Hosted: The Podcast Host I Want

People who know me decently well will be aware I’ve been here before. Podcast hosting. Also known as yet another abandoned project.

Pdcast it was called the last time I tried to make a podcast hosting site. 2014 was the year I believe.

At the time honestly I had no idea what I was doing and had no real target market. I believed dynamic ad insertion would be the new hotness, and as far as I know I came up with it all by myself! It’s possible it was already a spark in some other nerd’s eye too but dangit, this version of the idea was mine.

I was going to use the SoX tool to cut and slice the user’s podcast at points they marked out and would then of course be able to slide in adverts. My thought was that the ads would be created and submitted by advertisers directly. I asked around and people did not like that idea at all! They were of the opinion that being able to inject their own ads, that was an idea worth racing towards.

In 2015 it all came to a screeching halt. A company I was working for who shall remain nameless reneged on a verbal agreement I had with a former manager. Outside projects were not allowed. Shut it all down. Great.

Hey just for anyone who’s worried about the possibility of that being a pain in the arse down the line I made sure to claw back all rights they were claiming over Pdcast when I left. I had leverage, it was a whole thing, I’ll have to write about it some day. Probably wont. Anyway point is I got all rights to it back. Heck, I even kept hold of the domain.

Where was I? Oh aye, podcast hosting. I put that behind me for a few years. Math nerds in the house will realise the difference between then and now is about 4 years and change. It’s about time I gave it another go.

Enter Hosted. Hosted is Pdcast with 4 years and change worth of obsessive background processes, also as a result of things I was missing while working on another podcast o’ mine.

So, what was I missing. What will Hosted have?

Unlimited podcasts. Same account, same price.

Obviously. There’s no real reason to be charging per-podcast other than to get rich. I don’t need to be rich. I just need to pay the bills.

I also like to tinker with new podcast ideas every now and then.

APIs. Webhooks. IFTTTs. Zapiers. Automation.

I’m a nerd right, you know this. I need to be able to automate literally everything everywhere. There’s only so much you can do with RSS feed triggers. I want a dashboard that shows my stats in realtime. I want a damn SMS ping for every 100 downloads we get. I want to.. I don’t even know what else I want to do, but I want to be able to do it!

You’re damn right this thing is going to have webhooks and an API.

Quit rushing me, dammit

No use to me anymore but something I wanted back when I started WYLTR was the ability to not have to rush. I wanted to set up the podcast in advance and then upload a couple of episodes to get things started. Time makes fools of us all and I was already paying a monthly bill by the time we started. How about a podcast host that doesn’t start billing until you start using the account?

The first 100 downloads (500-1000 with affiliate referral I think. Undecided.) are covered by a $1 trial with Hosted. Publish, schedule, prep your podcast as much as needed and launch when you’re ready to launch. No bills till then.

I already got a domain. Let me use it.

I want my feed to be on my domain. I want my podcasts to be on my network’s domain. I want other hypothetical things I can’t think of. Either way I want vanity. Put my feeds under feeds.cohan.io. Mostly I want backup plans in case the host goes out of business.

Give me all of the information!

Podcast hosts only seem to give you a bunch of formatted stats. Graphs and that. In the background they do things like remove robot views and sum up the visits from different locations and that. Nah pal. Give me the raw access logs even. At least give me the verified stats and “Other”.

Of course GDPR as it is (and it is great, you app devs need to quitcha bitchin) the requesting IP will be anonymized. Last octet blanked in an IPv4, can’t remember how much for an IPv6 off the top of my head - but that.

TRUST ME!

Alright the hosts I’ve used before haven’t not trusted me in the past or anything but I do wish there were things I could override. No please I know your system wants to resample my audio to 12kbps mono or whatever but if I have a super special episode I’d like to say no to it. Just this episode. Please podcast host, don’t treat my special episode like every other episode. It’s special! This one needs to be in stereo for some reason just output it the way I uploaded it.

On the other hand, don’t

I’d also like to be able to specify what my output format should normally be. If I accidently upload a 10 megabit per second 4K video as my episode but my podcast is a 128kbps mono deal, let me know. Also seeing as I uploaded it overnight could you handle the part where the audio is pulled out? Nice one. Also lemme know if there’s like 3 minutes of silence randomly in the middle of the episode if you could aye? Nice one.

Chapter support

I’ve been in love with chapters ever since I found that Relay used them with Cortex - they’re so good! But I forget to do them, or I don’t have a mac that adds them, or whatever. Anyway the host having the functionality would be awesome

Integrations

I know earlier I wanted APIs and all that but I’d also love it if the host did the basics. Let me specify a pattern like “Just posted a new episode: {{episode}}” and post it on the Twitters and whatnot.

Cool story bro

Oh yeah basically I’m building that with Hosted. It’ll come out bit by bit but thems the plans. First stop though is a way for people to import, upload, create, etc. Then the other things.

Update 2019-06-01

Oh aye, forgot to mention. With all this talk of Luminary knocking about, I also want to show them how it’s done. Hosted will support private subscription only podcasts. Served properly. With an RSS feed.

Heya! I’m Cohan and I make PHP-based websites. I also administer Linux servers and do other nerdy stuff like that.
In my more creative moments I’m writing a comedy film. As ye do.
A picture of me.