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How to Publish A Podcast

Posted on 26 October 2011

I’m writing this as a tutorial for volunteers at CFUR Radio, but I figured I may as well publish it here, too, for anyone who’s interested. Bear in mind this is only my set-up, and I am by no means a pro podcaster. My method is designed to be a) free and b) relatively easy. If that sounds like something you may enjoy, read on.

Note: I also submit my show to Mixcloud, which is free and unlimited. I really like it, but it doesn’t have downloads/go into iTunes, etc. Still, it’s an easy extra way to share your show.

1. Add the meta-data

I’m assuming you’ve already got your podcast made and ready to go, sitting on your computer as an mp3 file. But wait! You know how some podcasts have kewl album art and descriptions and all that? Yeah, you probably want to do that to.

So here’s how I do that. It involves iTunes. Open your podcast in iTunes. Then click on File >> Get Info, and go to the “Info” tab.

Pretty straightforward set-up here. Under “name” the name of this particular episode. Under artist, you’ll want to put whomever you’d like to show up under the artist tab– I put the name of my show, other people put their name or their production company. Same with album artist and album– it’s up to you to decide how you’d like this information to be presented, I just like every field to show up with the name of my show. Comments is a good place to put in an show or episode description, or some copyright information.

The next tab to worry about is “Video”. Again, you know how some podcasts will give you a nice description of what this episode is about. I don’t know why, but the video tab is the place to put that– under description. Again, this can be a generic description of your show, but you may be better served to give some more specific information about this episode– it helps people figure out what this episode has to offer as opposed to the show as a whole.

After this, go to the “Options” tab. Under media kind, drag down to podcast. The other field to play with is “Remember playback position.” When someone is listening to your podcast and stops partway through, having this checked off will make it so their iPod or iTunes or whatever remembers where they were and picks up where they left off. Otherwise, they’re back to the start. I always check it off.

Last is “Artwork”. If your show has some artwork– and it should, even if it’s just the name of the show in big bold letters– you can drag and drop the .jpg or .png file here. I understand that iTunes prefers 600×600 .jpg files, so there you go.

Now you’ve got it ready to be published, but where do you publish it?

2. Host your file

There are a myriad of options for file hosting, which I’m not going in to here. When it comes to my podcast, I just use Dropbox. I’ve got over 30 hour-long episodes stored in my free account, and I’m not close to running out of room yet. So yeah, if you want to copy me exactly, get a dropbox account and upload your file to the “public” directory (so it’s accessible by other people). Update: Dropbox has eliminated public files. I’ve since switched to archive.org, which has been working nicely. Once you add a file, you can find a direct link to the mp3 on the item’s archive page, which you can link to on your website.

3. Publish it somewhere

To publish your podcast, all you need is a free blog account powered by something like Tumblr or Blogger. If you don’t know how to use these, there are no shortage of online tutorials, including a couple I’ve written if you Google around. They are pretty darn simple, so I’m not going to go into how to use them.

I use Tumblr, so that’s what these screenshots are going to show, but it’s pretty much the same with Blogger. Here goes– when you want to publish a new episode make a new post. Throw in the episode title in the title field, and whatever message you want to go with it in the description. At the bottom, put a word that will be the link for the mp3 file (I do download, but you could put “listen” “stream” “mp3” or “turkey sandwich”).

(note: for Tumblr, make sure this is a text post, even though a music post might seem the obvious way to go. You’re wrong).

Now, go back to your Dropbox folder and get the public link for the podcast you are publishing. You do that by hovering just to the right of the date and scrolling down once the options appear:

Using archive.org, head over to the download page and right click on the mp3 to get the link.

archivemp3

Then, highlight that word (in my case, download) and make that into a link.

 

Publish, and step 3 is complete.

4. Burn that feed.

Go to Feedburner. If you don’t have an account you can log-in using your Google credentials. Once you do that, it’s time to burn your RSS feed.

What’s an RSS feed you ask? Here’s Wikipedia. All you really need to know is this is what you’ll be using to make it so people can subscribe to your podcast in iTunes (or whatever) instead of manually downloading new episodes whenever they are published.

So, in Feedburner go to where it says “Burn a feed right this instant” and paste your blog’s RSS feed in the field. Also, since you are a pocaster, check off “I am a podcaster.” If you don’t know your blog’s RSS feed it is is http://yourblogname.tumblr.com/rss in Tumblr and in Blogger it’s http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss.

Now click “Next.”

Pretty straightforward– choose your feed title, and the exact address for your feed (I just go with feeds.feedburner.com/thenameofmyblog everytime– easy to remember.

Next is the smartcast link. I’m just going to show you mine to have an idea of what you can do here:

The one element here that may be confusing is where to get the “podcast image location.” I host my image on my site, but you could just use the public dropbox folder, once again.

5. Replace existing feed with super-awesome feedburner feed

Now you have to replace your existing RSS feed with your new, supercharged feedburner feed. To do this, go to your blog settings page, This is at  http://www.tumblr.com/blog/yourblogshortname/settings– for example, if you made your blog at http://www.ohawesomeblog.tumblr.com, the settings are at http://www.tumblr.com/blog/ohawesomeblog.tumblr.com.

 

Scroll down to where it says RSS feeds, check “Redirect this blog’s RSS to a Feedburner URL” and paste your feedburner url right there. Scroll down, hit save, and it’s done.

6. Let people subscribe

So you’re all set. Now you just need to let people know how to subscribe to the podcast. All you need to do is share the url with them, and they can add it to their media player. For example, mine is right here. And if you want to provide a link that let’s people subscribe in iTunes automatically, all you do is replace “http://” with “itpc://” like right here.

Further: Submit to iTunes

This is an optional step. Getting into iTunes means that your podcast will be found when people in iTunes go for a search. There’s exactly one company that controls this, and it’s Apple, so I’m just to provide the link to their tutorial.

Done:

So hopefully that does it. This is my method. I don’t know if it’s the best, I don’t know about other services out there, this is just the method I use. If you have any questions, feel free to ask (comments below, @akurjata on Twitter, andrew[at]kurjata.ca via email). And if you want to know anything outside of my realm of knowledge, well, Google is your friend.

Filed under: how to

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