Producing Participatory Media
Week 2 - January 27


  • Audio Blogging
  • RSS Revisited
  • Podcasting
  • Pod-Safe Music

  • Audio Blogging

    Simply put, Audio Blogging is the act of putting home made audio files up on a blog.

    Putting audio on your blog (instead of just on a normal web page) opens up the possibility of people leaving comments and possibiliity of trackbacks which are the cornerstones of the loose social networks that blogs enable.

    While the internet itself has done a great deal to enable everyone with the ability to publish to anyone, it hasn't been until recently that the bandwidth has been available to support rich media publishing and consumption. Blogs with their ease of use in publishing text opened the floodgates and one of the first things to come through in the new world of many-to-many media creation is audio.


  • NPR: Audio Blogs: Online Diarists Sound Off
  • Idle Words: An Audioblogging Manifesto (text) or Audioblogging Manifesto (audio)
  • Joi Ito's Web: audiomashupblogging
  • Unmediated: audiomashupblogging

  • In order to create an audio blog, you simply need to enable the listening of an audio file from your blog. You can utilize a myriad of plugins and embed the audio file in your HTML but generally that makes things more difficult for the users (cross-platform issues, plugins not installed and so on). Many audio bloggers simply link to an MP3 audio file which enjoys almost universal support. Of course there are a thousand ways to go about putting audio on a web page and many more players and production techniques that can be utilized.

    Production Tools:

  • Audacity and LAME
  • Any other video or audio editor that can save a file in a compressed form (AAC, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, RA, WMA) including QuickTime Pro, Real Producer, QuickTime Broadcaster, FinalCut Pro, iMovie, SoundForge and on and on..
  • Jeremy Allaire: How does Audio Blogger work? Description of a Flash based Audio Blogging production tool.
  • and Audioblogger Phone based audio blogging service
  • brainwagon >> HOWTO: Produce Your Own AudioBlog

  • RSS - Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary

    As we now know, RSS is an easy way to syndicate web based content. It is built into many content management systems (CMS) and there are an increasing number of aggregators available for subscribing and browsing through that content.

    RSS has a couple of versions in general use: .91, .92 and 2.0.
    All RSS version are composed of a channel <channel> with multiple <item> tags.
    RSS versions less than .92 are good for standard news and website syndication (ie. text) but things get really interesting (for our purposes) with version .92
    .92 allows for <enclosure> tags. Enclosures allow for the inclusion of media elements.
    A Sample: <enclosure url="" length="12216320" type="audio/mpeg" />

    The length attribute is the size of the file in bytes. The type attribute is the mime type of the file.

    MT-Enclosures: Movable Type Plugin to automagically add enclosures to your feed.


    WordPress automatically puts enclosures in RSS feeds for mime types that it knows about. If it is a mime type that WordPress doesn't know about you can manually do it by:


    Term is a blend of iPod and broadcasting. Thanks to enclosures in RSS, audio blogs (or any other audio delivered via RSS) are automatically downloaded to your computer through the use of a special aggregator. The term and concept of podcasting was originally developed by Dave Winer and Adam Curry (of MTV fame) and has quickly exploded due to the ubiquitous nature of portable digital music devices (such as the iPod) coinciding with the growth of broadband to the home.

    More information, what is it and how it came about:

  • TheTwoWayWeb.Com: Payloads for RSS nice explaination of the concept behind delivering media via RSS.
  • The RSS Enclosure Exposure
  • What is podcasting?
  • Wikipedia: Podcasting
  • New Media Musings: Podcasting as citizens media
  • Podcating 101 video (goofy but informative)

  • Podcasting with (Insert your blogging software here)

  • Podcasting << WordPress Codex
  • Loudblog
  • (Can integrate with several other blogging softwares)

    Podcast aggregators

  • Juice (formerly iPodder, I think) cross platform (Mac, Windows and Linux (soon)), open source.
  • Podcatchers software listings per platform
  • iPodder Software
  • iTunes

  • Portable Devices for Podcasts

    Basically any device that can play MP3s and be synched with a computer fits the bill. Whether or not the software or aggregators make it easy is another story.

  • iPod
  • Creative MP3 Players
  • Sony's PSP
  • and many more..

  • Get some podcasts:

  • Directory of Podcasts
  • Last 100 Podcasts
  • -- Podcast Directory
  • On The Media and On The Media - Podcasting
  • ITP Radio
  • Of course, iTunes has a built-in directory as well

  • More:

  • Podcasting News

  • Pod Safe Music

    With the music industry coming down hard on people who use copyrighted music in non-sanctioned ways (file sharing, streaming and the like) and the fact that there exist no blanket agreements that cover podcasting with the rights clearning houses (ASCAP, BMI, Harry Fox, SoundExchange), podcasting copyrighted music is risky business.

    Fortunately, efforts of organizations such as Creative Commons have made some progress. Creative Commons offers a flexible licensing system that artists can use to choose what they will allow people to do and what they won't. It is clear, written well and increasingly being used in a wide variety of mediums. We The Media has a CC license and therefore can be found in a myriad of different formats such as a free audio book along with the standard PDF downloads.

  • Podcasting Music - Legal Implications
  • Creative Commons
  • Podsafe Music Network
  • Magnatune
  • ccMixter
  • Internet Archive: Open Source Audio

  • Extra Credit

    MAKE: Blog: HOW TO make Enhanced Podcasts (images, links and more with audio) - Specifically for use with iTunes/iPod.