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Podcasting Hacks by Jack D. Herrington

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Manage Bandwidth

Obviously it’s great to get a lot of listeners, but it’s not great if you get a big

bandwidth bill at the end of the month. Find out several approaches to

avoiding monster bandwidth bills.

Well folks here’s a story about a man name Jed, / He wrote a funny blog and was Slashdotted, / When he first got the news he was one happy dude, / Then he opened his ISP bill, and was totally screwed.

—The Ballad of Slashdotted Jed

Bandwidth is a serious problem for people with popular blogs. And considering that the average HTML page is 30 KB and the average podcast size is 5 MB, it quickly can become a big problem for you, too.

Let’s do a few calculations, starting with an example monthly bandwidth limit of 100 GB. If my average podcast is around 5 MB, I can get 200 shows in 1 GB (roughly). With a 100 GB monthly limit, I can get 20,000 total downloads before I go over the limit. In practice, I would hit that limit before that because of the transfer protocol cost and the RSS feeds.

For a single podcast, 20,000 downloads a month sounds like a lot. But this is a subscription service, and if you figure on 20 podcasts in a month, the number of downloads drops to 1,000 per podcast, which looks a lot like a small fan base.

What’s worse is that many hosting sites have far less than a 100 GB bandwidth limit on their accounts. This means the size of the audience you can support will drop dramatically.

The troubles aren’t going to come from your fan base, though. When you look at your server ...

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