Using a Podcast as a Playlist

You can assign a Podcast feed as the "Wimpy Script" to play podcasts directly within Wimpy.

To use this option:

  1. Use the Customizer tool and enter the URL to the Podcast feed into the "Wimpy Script" field.
  2. In the "Advanced" section of the Customizer Tool, check "Force XML playlist"

Installing the Podcast scripts

Click here to download the podcasting scripts.

Unzip the podcast scripts package.

Configure your podcast by opening wimpy_podcast.php/asp in a text editor and adjust the variables for you podcast, such as name, podcast name, email and description.

Upload wimpy_podcast.php to the same folder that you initially installed wimpy in.


Wimpy is installed here:

Upload wimpy_podcast.php to the same folder:

Using a web browser, pull up the wimpy_podcast.php script directly:

Included in the podcast scripts package is a graphic that you can use as a button to link to your podcast.

To link the button, use the following code:

<a href=""><img src="" border="0" /></a>

... where you will have to adjust the URL to reference wimpy_podcast.php/asp and the podcast_rss.gif image on your web site.


External Podcasts won't load or play?

Some podcasting web sites will use an XML style sheet in conjunction with the actual podcast, which allow the podcast to be used as a web page and a podcast. Under this circumstance, the style sheet information needs to be removed so that the style sheet information does not interfere with how the XML data is interpreted.

In addition, XML files can not be loaded into Flash from another domain. This is a security feature built into the Flash Plugin. To use a podcast from another web site, you will have to use a "Podcast Proxy" -- a working example of a podcast proxy is included in the podcasting scripts available in the "tools" section.

Some podcasters do not use MP3 files in their podcasts, instead, they may use another audio file format. Wimpy can only play MP3 files. So any podcast that uses non-MP3 files will not display in the playlist or work with Wimpy.

And finally, if the podcaster has set up their podcast by using a URL to a script, such as PHP or ASP, to "pull" the file from the server, rather than a direct URL to the mp3 file, then the podcasts will not display within Wimpy.

For example:

If a podcast is set up to use the following URL to the mp3 file:
... as opposed to:

Then Wimpy will not be able to determine if the reference to the file to play is an actual mp3 file, and subsequently, Wimpy will not list or play the file.


About RSS

An RSS "feed" simply feeds (or gives or transfers) an XML file (or XML data in text format) to a program that knows how to interpret the XML data (like Wimpy or iTunes or some other "aggregator" type application).

Said another way:
The terms "RSS" and "XML feed" and "RSS feed" are interchangeable descriptions of the same thing -- just a bunch of text-based XML data that is organized in a particular way.

And another:
RSS stands for "Rich Site Summary" it's a way to summarize headlines and brief descriptions of headlines (like the front page of a news paper) so that both humans and computer programs can read it with relative ease. Podcasters have adopted this format since it already includes a standardized way to include an mp3 (audio/video/image/other) file in the description. (Why re-invent the wheel? -- Especially when the RSS format is [and has been] used by the major newspapers to transmit news and information for years.)

And another:
RSS is a "standard" for formatting XML data in a unified way so that programmer geeks can all be "on the same page" when they have to write a program to "read the feed" and present the data contained in the XML inside of a program (like Wimpy or iTunes or an aggregator).


About subscribing to a Podcast

You can "subscribe" to a podcast, much the same way you "subscribe" to a news feed. Podcasts are nothing more than glorified RSS news feeds. RSS news feeds were originally established by the news industry to to standardize the basic information about a given news article. RSS news feeds allow news people to easily exchange and distribute news throughout the news community.

RSS news feeds are basically text-based XML files that contain information about a news article. The "standardized" information consists of a brief description, author, date, photo, plus a few other things that are pertinent to any given news article. Podcasts leverage this pre-existing "standardized" format by including a reference to an audio file in within the XML data.

RSS news feeds are text-based XML files, which means that XML files can not contain binary data such as photos, audio or video. All references to these kinds of files are established as URL links within the XML data -- much like the way that an HTML page references images. HTML and XML are very similar in nature. Since a Podcast is basically an XML file, all references to photos or MP3 files are simply URL's to said files.

As mentioned before RSS files (the news industry's standardized news distribution file format) are simply XML files. Some browsers, such as Apple's Safari, and Mozilla's Firefox automatically interpret the RSS file format within the browser. Other stand alone programs such as iTunes can intercept RSS-based files when a user clicks on the link in a web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Netscape), or URLs to podcasts can be entered into the program manually.

The act of "subscribing to a podcast" is handled by a users PC (personal computer). A user must have a program installed on their PC that knows how to interpret RSS files. To subscribe to a podcast, the URL to the podcast file must be entered into the podcast program that the user has installed on their PC. Usually, the podcast software has a button that allows users to enter a URL to the podcast. Once the user clicks the button and they enter the URL to the podcast, the program will access the RSS file, interpret it and display the contents of the RSS XMl data so that humans can read it. These podcasting programs will also periodically visit the RSS file to see if the file has new information contained in the RSS file that has not yet been downloaded -- hence the term "subscribe."






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