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Podcasting

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What Is Podcasting?

Podcasting is distributing audio or video content via RSS 2.0, or Atom. Podcast clients such as iTunes, Juice, or CastPodder(linux) allow listeners to subscribe to your RSS/Atom feed and automatically download your content to their portable audio players as it becomes available.

How It Works

  1. Create audio or video that you want to share (usually MP3 or MP4)
  2. Upload the file to a server
  3. Link to the file in a post in your weblog
  4. WordPress automatically Includes a link to the file in your RSS/Atom feed
  5. Listeners "subscribe" with podcast client application to your RSS/Atom feed and download new files automatically.

WordPress creates all the necessary links.

Using WordPress For Podcasting

Podcasting is seamlessly supported as of WordPress 1.5. Add a link to an audio file in a post and WordPress will automatically add the necessary enclosure tag to your RSS2 feed to make it useable as a podcast.

Important: Use a complete, absolute URI when linking to the audio file. Otherwise WordPress will not make an enclosure for it.

Wrong: <a href="my-podcast.mp3">My podcast</a>
 
Right: <a href="http://example.com/my-podcast.mp3">My podcast</a>

To create a subscription or to syndicate your podcast, add your RSS feed link on the site and to your iTunes and other syndication accounts.

http://example.com/wordpress/?feed=rss2

If you're using an Atom feed:

http://example.com/wordpress/?feed=atom

To make life easier for iTunes users, consider also linking to your podcast feed with the itpc:// protocol rather than http, e.g.:

itpc://domain.org/path/?feed=atom

iTunes users will then be able to subscribe to your feed with a single click.

Notes:

  1. As of WordPress 1.5, this only works for posts but not for static pages.
  2. Make sure the linked file is accessible when you publish your post. Otherwise, WordPress won't be able to collect the information it needs from the linked files.
  3. If you change a linked file, republish the post so WordPress can update its file size information about the file.
  4. Occasionally, you may have to put .xml at the end of the RSS/Atom url, for it to properly work.
  5. To get WordPress to recognize m4a and m4b files as podcasts, you need to make sure that your web server is configured to serve them with the right content-type. Do this by adding the following directives to your Apache configuration file or .htaccess file:
AddType audio/x-m4a .m4a
AddType audio/x-m4b .m4b

Dedicated Podcasts

To create a dedicated podcast feed:

  1. Create a category for your audio files and call "podcasts" or something similar.
  2. Assign every post containing an audio link to your "podcasts" category.
  3. If your blog is at example.com, your podcast feed will automatically be available at:
http://example.com/wordpress/?feed=rss2&category_name=podcasts

Optionally, add this to the .htaccess file to make a nice rewrite rule that points visitors directly to your podcasts (assumes you've categorised your podcasts as 'podcasts' as in the example above):

#podcast rewrite
RewriteRule ^podcasts/?$ /yourWPsubdirectoryhere/index.php?category_name=podcasts [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^podcasts/feed/(atom|rss2)/?$ /yourWPsubdirectoryhere/index.php?feed=$1&category_name=podcasts [QSA,L]

This will show your podcasts feed as http://example.com/podcasts/feed/rss2 for RSS2 format, or http://example.com/podcasts/feed/atom for Atom format. (If you don't know the difference between the two, give out the first, as RSS2 is generally a bit better supported).

Archive.org issues

Archive.org can be used to host podcast audio files but archive.org uses re-directs on the file paths it publishes - this confuses WordPress, and consequently, the Podcast publication fails (missing enclosure tag error).

To avoid this error, if you are hosting your audio files on archive.org, you need to add a Custom Field called "enclosure" and paste the full url for the mp3 file in the Value field.

External Links