Publishing a Podcast

Podcasts are a hot topic on the internet these days, but few people really know what they are or how to create them. Long story short, Podcasts are like online radio shows that anyone can create. It's typically very hard from a technology standpoint to create a podcast, but we make it possible for any intermediate user to create one.

First, a quick background in the theory. An RSS feed is a computer-readable file that contains updates from a certain area of your website. Your users can subscribe to these RSS feeds using a syndicator program, and they'll then be notified when you post new items to that area of your site. A podcast is nothing more than a special RSS feed that contains MP3 files.

Every news category on your site has its own RSS feed. To podcast, here's all you'll need to do:

  1. Create a news category. The best way to do this is to create a group and to use its “News” module for your podcast.
  2. Create an episode. This is the main challenge. You need to think of something to say, and you need to find a way to record it. While we don't provide support with this step, we've heard good things about Audacity, a free sound editor. Be sure to use very low-quality compression settings to avoid large files.
  3. Add a news item to your news category. Title it “Episode 1” or something similar, and tell a little about it in the news text.
  4. Add the MP3 file as an attachment to the article. Give it any title, this part doesn't matter. Be patient, it will take awhile to upload.
  5. Share your podcast with others! From the news category's list page, notice the “Notify Me Of New Articles” box at the bottom. Click the “By RSS” link. Take the URL of this page – this is what you publish as your podcast feed URL.

Note that it's possible to post non-MP3 items to your podcast feeds. These will be ignored by podcast syndicators.