Easier Podcasting with SmartCast

The following tips will help you incorporate links to digital media that can be used to incorporate Podcasting into a feed. Follow these guidelines when creating your original feed content. Assuming you apply the SmartCast service to your feed, FeedBurner will recognize and tag embedded digital media as Podcast-ready content.

Posting Podcast content in any feed
When composing a new posting with your publishing tool, simply insert a link to your podcast content directly into the text. FeedBurner will take the first anchor (<a>) tag that it finds in your posting content and convert the linked URL into an RSS 2.0 <enclosure> element if FeedBurner detects the item is in a popular audio, video, or streaming media format. This conversion turns this feed item into content that current podcasting clients will download for use (see a list of clients at the bottom of this post).

Here's an example of HTML you would write in your posting. This HTML will work in any publishing tool (Blogger, Movable Type, WordPress, MSN Spaces, and so on) that generates a feed from your postings:

<p>Check out <a href="http://www.myblog.com/archives/10242004.mp3">my podcast</a> from this past weekend. I review a show we saw at Metro and spin some old vinyl blues favorites I've found.</p>

Important: Make sure your podcast file URL does not include any spaces (or encode each space in the original filename with the %20 combination).

If you use a tool that doesn't allow you to write HTML code directly (such as MSN Spaces with Windows/IE) just use its "Insert Link" feature and enter your podcast content's HTTP URL. As long as the link points to a recognized media file, it will result in a link FeedBurner can convert into an enclosure.

(If you want FeedBurner to create the podcast enclosure from a specific link, rather than the first eligible one it finds, insert rel="enclosure" as an attribute of the anchor tag. This attribute forces FeedBurner to ignore other links and try to use this one first.)

Quicker Posting of Podcast items with Blogger

If you publish with Blogger, you can also post Podcast items to your blog by using an optional "Link" field Blogger offers. With the SmartCast service applied to your burned feed, FeedBurner uses the URL you enter in this field to create an RSS 2.0 enclosure element.

The Link field is not enabled by default in Blogger. Follow the steps listed in this Blogger Help Topic to enable it.

To post a Podcast-able item within Blogger:
  1. Click the Posting tab to begin a new post.
  2. If you enabled the Link field, it should now appear below 'Title' on the posting form.
  3. Place your Podcast media URL in this field. Be sure to include the http:// protocol part of the URL.
  4. Publish your post. The title of the post will link directly to the item in a web browser. In your FeedBurner feed, the item will link to the original Blogger post, but an <enclosure> element will contain the URL from the Link field.
Link Processing Summary
The order in which FeedBurner attempts to locate a podcast-ready item in any posting is:
  1. Link with rel="enclosure" attribute
  2. First link of any kind to audio/video content
  3. Feed item <link> element
"Social Podcasting" at del.icio.us
If you'd just like to experiment with Podcasting, join us for some social syndication over at del.icio.us. If you have a del.icio.us account, you can post hyperlinks that point directly to your digital media with the tag groupcast. Anything posted with this tag will end up in a Smartcast-powered feed, http://feeds.feedburner.com/groupcast. This is a quick way to see the effect of this service in action -- and see who else is Podcasting!

If you want to use your del.icio.us account as a starting point for personal Podcasting, you can burn your own del.icio.us account feed and apply the SmartCast service. FeedBurner will create <enclosure> elements in the feed for any links you post to del.icio.us that contain digital media. Painless. And tasty, indeed.

The Podcast "Receivers" We Know About

If you're looking for a list of applications that can download Podcast-enabled feed content, we present several for your consideration:
  • iPodderX for OS X. Handles audio, video, photos and optionally downloads to iPod.
  • iPodder for Windows, Mac, Linux. Handles audio, integrates with Windows Media Player on Windows PCs.
  • Doppler Radio for Windows. Handles audio, video, integrates with Windows Media Player.
  • JPodder for Windows. Handles audio, optionally transfers to iTunes for download to supported MP3 players.
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