10th Dimension: Podcasting

Saturday, October 16, 2004


Podcasting is definately a great idea, I've been trying to work out how I can use this technology with a PC. You obviously need to create audio (or video) content which I can do based on a few tests that I've done.

I followed some guide lines provided in a video tutorial by Mark Vande Wettering , he used an open source prog called Audacity, which can be found at Sourceforge.

Mark also makes note in the video on a few important points regarding the setup of your recording and playback levels, so check it out.

So once this is done and you have an mp3 you then need to distribute it, as Adam Curry has pointed out recently in his Daily Source Code that can become very bandwidth intensive if your Podcast is anywhere near as popular as his, here's hoping that one day it might be. He mentioned that his usage was somewhere around 35mb/sec or 30Gbs a month ..Wow.

When I first read about this Podcasting phenomena on Wired.com, I thought Oh Yeah! I'd like to know how to do that, and everywhere I went to find info the people that were kindly sharing their knowledge unfortunately knew a lot more than me. So I had to pull the info apart and glue it back together into something that worked for me, a PC user.

Here's a breakdown in languge I hope can be understood by anyone thats interested enough to have found their way to my Blog.

The first thing thats required is an XML file with an enclosure that points at the content file.
Ive put a link on my webpage pointing to a file called video.rss.xml which contains the link to the file in an enclosure. If you have been to my 3D Projects file you've probably already seen the file I used to test this.
Right clicking and saving the link to the video.rss.xml file and opening it in notepad or Word or IE 6.0 will enable you to view the code. The red lines can be clicked on to expand the tree of code, if you open it in IE.
This page has a couple of tools that help to generate the code, the RSS Channel Editor is the best to start with, just click on "Try it" and enter the bare minimum of details, starting down the page at Channel Title. If you've already right clicked on the video.rss.xml and looked at it you will be able to compare them when your finished this stage.

Channel Title = Name of the Website
Channel Link = the folder on the webserver where the xml file is located. eg:http://yoursite.com

Then go straight to Item1


Title = Discription of the content file eg:Podcast
Link = the link to the file eg: http://yoursite.com/podcast.mp3

Click the build RSS button next to that item.
that will generate the code you need and take you to an HTML page which displays it in IE for you.
Cut and paste that into a text file and save the text file as podcast.rss.xml

Now just clean it up a bit (I'm no coder so correct me if this is not stable code.)
but you will notice it's not exactly the ame as mine yet.

Remove the blank space at the begining of the first line.
Delete the 2nd line
Change the rss version on the 3rd line to 2.0 and remove the blank space at the begining of that line as well.

You should be able to save this file now as podcast.rss.xml and open it in Internet Explorer by right clicking on it, and choosing " Open With -> Internet Explorer ", you will see the code laid out like it was when it was generated in the RSS Channel Editor

Put this file in the main folder of your website or the folder you chose eg: http://yoursite.com

Now all you have to do is put a link on your site, in this case it would be "Podcast" http://yoursite.com/podcast.rss.xml
and when you paste this link into iPodder.NET it will go to your site find podcast.rss.xml get the link http://yoursite.com/podcast.mp3 from it to the file podcast.mp3 and start downloading the file.

The file will be checked for by iPodder at the interval that has been set in iPodder and if the file on the server has newer date than the last one of the same name podcast.mp3 it will be downloaded.

This brings me back to the means of distribution, obviously if you have more than 30 Gbs a month you can start straight away, and you will not have a problem. But Dave Slusher and a few others have been experimenting with Bit Torrent which is a more decentralised form of distribution. So basically you can post a Bit Torrent link somewhere and the first person that downloads the file from you, even if it is stored on your home PC starts sharing the load as others start to ask for the file. This sounds like a great way to me, it a way of empowering people. I'm not sure how this can be done without iPodder at the moment, and as I said earlier I'm using iPoddder.NET, because I can't get iPoddder to work (Start).

So what I have outlines above is probably written somewhere else but not in this way I hope. It should enable someone with a MAC or PC to create a Podcast (read content - Audio, Video, Art, Text.) and distribute it to people that have subscribed to an RSS feed link on the persons Blog or Website because they want it.

There are already a few different Podcast Aggregators that can be used for this I have used iPodder.NET because I don't have an iPod and it still works for me. All I had to do to get it to work was download an update to the .NET Framework 1.1 from Microsofts updates page.

Links to Podcast related sites that I have found helpful.

The Daily Source Code - Adam Curry
Trade Secrets - Dave Winer
Evil Genius Chronicles - Dave Slusher
iPodder.org - Adam Curry & Podcasting Community Outliner portal
iPodder.Net - Windows based Podcatcher (Aggregator)
Brainwagon.org - mark Vande Wettering
Engadget Guys - All the Technology When and before it happens
ipodderx - a Mac prog Podcatcher
Technorati - Conversation search tool and more
Podcasting.net - Podcasting list

CGTalk - Everything CG and 3D - Animation, Modelling, Rigging, Texturing etc
EekStudios - Eeks website for Rigging
Krishnamurti Costa aka Antropus - Cool cg head rig and short film "The Plumber"


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