The main detractions to Internet audio are poor audio quality, and dropouts. Dropouts are typically a result of certain locations on the Internet receiving too much traffic at a particular moment. Devices along the route will throw away data packets when they get too busy, and the design of the Internet is such that those data packets should get retransmitted and ultimately get to the end location.
is the standard solution
But if it is an audio stream that gets interrupted, you hear a "dropout". To minimize the number of dropouts that listeners will experience, technologists have implemented "buffering" – this means that you wait for 30 seconds or so after tuning in to an audio source while your computer stores up data. When it reaches the buffer high water mark, it starts playing. When dropouts occur the amount of data in the buffer drops because it continues to play – no incoming data while the outgoing data continues to flow (like your bank account if you are out of a job). If the interruption is long enough, the audio runs out, you hear silence, and the system starts buffering again for another 30 seconds.
SurferNETWORK's Patented LightningSTREAM Technology
SurferNETWORK has proprietary solutions to these problems at the radio station, in the network,
and at the listener's PC. We have several patents pending to protect these solutions,
but the net result is this: We are able to use a quality codec at a mid-range data rate to
give pleasant sounding audio. Our codec has been custom engineered to optimize this data rate
so we get better audio quality than others at mid-range data rates. We feature
"instant-on" with no pre-buffering and we virtually eliminate dropouts.
Most of the industry didn't even believe that this was possible.
[NOTE: July 2004 -- SurferNETWORK has been awarded US Patent #6,766,376 for our proprietary “Instant-On” capability for live broadcasts. See our press announcement.]
A Good Radio Station Sounds Good
There's a saying in the industry that a radio station is only as good as it sounds. We make radio stations sound almost as good over the Internet as they do over the air.
Another proprietary capability that we have is to seamlessly remove a radio station's audible ad and replace it with one that we have sold – we then share the revenue with the broadcaster. The rationale for this is that most radio ads are local -- a lumber yard, a car dealer, and so on. Those local ads are not relevant for a large percentage of listeners on the Internet, who could be anywhere. Consequently, most local businesses will not pay any premium to put their ad on the Internet. This medium, however, is perfect for national and regional advertisers.
With the combination of our capabilities, we offer the most powerful advertising medium in any industry – an audible ad in which an advertiser can describe a product being displayed, with an invitation to click on the banner to go to the sponsor's web site or to a fulfillment house to place an order. This is the world's first true interactive multimedia advertising channel, and it can ultimately be driven to the level of one-to-one marketing.