Publishing a podcast
Before users can listen to your podcast it requires some means of publication. The most common way to publish a podcast is by using an RSS syndication feed, which is a special file that points to the podcast (the MP3, MPEG4 etc.) and contains your description of the podcast's content.
To publish a podcast the author needs the following:
- Web space to store the podcast (MP3s etc.) online.
- An RSS generator, such as a third party service or your University's newsfeed service to point to the content.
- A medium to view the podcast (commonly iTunes but there are many other digital media players and browsers, such as Miro and Firefox).
 1 RSS - Promoting and syndicating a podcast item
To avoid podcasting in a void, podcasts are promoted (advertised, and listed in searches) using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) for news feeds. Each feed is a simple XML file containing textual information about the content e.g. title and the URL of the online content it links to. The information about each item not only includes the title, author and description of each individual podcast, but also whether it belongs in a series, and what number in the series it is. Software like iTunes picks up the RSS information and displays it to the user so they can view, subscribe and download the podcast in the easiest way possible. Software that can pick up and view RSS feeds are known as aggregators.
 2 OXITEMS A typical RSS Service
OXITEMS is a typical RSS newsfeed system developed at the University of Oxford by Oxford University Computing Services. It allows Oxford users to add and maintain news items (announcements, news, events, podcasts etc.). These feeds can be subscribed to by digital media players allowing the end user to receive news updates, podcasts etc. without the need to keep visiting the originating web site themselves.
The first publishing step the author has to make is to upload the podcast to their online web space, e.g. a college server, their users web space or to a course area on their VLE. You cannot upload files to OXITEMS as it is not a filestore, nor are other RSS feeds; they merely link a news item in a newsfeed to an assocated file (called a enclosure) and contain textual information about this linked file (metadata). Once the location of the podcast is known, there are a series of easy to follow web-based forms into which you fill in the information.
 3 Adding your podcast to a RSS feed service
Each RSS service is slightly different but the following steps are typical -
- Login. You will now see a list of the podcasting feeds that you are eligible to add new items to. If not you may need to create one.
- Select the podcast feed you wish to add to and click the Add New Item to Selected Newsfeed button.
- You will now see the Add an Item screen. This is composed of various boxes where you need to add in information about your new podcast. This must include the URL (location on the web) of your podcast file. Complete the form as instructed. Cataloguing fields needed include:
- Rights and permissions tick box
- Submit podcast information form
- You will now see a summary of your entries. If these are all correct, click the Now Add the Above Item to the Newsfeed button. If you need to make any changes to the form entries, click the Make Changes to the Values of the Above Item button instead. You will be returned to the original form where you can make edits to your entries. Submit again and check your the summary of your entered details
- Once you have submitted your item, your service should show you a new page showing all the items in the feed. Your new item should be at the top of this list. You will also be give the URL of the RSS feed into which you have added your podcast item. This URL is the one to place on your own web pages.
 4 Accessing your podcast feed
In order to check whether your podcast feed and files work on the web you need to subscribe to the feed and download the file(s) in question. These instructions relate to using iTunes to check the feed. If you do not have iTunes already, visit http://www.apple.com/itunes/ to download the program. Install this onto your computer. If you do not want to install iTunes onto your system, you can also check the url of the feed using modern web browsers such as Firefox and Opera. Alternatively there are other digital media players available that you can use instead.
- Open iTunes and click on [Advanced] found on the top most menu. "Advanced" button
- From the dropdown menu select [Subscribe to podcast] option. A new dialogue box will appear. "Subscribing to a podcast, type URL here"
- Enter the address of your podcast feed i.e the URL given to you via OXITEMS or another RSS service. Click on OK
- iTunes will now access the RSS feed and list any items it finds in the main iTunes podcast screen. "Podcast shown in iTunes podcast"
- Each item in the feed can now be downloaded either individually by clicking the Get button by each one, or by clicking on Get All next to the name of the feed itself.
- Click the Get button next to your new item. iTunes will access and download the file to your machine.
- Once your file is downloaded, the podcast title will change to black text and the Get button will disappear. You will now be able to play the podcast in iTunes.
Note that once you've subscribed to a podcast feed you wil see automatically in the client whenever new material is available for downloading. This syndication element is the key reward of RSS podcasting.