It looks like Apple has released a podcast server solution for its OSX Server product.
Photo by rbieber
Jake applied the latest update to his PSP last night and asked me what "RSS Channels" were, which gave me the opportunity to walk him through subscribing to podcasts. I have to say, I thought this was a pretty cool thing.
Pictured here is a view of his PSP subscribed to podcast.bieberlabs.com, which come to think of it, needs an update itself sometime.
The HUAR command center site is now up and running. HUAR stands for “Humans United Against Robots”. This organization, started by Keith Malley of the Keith and the Girl podcast, “was designed to educate and aware the citizenry of the world the impending attack that computers and robots will put into affect against humans”.
Sony and TiVo support Podcasts – Sony adds support for RSS enclosures to the PSP and TiVo makes podcasts available through its service using feeds from the Yahoo Podcasts directory.
Harvard Extension School course made available via iPod – another feather in the podcasting communities cap. From the article, “Extension School students represent a variety of ages and occupations and Podcasting has become a convenient asset that allows them to learn with minimal obstruction to their other obligations”. The article mentions that Princeton also offers lectures via the medium.
Chicago’s NBC Affiliate has now joined the podcast front.
I’ve been thinking for a while about moving the podcasts out of the main site in order to continue doing them but see what is going on from a traffic perspective. One of the things I wanted to do was change the feeds to use FeedBurner for the podcasts alone as I did with the main site.
On November 14, Tony Steidler-Dennison of The Roadhouse put up a show in which he was talking about how his feeds were split and asked all of his subscribers to resubscribe to the new feed so that he could get numbers to use in his talks to get permission from labels to broadcast music. As I listened to this, I was a little concerned at inconviencing the small amount of people who might have actually took the time to subscribe and listen to the drivel I’ve been putting out as I learn how to do this stuff. I didn’t want to have to make them resubscribe to a new feed, so I rethought my original plan to move the feeds to a different site.
Then I said to myself, “Self, there must be a way to redirect the feeds to a new feedburner feed from iTunes, and if there is, there must be a way to redirect them to a new site as well”. So I started playing around.
Luckily, before I submitted to iTunes, I thought ahead enough to use Apache URL rewriting to rewrite the URL http://www.bieberlabs.com/wordpress/podcasts to my WordPress RSS feed in order to provide a level of indirection to the podcast RSS feed. This is the URL that I then used to submit the podcast to iTunes. Since I had this level of indirection, once I moved all of the content and set up a FeedBurner feed, all I had to do was add this little section to my .htaccess file to redirect to the new feed:
RewriteEngine On RewriteBase /wordpress/ RewriteRule ^(podcasts)/?$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/bieberlabspodcast? [R]
This little block of instructions tells the Apache server to redirect any requests to http://www.bieberlabs.com/wordpress/podcasts over to the new FeedBurner feed, making the transition to the new site completely invisible (at least it is to me so far).
So, all of the podcasts are now finally moved to http://podcast.bieberlabs.com. This site will be used to only support my podcasts, which will be refocused on instrumental guitar music like the stuff that I played on the 7th show. I have always had a real passion for this type of music and I have to say, Rory’s music completely inspired me to refocus.
So, in addition to the new site, I’m putting a call out to instrumental rock guitarists. If you create this type of music, please send it to me (bieber.r_at_gmail.com) so that I can start creating shows highlighting this beautiful type of music. The great thing about podcasting is to be able to create shows around niches and aside from Satriani, you rarely hear this type of music on the radio. I’d like to be the place in which people come to find this kind of music and to be able to give the artists a place to have their music played. The frequency of the show, at least initially, will be dependant on the amount of music in this genre that I can find, but hopefully as people see this and submit their work, it will be more frequent.
I hope the new shows are to someones liking. I also hope this explanation of how I moved the content without interupting iTunes service is helpful to someone starting out. Until Apple gives us a way to modify a feed URL in the iTunes interface, this is most likely the way that moving content like this needs to be handled and I feel really good in figuring out how to get around this gap in the interface.
To those who are subscribed or listen to these shows periodically, thanks for being patient as I stumble through the learning process. This has been a lot of fun for me so far and I hope to get a lot better and have a lot more fun in the future.
Yesterday the 0.51 version of CastBlaster was released. I really like this software a lot. It makes podcasting so much easier. The user interface, once you get use to it, is very natural and simple to use. It takes care of the whole process, from creation to description, to publication via FTP of your MP3 to your servers. The sound quality on the resulting MP3’s are excellent. If you’re looking to start a podcast, you should definitely pull down the trial of this software and give it a try. The trial is free and allows you to record for 10 minutes. To purchase the product it costs $50, of which its worth every penny. Registration for the beta carries over to 1.0, obviously.
- Behringer Eurorack UB802 Mixer.
- MXL MXL990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount (I bought 2 of these in expectation of doing stuff with the kids). These mics are directional, so you have to position them standing straight up and talk into the side. Don’t talk from the top!
- CREATIVE LABS PCMCIA Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Notebook.
- XLR Microphone Cables (and the necessary cables and adapter to hook from the headphone jack in your mixer to the sound card).
- You’re going to need a mic stand with the microphones above. I forgot this little detail and had to go out yet again to get one.
- Pop Filters (one per mic). We made our own using nylon socks from Jonna’s shoe shopping excursions (unworn) and embroidery hoops, but you can buy them too, as I later did.
- A good book on the subject. I recommend Podcasting: Do It Yourself Guide by Todd Cochrane [ reviewed here ] and Podcasting Hacks : Tips and Tools for Blogging Out Loud from O’Reilly.
- Recording software. I really like CastBlaster after working with it for a bit. You can also use Audacity, which is free.
- Finally, whatever you do, make sure you are talking into the right side of the mic. Not doing that can be pretty frustrating.