Managing Podcasts
Posted by Michelle Mabuti, Last modified by Michelle Mabuti on 13 June 2018 01:14 PM

What is a Podcast?

Podcasting is a technology that allows your audience to subscribe to a frequently updated list of downloadable messages. The most popular Podcast directory these days is found in Apple's iTunes, but there are several other podcasting services out there as well. Podcasts are usually free and are available in both audio and video formats.

Podcasts in iTunes are available on both Macs and PCs, and they can play on almost all of the popular tablet and smartphone platforms. You can learn more about iTunes podcasts here.

Your Default Podcast

Series Engine includes a default audio Podcast feed for you right out of the box. You can access this Podcast feed using this URL:

http://yourwordpressinstall.com/?feed=seriesengine

This feed pulls any Message (that has an MP3 specified) from any Series that's associated with your Primary Series Type. To edit your default podcast, navigate to Series Engine > Generate Podcasts. Choose the default podcast at the top of the list and edit its options as you see fit.

The default Podcast cannot be deleted.

Creating a New Podcast

Want to move beyond the simple default Podcast that Series Engine provides? No problem! Series Engine allows you to create an unlimited number of podcasts using the Series and Messages you've already created.

Please note: For a Message to appear in your podcasts, it must have an audio or video file associated with it (under the Message's "Podcast Settings"). You'll also want to provide the corresponding file's length and file size for maximum compatibility.

To create a new Podcast, navigate to Series Engine > Generate Podcasts. At the top of the page, select "Add New" to the right of the page title.

Use the provided form to enter the details of your Podcast:

  • Type of Podcast - Specify whether the Podcast is for audio only or video only.
  • Title (required) - The title of your Podcast that people can search for in iTunes.
  • Description (required) - A description of your podcast that will be shown alongside of your Podcast in iTunes.
  • Author (required) - Who should iTunes list as the author of your Podcast? This is typically the name of an individual or organization.
  • Author Email (required) - The email address to list for the Podcast author. (FYI, users rarely ever see this)
  • Logo URL (required) - Provide the URL to (or upload) a graphic to be displayed with your Podcast. Apple requires that every Podcast has a logo that's 1400x1400px square. If you upload an image with WordPress, choose the "Series Engine Podcast Graphic" Size during the upload process to have the image automatically sized for you.
  • Link URL - An optional URL to a page on your site. The podcast will generate a unique URL for every Message as part of its XML. If you supply a link to a page on your site where Series Engine is embedded (ie: http;//yousite.com/messages/), users will be able to view the Message on your site as well (assuming they're seeing your podcast in a place where this link is visible). If left blank, Series Engine will simply generate a dummy URL based off of your homepage.
  • Category (required) - Provide one of the categories specified by Apple's guidelines.
  • Subcategory (required) - Provide one of the subcategories specified by Apple's guidelines.
  • How Many Messages? (required) - How many messages should the Podcast display to your visitors?
  • Display Settings (required) - Specify what Messages you want this Podcast to pull. You can choose to pull in the most recent Messages from a certain Series Type, the most recent Messages from a specific Series, the most recent Messages from a specific Topic or the most recent Messages from a specific Speaker.
  • Explicit Content? - This will mark the podcast as being clean, or containing profanity.
  • Redirect This Podcast? - Do you need to redirect this podcast feed to a new feed (either generated through SE or with another service)? Select a 301 redirect or the iTunes tag and provide the full URL to the new feed in the field below.
  • Redirect URL: - Provide a new URL to your updated podcast feed.

When you're done, click "Add New Podcast" to add the Podcast to Series Engine. To begin using the Podcast, simply copy the new Podcast Link listed on the main "Generate Podcasts" page.

Editing an Existing Podcast

To edit an existing Podcast, navigate to Series Engine > Generate Podcasts. Click on the title of the Podcast that you would like to edit.

Use the provided form to update the details of your Podcast:

  • Type of Podcast - Specify whether the Podcast is for audio only or video only.
  • Title (required) - The title of your Podcast that people can search for in iTunes.
  • Description (required) - A description of your podcast that will be shown alongside of your Podcast in iTunes.
  • Author (required) - Who should iTunes list as the author of your Podcast? This is typically the name of an individual or organization.
  • Author Email (required) - The email address to list for the Podcast author. (FYI, users rarely ever see this)
  • Logo URL (required) - Provide the URL to (or upload) a graphic to be displayed with your Podcast. Apple requires that every Podcast has a logo that's 1400x1400px square. If you upload an image with WordPress, choose the "Series Engine Podcast Graphic" Size during the upload process to have the image automatically sized for you.
  • Link URL - An optional URL to a page on your site. The podcast will generate a unique URL for every Message as part of its XML. If you supply a link to a page on your site where Series Engine is embedded (ie: http;//yousite.com/messages/), users will be able to view the Message on your site as well (assuming they're seeing your podcast in a place where this link is visible). If left blank, Series Engine will simply generate a dummy URL based off of your homepage.
  • Category (required) - Provide one of the categories specified by Apple's guidelines.
  • Subcategory (required) - Provide one of the subcategories specified by Apple's guidelines.
  • How Many Messages? (required) - How many messages should the Podcast display to your visitors?
  • Display Settings (required) - Specify what Messages you want this Podcast to pull. You can choose to pull in the most recent Messages from a certain Series Type, the most recent Messages from a specific Series, the most recent Messages from a specific Topic or the most recent Messages from a specific Speaker.
  • Explicit Content? - This will mark the podcast as being clean, or containing profanity.
  • Redirect This Podcast? - Do you need to redirect this podcast feed to a new feed (either generated through SE or with another service)? Select a 301 redirect or the iTunes tag and provide the full URL to the new feed in the field below.
  • Redirect URL: - Provide a new URL to your updated podcast feed.

When you're done, click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page.

Moving Subscribers to a Different Podcast Feed

If you need to move your podcast subscribers to a different podcast feed, simply edit the Series Engine podcast and update the redirect options at the bottom of the podcast details. Subscribers will then be gracefully switched to the new podcast feed. No need to ask anyone to jump through hoops to resubscribe.

Deleting a Podcast

Before you delete your Podcast, you will likely want to remove it from the iTunes Podcast Directory first. You can find instructions for this here.

To delete a Podcast, navigate to Series Engine > Generate Podcasts. Find the Podcast you would like to Delete, and select "Delete" on the right side of its row.

Monitoring Podcast Subscribers and Other Analytics

As you generate your podcasts, you might want to keep track of how many folks have subscribed to your podcast over a period of time. You can do this by combining your Podcast Link with a free service like Feedburner.

Please note: Series Engine staff does not provide ANY support for Feedburner integration.

Fixing Podcast Errors

At times, you may receive feed validation errors when setting up a particular Podcast with other services. This is almost always due to a typo or improper character in one of your Podcast's options. Use the excellent FeedValidator service to help you troubleshoot any errors.