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We have made podcasting as simple as possible! We've done all the leg work for you. We have also integrated it into our media player. The only thing you have to do is upload the files and update the media player.
Here is a walk through from recording to publishing and tracking downloads.
1. Getting the Right Gear
The cheapest way to record your podcast is with your computer’s built-in microphone and free audio recording and editing software such as Audacity. If you’re a Mac user, your machine comes with a microphone built in and Apple’s GarageBand installed, which nearly automates the entire process for you. For those of you looking to record a pastor’s sermon, connect your soundboard’s output to a computer’s line-in and record the audio directly to the computer using your audio recording software of choice.
If you’re looking for a step up in quality, a handful of companies offer podcast starter kits for a reasonable price. For example, M-Audio offers a Podcast Factory kit that includes a microphone, USB interface, and software for around $100. This type of setup tends to be the standard for most podcasts, but there are other higher-end options out there if you have a bigger budget. (Hint: Sites such as www.MusiciansFriend.com are good places to look for podcasting gear.)
2. Editing the Podcast Audio and Files
Simple editing techniques such as adding intro jingles and voiceovers, or just trimming the length of your episodes, will help separate your podcast from the rest of the pack. Also, if you have the ability to normalize your audio (balance the audio levels), do so—listeners are easily annoyed by having to constantly adjust the volume on their iPods or car stereos.
Next you’ll need to convert your podcast files into .mp3 format so they are compatible with iTunes.
(Optional) Then import each converted file into iTunes and edit its file information (title, author, image, etc.) before you upload it to the Web. (Hint: Click - File > Get Info to edit the file’s information.)
3. Upload MP3 into your media player
We have a tutorial that can help you through this step.
Be sure to highlight and copy the media file link that you are adding. You will need this when we update the iTunes file with your new sermon or message.
Be sure that your file name is simple and does not have any spaces or special characters.
4. Preparing the XML File (or RSS Feed)
Once your audio is recorded, edited, converted and uploaded it’s time to share it with the world. One of the most important, yet complicated, things about a podcast is creating the XML file for iTunes and other RSS readers to read. Like we said earlier we have done the heavy lifting for you!
After you have updated the media player, press Ctrl and Shift at the same time to pull up the CMS menu and select "Edit iTunes"
This will be bring up the iTunes file that we have prepared for you. It may look a little overwhelming at first but we have broken it down for you in the graphic below. Just go line by line and fill in the text fields with the appropriate information. Everything above the "item" folder is your iTunes channel information. This elements do not need to be updated unless they change.
Category help - http://www.feedforall.com/itune-tutorial-tags.htm#category
The "item" folder contains all the information for each item in the iTunes playlist. To create a new item simply highlight the top "item" folder and click the "copy" button at the top of the Bridge Element XML Editor. This will create a duplicate copy of the folder and place it at the top of your item list. You can then update the new item folder with the new information from the new message/sermon.
You will be pasting in the link you copied earlier into the "enclosure url" line in the item folder. Once you paste in the link be sure to add your ministry's full domain name including the "http://" prefix. The domain should also be followed by a forward slash "/" before the link you pasted in.
Here is an example:
Link that was copied from media player: "cms/media/AudioFileName.mp3"
Ministry's domain name: "MyChurch.org"
Full enclosure link: "http://MyChurch.org/cms/media/AudioFileName.mp3"
5. Creating a FeedBurner Account
Once the files are in place, your next step is to create a FeedBurner account at feedburner.google.com before you publish it to iTunes. With FeedBurner you can see how many people are subscribed to your feed, how many people have downloaded a certain episode, and what application they’re using to keep up with your podcast. All you need to know is your XML file’s URL and FeedBurner does the rest. Your XML file URL will be your ministry's domain plus "/audioitunes.xml"
Now you’re ready to publish your podcast!
6. Publishing your Podcast
With the XML file updated, the audio file uploaded, and FeedBurner set up, you can now submit your podcast to the iTunes directory. To publish a podcast, open iTunes and select iTunes Store in the source list. On the iTunes Store home page, click Podcasts, then click Submit A Podcast (iTunes link) at the bottom of the page and complete the form.
Use the FeedBurner RSS link you received when you set up your FeedBurner account as your Podcast Feed URL. If you did not setup a FeedBurner account then you can use the XML file’s URL we gave you in step 5. Now all you have to do is wait for iTunes to approve your podcast, and you’re done! (Hint: You may have to wait a day until your podcast shows up on iTunes, so be patient.)
7. Tracking Your Stats
With your free FeedBurner account, you can now track your podcast’s success. (Hint: Make sure to tell your congregation or friends about your podcast!)
8. Weekly Updates
Simply repeat the last half of step #4 and that's it, iTunes will do the rest!
While podcasting may not be a simple, three-step process, We hope these steps help to get the ball rolling as you start podcasting. If you’re still lost, visit the websites below for helpful tips and support or feel free to create a ticket.
*Post was modified from another article - http://www.collidemagazine.com/article/247/how-to-start-a-podcast