Hosting a Podcast on Google Drive

As of August 31, 2016, Google has deprecated Drive’s web hosting features that enabled the process below to work. I’m keeping this post around for the sake of posterity, but I’d recommend finding another host for your podcast audio.


When I hosted the Young Guns Show I used Amazon’s S3 service to host the audio files for the podcast. This worked well and while the podcast was going, I had no problem paying the $10–15/month that it cost me to host the files.

Since I’ve stopped recording new episodes, traffic has dropped off some, but still to this day I find myself paying $7–10/month in hosting fees for the audio files. I’m not sure where this traffic is coming from to be perfectly honest. Maybe I still get a lot more first-time subscribers than I realize, or maybe it’s being picked up by 3rd-party podcast curation and distribution services. Either way, that adds up and since I’ve stopped recording, I estimate I’ve spent about $200 hosting the files.

This finally got on my nerves and I began to look for another way to host the files. The perfect solution would have:

  • Little-to-no cost
  • Fast servers
  • No file transfer bandwidth limit
  • An easy way to manage the files

One option I looked at was Dropbox, but because of some of the issues mentioned in this article, I opted against it. Another option was to host the files on archive.org, but as I understand it, it’s very difficult to edit or remove things from there after they’ve been added, and I wanted more control.

This brought me to Google Drive, and after some digging, I discovered it to be the perfect solution.

How to Host Podcast Audio on Google Drive

Before I start, I’m going to write this with the assumption you’re working through the drive.google.com web UI. You can probably do all of this through the app though.

Create a new folder in your drive to host all your podcasts’s episodes. For YGS, I even opted to host my iTunes artwork here as well. Right click on the folder and select Share and then Advanced. Under “Who has access” and next to “Private – Only you can access” click Change. Select “On – Public on the web” and save your changes.

Now, upload your audio files. Once uploaded, right click on the file and select Get Link. This will provide you with sharable URL to the file that will look something like this:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-_jsYSK16YkYmFNSV9ybGVmelk

Take a careful look at that URL. Everything after ?id= is the ID Google Drive has assigned to that file and is critical in accessing it in a raw, usable format. So, for this file, the ID is 0B-_jsYSK16YkYmFNSV9ybGVmelk.

Copy the ID and open a new browser tab to http://googledrive.com/host/yourfileid. So, in our example case, that would be http://googledrive.com/host/0B-_jsYSK16YkYmFNSV9ybGVmelk. Opening that will redirect you to a much longer URL, in this case: https://bb10a2c23f743df5e53a94c02a17daddf6af940a.googledrive.com/host/0B-_jsYSK16YkYmFNSV9ybGVmelk. And there you have it, your podcast audio hosted on a publicly accessible, fast server, for free.

20 thoughts on “Hosting a Podcast on Google Drive

  1. Hi. I just wanted to say thank you for an easy solution to an easy problem. You would not believe the amount a bad info that is out there…I guess you would. Anyway. Thank you. We just wanted to put some songs on the web. Wow.

  2. I have a quick question, after I get the long URL, then what? Do I use that to host on a website, just give people that URL or can I use that URL as an RSS feed for itunes? I am very new to podcasting and would love to pick your brain a bit.

    1. The URL itself is not an RSS feed. You will need some sort of tool that creates the RSS feed for iTunes. Google Drive just hosts the audio file itself.

      1. Thank you! This is very helpful. I’ve gotten as far as hosting on Google Drive. Can you recommend a tool that creates RSS for iTunes? I’ve tried Feedburner but becoming frustrated with that. Zapier?

  3. Hi, thanks for the solution! Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be working for me. I am trying to create a podcast to listen to recorded lectures saved as mp3’s in my google drive. When I access the link I can only see a portion of it, but it does seem to be in the format you described, containing the open?id=

    The problem is that when I actually copy and paste, that part of the link changes to /file/d/

    I’ve tried the paste and go option, as well as manually copying and pasting and it never works. I can’t actually get the portion of the link that needs to be added to “http://googledrive.com/host/”

    1. When you paste the link to access the file ID, you need to paste that in a program like Notepad or TextEdit (Mac), not the browser window itself.

  4. Hi Galen:

    Love your straight to the point info. Curious, do you know if using Google Drive to host podcasts will work for getting your podcasts onto Itunes? I’ve seen mixed noise on this issue. Thanks,

    1. I’m not aware of any such issues but I also haven’t investigated it, it might very well be an issue. If you run across anything solid, please let me know.

  5. I had an issue when I set up the feed with feedburner it shows the content is available but when i test the feed in iTunes it doesnt show any content available. Am I forgetting something?

  6. I used Google Drive to host podcast files for a couple years. Now the files are still there, but my podcast feed sees the links as dead. Any way around this?

  7. Your post is simple but very informative. I want to start a podcast series for my audience using the procedure you share here and make the podcast available on my wordpress website for listening and download. How can I make it available on my wordpress website after following this procedure.
    Thanks for your answer in advance.
    I’m starting the podcast January 1st.

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