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Thursday, 28 June 2007

Step by Step: Making a Podcast, Pt. V

We have an episode, we have an XML feed, we've made sure it works, all that's left is to tell the world about it! If your feed is properly working, the description is accurate, you've made a nice picture for the episodes and to accompany the podcast in iTunes, there's absolutely no reason why Apple won't accept your podcast into their iTunes podcast directory. This is probably the easiest part of the process, but it won't happen if even one of the previous steps has not been completed properly.

Here we go!
  • Open iTunes
  • Click the "podcasts" tab on the left of the iTunes window
  • At the bottom right of the iTunes window, you'll see a link to the "Podcast Directory". Click this.
  • iTunes will open the iTunes Store Podcast Directory. In the middle of the page (usually) there is a large icon labelled "Submit a Podcast". If it's not there, at the bottom left of this page is a panel labelled "For Podcasters". Click the same link in this panel.
  • From here, the process is pretty simple, and iTunes will guide you though it, but for completeness, I'll include it here. You'll be asked for your podcast feed URL. Type the URL of your XML file (exactly as you typed it when testing your XML earlier).
  • When you click continue, you'll then be asked to provide your AppleID details (if you're not already logged into the iTunes store). If you don't have an AppleID account already, you can set one up for free, although as I remember, you are asked for a credit card number as part of the process.
  • Once iTunes has received the request, you'll be asked for your email address so that once the podcast has been vetted by Apple and approved to be added to the podcast directory, you will be notified.
Between receiving your request, and adding your podcast to the directory, it can take anything up to a week, so now you've done this, hang tight, all the hard work has been done. Apple will get back to you with an email confirming whether they have accepted your request to be added to the directory, and if they have allowed it, they'll also give you a web address so that you can link to your podcast directly within iTunes from your webpage.

Apple will remove your podcast from the directory even if it has been approved if the XML stops working for a few days, or becomes completely inaccessible to the Apple servers.

Whilst you're waiting for approval, you can always submit your podcast to other directories, although don't expect too many visitors from these. Here's a list of a few you might want to add yours to:
There are many others - try searching for "podcast directory" on Google.

Now you have a working podcast, all you have to do is keep making quality episodes, and maybe you can get yours in the iTunes charts! Apple are always on the lookout for quality podcasts, and if they think yours is worthy, they may make yours a "Featured Podcast". There's no way to ask them to do this, it just depends on how good your podcast is, and how many listeners it gets.

From now, I'll be discussing some advanced podcasting techniques, from how to make it easier for people to get at your podcasts, to making the description format much better in web-based XML readers like Google Reader.

I hope you've found this tutorial helpful in creating your podcast, if you have, please be gracious enough to link to it from your website, so that others may benefit from it in the same way (it's best to link to the first part of the tutorial, at this link) :) Thanks a lot, Rufus


  1. Wow, I've been looking for something like this for the last week. I've been messing with my website and finally I felt like it was ready to launch with my podcasts. But the coding definitely wore me out. Great Site and explanations.

  2. Nice website and useful information, but the Snap popups are really annoying.

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