Forums » How to Podcast » How to create RSS feed

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My simple explanation for RSS is to think of it as list of items, with some information about the items.

If you look at the following example the list has some header information explaining the version of rss and then a list of items. The items have tags title, link, description etc.

<rss version="2.0">
<channel>
<title>Name of your show goes here</title>
<link>[url]http://www.yourwebsite.com/[/url] goes here</link>
<description>A Description of your podcast goes here</description>
<language>en-us</language>
<lastBuildDate>Tue, 5 Jul 2005 23:55:05 -0400</lastBuildDate>
<pubDate>Tue, 5 Jul 2005 23:54:35 -0400</pubDate>
<item>
<title>Title of most recent podcast</title>
<link>[url]http://www.link[/url] to your show notes page.com/ goes here</link>
<description>description of this episode goes here</description>
<enclosure url="http://www.yourwebsite.com/nameofmp3.mp3" length="1768888" type="audio/mpeg" />
<pubDate>Tue, 5 Jul 2005 23:48:27 -0400</pubDate>
</item>
<item>
<title>Title of first podcast</title>
<link>[url]http://www.link[/url] to your show notes page.com/ goes here</link>
<description>description of this episode goes here</description>
<enclosure url="http://www.yourwebsite.com/nameofmp3number2.mp3" length="1768888" type="audio/mpeg" />
</item>
</channel>
</rss>

The first item on your list is your information about your podcast channel - it's title, a link to the website address, and a description of the show, the language of the show, the date you made the rss and the date you updated the rss.

The second item on your list is your most recent podcast starting with an item tag, then a title, link, description, enclosure, publication date and a closing item tag.

Then the next item starts until you reach the last item and then you have a closing channel tag to indicate that this is the end of the list.

This kind of list can be made in any text editor - even using the example below as a starter. You can make it contain more information by adding more tags to make it include itunes tags etc.

Once you make your rss, save it with a name like mypodcastname.xml and upload it to your website folder - then check it by going to [url]http://www.mywebsite.com/mypodcastname.xml[/url] to make sure it can be found.

You can then check it at [url]http://feedvalidator.org/[/url] and check to make sure it's a valid rss feed. You can check out the example file by using [url]http://www.digitalpodcast.com/testrss.xml[/url]

Once you've done this, make your feed available to the world through directories etc. You don't have to tell anyone that you have made a change to your feed - once they subscribe by putting it in their ipodder or whatever they will check it periodically and download the new podcasts.

Your other choice is to use blogging software like blogger or wordpress and have it automatically create your rss. You should also check out feedburner.com for more help. try this link [url]http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/popup-quickstart-podcast[/url]

Hope this helps - register at [url]www.digitalpodcast.com[/url] when your done.

Best,

Alex

Feed Editor better! Really easy-to-use and userful.

[url]http://www.extralabs.net/feed-editor.htm[/url]

Also, i know great tool for re-mix podcast feeds:

[url]http://www.extralabs.net/feed-mix.htm[/url]

In reply to guest

I admit, I'm a real newbie to RSS, but why not just use Feedburner?

Blogger creates the RSS feed and Feedburner does all the hard work for me.

[url=http://bringus.blogspot.com/][img]http://feeds.feedburner.com/Buddy.gif[/img][/url]

In reply to guest

Warren -

Actually, I use Libsyn and point to it with Feedburner. Libsyn creates the RSS feed for me, which is very convenient.

However ...

I am in the process of putting together a new podcast and will probably not go this route. Why? Because I want to have control over my feed. What happens if Libsyn or Feedburner go away? I'm in real trouble then because not only do I need to reestablish a new location for my feed, but more importantly I will certainly lose a great number of subscribers who will need to figure out how to find me.

This is what happened with my website years ago. I had my photographic website on my host's system, then moved (physically). I got an account with Comcast and had my old host point to the new location. That was fine, except my old host went out of business. Still I was fine, but then @Home went out of business, and since that was who Comcast relied upon for Web hosting, I had to switch the location of my website.

The upshot was that whereas I had about 150 people visiting my site on a daily basis, that got cut dramatically. Even worse, for years (literally) Google pointed to the old location, which redirected people to the extinct @Home location. Anyone typing "Handmade Photographic Images" into their search engine saw the number one listing as a valid redirection page sending them to a page that did not exist. There was nothing I could do.

So having control of your feed is one of those things that you may not have too much of a need for, but on the other hand, it may screw you in the long run. Since I will be looking to eventually make some money with my new podcast (I have no intentions with my current Eclectic Mix podcast), I need to insure control over it, so having control over the feed is essential.

Cheers -

george

In reply to guest

If you are talking about a Podcast, I stumbled on to a solution that made me wonder why so may people were talking about having problems.

I set up a free account with SwitchPod and as soon as I had a few subscribers I upgraded it. Now I have paid hosting with unlimited bandwidth designed for Podcasts. It does my RSS feed automatically and I just paste the feed URL into directories.

Since it's a paid service, I think they will be around as long as I need them, but the monthly fee is only $3 a month for 100Mb which should hold nearly 100 episodes. If it really grows, I can up that in steps to as much as 2Gb for $30 and even start using video.

You could even use their Blog and other services alone and eliminate the need to work with anyone else. I'm still learning about all they offer and it will take a while with all that's there. Get a free account and poke around.

You can even send referrals directly to your own Podcast promo
[url]http://switchpod.com/cats.php?a=1979[/url]

Since my Podcast is a mini-infomercial, I thought being on Blogger would be an asset even with the risk. So far, it's proving to be a true story as this listing shows: [url]http://SoloFund.com/Google[/url] Notice my Blogger listing is on the top and it's probably because of the connection between Blogger and Google.

Then I just discovered last night how I can get the uninitiated to subscribe to my feed with FeedBlitz [url]http://www.feedblitz.com/f/?Sub=47656[/url]

They can just have the updates sent to their email box without knowing squat about RSS.

Still learning,

In reply to guest

And if switchpod goes under (just because they charge, that doesn't mean they'll be around forever) then you're screwed.

The feedblitz thing sounds like a great way to spam people.

Cheers -

george

In reply to guest

Come on George, there are no absolute guarantees the Internet itself will keep running, are there really?

What online service CAN guarantee it's existence in the future? The fact that they are an income producing business should indicate they might have a desire to continue to produce that income. A free service has no such commitment to it's users.

And what does FeedBlitz have to do with Spam? The only way someone can get added to their updates is if they subscribe to them. They even have one of those 'type in a code' boxes to prevent mass entries and you need to confirm your email address before it adds you.

What it does do is let those who don't understand RSS get your content.

If you think everyone online even cares about RSS and could follow simple instructions to download a reader, install it and subscribe to a feed, the next time you are in a group ask a few friends who are online how many RSS feeds they subscribe to and you will probably get a lot of blank stares. Personally, I would love to have those folks get my content without making them jump through any hoops they don't want to.

On to the weekend,

In reply to guest

There are a lot of issues with RSS and this short debate just highlights a few.

I happen to agree with George about the importance of owning your feed url. Your feed url is your property and if you get it into someone's playlist it has value. Whatever that value is depends on the listener, what you deliver to them and what value gets created in the process.

When you use someone else's url for your feed you increase your risk. Over time things change, companies go out of business, get bought, decide to change their name... You might become dissatisfied with their service and want to switch.. whatever the reason using someone else's url can be a major barrier to changing things. It's a bit like email, once I get an email address from my isp - it makes it hard to change from cable to dsl etc. If google makes a great new email and I want to switch from yahoo, it's a pain.

I have made it a practice to own my website urls, my feed urls and my email addresses. And I strongly recommend that every serious podcaster should do the same.

Just look at all the people who want to take over your RSS address, feedburner, switchpod, fruitcast, podtrac..... They want to be in the flow - it's the old concept of gatekeeper all over again. You may not be paying now, but at some point who knows what fees the gatekeepers will try to extract.

On the flip side, RSS is not simple. I recently parsed many 1000's of feeds to check for errors. The error rate was extraordinary. Dead feeds were by far the biggest issue, but feeds without titles, feeds with stray bits of html code, unclosed tags, odeo verification codes stuffed into feeds, etc were commonplace. It's scary how low quality the rss is and it impacts the ability of listeners to get feed information. People need better free tools to produce content that produce better quality feeds - were the user owns the feed url.

Feedblitz looks interesting. I have use an email service to support my newsletter and know the value of email. Everyone knows how to use email (or so it seems) and a service that could aggregate the podcasts and newsletters I sign up for might be useful, if I wanted to get podcasts that way. Unfortunately, their name does make me think they will send me a blitz of email and maybe spam.

In reply to guest

Warren -

I stand corrected on FeedBlitz - it appears that confirmation is required, so that is helpful against spam.

Let me give you another example of a business model failing - Enron. Okay, before you roll your eyes, let me finish. I purchased the stock in 1997 because it was the largest natural gas play in North America. Somewhere I've got the write-up I did on why I was buying it (I always do this) and with the same information I would be a buyer today.

However, the company changed their business model and everything fell apart, as we know. Will Feedburner's service always be free? Will all the things upon which we rely either stay the same or remain acceptable to us if they change? I have no clue. However, I can tell you with completely more surety that an RSS feed that is controlled by me will be available in the same location as long as I wish that to be the case.

Have a great weekend.

Cheers -

george

In reply to guest

To continue the debate . . .

If I depended on my subscribers getting my Podcast as the only means of staying in contact, shame on me.

If my entire Podcast infrastructure were to blow up today, I would have a new one running (probably on my own URL since I do learn from experience) in a few days and the majority of the listeners would be contacted by other means to alert them to the change.

I admit that there would be a lot of dead stubs for search engines out there, but then having the Google connection by using Blogger provided some of them, so which is the lesser of the two evils? I prefer to think the infrastructure will stay intact.

I guess my real point is, for me Podcasting is just a tool. It is not the end product of my efforts and if it faltered in some way, I have other tools of equal force already in play. What I will never lose is the knowledge and experience of creating it in the first place, so I am confident I could do an even better job next time if the occasion arises. At least I will have this debate firmly embedded in my brain cells so it can come back to bite me to serve as yet another learning experience.

In the meantime, I'm just thrilled to see the results of me stepping into this formerly dark science of Podcasting.

In reply to guest

btw, there's a nice free resource here - [url]http://www.rsscreation.com/[/url]

In reply to guest

For me, I always have my own hosting. I use places like Libsyn and Amazon S3 for hosting. I've even started to use Feedburner's my brand for my feed. If piece of this goes down, I can switch to another host, etc and take it with me. As for RSS, when I first started out I did a separate website and a separate RSS feed. Never again. Combine it all with Wordpress. You update your website and RSS at the same time.

Dave Jackson
[url]www.schoolofpodcasting.com[/url]

In reply to guest

RSS-code manually as there are many programs that can create RSS feeds in the WYSIWYG mode. To make use of such software, you don't have to know XML or the RSS specification.

Feed Editor: a tool for creating and publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.

Feed Mix: RSS feed aggregator, editor and publisher.

After you have created an RSS feed, you must upload it to a Web-server

In reply to guest

An RSS feed is a stream of constantly changing web content that is captured into a standardized format. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It allows publishers of websites and online contributors to syndicate their content automatically. Readers can get full text or summaries from their favorite sites, and pull aggregate feeds from many different sites into one place.

In this article, you'll learn how to create an RSS feed using XML in a word processing program so that you can then share your online content with anyone who is interested in it.

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In reply to guest

I am a new comer in the field of RSS, but I think why we can not use Feedburner for feeding.I think Blogger is a good choice for creating Rss feed.

In reply to guest