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June 29, 2019
Podcast media (whether audio or video) must live somewhere on the Internet so it can be downloaded via RSS feeds. This hosting needs to be powerful enough to deliver the media files quickly and handle the load of hundreds or thousands of simultaneous downloads when new episodes are released. Here are the performance results from the most popular podcast hosting companies. Does podcast hosting speed even matter? The short answer is yes, but only to a point. I started this project curious about feed-hosting performance between separate web hosting providers (shared, managed, and VPS), different caching options, and mirroring tools (FeedBurner and Podcast Mirror). Aside from two specific exceptions (more on that below), feed performance from numerous providers was acceptably fast. While one host might be faster than another, it was faster by less than a second on feeds that were already loading in under 1 second. So as long as a feed loads within 1 or 2 seconds, exact speeds become a moot point. If, however, a feed takes several seconds or longer to load, that increases the possibility of timeouts, which can result in a podcast app’s failure to refresh podcast RSS feeds to even see what new episodes are available to download. I’ve seen this happen before where one podcast app could download all the episode, but another app wouldn’t refresh the feed. And then, I realized my test could be easily adapted to measure and compare file-hosting speeds. So I turned my attention to media files, which were easier to compare and possibly more important to measure. But as with feeds, media hosting across most of the providers was fast enough that it wouldn’t cause any noticeable difference. A feed and media host is fast enough when someone can press a button and start listening with little to no delay. (Podcasters can make the mistake of attaching large images to ID3 tags, which can cause playback delays because the ID3 information must download before audio data.) It’s also important to remember most podcast apps will check feeds and download new episodes automatically in the background. So even if it took five minutes for an episode to download, most of the audience might not be affected because the episode will be there waiting for them when they open their podcast app. This audience-helping benefit is a big reason we need to keep downloading possible in podcasting, instead of catering to money-focused advertisers who want to kill the download and switch to streaming. But that’s a different discussion. Testing methodology You’re free to skip this part if you don’t want the technical details. I wrote a program in Node to measure the time it takes to download a feed or media file from a given URL. I included options to test feeds with Gzip compression or HTTP/2. You can view my Podcast Speed Test source code and try it on your own computer or server. Each feed or media URL was tested 10 consecutive times and then combined into average and median results. If there was a significantly different average from median, I would re-run the test, except in the case of Podiant. Every first one or two tests of Podiant resulted in very slow download times. I suspect Podiant doesn’t propagate a media file to local servers until it is first requested from that location, and thus the first download is slow. Because this was predictable and repeatable,
November 9, 2018
In the middle of 2018, Apple started cracking down on keyword-stuffing in podcast tags. My own show, The Audacity to Podcast, was even affected, and I've been tracking and testing other podcasts. Here's what I found!
November 28, 2017
A podcast failure doesn't mean you should quit podcasting. Here are 9 steps to help you recover and keep moving forward!
November 21, 2017
Many podcasting tools offer the ability to automatically crosspost your audio podcast to YouTube. Here are eleven reasons I think you shouldn't do that.
November 14, 2017
Working with other podcasters can be energizing, but it can also feed your inner troll. Here's how you can build friendships instead of enemies in podcasting.
November 7, 2017
Feed hits and monthly downloads are two podcast stats the may confuse or mislead podcasters. Here's why you should never rely on these meaningless numbers.
November 3, 2017
November is National Podcast Post Month (#NaPodPoMo) and I decided to participate by not only publishing a daily podcast episode, but launching a whole new show!
October 31, 2017
A podcast launch can be fun and jumpstart momentum for growth. Starting your podcasting with multiple episodes is often advised, but is it right for you?
October 24, 2017
Regardless of who you use to host your podcast media and generate your podcast RSS feed, check these eight things to own your platform.
October 17, 2017
Podcasting is a time-shifted media. Some fans will binge on all your content, which can reveal some areas to improve your podcast. Here are 12 lessons.
October 4, 2017
Podcasting is unlike any other media. This is why its year-over-year growth has been more gradual than anything else. We may never see a “hockey-stick” spike, but you, as a fan or a creator, are the most powerful influence to bring more people to podcasts.
October 3, 2017
Apple gets a lot of attention in podcasting, but Android is actually more popular than iOS. Here's how to not forget your Android podcast fans!
September 26, 2017
Apple released iOS 11 on September 19 for iPhones and iPads. It brings many new features to support podcasting and improve podcast consumption! Here's what I think you should love.
September 19, 2017
Should you podcast alone, or get a cohost? Cohosts can make some things easier, some things harder. Here's help you to pick what's right for your podcasting.
September 12, 2017
Effective follow-up can make a huge difference to the growth and success of your podcast. Here are some tips to help you!
September 5, 2017
Attending events relevant or beneficial to your podcast can hold exciting opportunities—unless you make these mistakes.
August 29, 2017
To "profit" from your podcast means money to many people. But I think "PROFIT" stands for something more, and every podcast needs it!
August 22, 2017
Recording audio or video podcasts at an event can present many challenges. Here's the onsite podcasting equipment I recommend to make your production great!
August 15, 2017
A stagnating podcast can hurt your show's growth and your potential. Here's what you need to improve!
August 8, 2017
You may not need to spend thousands on multiple pieces of audio equipment to get a good-sounding podcast. Here are modern solutions.
August 1, 2017
With the release of iOS 11, Apple supports new podcasting tags for your podcast RSS feed. Here's how you can start using them today.
July 25, 2017
Word of mouth is the best way to grow your podcast. Here's how you can inspire and equip your audience to share your podcast.
July 18, 2017
You are influenced by the people around you. So here is who you should have in your circle to help your podcast succeed.
July 11, 2017
Press access can get you sneak peeks, free trials, and more value for your audience. Here are 11 tips to help your podcast get these special media privileges.
July 4, 2017
While Americans celebrate their independence on July 4, we podcasters can celebrate our independence with every episode! Here's what makes the independence of podcasting so powerful.
June 27, 2017
You may sometimes fall into a podcasting rut and you've lost your passion. Here are 9 tips to help you get out of the funk and back to your podcast!
June 20, 2017
At the 2017 Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple announced several big changes that will help podcasters and podcast-consumers. Here's what you need to know.
June 13, 2017
Podcast episodes about current events (including fan shows) may not have a long life, but you can still use them to promote and grow your podcast! A current-events podcast might cover news, politics, sports, TV shows, movies, books, music, and such. Essentially, anything that has a schedule and isn't as popular after it has passed.
June 6, 2017
"Long tail" is when a podcast has a long life of relevance and consumption. Learn how to keep your old episodes alive and use them to grow your audience.
May 30, 2017
Loudness normalization conforms audio to a perceived loudness level. Learn why that's important in podcasting and how to make your podcast meet the standard.
May 16, 2017
Episode length is sometimes a heated discussion in podcasting. There's helpful data from different sources. But what's right for your podcast? I'll help you decide!
May 9, 2017
Interviewing non-podcasters presents many challenges, so here's my advice to ensure you get the best sound quality possible from your podcast guests.
May 2, 2017
When you have more podcast episodes than your RSS feed holds, it can affect your audience, marketing, and more. Here are eight options to fix it.
April 25, 2017
After podcasting for a while and you may see old episodes disappear from podcast directories and your RSS feed. Here are seven things you should know. Come back for my next episode where I'll share, "What to Do When You Have Too Many Podcast Episodes in Your RSS Feed."
April 4, 2017
To celebrate 300 episodes of The Audacity to Podcast, I'm drawing lessons from this show's first episode to help you launch your podcast better, or learn how you can improve.
March 21, 2017
People can be wonderful parts of your podcasting team by relieving some of your burdens. I include people as an "automation tool" because they can be so skilled that all you need to do is assign a task and they return amazing results. So please never underestimate the value of others!
March 14, 2017
WordPress is powerful for running your podcast website and it can be the base for automating your podcasting workflow!
March 7, 2017
Web services can automate parts of your podcasting workflow, even when you're not online! Here are my favorite web-based automation tools.
February 28, 2017
PCs (Windows or macOS) are powerful podcasting tools and ideal for automation. Here are 9 tools for automating many computer-based podcasting workflows.
February 21, 2017
Regularly evaluating and critiquing your own your podcast, especially from your audience's perspective, will help you improve and grow the podcast. Here are four steps to get you started.
February 14, 2017
Life can get crazy and unpredictable. It can be joyous moments like a birth or marriage. It can be sad moments like a death or job loss. It can be trying moments like a move or transition of any kind.
December 6, 2016
Whether you're planning a holiday break, a seasonal hiatus, or need some time off, here are ways to stay connected with your audience so they will anticipate your show's return.
November 29, 2016
Christmas, New Year's Day, and many more holidays affect people differently. Learn whether you should keep podcasting or take a break during a holiday.
November 22, 2016
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about podcast SEO. I have this information in my SEO for Podcasters course, and I want you to have these core understanding for what SEO stuff actually does and doesn't matter in podcasting.
November 15, 2016
Reference or habit? These two approaches to your podcast could make a huge difference in engaging with your community and growing your audience.
November 8, 2016
Internet security and privacy are deeply connected and important to your safety. Here are 17 tips to help you stay safe and secure in podcasting.
November 1, 2016
Your privacy is important and you could be compromising it with your podcast! Here are eight ways to protect your personal and professional privacy.
October 25, 2016
Here are several ways to accomplish the flexibility of multitrack recording with different podcasting hardware and software.
October 18, 2016
Multitrack recording keeps audio source separate. Here are some reason why you may and may not want to record your podcast in multiple tracks.
October 11, 2016
Whether you're podcasting for business or pleasure, promoting affiliate products and services can be a great way to monetize your podcast. Here are 10 tips to help you use affiliate marketing effectively.
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