Publishing a Podcast

A. Upload Your Podcast

When your Audio or Video is ready to podcast, you need to put it online. Using a podcast host will keep you from going over your bandwidth limit on a web host. This is especially important if your podcast gets popular or if you do video podcasting with large files. Some people find they can put the podcast files on the public side of their free online storage accounts from providers like DropBox or Windows Live Skydrive. The problem comes when you run out of room on these online storage providers. If this happens you will need to remove episodes from the podcast or purchase additional storage space.

B. Share Your Podcast

microphone-338481 640With your podcast episode file online, you now need to help the world find it. A podcast basically consists of an MP3/MP4 file and a text file called an RSS feed. The RSS file tells podcatchers, like iTunes, information on your most recent episode and where to downlload your podcast file. This RSS feed lets people subscribe to your podcast and automatically get new episodes of your podcast.

The RSS feed can be created manually, through a hosting service, or through software you can purchase like FeedForAll. There are also several online services like www.bigcontact.com that provide RSS generation, players and other services for free. Note, www.bigcontact.com does not provide file hosting.

To create your RSS feed manually, open a text editor, such as Microsoft Word or Notepad. Copy and paste the code below, and then replace all the red text with your own podcast information. To avoid problems with XML coding visit the iTunes RSS specifications. This page is a must read for those choosing to manually create the podcast RSS code themselves.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/DTDs/Podcast-1.0.dtd" xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/">

<channel>
<title>Title of your site </title>
<description> A description of your podcast show </description>
<itunes:author>Your Name </itunes:author>
<link> http://www.yourserver.com/YourPodcastHomepage/ </link>
<itunes:image href="/http://www.yourserver.com/YourPodcastPicture.jpg" />
<pubDate> Sun, 09 Oct 2005 21:00:00 PST </pubDate>
<language>en-us</language>
<copyright> Copyright Year Your_Name </copyright>

<item>
     <title> This is just a test </title>
     <description> A description of your podcast episode </description>
     <itunes:author> Your Name </itunes:author>
     <pubDate> Thu, 16 Jun 2005 5:00:00 PST </pubDate>
     <enclosure url="http://www.yourserver.com/podcast_file.mp3" length="3174554" type="audio/mpeg" /> </item>
</channel>
</rss>


"PubDate" is the time you last updated and published the podcast, this can be set to a future time to schedule a podcast in the future.

"Length" is the size of the file in bytes. On a Windows computer, you can find this by going to the MP3 file in Windows Explorer and right-clicking on the file. Select "Properties." The exact size of your MP3 is under "Size." On a Mac, select the file and click "Apple+I" to see the file information. The file size will be shown under "Size." Enter in this number without commas.

Note: Every time you add another podcast episode, you will need to create another podcast episode, or "item." Copy all the code from <item> to </item> and paste this text after the last </item>. Now, update all the blue text with information for the new podcast episode.

Note: Some other podcast directories have created their own code extensions to standard RSS. For more details on adding iTunes' additional code, visit the iTunes RSS specifications.

After you've made these changes, save the file in plain text format and with the file extension "xml" (for example, "MyPodcast.xml"). Upload this file to your web host, just as you did earlier for your MP3 file.

C. Verify Your Podcast

The easiest way to verify your podcast, and get the statistics your going to want to know about your subscribers, we recommend using Google's Feed Burner. Feed Burner is a Free service that verifies your RSS is correct, provides statistics, and has several other nice free tools to help make your podcast better. We would recommend everyone uses Feed Burner. Why would would we say everyone? Besides the statistics and verification tools, Feed Burner makes it super easy to change your hosting option. This means if you ever choose to change your host, do it yourself, or need to change the url of your XML RSS file, you don't have to go through all the trouble of updating your subscribers, iTunes and other libraries to your new feed address. With Feed Burner you keep your http://feeds.feedburner.com/(my podcast name) feed address and point Feed Burner to your new host.

Signing up is free and easy. If you already have a Google account, you can sign in with your Google ID. If you do not have a google account, you can create one easily from the link on the page. After you login to your account, submit your podcast RSS url to the "Burn a feed right this instant" field, click the "I'm a podcaster" option, and click "next". Follow the directions and fill out the information on the next few pages. Make sure to click the "Item enclosure downloads (podcast downloads)" option on the "StandardStats service" options. When your done with the basic set up you can play with the various tools offered by Feed Burner. The "Edit Feed Details..." link will take you to a page that allows you to change your feed url (if you ever changes hosts) and the Feed Burner feed address (you won't want to change this after you get subscribers or you will lose them).

You can burn as many feeds as you like and have one central place to get statistics. When you log in you will see your podcast title(s). When you click on the title(s) you will be taken to the Feed Details that will allow you to find the stats on the podcast and perform optimization or use the ever popular Troublshootize tool.

D. List Your Podcast

Finally, it's time to tell everyone about your podcast. List your RSS feed on podcast directories such as iTunes, Odeo, and PodcastAlley. Right after you submit your podcast, make sure you take a quick minute to also tell people what the podcast is about by entering some genre and content categories. These categories will help listeners find your podcast easily.

Once your podcast is listed in a directory, you can make links to your podcast in their library. This will allow visitors to your site to quickly and easily find and subscribe to your podcast. Also, don't forget to tell everyone about your new Podcast!

D. Proudly Display Your Podcast

You can easily play your podcast on your page with this feed player from www.bigcontact.com. This player allows visitors to browse through your episodes and play them. It also gives them the option to add your podcast with the player to their website/blog.

Our recommendation is to look through the code that www.bigcontact.com generates for you, and change the autoplay to equal no. This will help your page load faster and will give you more accurate statistics of who actually wanted to download/listen to your podcast.

www.bigcontact.com also has a player for video podcasts if you choose to use video.


Put my show and this player on your website or your social network.

F. What legal considerations should I consider when creating my own podcast?

You should be aware of U.S. and international laws about including and publishing copyrighted music in your podcast. Here are some resources that might be helpful: