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Pursuing Podcasters
By: Terri Wells
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    Pursuing Podcasters - More of Everything

    (Page 2 of 4 )

    Podcasting by its very nature creates increased demands for storage and bandwidth. Many web hosts have had to respond by increasing the size of their packages. For example, 1&1 Internet increased its allowances on its $4.99 a month plan from one to five GB for storage and from 100 to 250 GB for bandwidth. Go Daddy increased its plans across the board, and now offers a plan with the same limits as 1&1 Internet’s aforementioned package, but for a dollar a month less.

    Netfirms entered the fray by doing those two hosts one better. Their smallest package offers six GB of storage space and 300 GB of bandwidth for just under $5 per month. And even at that, the company is feeling pinched. “We’re feeling the heat here because customers want more space and more bandwidth because they’re getting into online video and podcasting and multimedia stuff,” Netfirms’ product manager Jason Matheson observed.

    Indeed, there are a number of free sites out there that offer to host podcasters for free. One article that covers a number of podcasting topics, including finding a web host, cautions its readers about using free hosts, however. “There are some free web hosting services available but be warned that many require you to display advertising on your web pages. As might be expected, free web hosting services offer limited technical support, so you’ll be on your own if you need the help of an expert or have a question about getting started.”

    This explains in part why big names are starting to enter the space: many of the free web hosts leave these dedicated hobbyists unsatisfied. There will be more big names entering the arena before we hear the end of this, though. Yahoo! not only features many podcasts on its website (www.podcasts.yahoo.com), but it provides a step-by-step tutorial on creating a podcast – incidentally mentioning that “If you don't have space online to put your podcast, you can use one of many free or paid hosting services. Yahoo! provides some great web hosting options through Yahoo! Geocities.” Google is also rumored to be working on a service for podcasters – and where Yahoo! and Google go, MSN can’t be far behind.

    One other detail if you plan to cater to podcasters: you need to support RSS. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication,” and it allows subscribers to podcasts to receive the latest ones automatically. This is part of the reason that podcasters need so much bandwidth; a really popular podcast will eat bandwidth for breakfast.

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