Category Archives: Podcasting

5 ingredients for a do-it-yourself podcast

At work I’m the “producer” of a podcast, and here are the tools we use:

1. Apple Garageband — Found on every Mac, this free app makes it easy to record and combine tracks, add effects and art, and create podcasts.

2. Logitech USB Headset — This isn’t a professional mike, but it works fine for us and it’s comfortable to wear and use.

3. WordPress — The best open source blogging platform. You’ll need web hosting and your own domain to install this.

4. PodPress — A powerful WordPress plugin that turns your blog into a podcasting platform. This plugin takes care of all the nitty gritty (podcast enclosures), offers an embedded Flash player for easy listening, and provides stats.

5. Mime Config — If you plan to publish “enhanced” podcasts for iTunes, chances are your server isn’t configured to recognize the “m4a” format. Install this WordPress plugin and add the mime type “m4a = audio/mpeg”.

What other tools are you using for creating podcasts?

Mining iTunes for podcast listenership data

For podcasters and their advertisers, tracking the size of a podcast’s audience is sticky. You can track how many people download a podcast, but who knows if they actually listened to it?

iTunes is the #1 podcasting client (57% market share last year), and additional podcatchers push podcasts into iTunes, so much of the data about podcast listenership can be found in iTunes. Advertisers just need a way to get to it.

I recently commented to Phil Windley that perhaps the iTunes XML file could be mined for listenership data. iTunes exports an XML file that contains a rating, play count, last played date, and last skip date for every song and podcast. This would be extremely valuable information for advertisers.

Phil connected me with Doug Kaye, the creator of IT Conversations, who is now exploring a way to automate the flow of this valuable iTunes information back to podcasters. After seeing the architecture he created with Amazon.com web services, I believe if anybody can do this, Doug can.