Podcasting and RSS

Syndication feeds are a way to present the content of your blog in a way that automated systems can understand. (“RSS” stands for “Really Simple Syndication”, which describes the intended experience for you, the end user.) In some cases, these automated systems can present that content to end users - those applications are known as “feed readers.” There are lots of other uses for these feeds, though; podcasts are delivered via RSS feeds with a few additional elements.

RSS Configuration

By default, myWebLog blogs have the site-wide feed, category feeds, and tag feeds all enabled, with the file name of feed.xml and containing the same number of posts as the post index pages. This supports the following URLs:

The above behavior can be customized. Click “Settings” from the menu, then “RSS Settings” below the title for that page. In the top section of this page:

Custom RSS Feeds

Even if category or tag feeds are disabled site-wide, you can still define a custom feed based on a category or tag. These custom feeds can also allow you to specify the feed name for the feed, and are the basis for podcast feeds (which receive their own section below). The lower section of the RSS Settings page lists all custom feeds, and clicking “Add a New Custom Feed” displays the custom feed page. The non-podcast fields:

For non-podcast feeds, that is it! If the feed is a podcast, though, keep reading.

Podcast Feeds

Podcast feeds are supported as an extension on custom RSS feeds. Before we go much further, though, let's define a few terms.

  • An “iPod ®” is a portable audio player, released in October 2001 by Apple.
  • A “podcast” is a feed which contains content, originally developed to deliver content to the above portable audio player.
  • An “episode” is an instance of an audio or video file (and related assets) released to a podcast feed.

If you plan to use myWebLog to serve a podcast feed, you must agree to the following:

I, [state your name], do solemnly swear:

  • that I understand the difference between a podcast and an episode;
  • that I will never refer to an episode as a “podcast”;
  • that I will, under no circumstances, ever refer to it as a “pod”;

so help me God.

With that out of the way…

Clicking “This Is a Podcast Feed” will enable the podcast-related fields.

(Episode-level settings are described in the post documentation.)