Picture of Arlo Midgett

Arlo Midgett

Phone: 907.796.6375
Email: arlo.midgett@uas.alaska.edu
Home: http://blog.arlomidgett.com
Other Info

This podcast was created to test and demonstrate the new podcast feature of the UAS Online ePortfolio system.  By subscribing to this podcast, you can test how different RSS and podcast readers look at ePortfolio items.

To subcribe, locate the orange RSS button in the bottom, left-hand corner of this page.  Copy/paste the link associated with that button into your favorite RSS reader. (If you don't already have a podcast reader, you can jump ahead to Episode 7 for a short list of recommendations.)

The tutorial on how to set up your own podcast with UAS Online begins below with "Episode 0 - Short Tutorial."

If you have any questions or comments about this podcast tutorial, feel free to contact me at arlo.midgett@uas.alaska.edu.

 
Episode 0 - Short Tutorial Fri Feb 23 09:49:19 2007

Podcasting couldn't be easier with the UAS Online ePortfolio system.  Simply:

1)  Add a new item.
2)  Type in a title and any notes about the podcast episode in the "Abstract" field.
3)  Add any file as an attachment to the "Item Content" field.

That's it, you're done.  The file you attached will be automatically sent to your podcast subscribers!

Note that anything you put into the "Item Content" field (excepting, of course, attachments) will by ignored by podcast readers.  As an example, I have posted a FAQ about UAS podcasting in the "Item Content" field of this entry; you probably won't even see it if you view this in an RSS or Podcast reader.  To see it, you'll need to click the "Episode 0 - Short Tutorial" item link in the ePortfolio system.

 
Episode 1 - Podcasting FAQ Tue Feb 20 14:44:31 2007

This episode demonstrates that any file (not just audio and video) can be podcast.

This "episode" is actually a Microsoft Word document.  It's a set of frequently asked questions about using the podcasting feature of UAS Online.  Because a Word .doc is not a media file, some podcast readers will download the file, others will not.

Apple's iTunes, one of the most popular podcast readers, simply ignores episodes that contain file types it doesn't understand.  This is unfortunate in that a subscriber that uses iTunes can easily become confused.  (Take this podcast, for example:  Because episodes 0 and 1 do not have media files that iTunes can play, those episodes will not show up and the podcast will seem to begin with episode #2.)

You can subscribe to this podcast with an RSS reader, such as Sharpreader, but you may not see any attached files.  RSS readers are generally used to subscribe to podcasts.

Other readers, such as Internet Explorer 7's built-in RSS reader, simply give you a link to whatever attachment was added to the podcast.

 
Episode 2 - Podcasting an Audio File Tue Feb 20 14:50:28 2007

This episode demonstrates what an audio file looks like being podcast.  It is simply an attached .mp3 file. 

The 2006 Evening at Egan Lecture Series
Blonde Indian: An Alaska Native Memoir
Presented by Ernestine Hayes
(1 Hour, 2 minutes | 29.5MB .mp3)

More information about this presentation can be found on its UAS Media Productions page.

 

This episode demonstrates that multiple files can be attached to a UAS Online podcast, but it's important to note that this isn't recommended.  Not many podcast readers fully support multiple attachments.

Again, iTunes is problematic -- it will only recognize the first attachment.
IE7 also only recognizes the first attachment.
Newer versions of 
Sharpreader should display links to every attachment.

Song:  The Future Soon (3:50, 5.4MB .mp3) 
Song:  Ikea (3:03 | 3.5MB .mp3)

By Jonathan Coulton
Licensed via the Creative Commons
(Download more free songs at www.jonathancoulton.com/songs)

 
Episode 5 - Podcasting a Video Wed Feb 21 10:51:43 2007

In addition to audio files, newer generation iPods, as well as competing handheld media devices such as the Creative Zen Vision and Microsoft's Zune, can play video files.  This episode demonstrates a video file being podcast.

The attached video episode is entitled Pimp My Couch, which can be found here.

Pimp My Couch
By Edra Morledge
(10 minutes | 107MB .mp4 file)

This is an MPEG4 video clip, encoded for the iPod with Nero Recode, using instructions found here.  (I would actually recommend using Quicktime Pro for iPod encoding.  Better quality, smaller file sizes, much easier process.)

Note that the video playback abilities of handheld devices (and even computers) vary greatly.  This video file was encoded for playback on an iPod and will work with iTunes.  Other video formats (such as .AVIs or .MPGs) may or may not work on some players and computers.  There's no easy answer here; by podcasting only one video format, you'll probably alienate some users.  With video, you can't please all the people all the time.

But!  This is a good time to remind you that a user does not have to have an iPod to subscribe to a podcast!  Because many subscribers may by enjoying a podcast simply by playing the content in the media players installed on their computers, it may not be important to encode files into, say, the iPod format.  However:  It's a great idea to point them in the direction of any free players that will play your files!

Like this:  Pimp My Couch can be viewed with the FREE Quicktime player.  You can download it here.

 
Episode 6 - No Attachment Uploaded Wed Feb 21 10:41:45 2007

This episode demonstrates what happens when you don't upload any attachment at all.

Nothing.

Remember that the podcasting capability of UAS Online is simply an extension of the ePortfolio system.  If you decide not to upload an attachment, but still want to create a portfolio item, feel free.  The textual information (what you're reading right now) will likely still show up in many RSS readers, but podcast-specific readers that only look for media files (such as iTunes) might not display the entry.

The interesting flip-side here is that any exisiting ePortfolio on UAS Online is automatically converted into a podcast when the first attachment is uploaded!

 

Jumping into the world of podcasting is pretty easy, but you can't really do it without an RSS or podcast reader.  The following are a few recommendations for free, downloadable applications that make subscribing to podcasts easy:

Internet Explorer 7 is about as easy as it gets.  It has a built-in RSS reader that makes subscribing to a feed as simple as can be.  You can find your RSS feeds by clicking on View -> Explorer Bar -> Feeds.

Sharpreader is a free, stand-alone RSS reader.  It doesn't have many bells and whistles, but it works well for RSS feeds without attachments.

iTunes is one of the most popular podcast readers out there, but it only works with media files it can play.  It can't be used as an RSS reader at all.

Bloglines, My Yahoo, and Google's Personalized Homepage all have online RSS readers.  The advantage of using these services to subscribe to RSS feeds is that you can then access your reader from any computer.

Once you have any of these readers up and running, all you need to do is copy an RSS/Podcast URL into them.  For instance, you can find the URL for this podcast by clicking on the orange RSS button at the bottom of podcast's main page.

If you'd like to play around with non-UAS Online feeds, keep an eye out for those orange buttons.  Almost every blog on the internet has an RSS feed (like mine) and you can browse through hundreds of popular podcasts on the iTunes Podcast Directory (iTunes required).