So You Want to be an Internet DJ?

I think, in an ideal world, I would be an internet DJ. I’ve got good taste in a variety of music, as well as a decent collection of tunes. I could probably do it now, but believe it or not, I am kind of shy. I freeze up when I talk to people. It’s kind of why I got into music in the first place – musicians can say the things I am thinking and feeling so much better than I am capable of.

I find that I am OK with this blog because I am able to think about the things I want to say before I say them, and if it sounds stupid I can always delete it and try again. When you’re on air, there’s no backspace key. Since I run out of things to say in a normal conversation with people and dead air is probably the biggest mistake a DJ can make, it’s a legit concern. It’s something that I’m working to improve.

But say you have an extensive music collection and are lucky enough to have a lot to say. After sending out loads of resumes and not hearing anything back, what else can you do? Believe it or not, most computers nowadays have all the basic hardware you’ll need to get started. There are loads of software programs and plugins that will allow you to broadcast your music over the internet. Some are free, some have both free and paid versions, and others can cost you. I’ll give you a few that I’m familiar with, but with some searching, you’ll find loads more.

There are free programs like SHOUTcast (which gives you the capability to choose your bandwidth and tracks listener information), the freeware program Icecast that runs on any platform, and others. Then there is Livestream – which you can even install on your phone or tablet – a pretty robust program that allows you to even broadcast live video, which costs a subscription fee to broadcast (but it is free to view). StationPlaylist has three different editions for you to choose from, no matter what your budget.

No matter which program you go with, the idea here is to get yourself some experience and possibly build a fan base. While neither may translate right away into profits, both will benefit you in the hunt for a bonafide paying job. First of all, having your own station shows initiative and ability, not to mention giving any potential employers an idea of what a show of yours would be like. Secondly, if you can bring followers to their station, that increases your stock immediately. It will make you stand out among a sea of straight-out-of-school candidates and elevate your chances of getting hired. If you present yourself right, you’ll be able to translate your DIY-radio station into a paying gig.

Keep going, stay focused, and you’ll get there – you’ll rule the radio one day.