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Creating your XML Feed for a podcast or iTunesU site can take "some" technical experience. There are online managers, most notably Woolamaloo, that will help you manage the content, however, if you have just a little familiarity with any markup language, such as HTML, the coding is really not that difficult. If you want to take the dive into hand coding your XML feed, which always gives you the greatest control, here are some tips to make things run smoother. At the bottom of this page I attached my xml feed for our site as a .txt file. Feel free to download it and cut and paste any elements that will help you in creating your feed. Remember that when you save your file you will have to change the .txt to .xml.

Here are the tags that you will want to use for your file. You can copy and paste this template into a text file and add your content. You can remove all of the comments I inserted with that begin with the . While this may look overwhelming to the beginner, don't panic. With a little inspection you will see the structure pretty quickly.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:itunes="http://www.itunes.com/dtds/podcast-1.0.dtd">

<channel>

<atom:link href="" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml" />

You can copy and paste the above code as is. This will give you the atom and itunes library tags necessary to create the xml file and begin the "channel" section.

<title></title>
<description></description>

Insert the title and Description of your Podcast here (not the individual episodes - that comes later).

<link></link>

If you have a companion site to your podcast, put in the link here. Where do you want to direct your subscribers for more information.

<language></language>

If English put in en-us

<copyright></copyright>

List your Copyright information here - i.e. Copyright 2001

<lastBuildDate></lastBuildDate>
<pubDate></pubDate>

Dates need to be formatted correctly. Here are some basics.
day = Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun
month = Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
Example - Thu, 7 Apr 2011 10:15:00

<docs>http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss</docs>

Copy and paste this into your file. The best explanation I have heard is that "It's for people who might stumble across an RSS file on a Web server 25 years from now and wonder what it is." This is not really needed but it is nice to add."

<webMaster></webMaster>

That would be you - put your email address and then your full name following in parenthesis.

Next are the iTunes specific dictionaries. There will be a lot of similarities here from what you inputed above.

<itunes:keywords></itunes:keywords>

Here is Apple's comments on using Keywords - Minimize keyword usage. Almost nothing belongs in the keywords tag that isn’t better handled in the title or <itunes:summary> tag. The best use for keywords is to include common misspellings of your name or title, to ensure your podcast is still searchable despite a misspelling.

<itunes:summary></itunes:summary>

Same as Description

<itunes:author></itunes:author>

You - this time it is just your name (or Organizations name). No email address here.

<itunes:category text=""></itunes:category>

Again, from Apple, Categories and subcategories can be specified as follows. Use a top level <itunes:category> to specify the browse category, and a nested <itunes:category> to specify the browse subcategory. Choose from the existing categories and subcategories in iTunes. Be sure to properly escape ampersands.

Make sure you use Apple's specific categories. There are too many to list here, but if you Google them you will find them all.

<itunes:owner>
<itunes:name></itunes:name>
<itunes:email></itunes:email>
</itunes:owner>

This is you again - name first, then email address.

<itunes:block></itunes:block>
<itunes:explicit></itunes:explicit>

You MUST have these two tags listed, or else they will not pass validation. For K-12 iTunesU, lets hope you will list No

<itunes:image href="" />

This is the URL where your podcast album art image file exists.

<image>
<url></url>
<title></title>
<link></link>
<width></width>
<height></height>
</image>

Same thing here - this is info on your image. URL is your image URL. I used my podcast title and link listed above for title and link. Width and height must be a number from 0 - 144.


Everything above this point refer to the podcast itself, and not the individual files. The tags below all refer to each individual episode. You can copy and paste this as many times as you need. You will have all of the info in the <item></item> tags for each individual episode you list.//

Title and link are self explanatory. <guid> is the same as link. Description is the episode description. The url in the enclose tag is also the link to the episode. The length you will need as the number of bytes without any comma's. To find this, go to the episode and on your Mac choose "Get Info". In the Get Info dialogue box you will find the Size in bytes. Copy and paste into the length and remove the comma's. The type is the file type. Here is common files and their type.

File
Type
.mp3
audio/mpeg
.m4a
audio/x-m4a
.mp4
video/mp4
.m4v
video/x-m4v
.mov
video/quicktime
.pdf
application/pdf
.epub
document/x-epub

//For iTunesU, the Category will be iTunesU. Date formats are discussed above.

<item>
<title></title>
<link></link>
<guid></guid>
<description></description>
<enclosure url="" length="" type=""/>
<category></category>
<pubDate></pubDate>
</item>

</channel>

</rss>