Recon

This must have been the most arduous decision I’ve ever had to make. The plethora of options to choose form is quite intimidating.

I was scared of choosing the wrong option and having to move hosting providers half way.  I narrowed down to 3 options/services I ended up tossing up.

  • LibSyn (comes highly recommended for ‘power’ users)
  • Acast (simply because Arseblog uses it and has a great monetizing program)
  • Audioboom (for it’s ease in setting up multiple hosts)
  • Self hosting (gah, the sheer work to manage this, I wasn’t ready)

Each of these services have their pros and cons and since I’m not writing a comparison article, it boiled down to these things for me:

Website

I wanted to create a website which I can expand on and possibly branch out later. This might not be the use case for may but I wanted a self-hosted wordpress site for this.

Why WordPress? Because it just works. Yes there are a lot of security issues but compared to other CMS platforms out there, it’s by far the most popular (see security issues) and the array of plugins available is immense.

Blubrry’s PowerPress plugin won me over on this. It makes posting new episodes easy and has a lot of options for optimizing your podcast.

PowerPress interface

Storage space

I knew that we’d record an hour+ podcast and that would be around 50 – 60mb if you are compressing at a constant bitrate of 96Kbps (44100 Hz). The quality is good enough for me at least. I’m no audiophile but there are people out there that would scoff at this and do higher and that’ totally up to you. But when also considering the user and their bandwidth usage, you’d want to keep these low but not too low to affect the quality of your audio.

My average audio size is 50Mb which falls within my current plan with Blubrry, which is great. But in those odd occasions where we collaborate with other podcasts or we run longer episodes and the size falls north of 50, Blubrry have a  ‘No-Fault Podcast Hosting’ policy which states:

All Blubrry Podcast Hosting accounts come with No-Fault Hosting, complimentary data storage up to 25 percent above each service plan. No-Fault Hosting allows customers to maximize their monthly storage at no additional cost.

Knowing that you have some wiggle room without forking more cash is assuring.

Documentation

There are a lot of helpful articles that will get you started and even when stuck, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find some blog post on  how to solve your quandary. Podcasting is being part of a community and having one that’s as helpful, sure does make it easier.

Here are the resources that really helped me get started:

Distribution

Blubrry gives you a lot of options for distributing your podcast quite easily. Especially when using PowerPress, you’ll be pushing your podcast out to a lot of podcathers out there.

One thing that also go my attention though is their partnership with the StreamGuys where you can convert your podcast episodes to streams that would play on different radio streaming platforms.

It’s a good way to get your podcast out there for those who can afford it. I can’t, but it was nice to set a goal of what I’m aiming for and possibly invest in later on when I want to expand my audience beyond the normal podcatchers.

Additional features added afterwards

Since signing up to Blubrry, they’ve added two extra features that are quite good.

  • Audioburst
    Granted anyone can connect their RSS feed to setup their own audioburst account but the fact that I was unaware of this wonderful tool before Blubrry brought it to my attention is exactly why they are great. Finding new ways to improve your podcast and engagement.
    Audioburst grabs your audio files from your RSS and creates transcripts as well as the ability to create snippets to easily share in your socials.

  • Partial listens statistics
    Currently a free feature until 1 July but what this does, is give you stats on where your listeners drop-off for each episode. Rather than getting a completed download stat even when they’ve not listened to 100% of your podcast, you’ll be able to see approximately how long you engage your listeners. I don’t have to tell you how useful this is and how it can affect how you produce your podcast going forward.

That’s it for now. In my next article I’ll be writing about the tools and presets I use while editing my podcast using Adobe Audition. To be honest, I’m still learning about using Audition and all of it’s features…well at least those useful to me.

Let me know which service you’re using to host your podcast and how you’re finding it.

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