Now the iPodless Podcaster

Day number 578 without an iPod…

No, I have no intent to start regular podcasts, enough other people with velvety FM radio D.J. type voices that never say “ummm” are at it already. There is no time to jump into this endeavor. But never say never.

On the other hand, twice or more or in the last week. I have included references to .mp3 files in a blog entry, and there is no reason those could not be made podcast-able. So to investigate what it would take, should ever a leap month appear in my calendar, here is a simple recap of how easy it was to add the proper RSS tags to my MovableType blog to make it “podcast” ready.

All you really need is Brandon Fuller’s MT-Enclosures Movable Type Plugin:

Audio blogging is starting to take off. Currently, Movable Type has no support for audio blogs so I decided to whip up a quick plugin to provide the capability.

The missing link here is automating the process of adding the special <enclosure> link into your RSS 2.0 feed. That is the job of this plugin.

Installing it is a matter of clicking, downloading, and moving it to the plug-in directory.

Next, you need to make sure your blog has a template for RSS 2.0 feeds (it should be there for MT 3.x). Us old folks with MT 2.6x and older likely have RSS 1.0 templates (RSS feeds that have URLs that end in *.rdf). You can keep ’em, but it is easy enough to create a new index template, have it save as a file named index.xml, and get a copy of a basic RSS 2.0 template from SixApart’s MovabbleType old dingy templates.

While you are getting techy with the templates, you might as well make my recommended change of the default description tag:

This way your RSS feed are not restricted to the stubby 40 words of the Excerpt, but whatever you type into the MT Body entry field. Take control of your feed descriptions!!

The change the MT-Enclosures is that inside the &lt;item&gt;...&lt;/item&gt;... area, you add a line that makes the magic happen:

The plug-in automatically sniffs your content, and any hypertext links to enclosure content will get added to your RSS feed like:

which is what podcast reader tools look for to download to your computer and possibly transfer to yoour pod (if you have one, sniff, sniff).

The only hitch with the MT-Enclosures plug-in is, if I read the docs, right, it will look for all kinds of enclosed media (video, images, etc), so on my baby attempt, I used the include option to keep it to only URLs that end in *.mp3:

The other design decision I took was that I am not expecting to do a whole lot of ‘casting, so it would not make much sense to subscribe to my main RSS feed. So my strategy was to create a new blog category called “audiocasts“, so if I write anything with a linked .mp3 file, I will add this category to my post. Thus, subscribing to the feed for that category, will give you all my “audiocasts” in RSS 2.0 with proper enclosures:


and I even got fancy, and used Adam Kalsey’s way cool button maker to generate my own custom RSS Audiocast badge:

RSS Audio

And there it is…. I am ready to podcast if I ever care too. The blog is ready.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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