Files Forever – and other file hosting

Dreamhost, the current host of this site, has a new beta project called Files Forever. I began to think that this would be the next huge thing in the way podcasters store their shows. You simply upload a file and are charged a ONE TIME fee based on the size of the file. No bandwidth costs….ever!

To me that sounds pretty reasonable. Amazon’s S3 service charges based on size, but only like 15 cents per gig and 20 cents per gig of bandwidth. The storage part is waaaay cheaper than the Dreamhost solution, which ranges from $0 to $8 per gig based on God knows what (account longevity maybe). I’m at $3 per gig.

Also podcasting solutions like Libsyn are pretty expensive when you look at it in terms of per gig storage. Libsyn’s largest plan works out to $37.50 per gig ($30/month with 800megs) , and smallest plan is $50 per gig ($5/month with 100megs). Neither of these plans even allows you to store 1 gig per month…although as a podcaster what are you REALLY doing with that much storage. Lisbyn doesn’t charge for bandwidth, so if your show even has only 1000 listeners at 4 shows per month, Libsyn is cheaper than Amazon’s S3 service.

That being all aside, how does this Files Forever service work in terms of downloading podcasts? IT DOESN’T!!! Once you upload your file, it gives you a “direct link” to the file. This “direct link” isn’t so direct. (example: https://files.dreamhost.com/10478/MMTT-6a.mp3). It takes you to a Files Forever page, where they want you to “pay” for the file. Dreamhost charges 50 cents and 5% of the transation per purchase. You can charge $0.00, but it says that your charge will be what your hosting cost is per user.

Does this make any sense to anyone? So if it’s free, it still costs YOU $0.03 (as in this example) per download? I can see that getting quite expensive. I’m not even sure if that is accurate, they don’t give good details. Even if it was free, which it might be, you still don’t have a direct link to the file to be used in your RSS feed. You get some stupid link to a service where you have to add it to your cart and download.

I have to say this can’t be further from the way a podcaster would want to distribute their regular content.

I will say, that this might be a good method to use if you are selling episodes of your show, like Keith and the Girl are doing on episode 300 and 354 of a live show shot on film. They are currently using Lulu for this service at a 25% fee per transaction. They are selling the shows for $5 and paying $1.25 per download. With Files Forever, they would be paying a $0.44 one time fee and $0.75 per download. The savings alone with 1 download make it worth it to switch to this service.

They couldn’t use this service for their regular shows, because of the lack of a direct link to the media.

All in all, this service is great if you are planning on selling digital downloads, but for podcasters stick with Libsyn, Switchpod, or accept Podshow’s ads and use them for free.

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