As part of my summer holiday fun with WordPress I though I might create a ‘proper’ RSS feed for my microcast.

There are quite a few podcast plugins that would do the job but I though it might be interesting to try a bit of DIY.

Back when I started a class podcast at Radio Sandaig I used to create the RSS feed by hand with a text editor and a fair bit of copy and paste. Over at Edutalk we use feedburner to massage the feed for iTunes.

I used information from How to Roll Your Own Simple WordPress Podcast Plugin | CSS-Tricks to get me started with the template.

I copied the feed-rss2.php file from the wp-includes folder to my child theme folder renaming it feed-microcast.php

wp-content/themes/sempress-child/feed-microcast.php

I adjusted the query to get the posts from my microcast category. I also hard coded the title, link, image and a few other things to simplify the process a little.

I then used the template from CSS-Tricks as a guide to adding the various podcast tags to my template.

This ended up with a pretty broken feed, mostly due to my lack of care, but I fixed it up later I got it linked up.

I didn’t want to use the custom post type approach used in the article because that would involve editing all the old posts or converting them to the new type somehow.

My first idea was to create a feed template and switch to that when the RSS feed for my microcast category was called for.

After failing to get the template to switch for the standard category feed, /category/microcast/feed I ended up with a custom feed at /feed/microcast.

and I add

add_action('init', 'customRSS');
function customRSS(){
        add_feed('microcast', 'customRSSFunc');
}

function customRSSFunc(){
        get_template_part('feed', 'microcast');
}

to my functions.php file.

I then spent a bit of time using the W3C feed validation service until I fixed the feed up to valadate.

I’ve still got to get a link to the feed into the microcast category page head tag and I hope to do that as soon as I’ve gone a bit of research. For now I’ve a link in the sidebar.

Here is the template: WordPress RSS feed template for my microcast

Replied to Listening to John Johnston’s Microcast 12: Podcatching Thoughts by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (collect.readwriterespond.com)
I am really interesting listening to your Microcasts John. Chris Aldrich is right, I need to look into Huffduffer. It is something that I see mentioned here and there, but have never got around to exploring.- percolator - fragmentum - Henrik Carlsson - Colin Walker - Colin Devroe I am really interesting listening to your Microcasts John. Ch...

Hi Aaron,
Thanks, microcasting, at least in the quick and dirty fashion I am using certainly cuts down on the time needed. I am listen to more and more microcasts and less longer form one.

I wonder if you would be interested in trying a slowcast in the style Alan is trying, It’s Out! Episode 1 of The Puerto Rico Connection – CogDogBlog. I think I just invented the word slowcast, but the idea of taking time to think and respond might be attractive?

I am a pretty regular podcast listener, mostly while commuting. Recently though I’ve been listing to iPlayer radio on the drive home. I listen to today on the way in. This week I’ve restarted the podcast habit.

I’ve listened to one old friend and a couple of new ones. The old friend is

TIDE

Today In Digital Education
A regular podcast from Dai Barnes and Doug Belshaw about education, technology, and everything in between.

I always enjoy this podcast as it roams education and tech. This weeks episode was particularly interesting as Dai & Doug were talking about Facebook and in particular the recent posts from Mike Caulfield which I’ve been following1

The ED Files The truth is out there?

A fortnightly podcast about UK education for and about teachers, teaching, government policy and other things…
By Alex Weatherall and Leon Cych

I listened to episode 1 which was mainly about the Michaela school. This seems to have generated a lot of tweets south of the border and it was good to hear some details. I’ll be adding The ED Files to regular listening.

The final podcast I listened to was CPDin140 – Kevin Hodgson. This is the first of a series of podcasts by Ian Guest. The episodes are interviews in Ian’s PhD research on Twitter for professional development. Kevin’s, who I’ve bumped into online was a great first guest. Again I’ll be listening regularly.

I am particularly delighted that Ian is posting these interviews on Edutalk starting a new ‘channel’ CPDin140 | EDUtalk. I’ve always imagined edutalk growing to include a range of show. Ian, of course, has contributed a lot of podcasts to edutalk via audioboom over the last few years.

I’ve not done as much broadcasting/podcasting on Radio Edutalk as I usually do. I am struggling to find time to organise my self and contact posssible guests. I have thoroughly enjoyed the ones I have done, if you have something to say about education and are free of an evening on A Wednesday at 8 please get in touch.

*featured image 1959 6-Tube Pushbutton AM Radio | Happy #ThrowbackThursday 1… | Flickr by Michel Curi | Flickr CC-BY. With a wee edit. *


  1. the post Banning Ads Is Nice, but the Problem Is Facebook’s Underlying Model | Hapgood is especially great, I am fascinated by the affects and affordances of interface. Facebook are master1959 6-Tube Pushbutton AM Radio | Happy #ThrowbackThursday 1… | Flickr of proving a UI that gets uses to do what FB want them to. 

The audio on this post was recorded and uploaded with the Workflow.app on my phone. The images were too. The posts was written in drafts and posted from there with a Workflow action.

Yesterday’s post was just about using workflow.app to post to a blog in a way that other tools can do. The method might suit some people’s needs better than using the WordPress app or the browser. It could be altered and improved too. But essentially it is just another way of doing something. I think this next step is a much bigger deal.

Workflow has actions that allow you to record audio or take video. It also has an encode media action.

record-encode-screenshot

This looked promising. I have now got a workflow that will record audio, encode to MP3 and upload to my blog.

I will end up with the link to the MP3 on the clipboard ready to paste into a post.

Getting the url to the MP3 took me a while to figure out. The action returns the url to the attachment page. I had to uses a few more actions to get the content of that page and then get the url to the MP3 with a regular expression. I don’t know much about regEx and less about the flavour used by Worpflow.app. I got there in the end.

workflow-regEx

A couple of OSs ago this seemed impossible on iOS. Now you can save an MP3 created with one of the myriad of audio apps to Dropbox, iCloud, one drive ect and upload through mobile safari.

I like to think this is a bit better. It is certainly a wee bit quicker if you do not need to edit the audio.

There were always apps that would record and publish audio to the Internet. What I like about this method is it goes along with the idea of owning your own data, posting to your own domain and having a little more control.

I am now wondering if it would be worthwhile seeing if you can trigger workflows from a draft.app custom script. This post on the drafts blog: Drafts 4.1.2 – Workflow Integration | Agile Tortoise makes it look as if that would be possible. This would turn the drafts app into a WordPress editor. One could upload images and audio directly from drafts, perhaps inserting the image or audio code at the insertion point.

A while back I bookmarked How to Revive The Levelator in El Capitan on TidBITS and followed the instructions to get this essential piece of podcasting software to work again after updating my mac to El Capitan.

This week TidBITS had the news: The Levelator 2.1.2 Works in El Capitan announcing a new version.

The Levelator is

a free app that ensures audio files use a consistent loudness, something that’s often hard to achieve with group podcasts and between episodes.

I find it very useful for Radio Edutalk episodes where we record over Skype.