PoducateMe: Practical Solutions for Podcasting in Education
Printable copies of the guide are available for purchase and immediate download at
down. Seems like a harsh way to do business, but this type of treatment is actually
common practice in the world of hosting.
Christianson is not bitter about his experience, actually. Following a very public
drubbing of his host by fans of The MacCast and other podcasters, the provider took
note of the harm it was causing the company and acted quickly to control the
damage. Christianson received a call from the companys VP of Technology and
Hosting Operations Manager, who vowed to expeditiously resolve the issue and
reevaluate their communication policies. Christianson upgraded to a dedicated
hosting plan and remains a client of the provider. However, he must now pay more in
As you can see, podcasters are faced with a serious conundrum. They generally
want a large audience, but the more popular their show becomes, the more it is
downloaded and the more server resources it consumes. Use too many resources
and you become a victim of your own success the host will drop your podcast
and/or demand that you upgrade to a costlier plan featuring more generous
Given these limitations, its important to identify your needs before signing with a
host. Lets look at the fictional AHPY as an example to determine our hosting needs.
Lets suppose that:
Four new AHPY episodes are published every month
Each episode is 15 minutes in length
Episodes are recorded using a bitrate of 64 kbps
Each new episode is downloaded 40 times
Twelve episodes are archived and available for download
With this scenario, were going to need our hosting plan to accomodate
approximately 28 MB of file storage space per month (cumulative, as episodes are
archived) and allow approximately 1 GB of throughput per month.
Uptime and Support
Other major issues to consider when choosing a host include uptime and support.
Uptime refers to how long you can expect a server to remain running without
interruption during a given period of time. Its not unusual to hear complaints of free
and/or unlimited throughput hosting services suddenly coming offline for extended
periods, so do your research before signing with one of these providers.
Service and support are a pretty big deal when it comes to hosting. Many hosts will
not furnish a telephone support number and will instead answer queries only by
email. Some hosts will furnish a phone number, but it will invariably be busy or
connect to voicemail when you call it. Depending on the host, you may have to wait a
few hours or more before you receive a response. This can be maddening when you