SignalLeaf: Hacking A Podcast Audio Service Together

Yesterday (August 19th) was _whyDay – a day for hacking on new things, learning, and generally doing awesome things that you normally wouldn’t do for whatever reason. I’ve known about _whyDay for a few years now, but had never done anything on this day in the past. Well, yesterday found me with an idea and a desire to build something new. So I couldn’t pass up the chance.

Podcast Audio File Hosting

A week or two ago, a friend was asking about hosting podcast audio files. He had been using WordPress for the website, but it was more than he needed. He was thinking about doing something like Jekyll for the site, and cloud storage of some sort for the file. That got me wondering: what would it take to build a service that lets you upload your audio files to some cloud storage, and then provide an embeddable player for your site.

So I started hacking… and after a few hours of work, I had an Amazon S3 account with a sample file (audio track from one of my screencasts) in it, and a very basic embedded player using an `iframe`. 

The result: SignalLeaf.com - an idea for hosting embedded podcast audio for your website. 

Signalleaf logo

The basic idea is this: You have the subject matter expertise, the talent, the network of people who will listen, and the perfect guest list for your podcast. You even have the chops to build the ultimate website for your idea. But what about hosting and streaming those audio files that you’ve meticulously edited?

Let me handle that for you. All you need to do is upload your audio file to SignalLeaf, and then add an `iframe` to your web page:

<iframe
src=”http://signalleaf.com/embed/my-token/my-file.mp3″
width=”400height=”50frameborder=”0“>
</iframe>

And your web page gets something like this, embedded in it. 

Screenshot 

 A complete audio player, with your podcast file streaming from the cloud.

Good Idea? Dumb Idea? I Need Feedback

I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. I haven’t done any research on the need for a service like this. I know there are a lot of services that specialize in hosting podcasts, already. I’ve seen those sites and have used one or two in the past. I didn’t build this because I thought there was a gap in what was out there, honestly. I just wanted to hack something together to see if I could. It turns out I could get it done pretty quickly. So I set up a landing page, bought a domain name, hacked together a quick logo, and put the landing page online with a way to sign up for a mailing list.

I’m looking for feedback at this point. If you’re interested in what this service may offer, sign up for the mailing list on the site. Follow the twitter account @signalleaf, and let me know that you want to see this service go live!


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About Derick Bailey

Derick Bailey is an entrepreneur, problem solver (and creator? :P ), software developer, screecaster, writer, blogger, speaker and technology leader in central Texas (north of Austin). He runs SignalLeaf.com - the amazingly awesome podcast audio hosting service that everyone should be using, and WatchMeCode.net where he throws down the JavaScript gauntlets to get you up to speed. He has been a professional software developer since the late 90's, and has been writing code since the late 80's. Find me on twitter: @derickbailey, @mutedsolutions, @backbonejsclass Find me on the web: SignalLeaf, WatchMeCode, Kendo UI blog, MarionetteJS, My Github profile, On Google+.
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  • scichelli

    Nice _whyday hack! (Gosh, I can’t decide whether you’re inspiring or infuriating.) You’re on my wavelength, too. I’ve been trying to think: How can I make a really, _really_ simple CMS for non-profits? An advanced UI that the donor developer (e.g., you or me) uses to set up the site, and then a fall-off-a-log simple UI for the people who need to update the content day-to-day. WordPress is close-ish, but in fact is simple only if you already live on the web every day. (i.e., It really simplifies _my_ blogging workflow, but it still leaves charities in the dust.)

    This is orthogonal to SignalLeaf. It just dovetails with the community-service thoughts running around my head these days. And, like I said, inspuriating. ;)

  • http://www.podcastdojo.com/ Bryan Goodwin

    I would say that this is a good idea but Amazon s3 gets very expensive as your podcast gets more popular. It is a good swing at a hack but I wonder if you are not reinventing the wheel, when you have services like LibSyn.com and blubrry.com who do dedicated media hosting and have their own players. On top of that, there is the ability to get great stats also.

    I like the look of the streaming player, and who knows maybe Libsyn or blubrry could use a coder as yourself.