Podcasting/Vodcasting: Distributing Your Audio and Video Files Via the Web
Listing Your Podcast
Now we are really on the road away from complete abstraction. It would be confusing nay impossible for us to cover how to list your Podcast in every Podcast Directory. It would be akin to trying to write your phone number in every peron in the world's little black book. At the time of this curriculum's writing (as we've said time and time again), iTunes is the most popular Pod Catcher client, and the iTunes Music Store is the most popular Podcast Directory, and as such, we will give specific information on how to list on the iTunes Music Store.
Please keep in mind, hoewver, that many alternatives do exist (and we will address a few of them later), and many of them are gaining in popularity. Even if you are content with only listing on the iTunes Music Store, you should be aware of the alternatives. As of July and August 2006, Apple does not charge or require a credit card to list a Podcast on the iTunes Music Store, but this is subject to change at any time. It is also possible that the iTunes Music Store and its array of Podcasts will lose public interest and its popularity. Therefore, you should follow the old adage and not put all of your eggs in one basket. That is, make sure you do not design your feed only to iTunes specifications. If new, standardized tags come out, you should be aware of them and use them to whatever ends and by whatever means are most feasible.Obilgatory Warning
Listing on the iTunes Music Store
The first thing to do is ensure that your feed works the way you expect in iTunes. We covered this on the last page in Validating with iTunes and Validating with Firefox. Before proceeding, you should be sure you are able to subscribe to your Podcast by entering its address after selecting Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast... in iTunes. If you receive errors, please go back one page for ways to validate and common places where errors can be made.
The good news is that Apple are a large and well-received company with a long record without any substantial security lapses. The bad news is that they make it very difficult to not use a credit card to list your Podcast on the iTunes Music Store Podcast Directory. While listing is free, Apple would greatly prefer you enter your credit card information so you can then quickly, easily, or even accidentally buy music from within iTunes.
"Very difficult," but not impossible. The most direct work-around to list a Podcast and not enter any bank or credit card information available is to first create a PayPal account by going to PayPal (link opens in a new window) and following the directions to create a new account. PayPal do not require a credit card or bank information (although they, too, greatly wish you to give it to them). The trick is that Apple will allow you to create an "Apple ID" (which is required to list a Podcast on the iTunes Music Store) once you have a PayPal account.
Once we are armed with an Apple ID, we can click on the "Submit a Podcast" button while on the Podcast Directory homepage, and then follow the simple instructions.
To get to this page, open up iTunes and click on Podcasts. Now click on "Podcast Directory."
Finally, click on "Submit a Podcast."
You will then be asked to enter your Podcast Feed's URL. Your feed will be validated. If your feed's URL is valid and it passess Apple's XML/RSS/Podcast validation, your Podcast will be entered into a queue. Once iTunes staff have approved your Podcast, it will be listed on the iTunes Music Store and will be searchable by and available to anyone in the world.
To add new episodes, you simply follow the instructions on preceeding pages. You do not need to re-enter your Podcast into the Music Store. The magic of RSS will alert the iTunes Music Store and your subscribers when new Episodes are available.
Please note that you may submit as many individual Podcasts as you wish, and any one of those Podcasts may have as many episodes as you want, and as many new episodes as you'd like may be added at any time you'd like. Please also note that you must provide your own bandwidth. Apple simply aggregates your feed--it will not distribute your files. Your University of Washington Web Publishing account mandates that you not use excessive bandwidth or an amount that impedes the work, study, or enjoyment of others on the University network. That said, you may have to host your file elsewhere (i.e. not on your UW Student/Staff account) if your Podcast gains a substantial following or if you publish a substantial number of episodes in any given period of time.
I can hear you out there--"enough with iTunes already!" Got'cha. Here is a list of other popular Podcast Directories. If you would like more information on how to list with them, please send us an email. If there is enough demand, additional Directories will be added.
(These sites are, of course, not associated with the University of Washington. Use and visit them at your own risk and discretion. These sites are not listed in any particular order.)
- Odeo was perhaps the most popular Pod Catcher and Podcast Directory before Apple added Podcast support to iTunes and opened up the iTunes Music Store Podcast Directory. It remains popular and has a number of features not included in iTunes.
- Yahoo Podcasts (currently in public BETA) provides a Podcast Directory which is growing in popularity.
- Podnova provides a Pod Catcher and Podcast Directory suited for individuals who are frequently at more than one computer. It allows "played" information to be sychrnoized across locations.
- Any suggestions? Email us!