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Getting Heard with Podcast

Get listed, validated, downloaded and heard in the iTnes Podcast Store.

Steve Smith, host of your TQA Weekly, explains how to create podcast rss, validate the rss feed, include download tracking, and have the podcast submitted to the iTunes Store.

Episode #3-01 released on September 16, 2012

To begin season 3, I'd like to help out some of you who wish to become podcasters yourself, and to do so, I'm going to give you the most help possible I can in less than 15 minutes of show. I'm going to give your the source code for a feed, explain what you need to change to make your feed apply to your show, give you the link to Apple's iTunes podcast standard, talk about tracking unique downloads, and the benefits of that. I'll explain how to include such tracking into your feed, and which address you should add to your iTunes feed, and finally, how to add your show to iTunes, and which formats are accepted, and which you should use. We have a loaded show for Today, episode 1 of season 3, so let's get to the topic at hand.

First, a podcast is any show that can be downloaded and consumed at anytime from any person using a portable video or audio player like an iPod, iPad, iPhone, Zune, PSP, etc... any device that can play video or audio is capable of supporting podcast files since these files are normally MP4, WMV, MP3, etc... They can be any file format you want, but you must use files that can, also, be used by your future potential listeners.

Second, you must use mp3, mp4, m4v, etc... files to be able to take advantage of iTunes, which supports millions of users world wide, so this makes it an important market to target when your a podcaster. You should make a different feed for each type of format you intend to use, so to maximize the potential return of your feeds. If you starting adding files that are not supported in a program, you risk annoying your subscribers. They are the most important part of a podcast.

Third, the feed, it is the must important detail of a podcast, everything revolves the feed working 100% of the time. Any errors crashing the feed, renders the whole feed defective, not just one episode. It makes it impossible for all current and future subscribers to download and listen to your content. Below is the sample of the iTunes standard podcast feed, using my last video of season 2 as a real world example.

<rss xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd" version="2.0">
<channel>
<title>
Technology Questions Answered Weekly - HD Video(MP4@720P)
</title>
<link>http://tqaweekly.com/</link>
<language>en-us</language>
<copyright>® & © 2010-2012 Steve Smith. All rights reserved.</copyright>
<itunes:subtitle>
A podcast that answers today's technology questions.
</itunes:subtitle>
<itunes:author>Steve Smith</itunes:author>
<itunes:summary>
Technology Questions Answered goes out of its way to explain how technology works, its flaws, how to protect yourself, how to use technology, and what to do after everything goes wrong.
</itunes:summary>
<description>
Technology Show, dedicated to those who wish to learn about new electronics that they have bought, or will buy soon. We will explaining in each episode new ways of doing things like protecting your identity online, file backup and storage, encryption, using email wisely, and each show we will be giving you new tools to do so. You may visit our web-site for show notes, lists of software, links to sites, other suggested web-sites, or to send e-mails to Steve Smith with questions, comments or concerns.
</description>
<itunes:owner>
<itunes:name>Steve Smith</itunes:name>
<itunes:email>ask@tqaweekly.com</itunes:email>
</itunes:owner>
<itunes:image href="http://tqaweekly.com/images/tqa-weekly-logo.png"/>
<itunes:category text="Technology"/>
<item>
<title>Turning Off Plugins in Web Browsers (SE2EP50)</title>
<itunes:author>Steve Smith</itunes:author>
<itunes:subtitle>
Preventing Add-ons from compromising security by turning them off.
</itunes:subtitle>
<itunes:summary>
Steve Smith, host of your TQA Weekly, explains how to plugins, like Java, in your favorite web browser.
</itunes:summary>
<enclosure url="http://tqaweekly.com/episodes/720p/tqa-se2ep50.mp4" length="271859161" type="video/mp4"/>
<guid>
http://tqaweekly.com/episodes/720p/tqa-se2ep50.mp4
</guid>
<pubDate>Sun, 09 Sep 2012 06:00:00 -0500</pubDate>
<itunes:duration>5:51</itunes:duration>
<itunes:keywords>
windows, linux, apple, mac, turning off, plugins, java, web, browsers, chrome, safari, opera, internet, explorer, ie, fire, fox, mozilla, technology, questions, answered, tqa, weekly, steve, smith
</itunes:keywords>
</item>
</channel>
</rss>

In the show notes you will have the link to the Apple iTunes podcast feed example, and they have a link to a feed validation site, which is the next point, always make sure you feed is validated to ensure it is working correctly.

The enclosure tag contains important information, such as the location or url, length calculated in bytes, and type which is, also, available in the feed example from Apple. The guid is the same url as enclosure, however, it is placed between an open and close tag for guid, whereas the enclosure tag contains all the information internally.

You must set the pubDate to indicate the three letter value for the day, comma, two digit date, three letter month, year, hour:minute:seconds then numeric time zone value. The duration is how many hours, minutes, seconds the show lasts, keywords are words that explain the content of the specific episode.

The primary header contains the channel title, link to podcast web-site language, copyright information, subtitle, author, summary of show as a whole, and decription of the show, owner, name, email, image (usually a square), and category of the show.

Now, tracking the amount of unique downloads can be tricky, and companies who may be willing into investing into your show may want an impartial third party counting the number of downloads you may have per episode. One service, which is free, which allows for a unique download count, a tracking feed for subscriber counts, and allows for advertisers to bid on your show is Podtrac.com.

In order to use a Podtrac.com tracker, you simply insert the tracking url before your download url in your RSS feed. If you log into your Podtrac account, click on your feed which you supplied, go into feed and feed options, and turn on Podtrac Enhanced Feed, you get a new url which you should use to submit your show to iTunes, and any other web-site. Combined with the inline url tracker, and the enhanced feeds, you can now count how many people actually listen or watch each episode, and how many subscribers you have.

To submit your show to iTunes, you need to have an iTunes account, which is free, and you have to download and install iTunes. Open iTunes, click on iTunes Store, Click on Podcasts, then on the right, click on Submit a Podcast. Follow instructions for the submission process.

By this point, you have submitted your podcast to iTunes, and they will get back to you as soon as possible, usually a day or two.

Next week, I'll explain how to convert a video or audio format from one type to another, a great skill and tool for those who have ever downloaded a file they couldn't view on their favorite multimedia device.

Remember to like this episode if you were interested in today's topic, share if you think someone else could benefit from the topic, and subscribe if you want to learn more. For the show notes of this episode and others, for more information on other ways to subscribe to our show, to subscribe to our weekly newsletter, and how to participate by submitting your questions, comments, suggestions, and stories, head over to TQAWeekly.com.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

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