Diary of a Podcaster Part 9
As I surmised, in its current state Squarespace has proven an inadequate host for my current podcast. After exchanging several emails with Apple support, I was informed that “the server for your episodes does not support HTTP HEAD requests. To enable streaming playback of episodes, ensure the hosting server allows HTTP HEAD requests and has byte-range requests enabled”. To cut a long story short, there is no scope for me to alter any of these things at present within the Squarespace dashboard. Nor did I want the work involved in using a third-party feed managing service such as FeedBurner. So, I decided to open up an account with a commercial hosting service. After some research, I determined that PodBean could cater for all my needs and at a competitive price. Submitting the new RSS feed was easy and Apple approved the podcast within 36 hours. As of today, the Contains Moderate Peril podcast is back on iTunes.
I could have continued to using Squarespace as a host but effectively this would have meant not having any statistics available regarding the podcast and not having a presence on iTunes. Although the show is not a commercial endeavour, I still wish to grow the audience so I feel that both of the aforementioned requirements are essential. iTunes is an important platform and invaluable means to gain exposure. However, having moved to a service such as PodBean, I have now incurred an additional overhead of $14 a month. The hosting package offers unlimited audio storage and unmetered bandwidth as well as a comprehensive statistical analysis. There is a substantial knowledge base and FAQs. Overall, this is a reasonably priced and functional service. For customers simply interested in podcasting, you can create and manage a bespoke landing page.
In other news, in preparation for a return to regular podcasting, I’ve been doing some test recordings. The scissor arm desktop stand I bought for my microphone is proving a little unwieldy in the limited space I have. So, I purchased a simple tripod as an alternative. This frees up valuable desk space and means that I can easily relocate to an alternative location to record, should the requirement arise. I also received some invaluable advice regarding the placement of my pop filter when I posted a picture of my new set up on Twitter. The subsequent changes that I’ve made have had a positive impact upon sound quality. With the technical and logistical side of podcast production now resolved, I need to focus on drawing up a recording schedule and tackling the complex issue of organising guests. International time zones are sadly one of podcasting’s perennial Achilles Heel.