We’ve had a couple of reports that downloads of the show are a bit slow at times. Here I’d like to kick off a discussion of what we might want to do about that, if anything.
I think there are the following options for ways we could make the show available:
- don’t do anything. It might be a little slow to download the show at times, but most people have it download in the background into their podcatcher software, so it doesn’t matter. This also requires zero technical effort
- set up a mirror network of people who are happy to mirror the show, and let people download from a mirror of their choice. LugRadio did this. It is a lot of technical effort to make it slick and to integrate with the RSS feed, and I’m pretty loath to do it for that reason.
- Move the mp3/ogg hosting somewhere else. I’m happy to hear suggestions for locations here: my biggest concern is cost, in that I would like there to not be any. Maybe somewhere like SoundCloud could help here? Are there dedicated free podcasting file hosts? (We’re happy with where the website is hosted, and we don’t want to move that.)
- Use Bittorrent Sync as an alternative way of distributing the show. We had a helpful offer from someone by email to the show who already runs a BTSync mirror of the show, and hopefully they will chip into this thread to explain how it works. I don’t get how a BTSync mirror will work, and to my mind torrents aren’t yet all that useful to the show because there won’t be sufficient people simultaneously downloading it to split the bandwidth between many peers. Perhaps I’m wrong in that? How would it work? Would we need two BTSync mirrors, one for mp3s and one for oggs? How does this interact with the RSS feed, or would we provide BTSync as a different and additional way of downloading the show? (So if someone says “I find the downloads slow”, we can say “you can use our BTSync mirror instead; that’s faster.” Would it even be faster? I have lots of questions.)
I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on this. Have you found downloads slow? Have you even noticed? Bear in mind that I have high standards for how easy such a thing is to use, for all of the file hosts, for listeners, and for me, and making things slick and easy normally requires lots of technical work, so if your proposed solution requires me to do a bunch of set up stuff in order for it to meet my high standards of ease-of-use, be prepared to justify why it’s better than the status quo