All About Podcasting
For official Apple podcasting documentation, please visit:
For information on podcasting with Google Play, see:
First: Creating a new feed
- Go to Connect > Feeds, and click Add a New Feed.
- Select a feed Type. All are RSS feeds, except the Events type, which is an ICS feed for calendars.
- Select any "Use" options you'd like such as Use Category or Use Group. With these options, you'll limit your feed to include only the Categories or Groups that you set here. Otherwise, all items will be included in the feed.
- Under Podcast Category, choose a category name that best describes your podcast.
- Give a Title to your feed.
- Select a Logo for your feed. This must be a high-quality, high-resolution image (specifications below).
- When you're done, click "Add Feed". In several minutes the XML file feed will be available at the URL shown. With this link, users can manually subscribe to your content, or you can provide this URL to iTunes or any other podcast service if creating a podcast.
Adding your existing podcast to iTunes
Ekklesia 360 updates an RSS feed of your sermons, articles, and blog posts whenever an item is edited or published. The URL to this feed file (ending in ".xml") must be submitted to iTunes for your podcast to be hosted by Apple.
- In the CMS, navigate to Connect > Feeds.
- Select the existing content feed you wish to use for the podcast or create a new feed.
- Set up your feed for this podcast with the options therein. (See Feeds).
- When finished, Copy the URL "Location" of the feed.
- Visit https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/ to submit.
Adding podcast artwork
Artwork for the iTunes podcast directory
iTunes requires a high-quality square image to serve as the podcast artwork. Full specifications are...
- Dimensions: 3000 x 3000 pixels.
- Format: JPG or PNG (The file must end in ".jpeg", ".jpg" or ".png").
- Color: RGB color space. CMYK (for print) is not supported.
To add the logo:
- Go to Connect > Feeds > Feed Title.
- Select an image file in the dropdown option for Logo.
Updating the podcast artwork for an existing podcast
To update an existing podcast image file, it is recommended that you give the updated image a new filename to help iTunes know that the image has changed. If the new image uses an identical name, iTunes may never know that the image needs updating.
Artwork for individual podcast files
The podcast artwork that appears on the user's actual device (the iPhone, iPad, or in the iTunes desktop interface) when playing the media file is not the same as your podcast directory image. The artwork for individual podcast files needs to be set by embedding images into the individual audio files themselves.
You can do this in iTunes by:
- Selecting your podcast audio file in the iTunes library.
- Right-clicking on the item and selecting "Get Info" from the menu.
- In the Artwork tab, add an image and OK.
- The image is now embedded in the media file and ready to upload. You can click on the listing in iTunes and drag it onto your desktop to retrieve the file out of iTunes.
A tool called ID3 Editor can also help you add image files to media items.
How podcast items are arranged in the feed
Podcasts are arranged in the feed by the publish date, which is set by the Date field in the Articles or Sermons module for each individual item. In the iTunes podcast directory, the most recent items are listed first (this may be different on iOS devices).
Changing the item's date in the Date field in the CMS will change the item's publish date in the feed.
Publishing multiple items for the same day
In the case when multiple items are published in the same day, the items are arranged by modification time. This allows you to customize the arrangement of same-day items in the feed. To change the modification time, leave the Date unchanged and publish the item again by using Publish or Published as Featured. Consequently, when needing to arrange a group of items published for the same day, you can set the modification time in sequence from oldest to newest using the same method. Publishing same-day items simultaneously with a batch update will cause their publish times to be identical, which may result in an unpredictable arrangement for same-day items.
How users can subscribe to your podcast
Depending on your site design, a sermons podcast link is usually available in your sermons list template or homepage, or both. With that, users can subscribe in several ways.
Subscribing via plain XML
The XML file URL can be used in iTunes to manually subscribe to the podcast, like so:
- Click the podcast link on your website and copy the URL.
- Open iTunes and navigate to Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast.
- Paste in the URL. The podcast is now added to the Podcasts list in iTunes.
Subscribing via iTunes direct link
By using a special link provided by Apple, the iTunes application will open on the user's computer and automatically direct them to your podcast listing in the Podcast Directory.
If your podcast is available on iTunes and you'd like to create this direct link, visit iTunes Link Maker, find your podcast and copy the direct link. If you need help implementing this link on your site, contact Support.
Subscribing via RSS
The podcast XML feed is also compatible with any RSS reader. Users can download each new post automatically from the RSS feed if using and RSS reader like Apple Mail or Google Reader.
Podcasting Best Practices
We suggest creating a Podcast page on your site that explains how to subscribe to your podcast using the iTunes application. Check out a good example of this page.