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This document looks at the steps involved in delivering a podcast. It also explains how to receive a podcast.
A podcast is a file that has been made available on the web which can automatically be downloaded to a software player, such as Apple's iTunes, and then perhaps moved to a portable device such as an MP3 player. You might use a podcast to record a talk, to record an interview with a visitor, to record supporting material for a lecture, ... .
A podcast is usually a multimedia file such as an MP3 audio file or a video file, although it can be a text document such as a PDF.
The term podcast was derived in 2004 from the words iPod and broadcast, but you do not have to have an iPod to listen/watch these files. Anyone with appropriate software on a computer will be able to listen/watch a podcast. And, if the file is an MP3 file, you could copy the file to an MP3 player.
2. The steps you need to take to deliver a podcast and receive it
3. Step 1: creating a recording
By some means you need to create a recording.
One possibility is to record to a PDA, an MP3 player that has a microphone or an iPod with an attached microphone adapter.
If you have iTunes, you can use iTunes to convert the recording to the MP3 format. iTunes is available for Mac OS X and Windows.
Instead, you may want to consider using Audacity. This is an audio editor and recorder that is available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It can be used to make recordings, edit an existing recording (e.g., to remove any unwanted sections at the start and the end), or to convert a recording to MP3. There is more information about converting to MP3 in the article Saving MP3 Files for Podcasts.
4. Step 2: uploading your recording
You could upload your podcast to a public folder within a WebLearn site in which you have the 'maintain' role. If you do not have a suitable WebLearn site then ask your local WebLearn coordinator to create one for you; please see the list of coordinators.
If you already have a suitable WebLearn site (in which you have the 'maintain' role), then log into WebLearn (http://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/) and create a public folder within the Resources tool in your site and upload your podcasts into it. (Details of how to create a public folder and upload files can be found in this step-by-step guide: https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/access/content/group/info/step/resources11.pdf)
http://users.ox.ac.uk/~abcd0123/example.mp3(this URL will be used as an example throughout the rest of the document).
5. Step 3: adding details about your podcast to a newsfeed
The final stage in publishing your podcast is to make it available through an RSS 2.0 newsfeed.
You can do this using OXITEMS, the University of Oxford's newsfeed system. It provides several kinds of newsfeeds: there are ordinary newsfeeds for items of news, events newsfeeds for storing details about events, and podcasting newsfeeds for storing details about a collection of podcasts.
In each department/college, there are IT Support Staff. The main ITSS person has been made an OXITEMS administrator. He/she can create a podcasting newsfeed. If you have difficulty in tracking down who this is, please send a message to email@example.com
The OXITEMS administrator can make you an author of this newsfeed. Once this has been done, you are then in a position to add your podcast to the newsfeed.
running/sandbox-audio. So, on the new screen, select the appropriate newsfeed, e.g.,
And that's it. An RSS 2.0 version of your newsfeed is now
available at a URL like
running/sandbox-audio is replaced by the
name of your newsfeed.
If you want to add other podcasts to this newsfeed, just repeat the above process: go to OXITEMS and select the Add a media item operation.
6. Step 4: receiving the podcast
You will need some podcasting software (such as iTunes) in order to receive a podcast. There is a list of podcasting software at http://www.podcastingnews.com/topics/Podcast_Software.html
Having installed the podcasting software, you just have to tell
it the URL of the newsfeed. It has to be an RSS 2.0
newsfeed. When using OXITEMS, this is a URL like http://rss.oucs.ox.ac.uk/running/sandbox-audio/rss20.xml where
running/sandbox-audio is replaced by
the name of your newsfeed.
You can then tell the software to download your podcast.
You can then listen/watch the recording on your computer. If you have an iPod, you may want to sync the file to your iPod. Otherwise, you could copy the file to an MP3 player.
7. More information