This is strange and I don’t have an explanation. Since December 2007 (Podcast209 to be exact) I’ve used the PodPress plug-in for WordPress to do several podcast-related things including generate an approximate total “count” of the downloads to each of my podcasts. PodPress counts the times website visitors start the playback of a podcast in their web browser using the PodPress mp3 flash player. (It’s impossible to tell if people listen to all of a particular episode, just if they start the playback.) I use the PodPress-generated URL for each podcast in FeedForAll for Mac to also count downloads from people who subscribe to my podcast via different podcatcher and aggregator programs. I have used PodPress for several years, but didn’t use the PodPress-generated mp3 URL in my Feedburner podcast channel feed until December.

Around 3 pm today, I noticed that the total number of PodPress recorded downloads of the podcast I published yesterday was over 3000. This is very unusual for my podcast channel, because most episodes now cap out at around 1000 total downloads. There are some exceptions to this (the interview with my 10 year old about Travian from December has been downloaded over 5200 times now) but generally the most popular episodes cap out around 2000 downloads. These are my PodPress stats for the most recent episodes:

Lots of podcast downloads (fast)

I am wondering what would account for this spike in downloads for my last two podcasts? Feedburner doesn’t update stats until the next day, but my Webilizer stats don’t show a huge spike yet in downloads for those particular files. Strange.

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