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Podcasting Hacks by Jack D. Herrington

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Podcast Without a Blog

Use Podcastamatic or DirCaster to build a podcast from just your MP3 podcast files.

At its core, a podcast is a set of MP3 files and the RSS 2.0 XML file that catalogs them. You don’t really need a blog, though there are advantages to having one. In fact, you can start with just the basic set of MP3 files and the RSS 2.0 feed, and add the blog later if that suits you.

A Short Introduction to RSS 2.0

You need to know a little about RSS and, in particular, RSS 2.0, to be able to get your podcast off the ground. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. I kid you not. There is some confusion around the different standards and their numbering. Suffice to say they all are XML and all are used primarily to summarize and syndicate the most recent postings (articles, photos, audio recordings, and more) on a web site.

Web browsers such as Firefox and Safari understand RSS, which allows them to treat certain bookmarks as live bookmarks: instead of having to visit a site several times a day to see if any thing’s new, you can glance at your bookmarks to see if the web page has been updated. Suppose you subscribe to Apple’s Hot News feed. If you’re all caught up on the recent items, the live bookmark will appear as “Apple Hot News.” But if the site contains three new articles you haven’t read yet, the bookmark might appear as “Apple Hot News (3).” Specialized applications called aggregators are dedicated RSS readers. For example, Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/)is a ...

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