The distribution of audio broadcasts, known as "Webcasts," over the Internet. There are more than 10,000 Webcasts available that can be streamed and played by a software media player in the computer or in a stand-alone Internet radio, media hub or media server. The Webcasts come from myriad organizations as well as traditional radio stations. If an Internet radio has built-in connectivity to a home wireless network, it is often called a "Wi-Fi radio."|
Live or Canned
Internet radio may be streamed in real time along with regular AM and FM over-the-air broadcasts, or it may be a recording of a previous broadcast. In the latter case, the Webcast can be streamed at any point from the beginning. See media player, RealAudio and Windows Media formats.
In 2000, San Francisco-based Kerbango, Inc. introduced the first physical Internet radio. Acquired by 3Com, which discontinued its Internet appliance division in 2001, the Kerbango radio supported major audio formats and could play MP3 files from a computer. (Image courtesy of Kerbango, Inc.)
Apple's iTunes jukebox plays Internet radio and offers a variety of stations for the user.