How do I create a Video Podcast?

How do I create a Video Podcast?

After our own DV Gear Talk Video Podcast got as high as #12 in popularity of all podcasts worldwide, people asked for this article, so here it is!

If you haven’t seen one of these new Video iPods in person, take a trip to your local Apple reseller to really get a good grasp of the picture quality. It really is amazing. It’s even more amazing that you can actually have 150 hours of video on a device this size. And don’t forget, with the optional A/V cable, you can hook it up to a television.Now what really is making Podcasting a true digital revolution is the ability to easily organize and share like never before with the slick iTunes interface. Never before has it been so simple to garner a huge audience by simply submitting your work to this new form of (TV guide.) Think of it that way – only it’s indexed and keyword searchable.

You’re just bound to see a huge leap in this technology so we’re here to make it simple for you to get started creating your own distributed Video Podcast content, or at the very least, we want to get you up to speed in understanding the steps involved.

Today we’re going to look at how to create a Video Podcast from start to finish. Why? Well, we think there is a few things everyone should know about this new distribution method. You can now (Export to iPod) and easily create a high-quality QuickTime file to upload. Once coded into your XML file as you’ll soon see, the movie is available to anyone you wish to see it. The movie is now (on demand,) it’s archived, and once added to your iTunes library, it’s instantly keyword searchable.


1. Shoot great content
2. Edit
3. Compress: (Export to iPod)
4. Create XML doc
5. Upload files to server
6. Distribute

1. Shoot great content
We’re going to take this forward assuming you have a project you have already shot and edited (in the can). If you need help with steps in pre-production and production, I’d suggest spending 20 bucks and getting the Shooting Awesome Video download over at the web site. ( for more info) It goes into pre-production, shooting, lighting and capturing great location audio.
Cool, so let’s move on.

2. Edit
To avoid artifacts that can plague compressed video, I suggest minimal dissolve transitions ?Äì stick to hard cuts. Fast moving motion graphics also tend to fall apart on compressed video. While the data rate is fairly generous and the codec very good, you can still manage to get blocky pixels on high action/high contrast movement. Make your text a bit larger than you normally would so it is legible on a small screen. Also, keep in mind that internet video viewers are click happy and tend to have less patience, try to get to the point faster.

3. Compress: (Export to iPod)
Let’s now focus on compressing video content by creating a new file that is optimized for the web and the new Video iPod. We’ll be using the H.264 codec. If you don’t know what that is, no worries, we’re here to make this easy.

Once you’ve shot and edited your content, it’s time to shrink it down to compress the video to a fraction of the original size. Starting with QuickTime version 7.0.3 and higher, you’ll notice a new choice in QuickTime Player Pro (Export to iPod (320×240)) If you’re using Final Cut Pro, you go to Export>Using QuickTime Conversion and find it there.

Once you chose Export, this will begin creating a file that is 320 x 240 pixels in size running at about 700kbps. Depending on the speed of your computer and the duration of your project, this process can take a couple of minutes up to a few hours. It’s worth noting that you can also use Batch Export in FCP if you have a lot of movies to compress. Another application called Sorenson Squeeze is great at Batching large amounts of content.

After processing is complete, you’ll then take the resulting QuickTime (M4V) MPEG 4 file and upload it to your web server using an FTP application.

4. Create XML doc
The next step is to create the XML file. The XML file is simply a text file that most importantly says, hey, this is the name of the Movie, and this is where the movie is located.

You can copy and paste an example XML file at…dcast/index.php

Simply change:

QuickTime File location

5. Upload files to server
Save and upload the xml file to your web server via an FTP app such as Transmit, Fetch, WinFTP or using your favorite web design application.

6. Distribute
Now the last step is distribution. You’ll need to ask yourself, “Do I want a limited audience to view my content or the entire galaxy?”

For a limited audience you will need to supply the viewer with the direct URL to your XML file. Once they have the URL, in iTunes, under the Advanced menu one can choose Advanced>Subscribe to Podcast and enter in the URL directly. Once subscribed, any of the movies can be downloaded by hitting (Get.)

In the Preferences>Podcasts, you can also choose to Automatically Check for, and download the latest Podcast episodes.

For a larger audience, you’ll want to submit the Podcast to the iTunes directory. To do this, you’ll first need to set-up an iTunes account if you don’t already have one. Once logged in, it’s as simple as going to the Podcast Directory and Submitting your Podcast.

You’re now ready for prime time.

1 Comment

  1. Harold Ek 16 years ago

    I am working with a Community Access TV channel. We currently are generating four or five 10 to 20 minute videos each month. Three of our monthly videos are of an interview type. Currently we are shooting in mini DV and editing using Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 and encoding directly from Premier into wmv format. For each of our programs we construct one high quality file for broadcasting, and two other wmvs that are streamed on the Internet. One of the Internet files is intended for use by people with dial up connections and the other for broadband connections.

    I have recently read an article that discusses the use of the Sorenson Squeeze to improve video quality specifically on the Web.

    Now to my questions.
    1. Would like your opinion of whether the Sorenson squeeze would produce significant video quality improvement at approximately the same file size.
    2. It is not clear to me whether Squeeze functions as a plug-in for Premier Pro or if it is a standalone application. Would you please comment?
    3. From my preliminary investigations there is indication that Squeeze includes Command line control. Would you project that this will allow us to prepare the three output files at one sitting? Would it be necessary to prepare an AVI or other file format of our edited program prior to encoding with Squeeze?
    4. Part of the recent discussion seemed to center about improvements of obtained by using Flash format, particularly for the Web. Would you agree that moving to Flash might provide quality improvements in addition to greater usability?

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

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