iPod is a portable media player developed by Apple. A revolution has been on in the media industry which now includes the web as well. Pod casting companies are sprouting everywhere. These are jumping onto the bandwagon of pod casting popularity. Adam Curry automated the process of downloading and syncing audio files to iPod’s. What followed was the RSS 2.0 specification which was used to deliver information on pod casts. RSS files is a way of publishing meta information about content. Pod casting is the application of RSS to audio files.
The Pod cast basics can be outlined in a few steps
o Creation of audio content in MP3 format and posting it to a web server.
o Publishing an RSS feed that contains RSS news items that reference to the audio content posted on the web server. RSS item provides meta information, file name, description of the file and an RSS enclosure which is the URL of the audio file.
o iPodder is used to check for new versions of the news feed. The iPodder identifies the audio file URL’s and downloads and syncs then to a medial player.
o Users listen to the downloaded “podcasted” audio file at their convenience.
Pod casting has spread rather rapidly due to the rapid adoption of iPod and other MP3 players.
Your Pod casts
Since you know the easy steps in a pod cast, creating a pod cast all by yourself is a way to get yourself on the web. Create your audio content like audio books, music, radio, interviews or even sermons. What ever be the show you want to pod cast. If you have a Macintosh, a free music pod casting choice is the GarageBand or you could search for pod casting softwares and take a pick.
To get the best quality save the file under the maximum quality available in whichever application you use. It will be easy to edit and reuse the saved file and convert it to the defacto pod cast standard: MP3. Software’s may ask you about bit rates. Use the minimum settings to achieve good results. It could either be 48K to 56 K mono and if you are looking at better quality stereo then 64Kor higher plus stereo option would be the best. Once your files are in MP3 format you need to save your files in the directory on the web server. Putting all the files in a particular directory makes it easier to manage.
Now you need to create your podcast news feed which is a RSS file that links to your MP3 file. RSS file is a simple text file and you can use your text editor to create an RSS feed. However blogging programs as well as other applications allow you to automatically generate new feeds. All you need to do is to create an item for each audio file and use the URL of the content as the enclosure. In case you are using a text editor download a sample file and replace the contents of those with those of your own. Save your file with a .rss or .xml extension. You could use one RSS file to contain all of your pod casts ordered from the newest to the oldest.
Publishing your RSS feed is transferring this *.rss file to the server and validating it using an online validator. If the news feed is valid it is ready to be published to the web. You then add your site to the pod cast directory for people to come and visit your site. Branding your pod cast by adding logos, sound effects and adding it to the right pod casting directory will add to the Pod casting benefits for professional pod casters.
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