Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hitting the podcasting nail on the head...

Linked in the title above is an article from PC Magazine from about 8 days ago. It's about podcasting which is slowly becoming a favorite subject of mine.

If you don't quite know what podcasting is, just read the article. It's not very long and it explains things quite well.

The funny thing about this is that podcasting is really a natural progression of the internet. We are getting to the point where even I can get high speed internet at my home. I live in a town of 3,500 and where I live does not even have cable.

Blogging seemed to just be a good idea that took a while to develop, but podcasting requires a high speed connection because I'm not downloading a 25 megabyte file over a modem. I don't care how much I like it.

And right now the only thing really holding back podcasting is success. What I mean by that is I would like to start a little podcast possibly. And while I have all the equipment to get it ready, there is a little bit of an investment to be made.

First of all, I'll probably purchase a program that will set up my RSS feed. This is how people can get subscribed to your podcast where they can download it automatically when you release a new podcast. The software is like $30 so that's not a problem. I have access to mics and other equipment because I do a little work at a radio station.

The biggest investment will be purchasing space and bandwidth from a web server. You have to have a place to park your podcasts. So you pay someone like 10 bucks or so a month to let your podcasts sit on their servers so people can download them.

Here is where success becomes a problem.

The podcasting world is a very friendly place. You can make up a little promo and send it off to other podcasters and they play it for you in their podcasts. But the web servers that host your podcast also have a bandwidth restriction. Everytime your podcast is downloaded, it eats into the bandwidth you are alloted.

Take Adam Curry's podcast the Daily Source Code. A few months ago he said that the DSC is downloaded roughly 100,000 times per show. Since each DSC is about a 25 megabyte download that means that each show requires about 2,500 gigbytes of bandwidth. Yes, that's 2,500 for just a single show and he does at least 3 per week, sometimes 5. On the site I'm looking at to host a podcast, the most they offer is 200 gigabytes of bandwidth for about $20 or else you have to look into a dedicated server.

Everyone wants to get a promo played on Curry's Daily Source Code because it means they'll pretty much be famous and if he likes your stuff, he might just pay you to join his Pod Squad.

Anyway, if you are lucky enough to get a promo on the DSC you could be seeing 100,000 people downloading your podcast. Which means that at the end of the month you might owe your hosting service at least $250 more than what you expected. Unfortunately, some who like your podcast will inevitably go back and get the old shows so it could be double or even triple that.

Ah, the price of success. Anyway, that's what's rattling around in my head. I still want to do it as long as Piccu and I can map out a plan.

If any of you Incongruent-Affect readers out there would like to check out a podcast, post a comment about it or what you might like to hear about.

No comments: