Podcasts are simply feeds of simple MP3 files that can be hosted by any web server. However, many a course in miracles producers experience trouble keeping their sound files accessible to audiences, especially when podcast episodes become extremely popular. Most inexpensive web hosting providers do not necessarily specialize in podcast hosting. As a result, when many listeners try to access a single podcast file at once, hard drives can lock up, servers can seize, and hosting accounts can quickly run beyond their allotted bandwidth allowances.
Therefore, many experienced podcast producers host their podcast feeds and sound files at specialized services away from their main servers. That way, if a particular podcast gains national or worldwide attention, a podcast hosting provider can handle the load without charging excess overage fees. Likewise, many of the best podcast hosting providers charge far less for data storage than traditional web hosts, since audio files can easily be moved and copied within data centers. Here are three of the best podcast hosting providers on the market.
HipCast.com. Operated by Eric Rice, HipCast is one of the best podcast hosting providers for new podcasters. HipCast offers simple controls that let inexperienced users create and upload podcast files directly from their web browsers. With just a microphone and a live web connection, you can have your own podcast up and running in a matter of minutes. HipCast’s affordable pricing, with packages under five dollars per month, make it easy for budding podcasters to experiment without breaking the bank.
AudioAcrobat.com. If AudioAcrobat resembles HipCast, it’s because both services share a common technical infrastructure. The slightly more expensive AudioAcrobat does not share all of HipCast’s easy blogging features, but it does carry a few unique benefits. For example, users can give out a “guest line” phone number that allows podcast listeners to leave reactions as voice mail messages that can be incorporated into podcast playlists.
Liberated Syndication. While requiring a little more technical sophistication, LibSyn is one of the best podcast hosting providers because of its innovative pricing structure. LibSyn charges its users based on the number of new material they upload to the server each month, with no charges for data transfer. That way, podcast producers that experience a sudden surge of interest after receiving attention from a major site like Fark or Digg can rest easy. LibSyn’s powerful servers will handle a heavy load without putting an unexpected burden on the pocketbook.
When podcasting emerged as a way for technical experts to share information with each other a few years ago, few people considered the impact that podcasting could have on faith and spirituality. However, recent research indicates that Baptist Church podcasts and other religious “godcasts” are growing faster than all other types of podcasts, combined.
It makes perfect sense for Baptist Church podcasts to grow so rapidly – evangelical churches spread the word about Jesus Christ as part of their everyday mission. Tech-savvy preachers and their technical teams realized quickly that recorded sermons could easily be repurposed into podcasts. Preachers and other religious leaders can not only connect with members of their own flock, but they can attract faithful listeners from all over the world.