Podcast Generator requires just a web server with PHP support to run!
[Notice for newbies] you can't download podcast generator and execute directly in your computer: it is a web-based software and you need a local or remote web server (e.g. your personal webpage, your school or company website, etc...) with PHP support to run it. PHP is a scripting language which produces dynamic web applications and Podcast Generator is a piece of software that can be also called "script".
How to install the script
The following steps refer to a new installation of Podcast Generator; if you are already running an older version of the program, read the upgrading from previous versions instructions.
Installation of the latest release of Podcast Generator:
2. Decompress the zip file containing the script;
3. Upload all files to your server;
4. Point your web browser to the folder in which you installed the script to start the setup wizard.
5. After a successful setup delete the Podcast Generator setup/ folder on your server (do not forget this step!)
6. Log-in into Podcast Generator administration interface, customize some details (title, etc...) and start to publish your podcast!
Please be sure that "media" folder, "images" folder and the script root folder have writing permission on your server (set chmod 777): anyway the setup wizard will assign these permission automatically if the server allows folder chmod.
It's very important to keep your copy of Podcast Generator updated to the latest version in order to add new features and patch security issues that may be found.
Upgrade from and to any version of the 1.x branch (e.g. from 1.3 to 1.4 or above)
Notice: the upgrade simply consists in downloading the latest package, unzip it and upload all the files on your server, overwriting everything EXCEPT media and images folders (the folder which contain your episodes, data and images).
Here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Make a backup copy of your current Podcast Generator folder (just in case)
2. Download the latest version of Podcast Generator and extract the compressed file: from the extracted package delete locally (before uploading to your server!) the media and images directories.
3. Upload all to your server where you already installed the previous release Podcast Generator. You will be asked to overwrite several file and folders: overwrite :-)
4. After a successful upgrade, delete the Podcast Generator setup/ folder on your server
5. That's all!
Upgrade from old versions 0.8x, 0.9x to 1.0 (or above)
1. Make a backup copy of your current Podcast Generator folder (just in case)
2. Go in the folder where you installed podcastgen and delete all files and directories EXCEPT:
* Directory: media/
* Directory: images/
3. Copy the new files in your directory: do not overwrite the files and directories mentioned above if u want to preserve previous episodes (their data will be automatically converted into the new XML format by the Setup Wizard)
4. Point your web browser to the folder in which you installed the script to start the setup wizard
5. After a successful setup delete the Podcast Generator setup/ folder on your server
6. Log-in into the administration interface, manually regenerate the XML feed and customize your Podcast.
Some technical documentation about Podcast Generator is available for download in PDF format.
No, Podcast Generator doesn't need MYSQL database to store podcast data.
The script relies on XML files automatically created in the media/ directory.
Does the mp3 streaming player plays mp3 files too fast in Podcast Generator web pages (while if you download those files, they play correctly)? This is probably due to the mp3 encoding and it's a flash-player issue, see this:
"The Macromedia Flash player has a problem playing files that are encoded at a rate that is not a multiple of 11.025 kHz. This effect is sometimes called the “chipmunk” effect: the file is played at double speed. To avoid this, encode MP3’s at 11.025 kHz 22.050 kHz or 44.100 kHz."
The maximum upload size of a single file via a web form is determined by the server where this script is installed.
The default max file upload size in commercial cheap hosting is around 5-8Mb.
How to upload bigger files via web form:
- If you own a server and can access to its configuration, change upload_max_filesize, post_max_size and memory_limit values in the php.ini config file.
- If you can't directly change these settings, ask your hosting provider to do it for you.
If your provider doesn't want to modify these values (for bandwidth reasons or any other reason) then you will be limited to the max upload size they chose for you.
If you can't change these parameters in your server, you can upload your podcasts via FTP without any size limitation and eventually process them through the easy-to-use "FTP feature" in Podcast Generator web admin interface!
Podcast Generator supports and currently autodetects these file extensions:
mp3, mpg, mpeg, mov, wav, wma, wmv, ogg, wma, 3gp, amr, mp4, asf, avi, flv, jpg, jpeg, pdf, aif, aiff, m4a, m4v.
How to add new file extensions*:
The supported extension are specyfied in supported_media.php file inside core/ folder.
To add new file extension open that file with a simple text editor (e.g. Notepad) and add a
variable with a corresponding
*Please note that Podcast Generator supports virtually every current and future existing mimetype but, on the client side, some aggregators could not support all these extension: e.g. iTunes supports mp3, m4a, mp4, m4v, mov, mpg and pdf files but doesn't support ogg files (unless you install a plugin).
The current streaming player incorporated into Podcast Generator plays just mp3 files. It would be possible to add a FLV player to see .flv files directly on the web pages, however the player won't work with mpg files (or other video formats): these video files should be previously converted into FLV format (.flv) by Podcast Generator (it's the same operation portals like YouTube or MySpace make as soon as you upload a video).
A server-side script which interacts with Podcast Generator could be developed (using the ffmpeg command for example), but this feature wouldn't be available on every server and would require a powerful server. Therefore I don't think I'll implement this feature directly in Podcast Generator; every programmer can develop this kind of feature ad hoc in your server and integrate it into Podcast Generator to play also video files on the web pages.
User and Password are asked once in a whole session with your browser, and shouldn't "bother" you in every page...
If you log-in the admin page but you are unable to click on any link because the script takes you right back to the login screen, you are probably experiencing a server-side issue: it is most likely a "sessions" configuration problem in your server.
You need to enable sessions (this is a native feature in PHP). Please look in a search engine for "enable sessions in PHP", refer to your server documentation or contact directly your hosting provider to enable sessions.
If your server offer a log-analysis tool to produce pretty graphical statistics, such as AWSTATS, simply refer to it to monitor downloads of podcast files you offer both in your website and in the XML feed(s) generated by Podcast Generator... That's all!
If your server or your hosting provider don't offer you a stats system based on server logs, the issue is more complicated. I quote the iTunes Technical Specifications for podcasts, by Apple:
Some podcasters have created mechanisms for tracking the number of times that each episode has been downloaded. iTunes does not provide support in how to track downloads, but the following notes may be helpful:
* 302s will be followed to a depth of 5 redirects and will not update the feed URL in the directory.
* The URL before the GET-style form values (before the first ?) must end in a media file extension (e.g. mp3). To work around this, the feed provider can alter their URL from this:
Notice how it says load.mp3 instead of load.php. It should be possible to accomplish this via various means, such as web server rewrites. iTunes looks at the extension of the path part of the url, i.e. the part before the"?".
Another option to have stats about your podcast downloads is adopting an external service, such as Feedburner, which features usage statistics. I'm currently planning a Podcast Generator integration with this kind of service, however the main problem consist in the feeds-per-category. Users should "burn" manually a feed in the external service as soon as they create a new category with podcastgenerator; therefore I see a possible integration of Podcast Generator with an external feed service just for the main feed (FEED.XML), while single categories feeds should be disabled in this case...
If you are no longer creating a podcast and you want it removed from iTunes, you should:
1. Log into iTunes.
2. Find and select your podcast.
3. Click on Report a Concern.
4. Select "is mine and I want it removed from the Music Store" from the Choose a Reason menu.
5. Explain why you want the podcast removed.
See also the iTunes Technical Specifications for podcasts, by Apple.
This theme-related documentation is still progress and at the moment it may not be comprehensive...
Technical introduction: Podcast Generator doesn't adopt any existent template engine (such as SMARTY) to handle themes and skin. I developed my own and very simple template engine, which is based on string replacing.
To create your own theme you need a basic knowledge of (x)HTML (or a WYSIWYG software, such as NVU for example). Here are the basic guidelines:
Create freely your layout (e.g. one xHTML page with an internal/external CSS).
As soon as your layout is ready you should simply write "special sentences" in it. These sentences are simple text you write in your (x)HTML page; Podcast Generator will automatically recognize this text strings and replace with the related content.
If you write in your page: -----PG_PODCASTTITLE-----
This will be replaced on the fly with the Title of your Podcast...
If you write: -----PG_MAINBODY-----
this will be replaced with the main content generated by the program (e.g. episode archive, admin interface, etc...)
and so on... there are several text sentences that will be replaced by the script (-----PG_PODCASTSUBTITLE-----, -----PG_PODCASTDESC-----, etc...).
A comprehensive list of these special sentences will be soon available here, in the meanwhile you can open an existing theme (such as the default_ocean, in the themes/ script folder): if you look the code of an existing theme (index.htm) you'll easily find all these "sentences".
Place your theme as a sub-folder inside the themes/ directory of the script. It will automatically appear among the available theme list in Podcast Generator administration interface and you'll be able to select it.
Please check also the technical documentation.
If you are experimenting with themes, you are strongly suggested to use a test copy of Podcast Generator before implementing it on your production website.
Moreover, you could also consider to start from an existent theme to create your own customized skin.
There is no direct option to change administrator password in Podcast Generator admin area. However the password can be changed manually in a quite simple way:
Just one example: let's say that your current password is "sun" and you want to change it with a new password: "moon"...
If something goes wrong and Podcast Generator doesn't work just restore the original config.php file you previously saved as a backup copy (you did the backup, didn't u?)
In Podcast Generator main(home) page each mp3 (just mp3 files!) should be shown along with a small flash mp3 player. If you don't see this player first of all go in the admin section, select the option "Change Podcast Generator Configuration -> Enable Streaming mp3 Player? -> YES".
If the player is not displayed, despite being enabled in PG configuration, then it's probably a server-related issue. You should write to your hosting company support service (or your server administrator) and tell them to "disable mod_security for that flash player, which is not shown because contains a get variable with the URL of the mp3 to play" (provide them a link if possibile).
Some users which adopt HostGator as hosting company, for example, experienced this problem, which can be promptly solved by their customer support team.
Submit a Support Request
If you read this documentation page but didn't find a solution, you can submit a Support Request on Sourceforge Project Page.