How To Post A Podcast Using iOS

Fraser Speirs and I have recorded 63 episodes of Out of School. One of the things we've been striving to do is accomplish as much of the show as possible using iOS. If you've not read his post on the production aspects of our show, then stop here and go do that. This is essentially part 2 of that post. In this post, I am going to detail how to upload a podcast to Buzzsprout and Libsyn completely via iOS.

I upload 2 podcasts a week. One for Out of School (Buzzsprout) and the other is for work (Libsyn). I'll explain the Buzzsprout show first. After Fraser completes the mixdown, it goes into a Dropbox shared folder. I then write up our show notes in Byword and copy the HTML to the clipboard. The next step is where the magic begins to happen. I used to think there would be no way to actually upload an audio file to a web interface in iOS. Fraser, being the iOS wizard, suggested I look at the iCab Browser as it has some tricks up its sleeve that Safari does not. From the Dropbox iOS app, I do 'Open In' to iCab. The file goes into the 'downloads' area of iCab. I then go to Buzzsprout website using the iCab browser (you need to change the 'File Upload via' to iCab Mobile in the settings). The normal uploader didn't seem to work, but changing to the 'basic uploader' worked fine. I was then able to paste the HTML based show notes into the notes section and add the title. Clicking the 'add file' button brought up the downloads window from iCab. I uploaded the show, and then we were off and running. I then pasted the shownotes HTML into the WordPress for iOS app for the posts on our website. In the past, I would copy the .mp3 link from the Buzzsprout website from our page in order to embed it into the blog post. Buzzsprout kept showing me the mobile page and it didn't have the direct link on it. Thankfully, iCab also allows you to change the browser user agent. I then copied the link and pasted it into the post with this code: "[audio * Insert Link *]". The show and blog posts are now uploaded and published. One thing to note is that because all the apps I am using are universal, this can be done from an iPhone or an iPad.

The second podcast I have to post is a little tricker. It's a 1.5 GB movie file that is sent to me via a Dropbox shared folder. Typically, I would extract the audio out of the video using Prism for Mac. After a quick search, I found a few apps on the iOS App Store that would do the same thing:

The latter 2 have direct Dropbox integration where the first one allows you to do 'Open In' from the Dropbox app. All 3 of the apps chewed through the 1.5 GB file within a few minutes (thank you iPad Air). The longest part of this process is having to download the video file in full before you can do anything. The middle one is the best looking, but it's iPhone only. The first one is probably the best overall, though. Once I got converted to .mp3, Libsyn was a breeze to finish up with. Because it has a FTP upload option, you can use Goodreader for iPad, Goodreader for iPhone, or Documents by Readdle. I did an 'Open In' from the video to audio conversion app into Documents and uploaded the file to the FTP server (see Libsyn documentation for this information). I then logged into their website using Safari and finished posting the show (there is an option to load from your FTP queue).

Although it takes a few apps to accomplish this, I'd rather do it all on iOS as this saves me from having to make sure I am near a Mac when I need to post the shows. In my opinion, iOS is a magical balance of simplicity, portablity, and power. Apple certainly can improve on some inter-app communication protocols with iOS 8, but it's amazing what we are able to accomplish on a 'consumption only' device.