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Chapter 4. Podcasting Distribution

Chapter 4. Podcasting Distribution

OK, so you have put together a podcast that's going to set the world on fire. You spent hours coming up with witty and erudite discourse between the host and co-host. Important and compelling guests were interviewed at just the right time during the podcast, and everything went swimmingly. Heck, even Peter Gabriel decided that he would allow you to use some of his music in the background. The editing process is complete, and the shiny new podcast is all ready to be heard by the masses!

There's only one catch: Knowledge of how to publish your podcast on the World Wide Web eludes you. Not to worry, because this chapter details the intricacies of using the RSS specification so that your podcast can reach the maximum number of people with the least amount of effort. Although RSS actually stands for Really Simple Syndication, for a nonscripting or programming newbie, the term “really simple” doesn't exactly jump to mind when learning RSS from scratch. Fortunately, several programs have emerged that make the process of publishing podcasts with RSS a relatively simple process.

This chapter covers podcasting distribution options, from the complex types that appeal to the programmer personality to the all-in-one packages that completely demystify the process. The routes this chapter examines are:

  • RSS file construction: building an RSS feed from scratch

  • Alternative podcast distribution: MP3 files and streaming audio

  • Web-site packagers: companies that charge a fee to do it all for you

  • Software packages: software, like FeedForAll, that makes publishing an RSS feed an automated process

The chapter also looks at how to get your podcast out there and noticed (Figure 4.1). I've even sneaked in a couple of interviews, including one with the creators of the very popular RSS feed software option, FeedForAll. No matter what route you choose to take with regard to creating RSS feeds, this chapter has all the information you need to make the process second nature.

Figure 4.1. This simple diagram shows the process of creating a podcast, a Web site, and RSS feed to get the podcast out on the podwaves.

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