best podcast backup options

© 2013 Daniel J. Lewis

You never realize how important quality backups are until you desperately need them. Here are several ways you can (and should) backup your podcasts, website, and even personal computer.

Recording backups

Regardless of how you record your podcast, there's always a chance for something to go wrong. You could possibly lose your recording if something bad happens. These tools can help prevent that or provide you with a secondary recording if your primary fails.

  • Live-stream—many live-streaming services record your sessions, so you can use this as a backup if things go really bad.
  • Double-ender—have your guests/cohosts record their own audio. This will ensure that disconnects and bandwidth issues won't affect your recording (like I had when Cynthia Sanchez talked about Pinterest for podcasting [tap0136]). If you're willing to piece these together, it can make a higher quality file.
  • Software recorder—even if you're recording into an external recorder, recording with software will make a nice backup.
  • External recorder [tap099]—move the recording away from a computer to an external device. This is more versatile and more stable.

Revision backups

You may want to keep older versions of your projects in case you need to revert, or something gets corrupted.

  • Duplicate and compress—when there's no other method, simply duplicate your project to keep snapshot archives.
  • Apple Time Capsule—local backups for OS X computers. You can move back in time to grab older versions or restore things deleted a while back. But oldest backups will be deleted when storage is running out.
  • Dropbox—both online backup and revision backups.

Computer backups

Computers crash, hard drives fail, and people make mistakes. This is why regular backups of your computer can be priceless.

  • External hard drive—versatile for copying files or using sync/backup programs on any kind of computer.
  • Apple Time Capsule—popular “local” backup on your network. This makes it easy to completely restore a crashed Mac.
  • BackBlaze—simple, unlimited backup for your computer and only costs between $3.96 and $5 per month! You can restore your files from anywhere, and your files are safe from local catastrophes.

WordPress/website backup

Many bad things could happen to your website: hacks, suspensions, updates break things, and user errors. Having daily backups of your website (and snapshots before you make major changes) can help you keep your website online and avoid a crisis.

  • Web-host backups—many web-hosting companies (like BlueHost and HostGator) will regularly backup your website files, database, and settings for you.
  • Many free backup plugins for WordPress—some will backup to Dropbox, email the file, archive somewhere else, or allow you to take on-demand snapshots.
  • BackupBuddy—the easiest WordPress backup I've seen. You have many options and can schedule regular backups. Keep these on your server or archive them to Amazon S3, Dropbox, or other locations. BackupBuddy is also great for moving your website.

Long-term archive backups

After you publish your episode, you should keep all of your episode media and original files together and archive them in long-term storage.

Compress your projects into zip files before you copy or upload. This will save space and make organization a lot easier.

  • DVD-R—versatile and portable. DVD-Rs will usually cost 4.5–6¢ per gigabyte (GB). But this is slow and cumbersome. You'll usually have wasted space on each disc, too.
  • External hard drive—extremely versatile, somewhat portable, and only 3.5–4.5¢ per GB. But if you have a local catastrophe, you'll lose your backups.
  • Amazon Glacier (no longer recommended)—online and only 1¢ per GB per month. But very slow for uploads and downloads. It costs 12¢ per GB for downloads after 1 GB, and there's a really complicated retrieval fee. For Glacier, I recommend the free Simple Amazon Glacier Uploader CrossFTP (the free version works fine).
  • MediaFire—A cheaper Dropbox competitor, but also works great for long-term storage. Currently $24.99 per year or $2.49 per month for 1 TB of storage, 20 GB limit per file, and no extra fees. This makes MediaFire as low as one fifth the monthly cost of Glacier, but it's much faster and won't have unexpected fees.
  • Recommended for 2017: Amazon Drive or BackBlaze B2 Cloud Storage.

iTunes affiliate program change

I've previously recommended LinkShare for generating affiliate links for your podcast in iTunes, and for making links open directly in iTunes. Apple has switched affiliate programs and you have until October 1, 2013, to switch your affiliate links to Apple's new affiliate system.

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Big thanks to Stitcher for featuring The Audacity to Podcast in their top-ten list for “So You Think You Can Podcast?”

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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.

About the Author
As an award-winning podcaster, Daniel J. Lewis gives you the guts and teaches you the tools to launch and improve your own podcasts for sharing your passions and finding success. Daniel creates resources for podcasters, such as the SEO for Podcasters and Zoom H6 for Podcasters courses, the Social Subscribe & Follow Icons plugin for WordPress, the My Podcast Reviews global-review aggregator, and the Podcasters' Society membership for podcasters. As a recognized authority and influencer in the podcasting industry, Daniel speaks on podcasting and hosts his own podcast about how to podcast. Daniel's other podcasts, a clean-comedy podcast, and the #1 unofficial podcast for ABC's hit drama Once Upon a Time, have also been nominated for multiple awards. Daniel and his son live near Cincinnati.
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Geoffrey Allan Plauché

I use Crashplan to back up my computers, including podcast files, to the cloud and an external HD.

I also back up my podcast files and my websites to a free 50GB Dropbox account I have. For the websites, I use the free BackWPup plugin for WordPress to do this. I have a database backup scheduled weekly and a full backup monthly. Since it’s Dropbox, the website backups get downloaded to my computer too. The weekly DB backups also get emailed to my Gmail account.

My main computer is a custom desktop pc. As you point out, desktops don’t have a built-in battery, so I bought a Cyberpower UPS (uninterruptible power supply) battery backup system. If the power goes out at my house, I’ll have time to stop any recording and shut down safely. But I do plan to buy a digital audio recorder at some point too.

Geoffrey Allan Plauché

They had a giveaway a long time ago for early adopters. I got lucky and won. 🙂

10 years ago

I had never heard of Glacier before. I’m going to look into that. Thanks!

Geoff Akerlund
9 years ago

Hey Daniel. I found this post from the WordPress forums. I was searching for a solution as to why Pretty Link wasn’t playing nice with my SEO plugin. Now I know it’s because of OpenGraph 🙂 Anyways, this is a great post about backup solutions you’ve got here. I’ve spent a fair amount of time reviewing online backup services (shameless plug for my site- and Backblaze is what I use to backup my computer. I’ll also use Acronis True Image to do disk image backups to an external hard drive. This is in addition to Dropbox for files I want to access on the go and store revisions for. Although I’m careful about what I put on Dropbox as their security isn’t nearly as good as Backblaze.

P.S. If you want to automate your backups to Glacier, you may be interested in Zoolz. They use it as their back-end storage provider.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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