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:
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
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.