Back in May I wrote about Houndbite.com as a sort of “YouTube for audio.” Since that time I’ve had tons of problems with the service. Half the time the webpage won’t load. However, my embedded links still seem to work. The same thing happened this weekend – yesterday I couldn’t get Houndbite to load for anything, and this morning it comes up fine and I can get logged in.
These ongoing problems with the service have led me to try a couple of alternatives. I had loaded a few audio clips up to BooMP3. While the page loads fine and I can get logged in, all of the playback and embedding code on the site itself seem to be disabled. Uploading any new files would be useless at this point. What’s worse, my embedded files on this site no longer work. Not good.
One blogger suggested using the Internet Archive as a host. I’ve uploaded one file, but really haven’t played with it much. While it looks like it has many more options than other services, it still falls short in a couple of regards. I’m still impressed with the service, and may devote a blog post to all of the other offerings on the site, but for now I’m focusing on just audio.
Some of the other file sharing sites I examined looked like nothing more than file dumping grounds. Once you upload your files you have no more control over them. These sites seem more suited for porn and illegal MP3s than for what I would like to do.
So, if I were to create my wish list for the perfect audio hosting service, here is what it would have…
- Reliable with little or no downtime
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Family friendly and closely policed for copyright and community standards violations.
- Ability to create individual user accounts
- Direct URL to a user’s account with all publicly viewable files available
- Ability to upload multiple files at once
- Ability to support multiple audio file formats (MP3, WAV, OGG, WMA)
- Ability to embed files into websites and blogs with a Flash player
- Ability to link directly to individual file pages
- Ability to control the accessibility of individual files (eg, non-public, download only, embed only, etc.)
- Ability to edit description, title, and keywords for files
- Support for podcasting
- Multiple RSS feeds available
Those are the basics that would work for my needs. However, in order to turn it into a true social network, the following would also be nice to have…
- Ability to comment on other user’s audio files
- Ability to add bookmarks or favorites from other users
- Ability to add ratings and to get statistics on file downloads, views, etc.
- Mapping, or at least geotagging capabilities
This may seem like quite a list, but it’s not impossible. If they can do this with video files on YouTube and photographs on Flickr and similar sharing sites, then I don’t see why it can’t be done for audio. I guess there just isn’t the demand for audio.
I’ll keep looking. If anyone knows of an audio host that comes close to meeting my wish list, I’d love to know about it.
[tags]Multimedia, podcasting, audio, audio sharing[/tags]