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I didn't really understand podcasting

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posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 11:55 AM
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But I think I am getting the hang of it from the explanations offered by administration and others in moderation. Maybe some of you are still a little confused about too.

The thing that was the most confusing for me was, why bother with it in the first place? I mean, a podcast is just an mp3 file right? Well, not really. Podcasting isn't just the audio files, its the mode of delivery and usage too. This might not seem particularly exciting at first, but upon consideration you can see that there end up being lots of possibilities.

Podcasting starts off with RSS feeds. RSS, Atom, sometimes called 'news' feeds, are pretty interesting. Basically, a website, usually a blog or anything that updates frequently, supplies the 'feed'. You get a program that can 'aggregate' feeds, such as these:

NetNewsWire(mac)
Straw (gnome)
SharpReader (windows)
NewsGator (windows -works within Outlook Express)

There are even some that are purely web based, you get a little webpage that you look at thru your web browser
Bloglines
News is Free
Habari Xenu (for mozilla/firefox browsers)
Bitty Browser (this one is an applet that you put into your own page)

So what happens is that you take one of these programs, and you set up your RSS Atom, or Podcast 'feeds'. Often this merely requires clicking on the 'feed' symbol in a webpage. Like these



Now, when you open up your agreggator program, it'll update the feeds/subscriptions. What you generally get is a split window with one pane showing in text your different feeds, how many new items are left unread in it, and stuff like that, and then another pane that will have a blurb of content, usually with working clickable links to the larger content thats on the orignal webpage.
So for a blog you'd see the name of the blog, the number of entries unread, and then usually a more graphical list in the other pane (upon clicking/selecting that blog from your list of feeds).

As you might expect, there is lots of customization in these things, and you can even have the aggregator display the full blog entries instead of 'blurbs'.

Here's a pretty typical screen shot:


Now, Podcasts are a specialized sort of syndication, they're not RSS or XML or Atom code types, but their own, as far as I understand it.

By subscribing to a podcast feed, your aggregator will open up and display the titles and other information about the podcast, the audio file. For ATS, these will be all sorts of really intersting files with interviews and radio-show like productions. By clicking on it, you'd have your audio program, be it Winamp or whatever, play the sound file.

You can also (and this is where the pod part comes in), have the feed directory download into your Ipod (or, if you use a more sensible, less expenseive but not as insanely marketed mp3 player, that one), and then listen to the podcasts/broadcasts on your own time. This way you can take ATS anywhere.

The more savvy members might even like to take th podcasts, convert them to cda files, and then play them on cds while on roadtrips, or over their home stereo system. This would, infact, allow you to have Podcast Parties, with other geeks comming over to listen to the ATS Podcasts. (Board Rules however, still apply, so not drugging or drinking, and we will edit any swear words or fine you for large quotes)

So podcasts and rss feeds (overall these things are called Syndication) allow you to use the internet in a somewhat different, and very flexible, way. I used to read a lot of newsgroups (an entirely differnt matter). I was able to get my newgroups downloaded into a newsgroup reader (not an aggregator for syndication keep in mind), and then get an xml syndication feed aggregator that changed my rss feeds into newgroup format, thus allowing me to read blogs, websites, and newsgroups in the same program. And I am sure that people who have experience with linux can see that they can have their programs aggregate newsfeeds automatically and download to their ipods and mp3 players to have them updated and ready to go each morning/evening. There are a lot of possiblities, and it simply depends on how much time you want to invest in it. If you just want the feeds displayed in a simple way, you got it, if you want a more complex system that crosses formats, you can get it.


So I hope that that helps some members who aren't to familiar with podcasting and rss technology. Here are some more sites that explain it if that didn't help.
Podcasting (wiki)
News Aggregators (wiki)
Feed Burner
RSS Syndication and Aggregation
RSS 2.0 Specification




posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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Here is an intersting photo of the setup used to make a podcast. This is what the author uses to record and transcribe and code the audio broadcast, not what the reader and end user has to have.




The only ususual thing there is the big microphone, and clearly smaller ones could be used.

Here's one of those idiotic 'ipod people'. Remember, they have nothing to do with anything, and ipods are about as necessary for 'podcasting' as weak U2U songs are necessary for mp3s.


Apparently you can also get RSS feeds and other types of syndication over your cell phones. I suppose before long, or heck simply with the proper phone, you can get podcasts and play them over your phone itself. So if you get a phonecall from SkepticOverlord or a voice message from Simon Gray before long, don't be too surprised!


[edit on 26-8-2005 by Nygdan]



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 12:42 PM
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wow...thanks for that great post!



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 01:51 PM
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Yes... awesome post from Nygdan... this will really help our members "grok" PODcasting. (And if you need to know what "grok" means, it's too late for you
)

Also, most haven't noticed, but we "soft launched" the PODcast feature this morning:
The PODcast tab now leads to: www.abovetopsecret.com...

There are still some issues with the syntax of the feed as iTunes has introduced some complex new tags... so the actual RSS feed is not yet properly functional. However, 3 PODcasts are available as individual MP3's (as they will always be), and members can upload their work.

More about uploading in a little bit.



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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Excellent SO I just downloaded ATSPOD001 and am playing it through WinAmp I did however have to drop all base and up the treble but that is most likely my crap head phones.




[edit on 26/8/2005 by Sauron]



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 02:20 PM
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Given some new additions, we'll have to redo PODcast 001.

But good news, the feed:
www.abovetopsecret.com...
Now fully validates with iTunes and is working great.



posted on Aug, 26 2005 @ 03:01 PM
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Hmm, did you know that they added "Grok" to the OED?

That says a lot.



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 04:15 AM
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yes...works perfect with iTunes!


I searched "ats" and found the official ATS-Podcast with cover



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 05:23 PM
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Tools Of The Tirade

Nygdan, thanks for the info. It is teh r0XX0r.


This is a whole new dimension for ATS, and a revolutionary one.

Now we can be more than just streams of text, we can express ourselves with our voices as well.

And if I heard right, I can push some of my MajicTunes over the feed, too, so ATSers can rock out to my awesome music.


The stars are the limit, baby.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 06:28 AM
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Hey guys, PODcasts are becoming more and more popular, heh ...

Majic, I went to the threads you told me and they were really helpful, thanks. Somehow, SharpReader isn't really working for me so great (or it's just my lack of knowledge with these things) because every time I put ATS RSS 'feeds' or even try to search 'ats' it gives me a sort of error.

"An unexpected error occured:
The type initializer for "System.Net.HttpWebRequest" threw an exception"



Help?

EDIT: Woops, posted in the wrong thread, oh well, hopefully someone responds.

[edit on 6-9-2005 by Zeta_101]



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 07:36 AM
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Not wanting to sound like a killjoy, but can I safely assume that once there are sufficient podcasts, they will be categorised according to their genre, much like the threads?

Examples:
Posters wishing to promote their music,
or
Serious ATS issues




posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 10:50 AM
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Someone asked if I knew anything about making a podcast. I have no clue. But here is how I understand the process can be done.

 

I am pretty sure that windows has a program called 'sound recorder' and that with this you can record thru a cheap little computer mic. In fact I am looking and I see that its there. What you'd want to do is hit 'find' and search for 'sound recorder' on your computer (assuming you are using windows). Then it should find it. Double click, it opens up. Now to set it to record in mp3 format you click File, then Properties. Now you look at the lower half of the box that comes up and select, from the box headed "Format Conversion" the choice of 'playback formats' from that little pull down. Then hit 'convert now'. Now another box pops up. There is a space called 'Format'. Click it to get a pull down menu and select "MPEG Layer 3".

So with that and a mike, as far as I understand it, thats all you need to record your thoughts on something. That process gives you your .mp3 file. Then you just use our system to upload it. Thats for windows tho, but i'd bet that macs have something very similar, infact macs are supposed to be more powerful for making creative media like this, its probably called 'recorder' or something too.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 11:13 AM
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That's it?! Wow and here I thought you needed a right kind of software ... I have a headset, an mp3 mixer, and I'm an expert in audio editing ... lol.

Thanks



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 11:54 AM
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-thumbs up-

I was going to get around to doing a thread on how to podcast, explaining it down to the basics but it looks like you have beat me to it.

Good job.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 01:24 PM
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Umm... I kind of have one problem ... I recorded myself and added a nice little intro ... but when I began uploading the mp3 to the site, it told me 'Your file, atspodcast_98.mp3, of audio/mp3 is not supported, please try a different file.'

Now I'm assuming that you need some kind of software for it ... where could I get get this software so I can upload a PODcast?

Answers to this will be appreciated, thanks.



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 09:10 PM
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No Audible Means Of Support


Originally posted by Zeta_101
Umm... I kind of have one problem ... I recorded myself and added a nice little intro ... but when I began uploading the mp3 to the site, it told me 'Your file, atspodcast_98.mp3, of audio/mp3 is not supported, please try a different file.'

I don't know the gritty details of how the podcast upload feature works, but it sounds like it doesn't like the format you're giving it.

I'm not sure why. It may be picky about what MP3 parameters it will accept, or the MP3 encoding used may not be strict enough for the podcast standards (whatever they may be).

But not to fear..

Secular Conversion


Originally posted by Zeta_101
Now I'm assuming that you need some kind of software for it ... where could I get get this software so I can upload a PODcast?

I use dBpowerAMP Music Converter, which is freeware and does the job slick and quick.

I recommend giving that a try and see if the problem goes away. If it doesn't, then I recommend submitting a complaint (via the Gripe/Idea button under the ATS logo on any ATS web page) and having the staff gurus take a look.

Meanwhile, if it works, we'll know because we'll see your podcast on the feed.


Good luck!



posted on Sep, 6 2005 @ 10:11 PM
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I haven't the foggiest idea as to why it wouldn't upload. I only just barely grasp it to begin with. Majic has put up a ton of podcasts, I'd listen to his advice.


If anyone else has good advice on the whole making podcasts thing, this might be a good place to talk about it!



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 12:32 AM
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It probably has to do with the quality of your MP3 recording. (96 appears to be the highest you can use for most podcasts)

There is a great article on PodCasting News called Producing a Podcast with the Gear You Own Today that covers the basics for most people. The website also is without a doubt one of the best PodCast resources out there. You may also want to check out Podcasting Software (Publishing) on the same site to find the utilities that will help you create your own podcast.

Hope that helps you or anyone else wanting to PodCast!



[edit on 7-9-2005 by CatHerder]



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 05:48 AM
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I'm pretty sure the mp3's are not bit rate limited, unless they did that recently. The mp3's in my podcasts are at 112 kbps, and posted just fine. The only restriction I saw was a 4 MB file size limit, and I had to take them down from 128 to 112 to stay under 4 meg... Limit your bit rate to 32 or 64 kbps if you really want to maximize your recording time. Another thing you can do to decrease file size is to convert the final wav file to mono before encoding to mp3. Not really to good for music applications, but great for simple voice recordings.



posted on Sep, 7 2005 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
No Audible Means Of Support


Originally posted by Zeta_101
Umm... I kind of have one problem ... I recorded myself and added a nice little intro ... but when I began uploading the mp3 to the site, it told me 'Your file, atspodcast_98.mp3, of audio/mp3 is not supported, please try a different file.'

I don't know the gritty details of how the podcast upload feature works, but it sounds like it doesn't like the format you're giving it.

I'm not sure why. It may be picky about what MP3 parameters it will accept, or the MP3 encoding used may not be strict enough for the podcast standards (whatever they may be).

But not to fear..

Secular Conversion


Originally posted by Zeta_101
Now I'm assuming that you need some kind of software for it ... where could I get get this software so I can upload a PODcast?

I use dBpowerAMP Music Converter, which is freeware and does the job slick and quick.

I recommend giving that a try and see if the problem goes away. If it doesn't, then I recommend submitting a complaint (via the Gripe/Idea button under the ATS logo on any ATS web page) and having the staff gurus take a look.

Meanwhile, if it works, we'll know because we'll see your podcast on the feed.


Good luck!


Hey Majic, thanks for helping me out with this
but sadly, it did not work. I just want to know one thing: You do record with a microphone right? I tried Acoustic MP3 Mixer (which can record audio too from my microphone) and recorded my introduction, I saved it as MP3, and tried to upload it to the site. It didn't work. Secondly, I tried using Windows Sound Recorder (the main program Windows gives you to record audio with) ... it gave me a .wav file, so I downloaded the freeware program from the link you gave me and I converted it to MP3 with 96 kbps (just to make sure) ... and it still did not work. So I'm out of options, I have exactly no idea why it's not working ... either I'm doing something wrong (as in, this is not the way you're suppose to record PODcasts, or there's another way...etc...) or the site/my computer is acting against me. Anyways, anyone of you have answers or educated guesses on this? It would be majorly appreciated ... thanks.



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