I talk about setting up this podcast, which is our first podcast. I have saved this as a number of different formats, but will only be “podcasting” the MP3 file. All file types will be available on the Blog Post at http://datsemultimedia.com/2017/03/17/podcast-episode-01-setting-podcast-part-1/.
I will also be adding my script that I worked from (but really has very little to do with the audio content).
Jigme: Hello, and welcome to this episode of the Datse Multimedia Podcast.
Jigme: This is episode 1. It was preceded by a very brief episode, which could be called Episode 0. That episode was created to look at the very basics of setting up a podcast.
Jigme: Welcome to Episode 1. We are recording this on Tuesday March 14th 2017. Or at least we are planning on doing that.
Jigme: This first episode (real one) is about setting up our first Podcast, and what we did to go about doing that.
Jigme: We are working with this podcast to look at setting this up for the Open Psychology Group, and the Capability Club meetup groups. This podcast is not one of those podcasts.
Jigme: Earlier today I was talking to the founder of the Capability Club, and we were working on our shared group meeting and talking about setting things up for how to look at things in the future.
Jigme: Currently my group (Open Psychology Group) is not exactly working out that well in terms of being able to get anyone to actually meet in person. We are both looking at finding ways to handle online content in a way that ends up working both for ourselves, but also works for other people being able to view what we are working on.
Jigme: As it currently stands, all of our online activities have been done on a prearranged basis and with both of us, and probably the majority of people who might participate, this doesn’t really work that well without a physical space to actually meet in.
Jigme: We were looking at how we are working with things, and decided that possibly a podcast is a good idea, and further that we would like to discuss if the Capability Club would like to have a website developed (which could host the podcasts).
Jigme: So, with that in mind, I started to look at both what it would take for me to develop the website (and provide hosting), as well as looking at setting up podcasting.
Jigme: So here in this episode I will be talking about how I intend to setup the podcast. Most of it actually setup now, except for the fact that this is being written, not recorded right now, but we’re working on that shortly…
Jigme: We will be looking at recording this, finding how to save an iTunes supported format (mp3), creating the post in WordPress including the writing of the post, adding the audio content, and setting the post up to be handling the post as a podcast through PowerPress, and setting up things so that the podcast will be shared on iTunes.
Purpose of episode further explained
Jigme: Really a lot of creating this episode is about why I am setting this up, and also what the process of setting this up is for. I have a feeling that a lot of this text will probably end up in the actual recorded version of this in a very different way. Some of this stuff probably is not going to be as I have scripted. While I have written this in advance, most of that is because I just tend to write better than speaking off the top of my head. Especially when not in front of people.
Jigme: I really am hoping that recording this, and setting this up will help with both myself, and my friend’s goals in being able to reach more people with our content.
Jigme: For me, one of the ways I have been working on both reaching more people, and providing ways for people to support me is through using Patreon. With how that has been working, it has allowed me on good months to be able to pay for both the fellow Creators I have on Patreon, and my costs with being able to produce that content. Or at least help support me in that. So, if you got to Patreon.com/JigmeDatse you can see what I have been doing there.
Jigme: With the ability, and it seems relative ease of being able to produce podcasts, I feel that further, and hopefully more engaging content will be produced. If we manage to produce at least some more content that people are likely to be more engaged with, then we will hopefully also be able to attract more supporters.
Jigme: My friend who created the Capability Club in Vancouver has similar goals. The way that things have recently been going the group is starting to look at the possibility of having more people working on hosting events, or co-hosting events. While the addition of other venues itself may not be a primary goal, the ability to present information, or presentation is ways which would allow my friend to point someone towards those resources rather than having to reproduce the same sorts of resources over and over again, appears to be highly desirable.
Jigme: For myself, I feel that if I am producing content which is more likely to attract some degree of engagement, especially content that allows that without having to go through having to get several thousand dollars of new equipment (which I really would like to do, but can’t justify it at this point) but hopefully be able to work with existing equipment and through being better able to attract engagement, and produce content attract money through my online activities.
Process of producing this episode
Jigme: I talked very briefly about what I have been doing to set this up. Initially I was feeling that I might be able to take something with how WordPress handles things by itself, and get it working without the need to add any plugins or anything. It is possible that is actually possible, but I’m not entirely sure that it is.
Jigme: In trying to set this up, before I tried to create my first podcast post I ended up installing PowerPress. When I looked at what I had read might be a “good enough” version of the podcast I couldn’t get iTunes to add it manually, nor could I get it to validate with hosting the podcast on iTunes. So I continued to look at it and try to figure out how to better handle it through setting things up with PowerPress. But that first episode (let’s call it Episode 0) I created the post that would become the podcast episode entirely including recording and publishing the post and all that even before I got there.
Recording the episode
Jigme: I am really big on working with things open source, software where possible, and I looked at recording the podcast episodes in Audacity which is a cross platform audio editing package.
Jigme: I know that I had it installed on this computer at one point because I was working on a variety of things where I wanted to be able to work with audio files. I think the most recent time I used it was when I took the audio that I had recorded with my phone (when that wasn’t needing to be plugged into the wall all the time if I didn’t want it to “run out of juice) and ended up editing the audio (mostly I ended up boosting it) so that the audio as it played relative to “normal listening volume” didn’t end up being “is there even any audio here”.
Jigme: But I found it isn’t currently installed. Which isn’t a big deal. I ended up installing it, which I think took a surprisingly brief time to do (maybe a few minutes including finding where to download, and actually installing it).
Jigme: In Audacity when you are recording straight into it (which in the end, I hope I don’t end up doing, but for now I feel it is going to work). There is the ability to monitor prior to doing any recording. When I looked at that to start off with I could see that when I wasn’t really recording any actual content that I was managing to pick up some significant levels of “background noise”.
Jigme: My first recording (which this one is the second) I didn’t really look at how it was recording and try to get it correct. With that recording (which I actually hadn’t listened to the recording itself) I found that I was experiencing clipping at certain times while I was recording (I thought while I was watching the recording that I likely was getting that). With this recording I am hoping that I will be able to find a way that I’ll be able to better handle that. And I think that I probably will be able to with a bit of tweaking as I am recording it.
Jigme: Right now, anything more about recording this particular podcast won’t really be able to be written. I expect that before I move to saving the file that I will do some comments about what the process ended up looking like for the podcast you are listening to which I don’t expect that actually type any of that part up.
*** Jigme likely talks about the recording process for this podcast and any issues which have shown up so far, and how we have dealt with them. ***
Jigme: Apple supports a number of formats for podcasts and the goal for this podcast is partially to get things showing up on iTunes. With the list of formats which we can use for a podcast, I decided that for our purposes right now using MP3 is probably the best option, or at least close enough to the best option.
Jigme: My reasons for choosing another format which Apple supports would probably be to better able to record at a higher, and preferably lossless format. As Audacity doesn’t directly support a format that is lossless that iTunes supports, I decided that I will work with MP3, though I hope to save some lossless format (Probably FLAC) when I end up saving things for this.
Jigme: Due to how Audacity handles a variety of things, most of the export functions need to have another library installed which rather than including the libraries in the binaries, have to be installed separately. In order to save a file in MP3 format, you need to have the LAME library installed. This process on my system took about 1 second to download, and about 30 to get it installed and configured.
Jigme: When I saved the Episode 0 file I set things up so that I had the metadata that I wanted with the file to be included there. I may end up wanting to add more data, though I would really want to make sure that doing so will not end up either getting lost, or end up breaking the MP3 file.
Uploading to WordPress
Jigme: Uploading the saved MP3 file ended up being pretty simple. With the current version of WordPress I can upload it with using the “Add Media” button which shows up when creating a new post. It might not be as intuitive as I would like for some of my clients, but it seems to be a reasonably easy way to handle things for clients who can look at recording and that sort of thing.
Jigme: Once WordPress has handled having the file added through the upload media portion of the “Add Media” page, there are two ways which it allows it to be inserted, that is as a player, or as link. As a link, it links either to download the media itself, or the attachment page.
Jigme: Personally how I would like to handle this, I would use at least two of these forms, possibly all three.
Jigme: When setting this up, I saw some stuff which indicated that there are ways to get the podcast to work without really doing much beyond either tagging, or categorizing your podcasts with a unique, or near unique tag or category.
Jigme: I wanted to look at what the highly recommended plugin PowerPress was going to offer me, and consider if it was going to be useful, so I installed and activated it, and worked on getting it somewhat setup, but as I didn’t really know what I had planned for it, I wasn’t really sure I wanted to spend some serious time with it until I actually found out if the “simple without plugin” method actually worked.
Jigme: My first experiments with the “without plugin” indicate that either it doesn’t work that way, or there is some issue with some plugin making that method not working (I think if any plugin is to blame, it is likely PowerPress). So with that in mind, I decided that I really wasn’t planning on looking at it further now, so I started to actually set things up properly.
Issues with setting it up
Jigme: I really hadn’t thought too much about how I would set things up until I got things kind of started with finding that doing things with the plugin installed and activated was simply not going to work. And in looking at setting things up, things don’t work unless you actually have all the settings which are required properly set.
Jigme: I just checked to see if the way that I had set things up with the podcast listing which was supposed to work, now that I have the podcast settings properly set (and the podcast itself listed as a podcast within PowerPress), the feed which I had setup before works. I will need to look to see if I need to set each episode up as a podcast with PowerPress in order to have them listed, or if the other settings are correct.
Jigme: For me, the biggest issue I ended up running into (and I haven’t got it how I want it yet) was handling the podcast cover art. I didn’t have a version of any of my work which I wanted to use for that which worked. I had a file that I had hoped would work, but it didn’t.
Jigme: I looked at what that file looks like (I didn’t replace it) and I see that there are two issues that may have been a problem. One, and probably most important. The dimensions in pixels was “too small”. The largest pixel size for that is about 1/6 of the smallest that is accepted for the file. That might not have been enough to save it to the right size for that dimension. But it might have been.
Jigme: The other issue with it, is that the cover art image is supposed to be square, and that file is certainly not square.
Jigme: So I created a new version of that file, which was square, and was the size of the maximum (and recommended) dimensions for the file. But as I said, that file still isn’t how I want it, but at least I have something that is working for now, and it won’t really take that long to change how it works for this podcast, and create new ones for the other podcasts.
Jigme: Once I created the settings correctly, it asked me to create a post (which I actually had already done)…
Creating Podcast Data for Podcast
Jigme: Looking at the create a post, the first thing it takes you to is the post editor, with a blank post. Nothing is obvious on my setup as to how to handle a new podcast episode because that was “below the fold” being below the edit window, and also far enough below that to not even show up. So clicking back and forth, I see that the way things are setup, there is a podcast listing which needs to be setup in order to allow the podcast to be seen as a podcast. It is pretty simple with MP3 to set this up, all you do is link to the MP3, and once that’s done it pretty much works.
Jigme: I see that there are options which I don’t have enabled and probably won’t until either I want to work with them myself, or I end up working with a client who wants to work with them. These options include a variety of ways of handling podcasts, and that was under the Basic Settings, under Advanced Settings, things get “very interesting”.
Jigme: How the Episode 0 ended up going out, pretty much all I had to (and wanted to) do was to make sure I properly linked to the MP3 file. Looking at the advanced settings, and some of the things there, I can see that fixing the issues I was seeing with how iTunes handles the podcast display, I will want to work on setting things up so that the information displays in a way that is helpful.
Thinking About Show Notes
Jigme: When I see how the podcast is showing up in iTunes, after having a post which has the content I want for show notes, and I end up seeing that iTunes is not displaying that other than the first 500 (or so) characters. This is a good thing to note, and try to get these show notes either through putting the information in a format that works that what ends up at the top of the blog post is a good pointer to the blog, which will contain the full show notes, or saving the show notes for the podcast version (specifically for iTunes) ends up directing those who want full show notes to the full notes.
Jigme: It does look like I can write my posts however I end up wanting to, and then write show notes for iTunes, and possibly other sites independently to point to the full notes on the blog (for those that don’t display them in full on the player).
Jigme: Once I had the right stuff there, I then tested to see if things show up differently with the podcast in iTunes. With my looking at that, I could see that now iTunes is loading it, and that listing in the iTunes directory it is verifying that we have a working feed. This was our main goal that I had hoped to manage to get to at this point. And we’re here.
Setting Up iTunes
Jigme: The next goal that we were looking at was having the podcast being listed in the iTunes directory, so at this point, we have submitted the podcast to the directory, I have received an email saying that it is indeed successfully submitted to the directory, and that it is pending review. Most likely, it will be up to 24 hours from the time this post (including the recorded podcast) ends up getting accepted, or to some degree responded to.
Jigme: So with that, I thank you for listening. I am going to try to get some of this, if not the whole thing recorded before heading to bed, and if that is done, I hope to have it posted around the time I get it recorded.
Jigme: I suspect a good amount of what I wrote here will be either elaborated on, or edited in the actual recording. But here we go starting the recording (or in the audio, finishing the recording). Take care everyone.