As I teach various workshops relating to educational podcasting, I frequently field questions relating to bandwidth. Today I discovered this excellent comparative table of podcast lengths and encoding bit-rates which shows the approximate sizes of podcasts of different lengths recorded with different quality levels from Liberated Syndication.

For my own podcasts that are primarly spoken voice episodes but do include some music for the intro, transitions and outro, I always encode at a bitrate of 32 kbps. This table of podcast sizes matches with my own experiences, where a 20 minute 32 kbps podcast takes up about 4.5 MB and a 60 minute podcast is 12-14 MB. When you want to calculate total bandwidth demands for a given podcast, multiply the podcast size times the number of anticipated subscribers / downloads.

Tim Wilson told me about Liberated Syndication this past week at the TCEA conference in Austin. It is the hosting solution he uses for podcasts. Their hosting features include “unmetered bandwidth,” which is a really big deal for popular podcasts. Individual as well as organizational podcasting plans are available, the individual plans start at $5 per month which includes 100 MB of uploaded podcasts per month. If you’re encoding at 32 kbps, that amounts to quite a bit of uploaded podcast content each month!

I haven’t tried Liberated Syndication myself, but I’ve added it to my “Intermediate/Advanced Topics in Podcasting” workshop curriculum.

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  • I’ve just switched hosting for the EdTech Posse podcast to Libsyn and so far everything is working smoothly (so far meaning “in the last 6 days since the latest podcast was put online”). I really like the presentation of the podcast stats.

  • Some of iTunes top podcasts are Libsyn – Grammar Girl, for example. Our church is starting to podcast and after looking around for a solid site that is easy for non-web experts to use, I recommended using Libsyn (if for no other reason than the small fee shows it has a pretty reliable business model for the future).

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    Just would like to share an article on audio encoding optimization for podcasting. No need to think what bit rate to choose the batch file will automatically encode your podcast with the best bit rate to preserve the best quality and smallest file size. The approach was tested on MP3, Nero AAC and OGG.

    This paper will give you understanding on how one can achieve better compression ratio by bit rate optimization. The key point is that our approach describes a fully automated manner of choosing the bit rate that will preserve the audio quality you define. Read this paper through and find out how to save on size when encoding your podcasts, save on bandwidth when transmitting your audio streams in the network, make more audio tracks fit your memory stick when grabbed from a CD, or store more audio books on your mobile device. This paper will tell you how to save up to 50% on audio file size and up to 50% on the bit rate you encode your audio with still having a descent sound quality.

    Read full text of how to encode audio with lowest bit rate at highest quality in this blog post:

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