Broadcasting audio over the internet has dramatically improved the experience for listeners, including removing the geographic boundaries of terrestrial transmission, allowing playback on portable devices and time-shifting content. Internet audio has primarily increased choice with traditional broadcasters now competing alongside ‘internet only’ music stations. Internet distribution can also increase the audio quality, beyond that of terrestrial and satellite transmission channel constraints; unlike video streaming which is of lower perceived quality than traditional transmission. With the sustainable data capacity of internet connections increasing, lossless audio can be streamed live to the consumer. This paper discusses the issues relating to these distribution techniques and the challenges which will be experienced by the broadcasters, the distribution network, receiver manufacturers and listeners.
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