Pither.com / Simon
Development, systems administration, parenting and business

Choosing a podcast host

I recently needed to choose a podcast host for the Business of Property. Just in case it's useful to anyone else, or indeed myself in the future, I thought I'd document my reasoning.


Unfortunately I'm not starting to write this at the very beginning of the story. Instead we're jumping in at the point of having a shortlist of three, and I can't remember exactly how!

What I can remember are my basic requirements:

  • MP3 hosting
  • Website (generated and hosted - zero effort)
  • Stats
  • iTunes and Spotify integration
  • No forced adverts
  • As cheap as possible!

The shortlist I ended up with, after a lot of searching and reading, was:

  • BuzzSprout
  • Transistor
  • Fireside

More detail

BuzzSprout got ruled out early, despite some helpful onboarding emails (the only one that did), I didn't like the dashboard, or the options available for their hosted website, or the way they added tags to uploaded MP3s from the fields and values I provided (note the emphasis on way - I do like auto-tagging of the MP3s, just not the way BuzzSprout do it). To get started I'm also uploading some extra back episodes so my first "month" would be tricky with their upload based price banding.

Transistor and Fireside were much harder to choose between. I eventually decided on Fireside because:

  • Marginally better looking (in my view) website
  • Markdown based show notes (this was the big one)
  • Overwrote/forced ID3 tags, so I don't need to worry about consistency in the files I upload

However, there were definitely some things I liked better about transistor:

  • Better handling of episode numbers, especially in combination with textual slugs on the website
  • More complete looking XML tags in the generated RSS feed
  • Mailing list subscribe integration

If Transistor supported Markdown show notes, it would have been a much tougher decision.

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