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Podcast Quick Tip: PDF in iTunes

Add PDF downloads to your RSS feed By Stephen Schleicher

Ive previously walked you through the creation of a Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feed for your podcast.  But did you know beyond an audio or video file, you can also embed an Adobe PDF file in your feed as well?

Why would you want to place a PDF file in a RSS feed?  If you are creating a foreign language podcast, you might want to include a vocabulary or other worksheet for listeners to follow along.  Someone who is doing a cooking podcast can post the recipe for download.  Even the myriad of How-to podcasts can benefit from including a step by step instruction sheet users can download and print out.  The possibilities are endless but probably not for every podcast out there.

With this fantastic feature available, how do you do it?
It begins with an item tag that is placed in your RSS feed.  In fact, most of the item section of your feed will remain the same except for the enclosure tag.  You can see a sample below.

<title>Coolness Roundup Tutorials</title>
<itunes:author>Charlie White and Stephen Schleicher</itunes:author>
<link> http://www.coolnessroundup.com/pdf/instructions.pdf
<description> Coolness Roundup PDF in a RSS Feed Instructions </description>
<itunes:subtitle>PDF instructions for creating a RSS feed that includes a PDF file</itunes:subtitle>
<itunes:summary> PDF instructions for creating a RSS feed that includes a PDF</itunes:summary>
<enclosure url="http://www.coolnessroundup.com/pdf/instructions.pdf" length="54264" type="application/pdf"/>

As you can see here the type is changed from the regular ?application/audio to ?application/pdf.

<guid> http://www.coolnessroundup.com/pdf/instructions.pdf</guid>>
<pubDate>Mon, 03 Jul 2006 19:47:24 -0500</pubDate>
<itunes:keywords>news, consumer technology, technology roundup, gadgets, gizmos, fun tech

Obviously you need to make sure your PDF file is located on your server, but once that is accomplished and the item group is placed in your RSS feed, post the XML file to your site, and iTunes (and any other aggregator for that matter) will be able to download the file for the end user.

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (www.digitalmedianet.com), where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at [email protected]

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