Producing Participatory Media
Class 2 - June 29


  • Audio Blogging
  • RSS Revisited
  • Podcasting
  • Pod-Safe Music
  • Video Blogging
  • Basic Production
  • Aggregators

  • 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)

  • 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:

  • Payloads for RSS nice explanation 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)

  • PodPress
  • 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.

    Video Blogging
    aka: vogging, vlogging, vodcasting, video podcasting and so on..

    Just like audio blogging is the posting of audio to your blog, video blogging is the posting of video.


    From: vlog 3.0 [a blog about vogs]

    See: Vlog - Wikipedia

    Some Video Blogs (to get you started)

  • Momentshowing
  • Ryanne's Video Blog
  • Rocketboom
  • Steve Garfield
  • Kong is | King Kong | Peter Jackson's Production Diary
  • We Are The Media

  • Video Blog Aggregators and More

  • mefeedia: video blog browser
  • FireANT
  • Blip.TV
  • Our Media
  • YouTube

  • Other Resources

  • Freevlog: Tutorial
  • Vloggercon 06 - vloggercon 05 and Vloggercon 05: Conference Sessions Online
  • Video Blogging Yahoo Group
  • NODE101 :: NYC
  • Internet Archive: Moving Image Archive (Open Source Movies) (Create Account)
  • Creative Commons Publisher
  • Yahoo Video Search

  • Interesting Ideas

  • GeoVlogged Video Map - GeoTagged Posts, Navigate videos by map..
  • Talking-Head Video Is Boring Online (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

  • Basic Production


    QuickTime, with it's support of MPEG-4 (now very much a standard) is probably the most universal tool in use for video blog creation. Of course, most other plugin based media players are able to be used but for now we will stick with QuickTime.

    QuickTime Pro is by far the most useful tool for creating QuickTime movies but any capture/editing software that supports QuickTime should be able to do it.

    Super Simple Capture and Export

    QuickTime Pro can be used to record directly from a camera (Firewire and DV are directly supported). Choosing File: New Movie Recording brings up a recording window that you can capture directly into.

    The next step is to export the video in a manner that can be published on the web.

    File: Export: Movie to QuickTime Movie: Options: Video: Compression MPEG-4: Bitrate 600 kbits/sec. Sound: Format: AAC Sample Rate: Recommended: Bit rate 64 kbps. Prepare for Internet Streaming: Fast Start - Compressed Header

    Following this, you should be able to publish your video on the web in the same manner you do with any other file. Upload it to a webserver and create a link to it. (As with podcasting, you should include the full path to the file: instead of just ppm_spring06/

    Here is a test file:

    Simply posting the link to your blog should make it available as an enclosure in your RSS feed (as long as you have WordPress or MT with the MTEnclosures Plugin).

    Embedding Movies

    QuickTime players can be embedded in a webpage.

    There are many advantages to doing this:
  • Precise Layout Control and better user experience (no annoying ads and branding)
  • Integration with other web based components such as Java applets, images and text
  • Simple interactivity of your own design (through JavaScript or VBScript)

    The main disadvantage is that it can take a while to load video and multiple videos on one page make the page heavy and sometimes unusable for older browsers.

    To Simply Embed a QuickTime player in a page utilize the following HTML:

      <OBJECT CLASSID="clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B" WIDTH="160"HEIGHT="144"
      <PARAM name="SRC" VALUE="">
      <PARAM name="AUTOPLAY" VALUE="true">
      <PARAM name="CONTROLLER" VALUE="false">
      <EMBED SRC="" WIDTH="160" HEIGHT="144" 
    You will notice that there are really two things going on here. The first is the "Object" tag and associated "Param" tags. These are included to support Internet Explorer and other browsers that support ActiveX controls. The second is the "Embed" tag. This is included to support browsers that utilize the standard Netscape plugin architecture. In order for your embedded player support the range of browsers available you need to include both. Also, both tags should include the same set of information. For instance, if you are going to change the height of the plugin you should change it in both the "Object" tag and in the "Embed" tag.

    There are quite a few tags that you may utilize when you use a QuickTime embedded player. A full list is available from Apple by following the For more information: QuickTime Embed Tag Attributes. Some of the more interesting ones are: AUTOPLAY, CONTROLLER and HIDDEN.
  • If I wanted to make sure the movie plays as soon as it is able, I would set the AUTOPLAY to true.

  • If I didn't want a controller to be available on the page I would set CONTROLLER to false (better make sure that AUTOPLAY is true in this case). When you have a controller you should increase the size of the movie by 17 pixels in height.

  • I could even hide the movie completely by specifing HIDDEN which is perhaps good for audio streams or ambient music. Here is an example of a movie without a controller.

  • One Gotcha with WordPress

    WordPress has some features which are there to correct HTML tags if they are entered incorrectly. Unfortunately, the WordPress feature that does this, incorrectly identifies the embed and object tags above and tries to correct them rendering the video unplayable.

    To correct this situation, I whipped up this QuickTime Embedding Plugin for WordPress. If you are using WordPress, you should download this plugin and use it.

    For more information:
    QuickTime Embed Tag Attributes


    Just as there exists software for subscribing to podcasts there are several new pieces of software for subscribing to video blogs.


    Each of these pieces of software have their own set of features and formats that they support. It is interesting to track the development of each, especially as they add things like Tagging, Integrated Directories, BitTorrent support, Sharing and so on.