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- Rss newbie - how the heck is it done?
January 19, 2006, 1:28 am
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podcasts out, but have no idea how to do it. I am looking for a
barebones cut n paste html that I can use. Most of the sites I have
seen are tutorials, but they split up the html in an effort to explain
it better and I find it confusing - it is really that hard?
Re: Rss newbie - how the heck is it done?
How many podcasts ? If it's no more than half-a-dozen and you're
setting them up as a one-off, then just hand-code the RSS. If it's
regular, then look for some installable weblogging code that offers
podcasting as a feature.
Somewhere in the middle there are programs like FeedForAll
http://www.feedforall.com ($40) that will do it for you (but I can type
the damn stuff faster than I can make it with FeedForAll).
I don't like FeedForAll, because it might be a "feed" but it certainly
isn't for "All". It only does RSS 2.0 (and some irrelevant obsolete
versions). It doesn't do RSS 1.0 or Atom.
You need to understand podcasting, making the media itself (this is the
most difficult part to get right), RSS 2.0 and XML. Fortunately you
only need to know the bare bones of each one. There's also no (or
almost no) HTML involved.
Podcasting is what you get when you use the <enclosure> element of RSS
2.0 to embed rich-media into an RSS feed. "media" is usually understood
to mean an MP3, but it doesn't _have_ to be. You don't have to use the
execrable RSS 2.0 to distribute media either, but for "podcasting"
there's a certain dungbeetle effect to it.
First of all, make your media. Try Audacity
Then stick this mp3 file onto your server and make sure it's
downloadable. Make a note of the URL to it, and the file size in bytes.
Now learn XML. Learn enough of it so that you can type or edit it
without screwing it up. Learn the rules for element closure (closing
tags needed) quoting attributes, case-sensitive tag names etc.
Then write some RSS 2.0, according to the RSS "specification"
Make yourself an RSS feed with an <enclosure> element that points to
your mp3 file. Easiest way to do this is to copy an existing RSS file
for a podcast and edit it where needed.
Upload the RSS file. Try the URL to the RSS document in your favoured
podcast reader and check that you can download it successfully. Now try
it again on a different computer (to check that you're not just seeing a
Validate your RSS with http://feedvalidator.org
You _must_ be valid. This isn't HTML you're hacking here, get it right!
Make some trivial HTML. Use the <a> element to point to the RSS
document, just like any other HTML link.
if you're really stuck, try the tutorial on about.com
I can't believe I just recommended something on about.com 8-(