Inside The Studio 025: Media Hosting Revisited

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On this episode I talk all about media hosting and my new media hosting solution.

Media Hosting
Every podcast needs somewhere for it to be stored on the web. When I started Talks About Tech I used my Godaddy shared hosting account to host all of my podcast episodes as well as my website. The problem with that is if you are using Unlimited shared hosting like I was, you aren’t supposed to put any media files on your site at all. Luckily, I found that out before Godaddy suspended my account.

If you have your website on VPS (Virtual Private Server) or dedicated server hosting though you can host all of your podcasts on the same server. However, with VPS I still recommend hosting somewhere else, especially if you have a lower tier plan.

Audio Podcast Hosting
There are many hosting solutions available that are dedicated to podcast and media hosting.

Archive.org is a very popular podcast host. It’s completely free and you can upload as many files as you want and there is unlimited bandwidth. So what’s the catch? The speeds are very, very slow. Archive.org is funded by donations and grants so the server infrastructure that they can afford is not the best. As a result, the speeds are extremely slow. You get what you pay for!

Amazon S3 might be a good option for you if you have a small podcast. S3 provides very low cost media storage. Storing 100GB of podcast files costs as little as $9.50 per month. However, data transfer pricing is much more expensive. Every time someone downloads your podcast it costs $0.12. If you get 1,000 podcast downloads of an audio podcast 30mb in size that will cost you $3.60. However, if you have a video podcast about 700mb in size with 1,000 downloads it will cost $84. You can go to aws.amazon.com/s3 to find out more.

One of the most popular services for audio podcasting is Libsyn. With libsyn you get unlimited bandwidth on all plans. You pay for the storage. The lowest tiered plan starts at $5 per month and you get 50mb of storage per month. Each month all of the podcast episodes go onto libsyn’s archive servers and that 50mb becomes available again. Plans go all the way up to $75 per month for 1.5GB data. It is not ideal for video podcasting however, because there even the biggest plan doesn’t give you enough storage to host one video podcast per week. You can go to libsyn.com for more information.

Video Podcast Hosting
Video podcast hosting is a whole other ball game compared to audio podcast hosting. Video files are much larger and as a result you need fast speeds, more storage and more bandwidth than audio hosting.

You could again use archive.org for hosting the the video podcasts but it is extremely slow. Video’s will stop to buffer every 30 seconds or so.

Amazon S3 is another choice but as I explained, with video the bills are going to be very high. Amazon S3 does provide a transcoding service but at an expensive premium.

CDN.net might be suitable for you. A CDN is a content delivery network. There are servers all around the world and when someone wants to download your episode they download it from the server closest to them for faster download speeds. For 1TB monthly bandwidth it costs about $23 in one location. It costs more, the more locations you choose.

I have used blip.tv for a long time now. Blip.tv is free and you can upload as many files as you like as long as their under 1GB and there is also unlimited bandwidth. However, the speeds are not very fast and there you don’t have much control over your files. You have to use blip’s html5 video player and their RSS feed for iTunes.

There are many other hosting providers too like cachefly and bitgravity but they are very expensive! For example, cachefly’s plans start at $99 per month.

My New Hosting Solution
Nearly all of the dedicated video hosting solutions were too expensive for me so I decided to make my own hosting server. I searched for unmanaged VPS hosting because unmanaged hosting is much cheaper. The downsides to unmanaged are that you have to install everything you need yourself. I found ipxcore.com and bought one of their Storage VPS plans with 250GB storage and 1TB bandwidth per month. The VPS is not used to run my website. My website and this VPS is completely separate.

I installed an Apache Web Server and FTP on the server so that I could upload my files over ftp. I also installed FFMPEG so that I could do transcoding locally on the server which will save me loads of time.

Now I have the perfect hosting server for me needs. The upload and download speeds are very quick. The server is connected to 1 Gbps internet connection and can do audio and video transcoding. The best part is it only costs €6.70 per month.

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