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Tech Tips: Server Transfers
I've been purposely steering away from the technical server-side part of podcasting because this is a business podcasting blog. It occurs to me, however, that one of the ways to curtail costs is to host your own podcast and in order to do so, some technical skill is required.

Thus, I bring you a new category on Biz Podcasting: Tech Tips. I've created a new category for them, so if you ever want to come back and take a look again, you can do so by clicking the 'Tech Tips' category in the list.

I'm actually moving servers right now, and I thought I would share a trick I've been using.

When moving a podcast site in particular, probably the longest part of the job is downloading the existing shows from the old server and uploading them to the new server. Our podcast only has 22 episodes (although none are under 1/2 hour in length) and even compressed the site took up 906MB. Downloading a 906MB file even on broadband is a big proposition and then uploading it again? Ugh. It would be so much faster to directly transfer the file(s) directly from old server to new server, wouldn't it?

If your new server is a Linux server, then you can use WGET to grab a file directly from the old server and move it to the new server.

WGET is an 'unattended downloader' which is designed to grab a file from a web server using the http protocol. I've put together a video on how to use WGET (although it's not about transferring podcast files) and put it on the Linux Learning Station, here.

Now, using WGET to transfer each individual audio file is clearly no fun at all, so I zipped up my entire web directory and then used WGET to grab it. Here's what I did:

On the Old Server:

I compressed the entire Purple Podcaster directory (the Purple Podcaster is the name of my podcast hosting server) using the Linux application tar:

tar -cvf /var/www/thepurplepodcaster.com/* tpp.tar

This created a 906MB tpp.tar file on the old server. I then moved the tar file into a directory that was available to a web browser. In my case, I moved it to /var/www/thepurplepodcaster.com/tpp.tar

On the New Server

I loggged in via SSH and went into the directory ABOVE where I will eventually want the new site to reside. In my case, that was /home/thepurpl/. I then typed wget http://www.thepurplepodcaster.com/tpp.tar and waited about 7 minutes while the almost 1GB file was transferred across. (When I attempted to download it to my local machine first, the time estimate was over 4 hours just to download it, never mind uploading it again).

Once I had the tpp.tar file across, I extracted it using tar-xvf tpp.tar. This created a thepurplepodcaster directory tree complete with all the files from the old server. I then moved all of those files to the main web directory by using cp -R thepurplepodcaster/* www/

Done. Well, except for restoring the database which is a different beast all together.

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