Built by long-time podcaster and developer Dan Benjamin, using the years of experience he gained running 5by5.tv (both content and infrastructure), Fireside is a solid service for those who take their podcast seriously.
Along with audio hosting, analytics and a website for your podcast, Fireside also provides rich show notes, allowing for the addition of host and guest bios, and a blog. If your podcast has multiple hosts who aren’t on every episode, you can specify the hosts that appear on a per-episode basis, and visitors to your website can see who hosted which ones.
For Benjamin, podcasting means going live-to-tape, and having show notes with lots of links, so Fireside has tools that make it easy to gather links to the topics you discuss, while you record.
If you’re relatively new to podcasting, or you just like badges, there’s a lightly gamified element to the Fireside content management system, that lets you earn achievements for reaching important milestones.
I migrated a few of my personal podcasts over to Fireside, and either I clogged up the system or I was unlucky, as I ran into speed issues and timeouts early on. Since that initial burst of activity, I’ve had no issues with the service.
However, there are elements of the CMS’s design that, as a recovering web developer I understand, but as a user are cumbersome and involve lots of repetition. For example, you can’t add a guest to an episode as you’re uploading. You have to upload your episode, then go elsewhere to create the guest bio, save them, then either select the episode they appear in or go back to the episode you were editing. Stuff like that is user-interface 101, but if you don’t use features like that, it won’t get in your way.
I’d like to see lots more customisation of the website the service generates. I’m delighted with the content, the blog, the fact I can create arbitrary pages and redirect one address to another, but there are only two or three themes, and they all pretty much look the same.
Overall, Fireside is solid, and for many of us, that’s what we need. If you’re intending to run your own website for your podcast, there are probably more cost-effective solutions, but if you want to keep everything in one place, Fireside is a great fit… just don’t expect your podcast website to look sexy.
|Price||$9.00 per month||$19.00 per month||$49.00 per month|
|Number of podcasts||1||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Episodes||5 per month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Downloads||10,000 per month||75,000 per month||Unlimited|
|Podcast website included|
|Use your own domain|
|IAB certified metrics|
|Republish to YouTube|
|Podcast network support|
|Create soundbite clips from episodes|
|Receive Bitcoin from listeners|