Yet another post today…

Sick of me yet?

Today, I am going to figure out how to make one of those little automatic ‘Subscribe’ buttons you see on some pages.

I’m pretty sure these are iTunes specific, but I can work with that.

Here’s my first trial:

Subscribe Now!

(The URL I added in the link was itpc://

If this link opens up iTunes to subscribe to my podcast, I can make a cute little image to post in my podcast blogs.


OK, so that test worked great. I clicked on the link & got the dialogue box that showed that it was trying to load iTunes. I clicked the ‘Launch Application’ button & was brought to iTunes, where I was subscribed to my podcast & iTunes was happily downloading the first episode.

Now to put the subscribe link in my blog sidebar.

A Podcast Using Blackboard

Now for my second podcast test… this one using Blackboard.

Here is the IRL to add to your Podcatcher:


How to post your podcast in Blackboard (using the Content Collection)

  1. Create your media file. This can be an audio file (preferably mp3), or a video file (possibly mov, or m4v).
  2. Log into Blackboard, go to the Content Collection & create a new folder (I called mine ‘Podcasts’).
  3. Click the ‘Modify’ button for the new folder in the Content Collection (look on the right-hand side). Click ‘Permissions’. Add in any users you want to access your podcast. Your podcast will be restricted to these users. (See the link above to find more info on setting permissions).
  4. Go inside the folder you just created and upload your media file. (You will find more info on the Content Collection here)
  5. Click "Modify" for the media file, then click ‘Properties’. Next to where it says ‘URL’, you will see a link to the media file. Put your mouse pointer over this link and click the right mouse button and select "Copy Link Location". The text you are copying now will be used in the next step, to create your XML file, so paste it in a word processor, like Word or Notepad.
  6. Create your XML file. This sounds trickier than it needs to be — you can use software to create this for you, OR you can simply copy the code I’ve posted below, modifying it to suit your podcast.

    • For the tag called "enclosure URL", you will want to paste the address that you copied in step 4. It should look similar to the URL that I have in the sample XML code… something like this:

  7. Upload your new XML file to your folder in the Blackboard Content Collection.
  8. Click "Modify" for the XML file , then click ‘Properties’. Next to where it says ‘URL’, you will see a link to the media file. Put your mouse pointer over this link and click the right mouse button and select "Copy Link Location". This is the address for subscribing to your podcast. Post it in your Blackboard course, email it… do whatever you need to get this URL out to those you need to access the podcast.

*Remember: Because you have posted the podcast in Blackboard, only those you included in the permissions (step 3) for the folder will be able to access the podcast. They will have to enter their Matrix username & password in oder to download episodes while in their "podcatcher" (like iTunes). If you need your podcast to be widely accessible, this is not your best option.

Some Sample XML Code

Here is an example of a very simple XML code used for podcasting. This code gives information on the "channel" (i.e. your podcast) as well as a single "Item" (your podcast episode). To add additional episodes, just copy the "Item" tags & everything between & paste it before the first one on the list. You can then edit the copied text to include the info for your second episode. You can paste & edit this in a Word Processing / text program like Notepad, but remember to change the extension to .xml after you save the file.

<rss version="2.0">


<title>Podcasting with Blackboard</title>


<description>Adventures in Podcasting</description>

<copyright>Stephanie Goetz</copyright>



<title>Bb – End of Term Tutorial</title>

<description>In this tutorial, we will look at the areas of a Blackboard course that instructors may want to back up before their access is removed at the end of a term.</description>


<pubDate>Mon, 29 May 2006 11:00:00 GMT</pubDate>

<enclosure url="" type="audio/mpeg"/>




A Podcast Using Roller

I didn’t actually have any podcasts linked here, which may have been confusing, so I decided to add some in.

Earlier in this blog, I posted about using blog software for podcasting/mediacasting (specifically THIS blog software, Roller) to podcast, I have attached a media file to this post. It won’t be obvious, unfortunately, so I’ll list the link here.

To subscribe to the podcasts in my blog, simply add this URI to your podcatching software (in iTunes, go to ‘Advanced’, then ‘Subscribe to Podcast’):

In most blogs, you will find the appropriate feed URI by clicking a button that says ‘RSS’, ‘XML’, or sometimes you will even find buttons specific to podcasting.


Note: In an ideal world, the software would add a nice link or icon or something when you’ve added a ‘mediacast’ link. (They use the term ‘mediacast’ instead of ‘podcast’ — many people don’t like the term ‘podcast, since it is iPod-centric & is misleading).

Exploring Instructional Technology