TECHNOLOGY & CONVERGENCE

South Africa: Stream Your Favourite SA Radio Station Live

Relying only on two new media tools, viral marketing and blog posts, to inform the masses about AmaRadio, South African developer Gary James says his free online live radio streaming program was downloaded more than 500 times in just five days of going live.

Created by the Cape Town-based developer, the small (4MB) and easy-to-use app allows users to listen to their favourite radio stations over the Internet. Explains James, "AmaRadio is considerably easier to download than other comparible software, such as iTunes or Windows Media Player. It's less than a tenth of the size of these tools, so downloading it takes far less time and bandwidth."

In terms of bandwidth consumed while using AmaRadio, James says, "Most ISPs provide broadband clients with 2000 or 3000MB of bandwidth per month. Listening to AmaRadio will use up roughly 10MB of your bandwidth per hour." According to James, it started out as an idea to help his wife listen to her favourite Australian-based radio station and so he built a small software program using his company's audio engine.

"I announced AmaRadio on my blog, and within 24 hours I received emails from users who loved the product. Not bad considering that we haven't done any advertising, because my company cannot afford to spend a lot of time on a project that won't generate income," comments James.

"In just 12 days, the product had received plenty of attention, mainly through several South African blog and technology enthusiast sites, and over 500 people had already downloaded the software." AmaRadio was also publicised on local social bookmarking site www.muti.co.za and the word spread via http://twitter.com.

The latest version, AmaRadio 1.07, which was only released on Sunday, 16 March 2008, allows users to play 38 South African radio stations. It also enables users to record the live streams directly to a hard disk and saves them in MP3 format. As of Friday 21 March, AmaRadio will begin supporting international radio stations such as BBC Radio.

James says at the moment there isn't a budget to advertise the product but he is trying to get companies to advertise on AmaRadio so that it can generate an income, rather than be funded by consumers. Currently AmaRadio only runs on Windows 98, XP and Vista but "if there is enough interest, we will look into building other versions to support Mac and Linux," concludes James.

(Biz-Community (Cape Town), 19 March 2008)

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