it takes, put together a voice demo of yourself introducing a couple of songs, and send that to jobs@bounceradio.net.

Who knows? The whole world could be hearing your voice soon!

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