Many audio- and video services offer to record podcasts or video online. The videos or audios are then saved on their server and conveniently, you get an url that you can link to in your web site. Easy and no worries, yet, there is one thing that most subscribers forget, and that is to download a copy of the recordings. Let me tell you a story that recently happened to a good friend of mine:
Maryon, who has a site on natural health issues, created a large amount of podcasts over the years, which she created with her audio service account on Mydeo. At some point, something went wrong with the authorization of her credit card and suddenly, she got an email from Mydeo saying something like: Since you stopped paying for your account, we presume that you are no longer interested. Therefore we closed the account and erased all content from our server.
Since Maryon never thought of downloading copies and nobody actually told her to do so, she lost all those podcasts at once. No way to retrieve them in any way!
You can’t blame such a service for erasing all data if the customer no longer pays. After all, video and audio eats a lot of bandwidth and web space. Yet, it would be nice if these services would make it a bit more clear to the customer that they should download a copy as a back up. I have to see the first audio service that actually has a big sign on their site saying: Back up all your recordings NOW!
Do it while you can
Many of us confuse having a link to the recording with actually having the file itself in ones possesion. In reality, it is only a link to the content and as soon as the server of the service goes down or they go out of business unexpectedly, it is too late to retrieve your recordings. Therefore, do those back ups now, while you still can. Even if you have loads of them and it takes a long time, you save yourself a lot of trouble afterwards.