Frequently Asked Podcasting Questions
Below are the answers to some common questions about Podcast FM and podcasting in general. Hopefully they will answer any queries you have, but if not, feel free to email us and we will get back to you.
What is upload bandwidth?
This is the amount of podcast you can upload in any given month. We measure this in filesize (ie. how much disk space it takes up) rather than the actual number of shows. This means you have maximum flexibility in choosing to podcast either fewer long/high quality podcast or lots of shorter/low quality ones. As a rough quide, audio podcasts at good quality (128 kbs) come in at around 1 Mb for each minute in length. For speech, quality can be lowered significantly and still sound good, so for speech-only podcasts you can expect to get up to two minutes per megabyte.
What is total storage space?
We store your podcasts on Podcasts FM's servers so we can track how many downloads you are getting for you. Your total storage space determines how many podcasts you can have stored (and so available to subscribers) at any given time. If you want to have a large back catalogue, you'll need a large total storage space.
What are channels?
If each podcast you upload is an episode, then the channels are the series, and it is to the channel that people subscribe. This means that when a new episode is added, the clever bit of podcasting can take place and your subscribers end up having dowloaded the episode without ever having to go back and check your channel by hand. Channels allow you to organise your shows into subjects, too, so the more channels you have, the more different things you can podcast about.
What is FTP?
Plans which allow you to upload over 20 Mb per month offer the option of using FTP to upload your files. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol and is the way large files are transferred over the internet. To use FTP, you'll first need to contact us and request a username and password. Then you put these details into an FTP program, many of which are available on the web (we recommend Filezilla). Your FTP program will transfer your files onto Podcast FM at which point they'll appear on a list from which you can add them to your channels. UIt's that simple.
Are there limits to how many subscribers I can have?
No. Other Podcast hosts will limit your download bandwidth, meaning that after a certain number of subscribers have your show, the webserver stops giving it out. This leaves subscribers confused and frustrated. At Podcast Fm, we limit upload bandwidth instead, meaning you can only put a limited amount of podcasts onto Podcast FM but once you have subscribers, you'll keep them.
Do I need a website to use Podcast FM?
No. The main way that podcasts are found is through iTunes. All you have to do to reach millions of listeners is upload your show to Podcast FM and then click "add a podcast" in iTunes. However, for those producers with a website, Podcast FM includes a button generator so your visitors can easily become subscribers.
About Your Podcasts
How big is a podcast?
The size of your podcasts depends on lots of factors. Audio uses less file size than video and some video formats (especially those based on MPEG-4 such as.mp4, .mpv, .mpg and .wmv) create smaller files than others. Of course, it also depends on how long your podcast is and, in the case of video, how big you decide to set the width and height. Furthermore, you can often compress video and audio to different levels. As a general rule, audio compressed for speech is around half a megabyte per minute of duration, audio compressed for music is one megabyte per minute and video starts at around one megabyte per minute for very small screen sizes at high compression but is normally around three to four megabytes per minute.
How can I make my podcasts smaller?
Audio podcasts must be in .mp3 format, which uses intelligent compression to remove those parts of an audio file the human ear cannot hear. This compression results in files one-tenth the size of uncompressed equivalents with little audible difference in quality. However, for speech, you can turn this compression up, resulting in that are often only one-twentieth or less of the equivilent uncompressed file size. For video, Apple's Quicktime Pro allows you to compress your files into the latest version of MPEG-4.
How can I get more subscribers?
The first thing to do is add your podcast to the music store on Apple's iTunes. Millions of people have iTunes and once on there, iTunes will keep checking back to see if you have added new shows, giving all these people the opportunity to stay up to date with your podcasts. Next, add your channel to as many podcast directories as you can find. Use Google or another search engine to see what's available. It also pays to have a website or blog about your show. Pi Internet, Podcast FM's parent company, provides a simple do-it-yourself website and blog solution, Homebuild, that integrates easily with Podcast FM. Contact them for more details.
Do I need a license to podcast?
It depends what your podcasts contain. You need a license to broadcast any content for which you do not own copyright. This means there will be no problems as long as your podcasts only contain speech (which isn't reciting copyrighted works) and royalty-free music. If not, you will need to contact the Performing Rights Society.
About Podcast FM
Who are we?
Podcast FM is run by Pi Internet, a UK internet service provider with a long history of reliability and service. Our dedicated web-development team are constantly working to improve Podcast FM, adding new features and fine-tuning those already developed. We are always keen to talk to our customers and welcome any feedback or suggestions for new additions you might have.
Where are we based?
We are based in Leeds, UK.
If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.