Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.
The cost associated with hosting audio files for your podcast can start to add up fast. Almost all podcast hosting sites offer a free or very low-cost tier. While attractive, the downside to those options are that the max storage capacity is often very low and the monthly bandwidth allocation for your podcast is often not very much. If you burn through the maximum storage space too fast, you'll need to pull down old episodes to make room for new episodes, which may not leave you with a large library for prospective listeners to listen to. Those lower allocations may force you to bump up to a higher-cost tier before your ready, and you may not even know if you want to keep doing your podcast.
If you're just starting your podcast and are undergoing a sort of trial period, consider using a free hosting service such as archive.org. While archive.org doesn't have all of the user tracking bells and whistles of other podcast MP3 hosting sites, it gives you the following:
- a reliable and safe place to host your podcast MP3s,
- unlimited storage space, and
- unlimited bandwidth.
If you decide further down the line to host your podcast somewhere that tracks user data and also has a few more bells and whistles, that transition is an easy one to make.
Hosting Podcast at Archive.org
- You must have the final MP3 file that you want to use as your podcast.
- Open your Web browser and navigate to archive.org. If you don't have an account at archive.org, you'll need to set one up. Setting up an account is free.
- Click the "Upload" button in the upper-right corner of the archive.com website. This will appear immediately to the left of the avatar associated with your image, if you supplied one. The Share Your Files screen appears.
- Click the green "Upload Files" button. A window appears that says "Drag & Drop files here."
- Drag your final podcast MP3 file into the Drag & Drop files window, and then release the file.
- An information entry screen appears. This is where you'll enter a title for your file, where you can modify the URL at archive.org that will be associated with the file, a description, tags, Creative Commons license and more. As a podcaster, the field you should care most about is the URL field. The URL is what the podcatcher will pick up from your podcast RSS feed, and most podcatchers won't list a podcast where it sees foul language in the URL.
- Click the blue "Upload and Creat Your Item" button at the bottom of the information entry screen when your done supplying information. The MP3 file will now appear in your archive.org library, which can be accessed by clicking your avatar in the upper-right corner of your screen, and then clicking "My Library."
- Click the MP3 file associated with your podcast you just uploaded to bring up the information screen for that particular file.
- Right-click "VBR MP3" to open a context menu and then click "Copy Link Address." Paste that address into a text editor. The URL you just pasted into a text editor is the URL you'll set inside of the enclosure link in the site post that will be associated with this episode of your podcast.
Downside to Hosting Podcast at Archive.org
- Archive.org doesn't provide any analytics for your podcast.
- It will take users longer to download your podcast than it will other podcasts of comparable size.
- If you upload any files to Archive.org and then want to delete them from your library, this can be a real headache.
Upside to Hosting Podcast at Archive.org
- Make your entire podcasting library available to users.
- No storage limit.
- No bandwidth limit.
- Hosting is free.
When you make the decision to commit to your podcast over the longer term, find a paid hosting site. The added benefit into user analytics is invaluable. That data can give you visibility into how many people listened to your podcast, how long they listened, where they were located and more. Additionally, if you ever plan on picking up advertisers, you'll need that information, and you just don't get that from archive.org.
© 2016 Max Dalton
Fillipe Machado on November 07, 2017:
You save my podcast life! Thanks a lot.
Hugs from Brazil!
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Sam on November 07, 2017:
Thanks for this! Can I list all the podcasts on one blog page or do I need a separate blog for each episode?
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on September 24, 2017:
Hi Dan. If you're looking to get statistics to show advertisers, this won't give you those. You'll need to use another hosting service, like BluBrry or Libsyn. I hope that helps.
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on December 09, 2016:
I honestly don't know. Sorry I couldn't help.
Max on December 07, 2016:
Does the VBR MP3 link double as an RSS feed? My thought is that it'll only work as a feed for a single episode
Max Dalton (author) from Greater St. Louis, Missouri on January 11, 2016:
Like I say in the article, it's a great place to do it for free while testing out the podcasting waters. It's what I'm doing with the podcast I just started. Podcasting is a pretty healthy time commitment, which is why I put off doing it for so long. I wanted to take a little bit more time and build up content on my blog before I could roll out a podcast, because the podcast was going to be based on content from the blog.
Best of luck if you do wander down that road!
Ronald E Franklin from Mechanicsburg, PA on January 11, 2016:
After reading this, I'm putting the idea of (1) doing a podcast and (2) hosting it at archive.org onto my "things to think through" list. Good info.