The following is a paid review and is completely of my own opinion and is not influenced by being paid. If you’re interested in having me review your site or product, you can purchase a review from me through PayPerPost by clicking on the PayPerPost Direct button located at the top left of my blog.
What is Podcasting?
I was a bit apprehensive when first accepting this review, as I knew absolutely nothing about podcasting; I wasn’t even exactly sure just what podcasting was.
So naturally, I had to do a bit of research on podcasting before even starting to take a look at their site.
For those of you out there who are as clueless as me, here are two sites that do a pretty good job of explaining what podcasting is:
Here’s a good description taken from the first link:
"Podcasting is delivering audio content to iPods and other portable media players on demand, so that it can be listened to at the user’s convenience. The main benefit of podcasting is that listeners can sync content to their media player and take it with them to listen whenever they want to. Because podcasts are typically saved in MP3 format, they can also be listened to on nearly any computer."
What is PodBean?
There are so many features, in fact, that in order to keep this review to a realistic length I will only be able to mention some of them.
PodBean.com is built for both podcast publishers podcast audiences. Whether you host your own weekly podcast, are a podcast freak and subscribe to multiple feeds, or do a bit of both, PodBean should be able to fulfill your needs and then some.
Manage All Your Podcasts Subscriptions in One Place
With PodBean, you can manage all of your podcast subscriptions in one place, allowing you to access the same subscriptions and manage your account from any computer in the world.
Organize Your Subscriptions Through Tagging and Groups
PodBean offers a flexible podcast management system whereby you can organize all your subscriptions easily. Their tagging system allows for cross-referencing, and their groups feature lets you easily organize all your feeds.
PodBean.com, in addition to everything else it offers, also functions as a social networking site akin to Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube.
By viewing other member’s profiles, you can discover new and related podcasts from other members who have the same taste as you.
You can also browse and search millions of original MP3’s and videos created by the PodBean community.
Unlimited Bandwidth & Huge Storage
While PodBean’s service is certainly free to use, for only $4 a month you can upgrade your account and gain unmetered, unrestricted bandwidth.
This is invaluable if you host a popular podcast or are concerned about those expensive bandwidth overage charges your webhost inflicts on you.
Powerful Podcast Publishing Tools
Built upon and integrated into the WordPress CMS, PodBean.com offers powerful yet simple access to creating and managing podcasts.
Their professional-grade podcasting tools feature powerful audio/video uploading (including FTP access), publishing, managing and promoting.
Gorgeous and customizable themes
Another advantage to integrating the WordPress CMS into their site is the ease of theme management.
Switching themes takes literally seconds, and customizing them is as easy as doing do with WordPress.
There are dozens of themes already available and built-in to PodBean, ranging from professional to fun.
Statistics are vitally important to monitor the effects and growth of any medium.
PodBean lets you monitor your podcast growth trends and view stats based on different criteria such as geolocation.
Monetize your Podcast
PodBean offers several methods of monetizing podcasts including selling products within feeds.
If you upgrade your account (starting at $4 a month), you can even offer paid subscriptions to your podcasts, which is all easily automated through PodBean
Sophisticated public and private sharing
PodBean’s private sharing feature allows you to easily password-protect your podcasts.
Podbean’s password protected feed is a unique way for you to protect your feed from public.
This works even if you link your podcast or MP3 file on your personal blog or social networking site like MySpace.
Seamless integration with your own site
My favourite feature that PodBean offers is their Auto-Generated Embed Code.
With it, you can simply copy and paste the HTML snippet into your blog (or YouTube, FaceBook, etc.)and it will create a little player with your streamed MP3, playlist, or latest podcast feed.
I’m glad I found a place to do this, because I’ve had instances in the past where I spent hours looking for such a device to stream my MP3 on my blog with no plugins other than Flash.
What’s even better is that you can upload your MP3 to PodBean.com and have them host it and handle the bandwidth as well. What more could you ask for?
For this reason alone, I’ll definitely be using PodBean again in the future the next time I host an MP3.
Here’s the player in action, loaded with the "We All Love Tyler Cruz" rap:
PodBean offers five levels of membership: basic (free), basic plus, advanced, professional, and premium.
Their prices are more than affordable; you can get unlimited podcasting bandwidth and unlimited storage space for only $50 a year.
A full chart listing all the package details can be found here.
Get one month free paid service
If you sign up to PodBean through my bonus code: dHlsZXJjcnV6, you will get one month free of any Podbean paid service.