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Podcast basics

The software on this page is provided as an aid to enable the creation of correctly formatted XML code which is required in the generation and use of podcasting media. Wikipedia defines a podcast as follows:

"A podcast is a series of digital-media files which are distributed over the Internet using syndication feeds for playback on portable media players and computers. The term podcast, like broadcast, can refer either to the series of content itself or to the method by which it is syndicated; the latter is also called podcasting. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster."

Before we begin, let's look at some of the basics regarding Podcasts

  Why do people use/make Podcasts and what do they do with them?
Because a Podcast is an audio file, it can be used to share voice and music. Podcasts are used to share anything from cooking recipes to sermons to instructions for building models to news and even distribution of music. Basically anything that can use "sound" can use a Podcast. If you can speak it, play it or sound it, you can Podcast it.

Podcasting offers a media rich alternative to static HTML pages and is used on thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of websites all over the world. Podcasting is growing rapidly.

  What is a Podcast?
In a Nutshell, it's a regular MP3 file on your website with a specially formatted XML (text) file which links to the MP3 in a special way. Nothing more. Pretty simple actually.
  How do you read a Podcast?
You need a special reader. For the PC and MAC there are hundreds of Podcast readers available. There is also hardware and software now available for cell phones to read Podcasts.
  How do you make a Podcast?
There are two aspects to this:
  • Making the actual Podcast file
  • Creating the XML file to link the Podcast data and uploading everything to a web server
    Making the actual Podcast file
If you want to record audio you need tools to record and edit the audio file and then store it in MP3 format. If you have access to a sound desk and the PC/MAC software to convert studio recordings (from magnetic tape/CD/DVD or whatever) to MP3, then you have everything you need. If you don't Audacity is probably one of the more well known free Podcast creation tools. Basically it's an application that allows you to use the microphone of your PC to record sounds and then to edit and mix them with other sounds (for effect) to form an MP3 file. ("other sounds" can be background music/sound, lead-in and lead-out music, clapping, laughing ... whatever you can imagine).

However you record your audio; whether it be in a $1,00,000,000 studio, with the recording setup in your Local Church, or with your PC and microphone and some free software, that is what you need to make the MP3 audio file.

    Creating the XML file to link the Podcast data and uploading everything to a web server
OK, so now you have this really neat MP3 file which you can play in your iPod or over your PC speakers, but how does it become a Podcast? That's what the software on this page is for; it will enable you to generate the special file that needs to accompany the MP3 file on your website in order for it to be a valid Podcast.
  Once I have everything, what do I need to do?
There are a few steps to complete your podcast:
    Step #1 - Upload the files
You need to upload the .MP3 file as well as the Podcast file to your web server. By this time, it is assumed that the MP3 file is already in a folder somewhere on your site. The Podcast file must be saved with a .xml extension and can be anywhere.
    Step #2 - Validate your Podcast
Point your browser to feedvalidator.org and enter in the URL of your Podcast file. It will be something like http://example.com/my/podcast.xml
    Step #3 - Submit your Podcast
If everything checks out, you are now ready to begin submitting your Podcast to places on the Web that specifically focus on this medium.

 

You will see below that not all the links work yet. Bear with us as we add more features over time. If you have a suggestion for something you would like to see here please let us know by clicking the contact us link on the home page.

Click on the link representing the type of action you want to perform

Podcast Generate XML required for a Podcast.
WMP Simple Embed a Windows Media Player file - minimum controls. (Supported files)
WMP Fancy Embed a Windows Media Player file - several controls. (Supported files)
Simple RSS Make a simple RSS file
Embedded Audio file Embed an audio file in a Web Page. (Background music)
Embed video Play a video file directly from your website
   

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