notes on setting up a podcast in 2018

I hadn’t published a podcast since 2005, back when podcasting meant “automating downloads of audio files to an iPod because there’s no internet connection when you’re mobile” and not “any kind of media, and nobody even remembers what an iPod is anymore, and why on earth wouldn’t you have an internet connection all the time?”

Anyway. I’d assumed the passing decade would have meant audio production tools and podcast publication tools would have matured significantly since the good old days. Nope. Audio editing still basically sucks. Audacity works, but is destructive and fussy and a pain sometimes. GarageBand is so horribly designed for actually editing audio that it’s worse than Audacity. There are other editing tools, but they all seem to suck in various ways. Where’s the simple, non-destructive, easy audio editing tool that lets you remove noise and make the audio sound good? iMovie does it well for video. Where’s the audio version of that? I want my hovercraft.

For publishing the podcast itself. Holy. There’s third-party solutions like Libsyn etc. but they require you keep your eggs in their basket. I’m not about to do that – I learned that lesson long ago. For self-hosted podcast publishing, it looks like PodLove for WordPress is about it. It’s close, but requires you to have FTP access to a directory, so I can’t run it on UCalgaryBlogs. So. I’m self-hosting my podcast here on my own blog. It works.

Then, there’s submitting it to the iTunes podcast directory, so people can find it. There’s a validator, but it was barfing on my feed. It complained that my server couldn’t handle “HEAD requests”, which, of course, it can. So I figured one of my caching or security plugins was helpfully blocking the byte requests. Yup. Disabled WordFence, and the iTunes podcast feed validator worked. I’m a bit nervous about having to turn off WordFence, though…

It’s been awhile. Nothing much has changed. Weird.

8 thoughts on “notes on setting up a podcast in 2018”

    1. Podcast Generator looks great! Thanks for the tip! I’ll install it on our campus server and give it a whirl. No database. Uploads through web interface. Sounds pretty much what I was looking for. Thanks!

    2. Looks like there’s a major version about to be released, basically a complete rewrite of Podcast Generator and a switch to use MySQL as the database rather than flat files. I may hold off on doing much with it until that version hits, so I don’t have to worry about migration etc.

      1. Interesting, wonder what the impetus was for them to go towards a database. I guess there’s only so much you can do flat file but it’s always appealing to me. Either way curious to hear if it’s good. Doug Belshaw uses it for Tide Podcast http://tidepodcast.org/

  1. i set up a podcast for my wife’s sermons at pastormandi.com and used the Seriously Simple Podcasting plugin for WordPress – so far, it seems to be working fairly well, and it generates an iTunes-compatible RSS feed.

    As for the recording, I agree – I’m pretty happy with Audacity for the most part, but there are some quirks.

  2. I was going to mention that Reclaim Community thread, there was a lot of good ideas there. I love what Tim Klapdor designed for http://linkrot.net/ done in Jekyll and content floating in the cloud (see http://linkrot.net/podcast.html)

    I love Podcast Generator. I do some content for my local brewery, and since the owners are too busy to write content, I thought a podcast might work well. I set up Podcast Generator on a subdomain http://podcast.thatbrewery.com/ It’s not the podcast site, I use it just to manage the files, the feed (it had built in thing to get the feed in iTunes).

    I publish episodes as stories on the site, but the audio is from the podcast generator http://thatbrewery.com/podcasts/

    Like you I was dismayed at every site I looked at was looking to hook you in for storage. Until our audience insanely grows, tossing off the web server is working fine.

    For a different approach, I like TapeWrite https://tapewrite.com/ and yeah it’s hosted, but I’ve talked to the people behind it, and I like their attitude. It let’s you put “cards” on the timeline, turning it into a media show on the web, but normal podcast in audio. I’m using it for a series of shows with Antonio Vantaggiato https://tapewrite.com/@prconnection/

    Podcasting! What’s next? UseMod?

    1. Thanks, CogDog. I’ll check out Podcast Generator – looks interesting. I’ve grown not to hate this PodLove approach, though. It works for me here, because I have filesystem access. But I couldn’t use it as part of a campus service because I won’t be able to grant that level of access to everyone… Might have to check out THAT Brewery sometime, too!

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