Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video An overview of really simple syndication, part of Producing Professional Podcasts.
- We just got done looking at how easy it was to use a software tool like Libsyn to create our RSS feed. But I want to explain RSS a bit more. Now remember, if you're completely new to this, you can actually allow the software tools to do most of the heavy lifting for you. But I'm a believer that knowing how to look at the feed is pretty important. I've included a sample RSS feed in your exercise folder, and you can see that it's a lot of things like HTML code, very similar.
It's all about enclosures and texts, and it describes what's happening. Here's where the XML Feed lives. And here's some information about describing it, and the name of the author, and their contact information. Now what you see here, this is simply a sample feed. It's dummy text provided by Apple. But, you get the idea of what's happening. Let's make that a little bigger there. And all the information is here. Here's the name of the creator, their e-mail, where can you find the image for the podcast, what categories does it belong in, and then information about the specific file.
So, for example as you get a little lower it'll tell you about a specific episode. And it says here's the enclosure, this episode is located at this location, and then it builds out details about that episode. Alright, well let's break that down. RSS is real simple syndication. This has been around for a very long time and it's part of the open standards for the web. It's a document written using the XML language, Extensible Markup Language.
It's similar to HTML, but a bit different. Usually, this is called a feed, and it's used to publish frequently updated content like a blog or a podcast. This is going to allow you to put that content out there quite easily. And the feed can be subscribed to using an aggregator or simply viewed in a compatible browser or with an application like a podcast aggregator. Now, XML is that Extensible Markup Language.
And this is the programming language that creates RSS feeds and uses those enclosure tags to describe the files, where they are, and what they're about. The ID3 tag is the information that wraps the media with metadata. What happens here, is that the file or the XML feed works together. The XML feed contains all the information about the file, and when the reader or the consumer downloads the audio or video file with the feed, the metadata gets injected into the file making it easier for the podcast aggregator software to index it or let them browse and find things in their collection.
For example on a podcast here, one that we recently recorded, you'll notice if I reveal this file it has a very simple name. QA with Brian Matiash Photofocus Podcast. That's fine. It's got the information in there, and that works but there's a lot more information in the file itself. Inside of iTunes here, all of that extra information was stored.
Full description, bullets, text, outbound links, a whole lot more. And that's important to note that this material can be injected into the podcast file. This works in conjunction with the enclosure tag. While the ID3 describes information about the file, the enclosure tag tells the podcast software where to find the file. It was the creation of the enclosure tag back in 2001 that really led to the birth of podcasting as an evolution of blogging.
Those ID3 tags will allow the user to see lots of information, all the metadata about that file. It can include custom artwork, descriptions, copyrights, contact information, categories, full descriptions, you name it. And this can be embedded right within the file. Now, here's a sample feed showing you what happens in iTunes. The different tags or information in the XML Feed comes through.
You'll note for example, that the channel title appears here followed by the author. Then there's the image and the summary. Well all of this information gets flowed to the correct place on the page in iTunes and formatted. There's categories assigned, as well as a tag for clean versus explicit, and the ability to add a link to a website and of course all of the individual items along with some of those ID3 tags like the time, and the release date, and the description, and the summary.
This is all quite useful, and you can learn more by visiting Apple iTunes, Podcasts tech specs. So, this information maps to the different fields. And what you'll see is that some of these XML tags actually appear on the channel page. Others will simply be attached to the item, or might not show up at all except they are included. This allows you to put this extra information into either the ID3 tag or the XML Feed itself, and this will help the consumer find that content.
Again you see how all that information maps into useful data that the consumer can use to find the right file and to discover the content that they're interested in.
In this course, you'll learn how to create a podcast to match any budget, using proven techniques that get listeners and results. You'll learn how to set up a small studio; record audio, video, and even group video chats; edit your podcast; and create a podcast feed (aka an RSS feed). This class is taught by Rich Harrington, who's produced, hosted, or consulted on several podcasts that are routinely featured as the best of iTunes. Watch and learn how to get your own podcast up and running in less than a day.
- What is podcasting
- Leveraging existing content
- Analyzing the competition
- Outlining a podcast budget
- Setting up a studio
- Setting up an RSS feed
- Recording interviews, screencasts, and Google Hangouts
- Editing podcasts with Adobe Audition and other audio editing software
- Optimizing audio and video for podcast delivery
- Hosting podcast files
- Branding and promoting your podcast feed