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3. How to get your audio on to the internet so that it becomes a podcast

Firstly, and as a pre-requisite, you need some webspace (i.e. storage space on an internet server). You probably got some free with your internet connection (if you pay for an internet connection).

You may even have your own website sitting in that webspace. If you do, and you put it there yourself, then the technical stuff below will probably not daunt you. If you don’t, and you don’t want to persevere and do it yourself, then I suggest you visit one of the dedicated podcast-hosting websites such as This site (and others like it) will provide you with your own webspace and all of the facilities you will need to get your podcast up on the net – but they will charge you for the privilege.

If you have some webspace already, but you don’t want to mess about with the technical stuff described below, then I suggest you use Podcast Maker (see the basic software / hardware info sheet)

In all cases, visit to check out alternative packages, hosting sites, etc to see if there’s an easier / better way than the one you’ve chosen …

If you wish to persevere, then a) make sure you can type accurately, and b) relax. It’s quite straightforward! (that’s why there are so many podcasts on the net)

For those who wish to do it themselves:

A podcast is an RSS file (“whatever…”) that contains a link to the downloadable audio files you have made.

Creating an RSS file is a simple as copying the contents of someone else's file in a text edit such as Simpletext or Notepad, and changing the information. Don’t use Word or a ‘proper’ word processor as they add a lot of other information in to the file that you can’t normally see, and will certainly confuse the hell out of any program (e.g. iTunes or iPodder) that is trying to read your RSS file to work out where the audio files are.

How do I make an RSS file?

Making an RSS file is as simple as making a text file in notepad. The trick is knowing how to format it.

An RSS file looks a lot like HTML (the language most websites are written in). There are tags (e.g. <channel>)and content (e.g. ‘My Program’ or ‘potties.mp3’).

The RSS file can be named just about anything, as long as the tags and content are correct.

Here's an example of an RSS/XML file (a podcast file):

<?xml version=“1.0”?> <rss version=“2.0”>


<title>My Program</title>
<description>My first podcast</description>
<lastBuildDate>Today’s Date</lastBuildDate>


<title>Today’s Radio Show - Monday</title>

<description>Here’s my Monday podcast. Hope you like it.</description>

<pubDate>Today’s Date </pubDate>

<enclosure url=“” length=“4834743” type=“audio/mpeg” />


<item> <title>Yesterday's’s Radio Show - Sunday</title> <description>Here’s my Sunday podcast. Hope you like it.</description> <pubDate>Yesterday's’s Date </pubDate> <enclosure url=“” length=“4834743” type=“audio/mpeg” /> </item>

</channel> </rss>

Don't get overwhelmed or scared. It's not nearly as complicated as it looks. Type the code above into your favorite text editor. Windows NotePad will do just fine.

The first three elements, <?xml?> (Note: No closing tag, such as </?xml?>), <rss> - </rss> and <channel> - </channel> are the standard body tags of an RSS file. The first two, <?xml?> and <rss> are the equivalent of the <html> tag in a standard HTML file. These tags identify the version of XML and RSS you're using. The third one, <channel> opens our feed's channel, which we close at the end of our file.

Let's look at our feed's info.

• 	<title> - Your feed's title. - </title>
• 	<link> - A link to your website. - </link>
• 	<description> - A short description of your feed. - </description>
• 	<language> - The language of your feed. - </language> (US English - "en-us")
• 	<copyright> - Any copyright information. - </copyright> (Such as copyright date.)
• 	<lastBuildDate> - The date of the last addition. - </lastBuildDate> (Many programs use this tag to identify new content. Make sure it's up-to-date.)
• 	<webMaster> - An email address to contact the feed owner. - </webMaster>

With the exception of the <lastBuildDate> tag, all these are static tags that you won't have to change. Unless you want to. The next group of tags identify our actual content. A single RSS file can hold many separate items. I keep most of mine under 15 items, which I've heard is the standard’s limit.

Now let's look at our content (mp3 files/songs).

Every item starts with an <item> tag and ends with a </item>tag. Each of your podcasts will go inside these tags. There are four required tags within each item:

• 	<title> - The song's name. - </title>
• 	<description> - A short description about the song. - </description>
• 	<pubDate> - The individual song's publish date. - </pubDate>
• 	<enclosure /> - The mp3 file/song.

The last tag, <enclosure />, is a little different. Firstly, it does not open and close. There is only one tag. The <enclosure /> tag holds three required variables:

• 	url="" - The location of the mp3 file (remember to put it on your website at this address!)
• 	length="(file's length)" - the length of your MP3 file in Bytes. (Many FTP programs show file size in bytes. )
• 	type="audio/mpeg" - The file type of MP3 files. (You will probably never have to change this.)

Here is an example of a complete <enclosure /> tag.

<enclosure url=“” length=“4468864” type=“audio/mpeg” />

Adding another song to your feed is as simple as copying and pasting your first <item> and changing the info. Just be sure to keep your most recent song first and update your <lastBuildDate> tag.

Now we've added some songs. Let's close our <rss> tag like this: </rss> and our <channel> tag like so: </channel>.

When you're done, save your RSS file as “myfeed.rss” and upload it to your webserver.

That’s it!

All you need to do now is make sure people can find it …

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howto/podcasting/rssfiles.txt · Last modified: 2014/05/23 10:55 (external edit)