Getting Started

A podcast is a series of related audio or video files, placed online with a public URL and linked to via an RSS feed, accessible by free download subscription over the Internet using digital media players.

If you are a member of staff at the University of Oxford and wish to discuss how you can contribute a podcast from your department, college, or faculty, then please contact podcasts@it.ox.ac.uk.

Creating your own podcast is a straight-forward process but does rely on you having the right equipment and software available first. The workflow you need to follow is outlined below:

 

Step 1: Familiarise yourself with podcasting guidance notes

We always recommend the following short training session for anyone involved in podcasting at Oxford: http://courses.it.ox.ac.uk/detail/TIMV.

The free Steeple Podcasting Booklet offers more detailed information and guidance. Also, see the later sections Record and Publish.

Additionally, it is worth reading the What is Podcasting? help section, which provides a good description of what podcasting involves and how podcasts function on the Internet. It also describes a few case studies of podcasts published on www.podcasts.ox.ac.uk, as well as provides good podcasting links in case you wish to find more information.

 

Step 2: Download and sign the podcast Speaker Release Form

Any podcast made available through the iTunes portal for the University of Oxford has to have a signed speaker release form and will also be vetted to make sure it adheres to our legal obligations concerning copyrighted material, etc. The following guidance document contains the contribution form that you will be required to sign if you wish to publish your material on the University's podcasting web portal or iTunes U site:

Speaker Release Form (http://www.ox.ac.uk/itunes_u/contribute.html)

The Steeple Podcasting Booklet also contains a section about copyright and permissions.

 

Step 3: Create the content

Podcast media are not special files. Any traditional MP3 audio file or MPEG4 video file (two of the most common multimedia formats) can be used as a podcast. You may create your own recording, or request that Educational Media Services professionally record it for you.

If creating your own media, simply record your lecture, keynote speech, or other content in a digital format and save it to a computer. You may need to trim the file in editing software such as the free software Audacity. For information about creating your own recording, please visit the Recording Requirements section.

You may find these video tutorials helpful:

If you prefer to have professionally produced audio-video content, you may instead request that Educational Media Services professionally record it for you. To obtain information about getting professional recording help, please visit Making Audio and Video.

 

Step 4: Place the content online

Before a podcast can be downloaded it must be accessible via the internet. To make your multimedia file available, it must be hosted on a web server and be reachable via a publically-accessible URL.

You may either host your own multimedia files, or preferably you can request that Educational Media Services at Oxford host the file for you. This is as easy as sending us the multimedia file that you wish to have hosted.

More information about placing the content online is available in the Publishing a Podcast section.

 

Step 5: Catalogue and publish your podcasts with MediaPub

Once your multimedia content has been produced and is hosted on a web server, you must catalogue the file within our publishing portal, MediaPub. If you are member of the University, you may request access to MediaPub and log-in by using your Oxford single sign-on.  

MediaPub allows you to catalogue your media. Doing so will create RSS newsfeeds for the University media portals. In this manner your podcast is published to podcasts.ox.ac.uk and also Oxford on iTunes U.

Many colleges, departments and faculties already have multiple newsfeeds available. A podcast RSS feed is a normal RSS feed with one key exception; it includes the web address of a multimedia file and some basic information about this podcast.

More information about MediaPub and how to use it with podcasts can be found on the:

  1. How to Publish a Podcast section of this website
  2. MediaPub HELP webpage
  3. MediaPub Writing and Discoverability Tips

We believe that one good way of promoting the talks within your series, and ensuring your podcast reaches the widest possible audience, is to follow our writing and discoverability guide when publishing your podcast. This is a set of recommendations about cataloguing your podcasts with effective language and with descriptive titles, keywords, and descriptions that cater to a global audience. That is, the podcast must still be marketed to maximize user exposure and ensure that Internet users interested in your subject can discover your podcasts within iTunesU and on the www.podcasts.ox.ac.uk website. 

The number of downloads and streams your podcast generates within iTunesU is one way of measuring its global impact. MediaPub provides basic iTunes download and stream statistics for each of the series you have published, and should help you gauge this impact. Please click our publishing guide here for more information on the meaning of these statistics and how to access them. 

 

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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 3 March 2016