I have some friends who work at a non-profit institute which hosts a lot of guest speakers. They typically record those programs and then make them available on their website. The problem is that they're not a podcast and thus not listed in iTunes or Zune.

Since these folks are not very technical, what is the absolute simplest way for them to setup a podcast from this collection of links on their webpage? I've actually considered writing a Python script which will scrape their static HTML page and then spit out a podcast, but I'm hoping there's some app that can do this for them.


  • I don't know anything THAT easy, but maybe VLC + some kind of flash webplayer? You could bundle a VLC portable and the necessary script somehow into an installer. That way, they just click the EXE, they will have to select the directory, and will get an icon of "Start the stream" (which is a VLC with the neccessary parameters). Just my 2cents. – Apache Feb 23 '12 at 16:51
  • Well, I don't need these folks to listen to the files, I need the podcast to be listed in iTunes. – daveslab Feb 23 '12 at 17:00
  • I quick Python script might indeed be the easiest solution. If the guys took the trouble to add proper data to the MP3 ID3 tags then you can easily extract it with code.google.com/p/mutagen and it into the generated RSS feed. Also see the mutagen-inspect script that is installed with the module. The screen scraping part can be done using the crummy.com/software/BeautifulSoup module. – ccpizza Feb 26 '12 at 15:49

The bare minimum for most clients to be able to list podcasts is usually an RSS feed of some sort. Wordpress provides an incredibly simple platform for users with no technical knowledge to be able to make a post with an attached file.

Apple says that all you need to do to get your podcast on their site is to submit the link to your RSS feed to their site, and once it passes their validation test, they'll list it for you.

As far as how to take a directory full of mp3s and turning them all into a coherent RSS, that all depends on what information you already have. I am not aware of any software that will scan through a directory and build that RSS for you automatically, and even if there were, it might not be very good at reading the metadata on the MP3's to populate the RSS fields for authorship, publication date, and other information that podcasts usually provide. Feel free to try Feedility. I can't endorse it, I've never used it.

  • Yeah, I was thinking wordpress myself but it seems nuts that no one has created an application for something like this. – daveslab Feb 24 '12 at 14:54
  • Feedility actually looks cool and it could almost work...except that the page that these links are on right now can't be parsed by it because they don't have the title="Some title" attribute on the <a> tag. sigh – daveslab Feb 27 '12 at 18:58

If you want to write a script, just take a listing of the files in a directory and generate a real basic RSS podcast feed. That is the quickest and dirtiest. Have it output a static XML file and rebuild it every so often.

Another idea depending on how their website works is to use a free WordPress.com blog just for generating the podcast feed. You don't have to use any other part of the site. I would also add MANY references to the main website. Just add the 'enclosure' custom tag with a direct link to the file.


The absolute simplest way is to make the mp3 files available on a web page. (a good portion of the online world doesn't use iTunes/Zune). Have the mp3 as a resource that can be downloaded with a link, where the text shows the show name and the text "download podcast". For example, if the show was recorded as foo123.mp3, include this html:

< a href="foo123.mp3" > Download foo podcast </a>

Also be sure to have them modify the property details of the file so it contains: Title, Album and Contributing Artists. Without that info, a podcast played on mp3 players etc are lost in title obscurity.

Here's one example of someone doing something similar: enter link description here

Do a "view source" in your browser for hints on how to write the html. This is just one of many possible ways to present a list of mp3 podcast files.

  • Hi, thanks for the idea. Unfortunately, I really do need it as a podcast feed. I used to be a web developer, so I can write up a simple HTML page, surely, but the issue is with maintenance going forward so I don't need to be involved. – daveslab Feb 23 '12 at 19:58

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