Pro Voice Guy Podcast Episode 4
Podcast Hosting Features #1: Upload, Storage, and Bandwidth Limits
Podcasting Host Monthly Upload Limits
- Podcast hosting sites usually place a limit on how much you can upload each month (or day).
- This is sometimes listed in minutes but often in MB (megabyte) which can be a little confusing.
- Many new podcasters may know how long (in minutes) their shows will be but haven't thought about it in terms of megabytes.)
- Unfortunately, there is no simple formula since MB per minute depends on the bitrate of your podcast.
When you encode your podcast as an MP3 (if you need some clarity about what I am talking about here, check out my post on podcasting software,) you can choose at what bitrate you wish to encode it. For simplicity think of this as a decision of quality vs. size. The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality.
If you really want to dig into the complexities of choosing a bitrate, you should check out this article.
If you just want the easy answer, 96kbps (kilobits per second) is a safe choice for most podcasts, 64kbps will work quite well if you want to save space, and 128kbps is still a decent choice if you are anxious about sound quality.
Here is about how much storage space 30 minutes of a podcast will use at those bitrates.
- 64 kbps ~ 15MB
- 96 kbps ~ 23MB
- 128 kbps ~ 30MB
Let's say you want to host your podcast on Lisbyn and you choose their Classic 50 plan. It offers 50MB/month of storage. If your podcast is going to be around 30 minutes and you encode it at 96 kbps, you could upload about 2 podcasts per month. At the beginning of the next month, you would have room to upload about 2 more.
Podcasting Host Total Storage Limits
- While some podcasting hosts think in terms of monthly uploads, others think in terms of total storage (and some think in both.)
- They might not care how much you upload each month, they care about how much you have stored on their service.
- Again, this may be measured in minutes, or in megabytes. These do not reset.
- If you are looking at a host with total storage limits, you are going to need to consider how long you want your podcasts to be available.
Let's look at the example of SoundCloud. SoundCloud does not limit how much you upload each month, they limit your total uploads. For their free plan, they offer 3 hours of upload time. period. Their Pro Plan provides 6 hours. There is no monthly limit so it doesn't reset. That means, on their Pro Plan, you could upload six hours worth of podcasts in your first month but there won't be more storage available the next month. The downside is, when you are ready to upload more, you will either need to go back and delete your old podcasts or upgrade to their unlimited plan.
Podcasting Host Bandwidth Limits
Now that you have learned about how much can uploaded and stored on each service, it is time to switch to the other side of the equation, how many people can listen to our podcast. This can be the most difficult to understand because we actually have little control of this (though most of us would like more people to listen!)
Bandwidth accounts for the amount of data downloaded as people listen to our podcast. The formula for figuring that out goes something like this:
the number of people listening times minutes listening times MB/minute.
In other words, if 10 people listen to my 30-minute podcast episode this month, which I have encoded at 96kbs for a total of 23MB, I would use 230MB of bandwidth. That wouldn't count for people listening to more than one podcast episode.
- If you look at podcasting hosts with limited bandwidth, you will see that it would be easy to quickly exceed limits on some of the smaller plans as your audience grows.
- Even if you don't anticipate many listeners or your podcasts are initially short, you will want to consider what will happen if your audience expands or your shows grow in length or frequency.
- This is a good place to think ahead so that you can upgrade easily when the time comes.
- Again, if you are terrible at math, you can always consider a host with unlimited bandwidth.
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If you want to check out some of the equipment I use in my own studio you can read more here.