Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

News, notes and ideas on music marketing, self-promotion, artist empowerment and more

January 07, 2005

How to Stream Audio From Your Web Site

This should be no secret to a web-savvy music marketer like you, but I'll state the obvious anyway: You must give music fans a way to hear your music on the Web. And to really prove that you're a smart cookie, you should give people the option of streaming your audio clips or downloading them.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to send people to your page at CD Baby or GarageBand or some other music site, since these services usually automate the process for you. However, I just discovered a fairly simple way to set up both options from my own web site.

(Note: The streaming option works when using Internet Explorer, but for some reason it doesn't work with Firefox, which is growing in popularity. For now, though, most people still use IE.)

Okay, here's what I did. Follow these steps with your own audio files:

1. Using the free MusicMatch Jukebox, I took a spoken word segment from my Artist Empowerment Radio show and converted it to a 32kpbs MP3 file. I reduced it to that rate to make it easy for people with dial-up connections to stream it. I named the file make.mp3

2. I opened a new blank Notepad file (any simple text editor will do) and entered the complete URL of the MP3 file on my server, which is

I saved this file with the name make.m3u

3. Then within the HTML of this page that you're reading, I used this code:

<a href="make.m3u" type="audio/mpeg">Stream It</a>

Note that it links to the simple .m3u text file I just created and includes a message to let the browser know that this link references an audio file.

I also added the following code that links directly to the MP3 file -- for people who want to download this file to their hard drives:

<a href="/make.mp3">Download It</a>

4. Then, using my FTP client, I uploaded the make.m3u file using ACSII and the make.mp3 using the Binary setting. Both files were placed in the same folder on my server as this page.

And that's it. Ready to try it out? Click the links below:

Stream It or Download It

Note: You might want to make a separate 128kpbs MP3 version for the downloadable file. The 32kpbs version is easier to stream, but the sound quality is considerably less.

Here are some other resources that cover delivering streaming audio on the Web:
If you have any tech tips on how to make this work better, please post a response here or send an e-mail to Bob AT -- be sure to replace AT with @.

Also, soon I plan to try an inexpensive software program called MP3 Sound Stream, which uses Flash-based streaming files. Many people rave about it. I'll keep you posted.

posted by Bob Baker @ 11:15 AM   12 comments


At Jan 8, 2005 10:07:00 AM, Blogger Howlin' Hobbit said...


To make sure the m3u files work in Firefox (and maybe other browsers as well) you need to alter your htaccess file. This file has no extension (i.e. it's just named "htaccess") and it sits in the root folder of your website. Please note also that this is for non-IIS servers (Unix, Linux, etc.)... it may work on IIS, I'm just not sure.

In any event, put this line in your file:

AddType audio/x-mpegurl .m3u

...and it'll work fine.

I have it set up that way currently on my site and I can stream with no problem using Firefox. I'm about to change that because I found a great free audio hosting site for acoustic musicians but it'll be that way for the next week or so.

One more note... some mp3 players like the .m3u extension and some like the .pls extension so even with all of that work you may find users who can't get the stream to work.

Howlin' Hobbit

At Jan 9, 2005 4:14:00 AM, Blogger Lucas Gonze said...

Sorry to be a knowitall, but the correct mime type is audio/mpegurl, not x-mpegurl. This really does a make a difference in whether the listener gets to hear the song.

You can make these problems go away by using a utility on, my own site. If your mp3 is at, then the link in your HTML should look like this:

At Jan 10, 2005 9:34:00 PM, Blogger Howlin' Hobbit said...

Lucas, that sounds more likely. The only thing I can say is what I posted is what is in my htaccess file and has seemed to work fine for about a year.

I'll give it a whirl with "audio" instead of "x" though. I don't want to cut anybody out of the scene.



At Jan 26, 2005 9:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I was jsut wondering if anyone knows how to stream live audio, this would really help me out a lot if anyone can contribute in any way. Please email me at . Thank you very much.

At Feb 3, 2005 3:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i'm wanting to stream live audio from my pc, i wondered if anyone could give me some advice or tell me how to do it. im looking to do it completely free (im sure there must be some way) please e-mail me at

At Dec 17, 2005 9:35:00 AM, Blogger KillRadio.Org Newsletter said...


thanks, and 2 questions:

1) how to automatically make the audio start streaming, without displaying any player, as soon as the person goes to my site. Without having to click anything.

2) How to make it cross-browser.

~johny radio

At Dec 17, 2005 1:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

as i can see from the questions it seems people are asking...actually how do you do a radio type show...were people can listen live over the web? so you talk on your computer via audio/software...and people can then listen live on net would you do that?

At Jan 10, 2006 6:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The use of live audio streaming is through a server that does it and programs that encode and stream your audio to the server and then again to the webpage.

At Jan 18, 2006 3:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, Of course. But how do you do it? Is there a player or something? I am going to find it our and write about it on to let you know what i find out!

At Jul 16, 2006 7:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im a mac osx user and i use a program called nicecast to stream live from my pc, if your only want a couple of people to hear your live stream then you can do it straight from your apple mac computer or if you want hundreds to listen to you thenyou will have to buy some server space and its so easy to set up !!! but if your a pc user then you can down load a shout cast plug in for your winamp and stream to your server live (easy)

At Jul 16, 2006 7:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ps .... if you only want to stream to a couple of poeple live, at cd quality then its free using an apple mac computer !!!

At Sep 27, 2006 10:20:00 AM, Blogger sammyray said...

I have a question - how do you do LIVE streaming audio. Let's say I am at a microphone doing a show, and people are listening on the other end, in high quality definition (not a crappy computer mic)


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