Guy starts a LP station in Concord.

Eli Polonsky
Mon Feb 5 13:03:50 EST 2007

> > From: "Dan Strassberg" <>
> To: "A. Joseph Ross" <>,
>     <>,
>     "Garrett Wollman" <>
> Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2007 11:58:02 -0500
> Subject: Re: Guy starts a LP station in Concord.
> I believe that if you can receive other classical music
> streams without dropouts on your home dialup connection,
> your dropout problem at home is probably NOT your dialup
> connection. Instead, the weak link is more likely the
> connection between WCNH's servers and your ISP's POP that
> serves your home neighborhood. Hence, if you keep your
> present ISP when you get high-speed Internet service at
> home, the dropout problem is likely to persist.

That's not necessarily true. It may depend on whether WCNH
may be streaming at a higher bitrate than your dial-up can
allow through, which would explain why you can listen to
the same stream on a broadband connection at work but not
at home. 

The higher the streaming bitrate, the better the audio
fidelity. However, the bandwidth of the connection limits
its ability to process the higher bitrates depending on
its capacity in relation to the bitrate of the stream.

Picture a dial-up connection as a very narrow "bottleneck"
in which digital information (the program you're listening
to) must pass through to reach your home computer. Picture
your broadband connection at work as a much larger portal.
The higher the bitrate of the stream, the more information
must be able to pass through the connection at any given
moment. Much more information can pass through broadband
than dial-up at any given moment.

The same amount of information that can pass through the
larger broadband connection at your work may not be able
to pass through your home dial-up "bottleneck" without
exceeding the capacity that it is able to allow through,
creating digital "logjams", which manifest as dropouts.

Dial-up connections, which are at most 56kbps, can not
consistently process streams that are larger than that
amount (and often have problems with some that may be a
little under that amount as well) because they're simply
too narrow to allow all that information through without
"jamming up" and dropping out.

You could ask WCNH at what bitrate they stream. If it
is a larger amount than (or approaching) 56kbps, then
that's your problem at home, and a broadband connection
(even with the same ISP) will most likely solve it.

Some stations offer different streams of the same program
material at different bitrates to accommodate users with
different types of connections. WMBR at MIT offers three
different streams. They offer a full-fidelity stream at
128kbps which requires a high-speed broadband connection,
plus a medium speed, medium fidelity stream at 64kbps
which still requires broadband but will work with slower
DSL services, etc... And finally, a 24kbps stream which
has obviously muddy fidelity due to the limitations of
audio streaming at that rate, but it allows WMBR to at
be heard on the slowest dial-up connections anywhere.
Stations that do all that are the exception, though.


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