Recently I started a videogames podcast with a couple of friends for Villa Cross Media, where I currently volunteer doing some games journalism for their blog. After recording our debut episode I began looking into submitting the show to iTunes.
Let me tell you, going through that infuriating process makes Monkey Island’s brain-melting lateral thinking puzzles seem positively simplistic in comparison.
The first thing I did was read through Apple’s confounding set of instructions:
Now I’m not exactly the most technically minded of people, which is probably why I’m not a PC gamer, so this bewildering set of directions was about as useful to me as a Kinect.
I decided instead to turn to the My IGN community for assistance and luckily a big hunky knight in shining armour, Jamiemad66, rose to the occasion and filled me in… ok, that sounded wrong.
Step 1: Creating your Podcast
If you’re reading this tutorial you’ve probably already recorded your podcast. However if that isn’t the case there are a few tricks and tips I can offer to get you started. I don’t claim to be podcast pro but I’ll do my best:
- Firstly, don’t worry about the quality of you’re audio too much. We’ve been recording our podcast on an iPhone 5 using the Voice Memos app and it sounds reasonably decent considering. (I would use my bedroom recording studio to attain a much higher level of clarity, but unfortunately my man-cave has less space than a Wii U’s hard drive. Plus cramming the three of us in there would be simply too sexy to handle).
- Secondly, once you’ve moved your files from your recording device onto your computer, you’ll require a program with which to edit it. I recommend Reaper. It’s incredibly simple to use and can be downloaded for free. Plus its name is totally bitching! This sequencing software will allow you to implement the use of compression and equalisation as well as a host of other effects to improve your existing audio.
- Lastly, all the best shows have awesome theme tunes – Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Star Trek and the X Files to name but a few! You might also want to include some musical stings for interludes, allowing you to smoothly transition from one section of your podcast to the next. It’s definitely best to have something original and copyright free, so I suggest sourcing music from local bands or artists that might want some exposure. It’s a win-win!
I used one of my old compositions as the theme for the VxM Videogames Podcast:
Step 2: Uploading your Podcast
The next stage is to find somewhere to host your podcast. There are a plethora of different sites available but finding the right one can prove difficult. I suggest PodOmatic. You can sign up for an account for free where you can store up to 500MB of content and use up to 15GB of bandwidth per month. Call me Sly Cooper ’cause that’s a steal!
It’s incredibly simple to use so I won’t go through the entire process of uploading your file. Suffice to say it allows you to add a title & description, as well as episode artwork and any relevant tags.
Once you’re audio is processed you can listen to it on your PodOmatic Podcast Page:
Step 3: Submitting your Podcast
To submit your podcast to iTunes you’ll need to put it into an RSS feed, which sounds a bit complicated. Fortunately trusty old PodOmatic does most of the work for you.
- Once your first episode is processed go to your My Podcast page.
- In the Promotional Tools section, there is a field labelled RSS Feed (see diagram below). Copy the link in that field. Important: Do NOT copy your Podcast URL; iTunes will reject you faster than the head of the cheerleading team.
- Go to the iTunes podcast submission page and paste in your RSS Feed.
Once submitted, Apple will review your podcast and decide whether or not to list it in the iTunes Store. Their review process can take several days so don’t freak out if they don’t get back to you right away.
You might want to browse Apple’s guidelines before sending them your final product but unless you’re submitting the Official Nazi Fanboy-Cast, (or god forbid a Wii U podcast), you’ll probably be alright.
Unfortunately if your work is rejected, you can’t resubmit the same RSS Feed, so be sure to follow these instructions carefully. Also, don’t feed Gremlins after midnight…
So there you have it…
Assuming iTunes approves your content they will email you with the URL where people can subscribe to your podcast, and of course it will also be available to access through iTunes itself.
When you upload future episodes to PodOmatic, iTunes will reflect your RSS feed shortly thereafter.
I hope my tutorial has been of some help. To read more of my articles vist My IGN Blog and be sure to check out my podcast.
Rob Gisbey is a games journalist and music production graduate from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. To listen to his acoustic demo, read his articles and listen to the VxM Videogames Podcast head to his blog.