Easy podcasting with Podpress

Updated on April 12, 2006

If you have a WordPress blog, there’s now an easy way to write your post and include your podcast all in one go. Not only that, you can get your podcast into iTunes in that one go.

You achieve this with Podpress, a cool plugin for WordPress that lets you do this:

  • Full featured and automatic iTunes feed generation
  • Auto-generation of enclosure tag
  • Makes adding a podcast to a post very simple
  • View MP3 files ID3 tags when you’re posting, and copy ID3 data to the post title and content.
  • Control over where the player will display within your post.
  • Support for various formats, including video podcasting
  • Automatic media player for MP3, MP4, MOV, FLV, and more, with inline and popup window support.
  • Preview of what your podcast will look like on iTunes
  • Easy way to link to your podcast within iTunes

I’ve just installed the plugin (which I found a bit tricky: more on that in a minute) and writing a Podpress-enabled post just to try it out and see how simple it is to do.

The podcast I’m including below is a short recording I made yesterday. Quite an appropriate one, I think – this recording is some ‘audio thoughts’ I sent to Nicole Simon yesterday to answer her question “Do you think blogging podcasters are more successful than just podcasters?” More (a post) on that later; meanwhile, read Nicole’s post to find out what this is about.

I mentioned that installing the Podpress plugin was a bit tricky. Maybe it was just me, but the installation instructions weren’t too clear and I ended up on my first attempt with weird PHP and 404 errors.

A bit more careful study showed me that the place on my server where I’d uploaded one of the key files to was incorrect. Once I fixed that, no more problems.

So if you’re thinking about installing Podpress into your WordPress blog, let me save you any potential head-scratching with a clear indicator of where the files go:

  1. podpress.php – this goes into the root of your /plugins directory.
  2. the folder podpress (and its contents) goes into your /plugins directory.

Note well – podpress.php goes into /plugins and not /plugins/podpress (that’s the error I made).

Once you’ve uploaded the Podpress files, just follow the rest of the installation instructions to enable it in your blog. There’s also a pretty good Camtasia video walk-through by the School of Podcasting that you might find helpful as well.

This really is an awesome plugin for WordPress. What do you think?

[Technorati: podpress, wordpress plugin]

[Edit 12/4/06] For a reason I still haven’t solved, the file now won’t play. I upgraded PodPress today to the latest verison 4.71 and now it’s producing errors if you click on the player. Hope to solve that soon.

[Edit2 12/4/06] Fixed. The file now plays. This version of Podpress makes use of an .htaccess file in the podpress directory, which I hadn’t enabled correctly.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Jonathan

    Hello,

    I’ve been having a few problems with this plugin. It works fine as far as getting it working and putting my audio files on there and they show up just fine on itunes. The one hangup that i’ve been having is that i’ve been using .m4a files which doesn’t have that nifty player like an .mp3 file does. But it shows up as an “Enhanced Podcast” on the post and when you click on “Download” it takes you to a very long text document. Then when i converted my .m4a to an .mp3 so i could use the nifty player, everything sounded like chipmunks, (it was in hyper speed i think…very strange.) Either way, do you think you could be of some help to me? I blog/podcast for a non-profit christian college ministry. You can find the blog at http://blog.gracecampus.net. Email me at jonathan@gracecampus.net if you want to be of assistance to me. Thanks.

  2. neville

    Jonathan, the chipmunk effect happens with some MP3 files when played with a Flash player. It’s to do with the sampling rate and a quirk in Flash.

    To avoid that chipmunk effect, you need to ensure that the sampling rate is set at one of the two most common rates for vocal recordings such as podcasts – either 22,050 Hz or 44,100 Hz, better expressed as 22kHz and 44.1kHz respectively. If you do a stereo recording, 22kHz is likely to be the rate you’d choose, with 44.1kHz for mono. And when setting that sampling rate, make sure you also choose constant bit rate (CBR) not variable bit rate (VBR).

    If you already have your audio file and it’s not at one of those two sampling rates (which looks like is your case), then you could either open the file in your audio editor and export/save as at one of those two rates, or use an audio converter to achieve the same result.

    I hope this helps. I’ll email this to you as well.

  3. Stephan

    Hi Neville,

    Just listened to your podcast in answer to Nicole – I would agree that blogging podcasting increase the chances of being heared… for a given quality of content, both combined are probably even more than just 1 1=2, but enhance communication effectiveness through synergy effects between the written and the spoken word… reason for which we at blog.beautifuloceans.com have decided to go that route as well… its just that our podcast is not working …yet. Which brings me to the reason for this commment…:-)

    We use the same configuration: wordpress podpress… but I must have got somethng wrong in specifying the directory containing our mp3 files about coral reef news… would you mind having a quick look at 3 screen captures I did (FTP, plugin window, blog-write window) to tell me where I lost my synergy?…;-)

    Thank you,
    Stephan

  4. neville

    Stephan, no link to those screen captures you mention. Can’t see anything on your site (nice blog, by the way).

    Let me know how to access them and I’d be happy to help.

  5. Getting more out of your visits here at NevilleHobson.com

    […] Embedded podcasting. With the awesome Podpress plugin, it’s very easy to write a post and include links to a podcast plus an embedded Flash player so you can listen to it there and then. I’m not sure yet how much use I’ll make of this in my own name (I’m focused on doing podcasts at For Immediate Release) but it’s a very neat addin for WordPress. See my post last weekend for more info. […]

  6. Stephan

    Thank you Neville – I managed to make it work… but now iTunes plays a different file than my discussion file – it plays a music file instead… :-) I am investigating… Thank you for your offer to help, now its the guys from iTunes who are the only ones able to provide an answer…;-)
    Stephan

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