The most technical part of podcasting is publishing the RSS feed . Without an RSS feed, you don't really have a podcast--you have audio or video on the web. Without a feed, that audio or video cannot be listed in directories or automatically downloaded using iTunes. The RSS feed is important if you wish to have people subscribe to your podcast.
Here are some of the options for making an RSS feed:
- Spend $0 if your school or district's server or web management system supports podcasting. Check with your technology folks to see what's available to you.
- Spend $5 a month for an online service like Slapcast.com, LibSyn.com, or AVmyPodcast.com. Simply set up an account, fill in the text fields, and upload your audio or video files. There are limitations for monthly uploads but they offer an unlimited number of downloads. You should note that once you stop paying the monthly fee, your podcast will no longer be available online.
- Spend about $30 for software like FeedForAll. Fill in the blanks and the software generates an RSS feed that you then upload to your own server. You must also host the audio or video on your own server.
- Spend $100 on Tool Factory Podcasting (Windows only). This is a complete solution for recording, postproduction, hosting, and publishing.
- Spend $0 by hosting your audio or video on OurMedia.org. Then use a combination of Blogger and Feedburner to publish a blog and RSS feeds. Here are the instructions.
- Spend $0 by hosting your audio or video on your own server or OurMedia.org. Then use the free online service Poderator. Fill in the text fields with information about your podcast and the URL of your uploaded audio or video file. Poderator generates the RSS feed. but you must upload it to your own server. Each time you wish to add a new episode, first upload it to your server then log into Poderator and add a new episode using the URL of the item you just uploaded. Poderator then updates the feed so your subscribers can download the new episode. Note that each time you update the feed, you have to upload it to your server.