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Old February 19th, 2006, 04:58 AM   #1
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How does Podcast delivery work?

I have seen posts on this board and on other production job boards about individuals wanting to create content for Podcasts. This is video broadcasted to iPods, correct? Is this possible for anyone to do? Well, I thought it was a closed loop only for Apple or its partners. Verizon has Vcast for its network but only Verizon can send the video to phones. This makes sense so they can make all the revenue and control the content. So how are these individuals able to send content to iPods? Is it wireless or something that has to be downloaded. Are these folks naively mistaken about how the system works?
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Old February 19th, 2006, 06:28 AM   #2
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See: http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/techspecs.html

and: http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/faq.html

Currently it is an open system if you want to provide materials for free. No news on when Apple might allow anyone to sell material throught the Music Store.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 06:52 AM   #3
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Thanks! That's just the info I was looking for. Could they have possibly made it any more difficult though? I do alot of streaming media compression, encoding and hosting and what I just saw looks like code that could launch the space shuttle. That's just too much crap to have to know to make audio or video play on portable device. At least it's good to know they're not going to allow sexplicit content!
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Old February 19th, 2006, 07:14 AM   #4
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After further review, it seems that the select few who are the first to learn how to master this content coding for delivery stand to be in high demand and make alot of money. As complex as the coding is right now, I don't see the masses picking this up anytime soon.
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Old February 19th, 2006, 07:42 AM   #5
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There are programs that will handle a lot of the coding problems for you.

If you are on Macs, check out Feeder at http://reinventedsoftware.com/feeder/

I can't imagine that there are not similar programs for PC
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Old February 19th, 2006, 02:41 PM   #6
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video podcasting is a long way from being common... the last time i looked at it, you had to install that itunes garbage software onto your pc in order to handle the podcast... i tried installing some freeware instead, but it didn't work.

if there was a way to view the video podcast with, say, the quicktime player, i'd think about using the format to distribute content... but considering it's lack of market share, there is no way that i'm going to create exclusive content that requires the viewer to install software first.

james, it's really easy to create the podcast video file... nero does a better job of it than quicktime does.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 04:31 PM   #7
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the Participatory Culture Foundation has released a pc video player that claims to be capable of subscribing to podcasts... it's basically the vlc player, with a fancy front end on it?

who's going to be the first one to try it:

http://www.getdemocracy.com/
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Old February 28th, 2006, 09:44 AM   #8
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You can also subscribe to and play free podcasts with Apple's free iTunes software.

Here's another Apple tutorial for creating a video podcast with QuickTime Pro (which of course is included with FCP and FC Suite)
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/tutor...opodcasts.html
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Old February 28th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #9
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I recently set up our own video podcast. It was a little tricky to do at first, with the rss feed, etc. But once you get it going, it just self perpetuates out there and so far the response has been very good.

you can check it out here:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...36595&s=143441

Essentially you have to:

1. Compress the video

2. Upload the video to an internet server.

3. Set up a blog for your podcast, the easiest way to do this is to use a free blogging service like blogger. You then make a blog entry for each of your video clips, that provide a link to each clip on the server. (You can check mine out at: http://inside-guide.blogspot.com/)

4. Sign up for an RSS feed with feedburner.com. Point this feed to your blog address. This way each time you make a new entry in your blog it will automatically update your RSS feed.

5. Sign up for a new podcast with apple. Give them your RSS feed address , and some info about the podcast. Wait a few days and then it gets approved.

So it is complicated, and there are a lot of steps involved, but not impossible.

To recap it goes like this: (----> is a link.)

iTunes store --->RSS feed (feedburner)--->Blog Entry (blogger.com)---->Video clips on an internet server.

Hope this helps, and please feel free to ask any more questions if you get stuck(and any feedback on our podcast is also welcome!).

Ciao,

John
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Old March 5th, 2006, 09:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
the Participatory Culture Foundation has released a pc video player that claims to be capable of subscribing to podcasts... it's basically the vlc player, with a fancy front end on it?

who's going to be the first one to try it:

http://www.getdemocracy.com/

Dan, I've been playing with the Democracy Player for a week or two now and it definitely leaves mixed impressions.

It's currently in version 0.8 for Windows, and that alone should give you an idea of what to expect. It is very buggy and seems to have tendency to lock up while downloading videos or connecting to its Channel Guide.

That said, if the bugs can be worked out, this player will go a long way towards bringing broadband video content to the masses. Instead of the more search-and-find oriented iTunes, the Democracy Player seems more TV-like, with a pre-compiled Channel Guide of 300+ podcasts.

But it's still very buggy.

I have also been trying out Fire Ant -- http://fireant.tv/ -- it's definitely got more of a basic, stock Windows UI (similar to Outlook), but it doesn't seem as buggy. The channel guide interface does not seem to be as TV-like or intuitive as Democracy Player's, but again, at least it isn't as buggy. It also seems to have more of a tendancy to find non-video files as well. Although these are easy enough to identify, it would be nice if it could filter those out.

I really like where these two players seem to be headed. Many of the broadcast and cable networks seem to be heading towards broadband content as it is, and applications such as these will definitely make that easier for them. For now, though, I think it's a great way to find left-of-center content, as well as older films like "DOA" and "Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon."

Could I have found this stuff online without the help of these players? Sure, but it definitely makes it easier for me -- and makes it more likely that I will check out something I might not normally download, or even find. I mean, would I have really taken the time to search for and uncover "Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon" on my own? Probably not.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 08:13 PM   #11
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thanks for the feedback john... they just released 0.8.1 today, fwiw.

i think that i'll wait until the next release to give it a shot.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 10:35 AM   #12
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Thanks, Dan. I wonder what they changed/improved with this update? They don't mention anything on the site.

Also, it doesn't seem to have been mentioned before (and the info in the Apple FAQ seemed vague on this), but "podcasting" has pretty much been co-opted as a catch-all term for internet "broadcasts," be it audio or video. Just like you don't necessarily "xerox" on an actual Xerox, a podcast does not have to be specifically for the iPod.

The term podcasting first showed up in reference to audio programs -- which could be mp3 files and work on any audio player. The iPod just happened to be the popular device, so the term "podcasting" stuck.

Now that broadband video content has become more prevalent, the term is being rolled over for videos, as well. Unfortunately, the iPod only allows for one propriety video format, so "podcasting" unnecessarily implies content created specifically for the iPod. The terms "vloging" (video + blogging) and IPTV are also used. obviously, IPTV means something different to a lot of video professionals, but the journos and techies have co-opted the word to mean pretty much any online video content (in particular, recurring programs that apprear on a semi-regular basis).

Some podcasts/vlogs/etc are not encoded in Apple's proprietary m4v format. Some are wmv files, Quicktime mov files, or even Divx or Xvid files. Democracy Player and Fireant can find any of these for you, and a portable mp3/video player like Creative's Zen Vision:M will play a wider variety of video formats than the iPod will.

In particular, I've been enamored with the (admittedly flawed) Sony PSP. It has a bigger screen than the iPod and -- in what I consider the most important difference -- it has built-in wifi and a web browser. Which means you can go to a website and download content directly to your PSP, no PC hookup needed. Of course, like the iPod, the PSP allows for only one proprietary video format, a PSP-spec mp4 format. Regardless, I've even made some of the videos on my website available in the PSP-ready format -- I think it's great that someone could be in a Starbucks or some other wifi hotspot, get online through their PSP browser, and download my videos directly to their PSP, and maybe even watch them while they finish their scone.

it is rumored that Sony will relaunch their Connect.com site this month with video content for the PSP. It will be interesting to see how that progresses and if they will be able to get network content like iTunes has.

Anyway, if you already have video content on your website, all you have to do is tie an XML RSS feed to it, which is relatively simple. Viola, there's your "podcast."

Last edited by John Britt; March 7th, 2006 at 02:28 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 01:04 AM   #13
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You don't need a blog to make a podcast

There are a growing number of sites that will host your videos and give you an rss feed for free. Anyone can view your feed in an aggregator that supports RSS2.0 with enclosures.

You can find many of these hosting sites at http://testinggrounds.loadedpun.com - a site that is in the process of testing out and reviewing video hosting sites. More sites will be added as they are suggested by readers and readers can comment on and vote on the host based on their experiences with using it.

Once you find a host for your videos, take the RSS feed the hosting site creates for you and add it to the list of feeds on a video directory like http://mefeedia.com (the largest directory of online video with over six thousand feeds and growing). Your viewers can one-click subscribe to your feed at mefeedia and view them right at the site, if they don't want to use a player or you can link to your own site if you have one. Mefeedia will automatically update your feed as you add new content. Mefeedia is free as well.

It's actually VERY easy to make a vodcast (video podcast) and VERY easy to make it available to your audience.

Anne

*disclaimer - I am an editor at loadedpun.com. we discuss and link to tools for online video in all of it's forms, including vodcasting and videoblogging.
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