Saturday, April 19, 2008

Podcast Hosting

An excerpt from a recent edtech group's email conversation in Oregon . . .

The Question:

How do the people/schools that have free podcasts on iTunes (ex: Radio Willow Web) get those there? Do you have to pay? Where are the podcasts hosted?
Just looking ahead.
Thanks! ~Alex

Someone Else's Answer:
nope no cost... you just make your mp3 file and upload to your web server.. then you write your .xml file with the proper code and upload it to your web server and then you code in your link to your xml file on the page where you want the link and renew that on your web server ... that is all there is to it... it's all hosted on your own server.. itunes really has nothing to do with it other than being the media that your target audience uses subscribe to the podcasts

My Answer:
If you have access to your webserver and can write an xml file to reference it, then you don't need
Since I don't . . . I do. :)

When I have my middle schoolers set up their podcast channels we use a free web service called GCAST. It's super easy, and did I mention it's free? Once we have the MP3 files, it's a couple of clicks to upload the files for hosting and all the podcasting code is automatically generated. [We can create the MP3 sound files using Audacity or Garage Band, or we can also use a video editing software like iMovie or Movie Maker and then scrape off the audio into an MP3.]

GCAST allows kids to click-subscribe to the feed with iTunes (which I have them do just because), but it can also generate a cute embeddable code snip that they put into their blogger blogs.
In case you didn't already want to go see, here is the bonus feature: kids can generate podcasts with their cell phones (get permission first!!) and no computer at all. Once they've set up an account (need I say "free" again?) they can open their cell phone, call a number, and record their story. Then a couple minutes later it's on the net and iTunes can get the new episode, their blogs play the new episode, or it can be downloaded as an MP3.

Happy Podcasting!

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