TuneTracker™ QuickTip

Keeping Internet Listeners Connected, Part One

If you've ever mailed a parcel to someone who moved to another town without telling you, you already know that a prerequisite of sending and receiving is knowing the correct address. The same is true of Internet broadcasting. Only in this case, it is knowing the sender's address, and not the receiver's, that is crucial.

In order for people to listen to your station, they must be able to connect to it using your IP address; the set of numbers and dots that mark your location the World Wide Web. Without it, they can try all day and they'll never be able to connect. You do, of course, get an IP address whenever you're connected to the web, but unless you've made special arrangements with your service provider, it is only a dynamic "temporary" address assigned automatically when you connect. Each time you disconnect and then reconnect, it changes. Making matters worse, some Internet Service Providers will bump you from address to address even while you're connected. This makes it impossible for your listeners to connect, or to stay connected once they find you.

The quick-and-dirty solution, providing you don't get "IP-bounced" that often, is to update the "listen" link on your web site with your current IP address each time it changes. You can find out what your IP address is by using this link:

http://www.lawrencegoetz.com/programs/ipinfo/

You would then copy and paste the updated IP address into your web page and upload it to the Internet.

This approach, while it works, is fraught with problems. It's not always easy to know when you have lost and regained connection if you have an always-on Internet service. You could be gone for a weekend and lose your listeners for days before you realize your IP has changed.

There are definitely better solutions, ranging from fairly costly to completely free. Next time around, we'll cover ways to keep your listeners constantly tuned-in and groovin.'



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