Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions, we have answers.

The questions most often asked by Fireside customers

What is Fireside? What other services do I need?

Fireside hosts your MP3 files (your Podcast), creates your RSS Feed (which is how you distribute your Podcast to places like Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, etc.), and provides you with a beautiful website.

You do not need any other hosting platforms to host or distribute your podcast. In fact, the only other tools you need to publish your Podcast are the tools you use to record and edit it. Fireside does the rest.

Monetization and membership platforms like Patreon and Supporting Cast work perfectly along side Fireside. Dynamic ad insertion services like Podbean, Soundwise, etc. work independently from Fireside, and may provide their own file hosting separately.

Can I import my podcast into Fireside?

Yes, Fireside supports importing from Libsyn, Feedpress, SoundCloud, Squarespace, and from any Apple Podcasts-compatible RSS feed regardless of where you host it. You can import an unlimited number of episodes, too.

How does importing work?

It's easy. Just enter the URL for your podcast's feed and we do the rest. We import all of your episodes, MP3 files, and associated metadata, and publish them to your Fireside while you sit back and enjoy your coffee.

Will importing affect my subscribers?

No. In fact, nothing happens until you redirect your old feed to your new Fireside feed using a 301 Redirect. This means you can import your old podcast with complete confidence that nothing at all can go wrong. Once you're happy with your new setup, you can put the redirect in place to forward all of your subscribers to your podcast's new home.

Until you do that, none of your subscribers, Apple Podcasts, or any other app directories, services, or podcast clients will know about your new Fireside feed, so it's important to do once you've started posting new episodes to Fireside.

How do I redirect my old feed to Fireside?

The answer varies depending on where you were hosting your podcast. Here are a few links to hosting services' instructions for redirecting your podcast to a new host:

How Do I Get My Podcast on iTunes/Spotify/Stitcher/TuneIn/Etc.?

We have created detailed instructions for all of the major third-party platforms:

Apple Podcasts Is Rejecting My Podcast

If you tried to submit your Podcast to Apple Podcasts and it’s being rejected, the solution is often a simple one: Apple Podcasts requires that you have filled out the subtitle and description fields under Settings → Podcast, and that you have at least one published Episode in your RSS feed before it will accept your Podcast. If you don’t, it will be instantly rejected.

All Fireside Podcasts are guaranteed to have RSS feeds that are importable by third-party services, and delivered securely over SSL.

The Episode I Just Published Isn’t Showing Up in iTunes/Apple Podcasts/Spotify/Google Play/Overcast/Etc.

It can take 24-48 hours for a new Episode to appear in many third-party services, and unfortunately there’s no way for you to manually make the process go faster. But rest assured that if the Episode appears on your Podcast’s website, then it is available to everyone, including your subscribers.

If you’ve waited more than 24-48 hours and not seen your new Episode appear, we recommend that you contact the third-party service (iTunes/Spotify/etc.) directly to see if they can refresh your feed. As long as the Episode appears on your Fireside website, it has been published correctly and is available to all third-parties.

As much as we’s love to help, unfortunately there’s nothing Fireside can do to force a third-party service to refresh your feed.

Does iTunes/Apple Podcasts Host My Podcast’s Episodes?

No, they do not! This is a common misunderstanding, and often leads to concern when a Fireside customer publishes a new Episode and it does not immediately appear in iTunes/Apple Podcasts. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Podcaster (that’s you!) submits their Podcast to the Apple Podcasts Connect
  2. Apple Podcasts approves the Podcast
  3. A listener subscribes to your Podcast via iTunes or their podcast client
  4. The iTunes Service or client subscribes them to your RSS Feed directly
  5. From them on, their local iTunes or podcast client talks directly to your Fireside RSS Feed. It never talks to the iTunes Service again.

This is important, because it means that what appears in iTunes has no bearing on what a subscriber sees in their local iTunes or podcast client. In other words, it doesn’t matter how long it takes for your latest Episode to appear in the iTunes service. Everyone who is a subscriber to your RSS Feed will see the new Episode, because they are polling your RSS Feed directly.

Does Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play Host My Podcast’s Episodes?

Yes, they do. Although Fireside fully integrates with Spotify’s API to integrate their statistics, you will need to use Stitcher’s and Google Play’s services directly in order to get download counts from them, as they have not yet provided Fireside with access to their APIs as Spotify has. As soon as access is provided to us, we will integrate those platform’s metrics.

How Do I Get My Subscriber Count

You can’t, but fortunately it doesn’t matter! Although it’s possible to roughly estimate a so-called “subscriber count”, the number of people who are polling your RSS Feed is constantly in flux and does not accurately represent a true listener count. So rather than provide our customers with highly innacurate data, Fireside provides Unique Download Counts for every episode. This is the same data that advertisers will ask for, as they understand that “subscriber counts” are meaningless when it comes to measuring a podcast audience. Unique Downloads are all that matters.

What Counts as a Download?

Fireside considers every download by a unique, individual human being as one download. We do not differentiate between a file that was downloaded by a Podcast client, a play on the website, a play on the iTunes service, a “stream” of an Episode, or any other kind of download that comes directly from your RSS Feed or the Fireside service.

We have done our very best to create smart algorithms to determine real versus false or incomplete downloads, and we are constantly working to improve and update these algorithms as new podcast clients are developed. We are currently working toward IAB Certification.

Feed Validator (Or Similar) Said My Feed Was Invalid

Don't worry, all Fireside feeds are valid. Unfortunately, although Feed Validator is ancient, antiquated, fragile, and wrong, many people still seem to use it to check Podcast Feeds.

Fortunately, we have the podbase Podcast Validator, a modern and superior solution. Try validating your Fireside feed there for more accurate results.

What Are Your Recommended MP3 Export Settings?

Fireside recommends the following MP3 export settings, which are considered to be the industry standard:

mono, 64-96kb/s, 44.1k sample rate

These settings represent the perfect compromise between quality and file size, and is a widely accepted standard. Even multi-hour-long episodes with several hosts, sound effects, and music will come in below the 100MB mark using these settings.

For more information, please review Apple‘s file export guidelines.

What kind of audio files do you support

We support MP3 files, which have become the standard, and are the most widely supported audio format. MP3 files must be 100MB or less in size, which is easily attainable by using our Recommended MP3 Export Settings.

Does Fireside transcode or process my audio files?

Fireside will update your MP3 file's metadata from the episode (title, copyright, cover-art, etc.) for all files you upload or import, but will not re-encode, up-convert, or down-convert your audio.

I’m getting a security error when I access my podcast via its custom domain.

Unfortunately, you cannot just add https:// to the URL for a domain and expect it to work. Only websites which have SSL certificates can be served via https://. Fireside itself has a SSL certificate, as does all of its subdomains (like yourpodcast.fireside.fm), so they are served securely via https://. Just adding your custom domain to Fireside doesn’t create a SSL certificate for it.

Fortunately, we have developed a (free!) SSL certificate aquisition and integration feature for customers with custom domains. Just flip the toggle switch in your Domains section to turn it on.

I Imported My Podcast But Some MP3 Files Weren’t Included.

Visit the Episode’s admin page to see the cause of the trouble, which should appear at the top of the page in a red alert box. The most common reason for MP3 files not being imported is due to file size. Fireside supports MP3 files that are 100MB or less in size. Once you have a replacement MP3 ready, you can manually upload it on the Episode’s admin page without having to re-create the Episode.

The Importer Only Imported the First 100 Episodes of My Podcast.

This usually happens when your previous Podcast hosting provider limits the number of Episodes in your feed. Because Fireside uses your previous RSS feed to import Episodes, the importer is limited to what’s made available by the provider.

Unfortunately, many providers are guilty of this behavior (including Libsyn, Squarespace, and others). There isn't an easy way to overcome this limitation, but it may be possible to change this setting within the admin of your previous hosting provider.

Some Fireside customers have reported success by switching all Episodes after 100 into Draft Mode, running the import, then switching them back to Published, flipping the next 100 to Draft, and running the import again to get the next 100, until all Episodes have been imported. Other customers have re-created the Episodes within Fireside manually.

What does Fireside look like?

Fireside websites are fully responsive and look great on Macs, PCs, and are automatically optimized for mobile devices. We are working on a gallery/discovery section, but until then, checkout one of our customer’s podcasts, Very Bad Wizards.

You can see screenshots of the administration dashboard and more on the Features page.

Every time I change my cover/header, it changes back! What's up?

Try restarting your browser, or wait a bit. Our CDN caches your images, and it takes a few minutes for the cache to be purged.

I Tried to Upload an MP3 file and I Got a Weird Error

If you saw an error such as Error 503 Backend fetch failed or received a blank page after an attempted upload, this is typically due to connectivity issues somewhere between you and Fireside’s infrastructure. It might be due to a slower connection on your end, or just trouble somewhere in between.

Unfortunately, it is essentially impossible to determine where or why the issue has occured. Fortunately, this error usually resolves itself if you wait a short while, or try from a different location, so waiting and trying again later is your best action.

Can I Use My Custom Domain?

Absolutely! Setting up a custom domain with Fireside is easy, but configuring your DNS provider's settings can be tricky.

In the Domains section of your Podcast’s admin, you will find detailed instructions for many different registrars as well as general purpose instructions which can be used to help you setup your DNS records correctly.

How Do I Delete My Podcast and What Happens When I Do?

You can delete a Podcast by visiting its Settings → Advanced page, and clicking the red Delete Podcast button.

Deleting a Podcast is irreversible, and will result in the removal and deletion of all episodes, MP3 files, hosts, cover art, header art, and all other associated content. Once a Podcast is deleted, there is no going back.

If you are switching to a new host, you can redirect your RSS feed from Fireside to the new host by visiting Settings → Advanced page and enabling that option. The redirect only works while your Fireside Podcast still exists, so you might want to wait to delete the Podcast. We recommend keeping the redirect (and Podcast) active for at least 30 to 60 days after you’ve switched.

Note: Deleting a Podcast is not the same as deleting your account. See the section on deleting your Account for more information.

How Do I Cancel My Account?

You can cancel your Account (deleting all Podcasts and associated data) at any time. Just click the My Account link in the navbar, then click Subscription in the sidebar, and click the red Delete Your Account button.

This will delete all of your Podcasts and their associated data. Please see the section on deleting your Podcast for more information.

If you are still in your trial period, your credit card will not be charged.

How Is Fireside Better Than [Some Other Host]? Convince Me to Switch!

Although we’ve done our very best to make Fireside a thoughtful, reliable, straight forward, and feature-rich solution for podcasters, it might not be the right solution for you. We will never try to convince you that Fireside is the “superior” solution for you, nor will we try to “sell you” on our platform. Fireside may be the perfect platform for you, or it may not. But only you can make these determinations for yourself.

This is why we have a free trial. Give Fireside a try, kick the tires, and if you find that it doesn’t meet your needs, just cancel anytime during the trial and you will not be billed.

Try Fireside today and take your podcast to the next level