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July 24, 2006

Creating & Delivering Podcasts & Other Downloadable Media

Article thumbnailA new white paper from Akamai, Creating & Delivering Podcasts & Other Downloadable Media, tells you (nearly) everything you need to know to create, encode, and publish podcasts.  Not just a basic "how-to" on podcasting, this paper explains the real details of codecs, formats, and gotcha's for delivering audio and video podcasts.  Akamai has deep knowledge of storing and distributing digital media. I was surprised to see how easy it is to replicate your digital media across Akamai's Edge distribution network (my own subdomain, media.learningapi.com, lives on the Akamai network).  Akamai knows that it's good for them to help people do more with digital media.  In turn, white papers like this are good for everyone who wants to know more, whether they are Akamai customers or not. 

The paper includes details on the differences between the different (and incompatible) flavors of MPEG4, the best way to encode  podcasts and vodcasts for the Creative Zen Vision and Sony PSP as well as the ubiquitous iPod, some player bugs (even the iPod has 'em) you need to know about, maintaining RSS feeds, and even creating downloadable media for "alternative" devices like the TiVo and XBox.  The article also includes quick-start directions for using Sorenson Squeeze for all your encoding needs, and of course, how to leverage Akamai's distribution network for handling the storage needs and load that podcasting can generate.

I should note that I wrote this paper.  I think the value-add of articles like this lies in describing the difference between how it's supposed to work, and how it really does work.  As is usually the case, when researching this piece I came across numerous technical procedures and processes that are supposed to be straightforward, but that don't really work as documented (or that simply aren't documented in one place where you need it).  As such, this paper, while brief, reflects the way it really works and will hopefully save some people a bunch of that "figuring it out" time!
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