Frequently Asked Questions

Since you are here, we are assuming you already know the basics of Localtone Radio and are looking for more detailed information. Hopefully these frequently asked questions help you, but if you have more detailed questions, especially concerning advertising and promotions please contact us.

What happens to my audio when it's uploaded?

We allow either MP3 (.mp3) or AAC (.m4a) audio to be uploaded into the system. The audio goes through a series of conversions.

  • We "normalize" the volume of the audio so when it's replayed it has the same volume as the audio in the station.
  • We convert the audio both to both 128kbs .mp3 and 64kbs .ogg versions. The .mp3 versions are what we currently use in our stream and playlist since that is all the only format the Adobe Flash player supports. We may in the future start streaming in .ogg, so we create those versions as well.
  • We add the audio to our vast online repository... ;)
  • We send you a courtesy email letting you know if the audio you uploaded was successful or not.
  • The audio is then available to voted on and is available to be included in the streaming and playlists.
This entire process can take up to 2 minutes depending on the server load. So please be patient.

Is there any special software I need to be able to upload audio?

Nope. All you need is your web browser. We support, Firefox, IE and Safari.

Is there any thing special I need to do with the audio before uploading?

Not really. You MUST be sure that you have what is called ID3 tags in the audio you upload. When you upload audio into the system, you don't need to enter in any information about the audio (unless it's a new artist). The ID3 tags are stored in the files and hold the information like the artist, title, genre and album. These tags are how the system is able to categorize the audio. If you use iTunes, your tags should be fine. Most other audio storage programs store audio using ID3 as well, so if you used something like MusicMatch to store your audio then you should be fine as well. The system will complain to you when you try and upload the audio and it's not able to extract the information. NOTE: We do NOT at this time support Windows Media Formats! If your file ends in .wma, please do not even try to upload it. Convert it to an .mp3 file format version first.

What's up with the different ways to listen?

There are fundamentally 2 different ways to listen to audio on the internet.

  • Streaming - Audio is streamed to your computer. You do not have control over skipping to the next song, seeing what was previously played or (easily) be able to save the audio and replay it on your computer at a later time. This is Internet Radio in the true sense. Thus, the artist you see at the top of this page is what is being broadcast on this stream. A NOTE: This stream is the most intensive for our serves and requires the most amount of bandwidth. We thus have a restriction on the number of users that can listen to this stream. If you are having problems listening to this stream, more than likely it is full, please try the playlist method to listen to audio.
  • Playlist - A list of 25 songs based on popularity is sent to the player and the player plays those songs in that order. You are able to skip songs and jump around selecting only the audio you would like. Once the playlist is complete, it will start over and play the same 25 songs again until you refresh the page. There is no limit on how many people can connect and listen to audio using this method.

What can I contribute?

Any form of audio you have. Besides the obvious, music by local bands, there might be a favorite story that you would like to tell. Localtone is for artists of all different types to contribute. We just ask that you DO NOT TRY AND SELL A PRODUCT OR SERVICE with the audio you contribute. If you would like to advertise on Localtone Radio, please contact us.

What other artists will you hear on Localtone Radio?

Besides artists local to the Twin Cities, you will occasionally hear national artists that will be performing in Minneapolis and St. Paul in the near future. It's radio that is not only created by local artists, but artists you can see in the Twin Cities in the near future.

How does the station work?

The station selects the next audio file to play based on the number of votes a song receives. Each day, all of the users in the system receive 5 votes. Cast your votes wisely! The system will however try and not play a song that has been played recently, but sometimes due to lack of content and not many votes received it must play songs more often. For playlist files, it will play the most popular audio at the time you started it playing. If you want to get another 25 songs that are popular at that time, just refresh the page.

How do I listen?

Select the play button above and then choose the type of stream you wish to hear. We are currently streaming using the MP3 format in 128kbs. We would like to change to another format and lower bitrate, but due to the fact the MP3 is the most supported and lower bitrates don't work with the flash player we use in the browser, this is what we are stuck with for the time being.

Your Browser Based Player Stinks! I want to use my own player.

Not a problem. Our stream can be listened through iTunes, Winamp or Foobar. Using any one of these clients you can connect to our network stream at:

What audio can I contribute?

You MUST be the copyright holder of the audio you upload. If you are not the owner, you must have authorization from the owner of the audio to distribute it on Localtone Radio. Your login information is tied to any audio you upload, so if the copyright holders come looking for the people who uploaded their audio, Localtone Radio will take down the audio and provide them with your information. You also have an option of submitting a URL to the administrator of Localtone Radio. The Localtone Radio Administrator will contact the owner of the audio to see if they would like to add their audio in the system.

What audio format do you support?

You can upload MP3, M4A. We will be supporting OGG shortly and hope to support other formats in the future.

What do I do if I hear "bad" content?

Content qualifies as being "bad" in the eyes of Localtone Radio if:

  • You are the copyright holder and you have not given permission to distribute the audio.
  • You are personally offended by the audio being broadcasted.
  • The audio is from an artist or topic that is not local to the Twin Cities. NOTE: There will be exceptions to this rule since occasionally we will broadcast artists that are going to be playing a show in Minneapolis in the next month. But, we will be sure and state when an where this artist will be playing at the beginning of the piece of content when we broadcast it.
  • Audio with a political, religious or racial bias that would offend the general public.
  • The audio is not encoded properly and just sounds like garbage.
So, with all of that being said, if you hear audio that has one of the flaws listed or another one that have not covered, you can contact us from the audio player on the website or send us an email directly at

We want this station to be a true reflection of the local community in the Twin Cities area.