Using a web player will enable you to maintain content on your own website. Podcasting does not limit you to syndicating your content to podcast directories such as iTunes. Here are some options and tips:
Web player options for podcasting
There are many flash-based video and audio players available for free on the web. Depending on where you host your podcast will determine if you can use them.
Blubrry PowerPress podcasting plugin for WordPress includes a number of audio and video player options. Audio players include MediaElement.js and browser native HTML5 audio players. Video players include MediaElement.js, VideoJS and browser native HTML5 video players.
Web player tip: Do not auto play your media
As tempting as it may be, do not do it! Keep in mind that auto playing content not only goes against what podcasting is about, but in most cases, provides a negative experience for the visitor to your website. Learn more about auto play and why you should not auto-play media in your website.
Web player tip: Use an HTML5 based player
When picking a player, choose a modern HTML5-based player. The best player can fallback to a simple link to download the podcast if an HTML5 player is not supported. Also, just as important, the player will include the appropriate HTML title tags and color contrast to meet usability and accessibility standards.
Host your media on a content delivery network
As tempting as it is to host your podcast media on your website, don’t do it! Media hosting uses a lot more bandwidth and serving time, which can lead to slow loading webpages and a poor user experience visiting your website. Blubrry’s Podcast Media Hosting is a content delivery network (CDN) service that includes podcast media statistics and integrated publishing from within your WordPress website, making it the ideal solution for podcasting. There are many more services available as well such as Amazon Web Services. If you do not wish to use Blubrry’s services but would like assistance setting up a service such as Amazon’s, check out our consulting services on our contact page, we have staff ready to help you.
Encode your media for the web
Make sure you encode your media optimized for the web. This is more important for video than audio media, but can sometimes be an issue for audio as well. Typically audio editing software from services such as Apple, Adobe or Sony is not an issue. Open-source software and freeware, though, can cause such issues.
- When creating your MP3s, make sure they are set to use a constant bit rate, a sample rate of either 22.05 or 44.1KHz and your meta/ID3 tags are filled in. Learn more MP3 (MPEG Layer 3) Tips.
- When creating video, make sure the final MP4/M4V is optimized for the web. If the media file is not optimized for the web, it will not auto play in web browsers. Learn more H.264 (mp4/m4v) Tips.