Host podcasts on your website that can be added to the iTunes list
If you want to promote a podcast, the best way is via iTunes. iTunes does not host the audio files of your podcast so Podcast Generator is a useful website program for hosting and marking up your podcast so that it can be included in iTunes.
Installation is not too complicated. Extract all of the files from the compressed folder that is downloaded and upload them to a folder on your webhost. Once that has been done, open the new site in a web browser to start the five step installation. All the information about the podcasts is kept in XML files so there is no need to connect to a MySQL database server.
Select the language and click on Next. In the second step it looks to see if there has been a previous installation (this would happen during an upgrade) and then that the correct file permissions are available. Once that has worked create a username and password for the admin page. The changes will be applied and the website is ready to go.
Sign in and the page that greets you is clean and easy to follow. There is also a welcome message that has a link for setting up the basic details of the podcast. This did provoke and error message about the ereg command that is no longer used in the most recent version of PHP. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.
Creating a podcast is simple. Add the audio file and fill out the details describing it.
Our test server (a plain installation of XAMMP Portable) was limited to adding files of up to 2MB by the normal form. That's rather small, even for a podcast, but there is an alternative using FTP. Upload your files to the media folder and they will be detected automatically. We got a lot of error messages when we tried this but it did pick up the audio file when we refreshed the list of podcasts.
All the other information needed for the podcast is easy to add including categories for iTunes and an image.
The key feature for us was the ability to submit the podcast to iTunes. The first step is to choose the categories and edit the image. Once that is done it is possible to submit the podcast to iTunes from within Podcast Generator. There is also an option to ping the iTunes store to alert it to new episodes.
We were able to use the shortcuts on the public page of Podcast Generator to subscribe to a test podcast in both iTunes and gPodder.
Although the default theme is quite plain, it is possible to add or design different themes. The process of creating a theme is described on the Podcast Generator web site. It's a little different to writing themes for other PHP based sites that we have experienced (Wordpress and GetSimple).
As well as offering a way to subscribe to the blogs, Podcast Generator has a small Flash player so that visitors can listen to the podcasts from the site itself.
Podcast Generator is a great website tool for creating, hosting and sharing podcasts. It's a shame that the code is a little out of date, leading to some error messages, as this kept it from getting full marks. Even so it should be looked at seriously if you want to host a podcast and share it on iTunes.
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An excellent tool for hosting podcasts but it's let down by some old php code
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