Just a few years ago, the cost of online storage was ridiculously high and the idea of setting up a streaming multimedia service like a radio station was out of the question unless you had deep pockets or a rich backer. My how times have changed. The launch of Amazon’s powerful and incredibly aggressively priced S3 online cloud storage service really changed the landscape, and encouraged a bunch of services and applications to launch to the world.
The S3FM project is one such clever idea. By grafting a simple front end onto the power of the Amazon storage system, the service lets you set up your own streaming audio service for next to no cost at all, and with zero set up hassles as well. You’ll need to set up an Amazon account (which is free) and then upload your MP3 tracks to a bucket (folder) on the server.
There are plenty of tools to help, I use the excellent Firefox plugin called S3Fox Organizer. Once that’s done you add the name of your bucket into the S3FM page and you’ve got your self an instant streaming service. Prices for Amazon are extremely cheap – it costs around $0.125 per GB to store and the first 1GB of data streaming is free every month. Voila, a very cheap online radio station.
Here’s an example of what it can do that I ran up in about 5 minutes with a couple of spare public domain tracks I found. A very cool tool indeed.