How I Used Blob Storage to Host My Podcast .mp3 Files

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I host a podcast called The Indie Dev Podcast where I interview game developers from around the world in 30 minute segments. I’m always fascinated by what people are able to create, and I’m even more curious about how they make these games happen.

I store the most recent episodes of the podcast on PodOmatic, which allows them to be picked up by iTunes and other podcast feed readers, but I am limited by the number of podcast episodes that I can store at once because I am using the free tier. My older episodes are lost unless I upgrade to the premium tier.

What Problem Does Blob Storage Solve?

With blob storage, I can take all of my .mp3s, store them in a container, and then allow the public to download them from the container.

When I upload my files to a blob container, I am given an HTTP endpoint, which I can use as a link to download an episode. Click on this link to download the most recent episode with Michael Hicks. You could do the same for videos that you record, too.

In this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through the steps of how I set up my container to host all of the .mp3s of the podcast.

How Does Blob Storage Work?

Blob01 - Storage diagram

Blob storage is a service for storing large amounts of unstructured data, such as text or binary data, that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS. You can make these files public or private as well, which means that you can use it as a storage repo for your own content for only you to access, or perhaps use it as a cost-effective way to store large amounts of media to share with others.

Common uses of Blob storage include:

  • Serving images, documents, audio, or video directly to a browser
  • Storing files for to be distributed to others
  • Streaming video and audio
  • Performing secure backup and disaster recovery

You can find out more about Blob Storage here.

Blob concepts and terms

  • Storage Account: All access to Azure Storage is done through a storage account.

  • Container: A container provides a grouping of a set of blobs. All blobs must be in a container.

  • Blob: A file of any type and size. There are two types of blobs that can be stored in Azure Storage: block and page blobs. Most files are block blobs, and we’re going to use those for this tutorial. A single block blob can be up to 200 GB in size.

  • URL format: Blobs are addressable using the following URL format:
    The following example URL could be used to address one of the blobs in the diagram above:

How Do I Get Blob Storage?

You’ll need a cloud storage solution like Azure. You can sign up for a free Azure trial, or reach out to me about information on how to obtain a BizSpark account. This is what I use to host the files but you can follow along if you prefer other solutions too.

Creating a Storage Account

You’ve got an understanding of how blob storage works now, as well why you’d want to use it. Let’s go through the process of creating an account and a container. This is directly from the blob storage blogs on the Azure portal:

To use Azure storage, you’ll need a storage account. You can create a storage account by following these steps. (You can also create a storage account by using the Azure service management client library or the service management REST API.)

Log into the Azure Management Portal.

At the bottom of the navigation pane, click NEW.

Blob02 - New

Click DATA SERVICES, then STORAGE, and then click QUICK CREATE.

Blob03 - Quick Create

In URL, type a subdomain name to use in the URI for the storage account. This value becomes the host name within the URI that is used to address Blob, Queue, or Table resources for the subscription.

Choose a Region/Affinity Group in which is closest to your current location.

Optionally, you can select the type of replication you desire for your account. Geo-redundant replication is the default and provides maximum durability, meaning your files will be backed up across multiple datacenters in the same area. So if Godzilla takes out one datacenter, your info is still backed up in another one.


You’re ready to roll. Now you can create a container which will host your files.

Creating a Container

In the Azure portal, click on the Storage icon on the left hand side of the screen. A new screen will appear with the name of the account you created above. In my case, it is called blobindiedev.

Blob04 - Create Container

Click on the name of the blob, then Containers at the top of the page. You’ll make a new one here. At the bottom of the page, click on Add to create a new container.

Blob05 - Add

I called mine podcastep , as this will hold all of my episodes.

By default, the container is private and can be accessed only by the account owner. To allow public read access to the blobs (.mp3s)in the container, but not the container properties and metadata, use the “Public Blob” option. To allow full public read access for the container and blobs, use the “Public Container” option. We want Public Container.

Blob06 - New Container

We’re ready to upload files to this container from Visual Studio now.

Uploading Files from Visual Studio

For this part you’ll need Visual Studio. You can download the VS 2013 Community Edition for free from here. You’ll also need the Azure SDK to access your Azure account from Visual Studio. Download the SDK here. You’ll need the SDK that matches the version of Visual Studio you are using. If you have VS 2013 installed, you’ll want to use the VS 2013 Azure SDK.

With that installed, open Visual Studio, click on the Server Explorer and look for the Azure button. Click on Storage and it should ask you to log in to your account.

Blob07 - Upload from VS

Click on Storage and you should see the new Blob storage account you created as well as container which will host the episodes.

Blob08 - Blob Storage Account

Click on the Blobs icon / text to see your container. I see podcastep, as well as any files I have uploaded there.

Blob09 - Container

To upload your own files, click on the Upload Blob icon, which is an arrow pointing to a horizontal line.

Blob10 - Upload Blob Icon

A pop-up window will appear, and ask you to browse to the file you want to upload.

Blob11 - Upload New File

In my case, I’m looking for podcast episodes. You should see the Azure Activity Log appear at the bottom of the screen, which notifies you of the file’s current status.

Blob12 - Azure Activity Log

Once it has completed uploading, right click on the file, and copy the URL.

Blob13 - Copy Blob URL

That URL is how others can download your files now! On my webpage I provide a link to that URL on every episode, and folks now all of my episodes are made available!

If you navigate back to the Azure Portal, you can see that they are all there too.

Blob14 - Azure Portal


Azure Blob Storage is a cost-effective way of saving and service content across the internet. The blob storage page has more information, but hopefully after this, you understand the value in it. I can record my podcast and easily serve it to anyone around the world, without having to pay monthly fees or build any hardware on my own. Best of all, it took me a total of 5 minutes to get the files online.

Any questions? Feel free to reach out.

Here’s a full list of the tutorials in this series:

  • Intro to HTML5 video
  • Intro to Azure Media services, AES, and PlayReady DRM
  • Live streaming HTML5 video using Azure Media Services
  • Using Azure Blob Storage to store & serve your audio and video files
  • Use this Azure Media Player for streaming Media Service video to all devices
  • Uploading video to Azure Media Services

This article is part of the web dev tech series from Microsoft. We’re excited to share Microsoft Edge and the new EdgeHTML rendering engine with you. Get free virtual machines or test remotely on your Mac, iOS, Android, or Windows device @

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Blob Storage for Podcast MP3 Files

What is Blob Storage and why is it important for hosting podcast MP3 files?

Blob Storage is a service for storing large amounts of unstructured data, such as text or binary data, that can be accessed from anywhere in the world via HTTP or HTTPS. It’s particularly useful for hosting podcast MP3 files because it provides a scalable, secure, and cost-effective solution. With Blob Storage, you can easily manage and distribute your podcast files, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted streaming for your listeners.

How does Blob Storage compare to traditional file storage methods?

Traditional file storage methods often involve physical servers or hard drives, which can be expensive, difficult to scale, and vulnerable to data loss. Blob Storage, on the other hand, is a cloud-based solution that offers unlimited scalability, high durability, and robust security features. It also provides easy access to your files from anywhere, making it a more flexible and convenient option.

How can I upload my podcast MP3 files to Blob Storage?

Uploading your podcast MP3 files to Blob Storage is a straightforward process. You’ll first need to create a storage account and a container in your chosen Blob Storage service. Then, you can upload your files either through the service’s user interface or by using a client library or REST API. The exact steps may vary depending on the specific Blob Storage service you’re using.

Can I use Blob Storage to host other types of media files?

Yes, Blob Storage is not limited to MP3 files. It can be used to store and distribute any type of unstructured data, including other audio formats, videos, images, and more. This makes it a versatile solution for all your media hosting needs.

What are the costs associated with using Blob Storage for podcast hosting?

The costs of using Blob Storage can vary depending on the amount of data you’re storing and the level of redundancy you choose for your data. Most Blob Storage services operate on a pay-as-you-go model, meaning you only pay for the storage space you actually use. Some services also offer tiered pricing plans based on the frequency of data access.

How secure is Blob Storage?

Blob Storage services typically offer robust security features to protect your data. This includes encryption at rest and in transit, access controls, and monitoring capabilities. However, it’s important to review the security features and practices of any Blob Storage service you’re considering to ensure they meet your specific needs.

Can I access my podcast MP3 files from anywhere with Blob Storage?

Yes, one of the key advantages of Blob Storage is that it allows you to access your files from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. This makes it easy to manage and distribute your podcast, regardless of your location.

How does Blob Storage handle large MP3 files?

Blob Storage is designed to handle large amounts of unstructured data, making it an ideal solution for storing large MP3 files. It provides fast and reliable access to your files, ensuring smooth streaming for your listeners. Additionally, some Blob Storage services offer the ability to break large files into smaller blocks for more efficient upload and download.

Can I use Blob Storage with my existing podcast hosting platform?

Yes, many podcast hosting platforms support integration with Blob Storage services. This allows you to take advantage of the scalability, security, and cost benefits of Blob Storage while continuing to use your preferred podcast hosting platform.

What happens if I exceed my Blob Storage capacity?

One of the benefits of Blob Storage is its scalability. If you exceed your current storage capacity, you can easily add more. Most Blob Storage services allow you to increase your storage space as needed, ensuring you always have enough room for your podcast MP3 files.

David VoylesDavid Voyles
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Dave Voyles is a Technical Evangelist for Microsoft. He spends a lot of time writing games, writing about games, and writing about how to write games for the game dev community, Read his blog or follow him on Twitter.

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