Podcasts User Guide

Podcasts User Guide

Podcasting allows for lectures, panel discussions, and entire conferences to live forever on MP3 players and computers around the world. This means that a UChicago alumnus living in Beijing, China can listen to lectures and watch events held in Hyde Park, Chicago.

Audio and video files that are stored on a server can be referenced by an RSS feed, which users use to subscribe to and stay up-to-date on episodes or installments of your podcast series. Combine your podcast with a blog, or add it to the University’s official site on iTunes U to ensure your multimedia content reaches the largest possible audience.

Getting Started

  1. Using a digital video camera or audio recording program (such as GarageBand or Audacity), record the talk, interview, performance, or other event you would like to feature on your podcast. If you need help, reach out to UChicago Creative who can provide recording solutions for your project.
  2. Edit your podcast and export it into a single file. If you have questions regarding appropriate files sizes or compression settings, please contact UChicago Creative.
  3. In order for people to subscribe to your podcast—or to submit it to iTunes—you must create a RSS feed. This part can get a bit technical if you’re not familiar with the process, but there are several easy-to-use sites that will do all the dirty work for you.
  4. Make a media upload request to have your media uploaded to the University’s other sites: UChicago News, iTunes U, and YouTube.

Best Practices

  • Make sure your podcast feeds come complete with written episode summaries, proper author information, category tags (especially if you plan to upload to iTunes U), and attractive artwork.
  • It’s not necessary to own an expensive microphone or HD video camera to create a successful podcast. Your first priority should always be to create high-quality content. However, you should always try to provide the highest video and audio quality possible.
  • Concentrate on sharing the types of quality content that is of interest to your audience.
  • It’s best to create a blog or Twitter account to accompany your podcast, so subscribers can stay informed about when to expect new episodes or events.
  • For help with captioning your video content, contact UChicago Creative.

Tools & Resources

  • iTunes U is one of the fastest-growing destinations for people seeking courses and interesting talks from universities around the world. Contact us if you’re interested in adding your podcast to The University of Chicago’s iTunes U presence.
  • PodOmatic is a one-stop-shop for creating, hosting, and distributing a podcast. Upgrade to a PRO account for more storage space and bandwidth, analytics tools, and higher quality downloads. http://www.podomatic.com
  • For those who post their new podcast episodes directly to a blog, Feedburner will automatically clean up your existing RSS feed so that iTunes and other popular podcast readers can properly interpret it. Simply paste your existing RSS feed URL into the box on feedburner.com and check the box that says, “I am a podcaster!” http://www.feedburner.com


The key pieces of information podcasters are interested in are, typically, number of downloads/views and number of subscribers. If your podcast is connected to a blog or website, then you may use the site’s existing Analytics software to track how many times each episode has been downloaded or linked from other websites.

Examples on Campus

Help and Feedback

Contact us if you have any questions about podcasting, or if you have recommendations for this page.

Connect and collaborate with communicators across the University.

Join the Campus Communicators to share updates and announcements with University colleagues via listhost, Facebook, and at workshops and biannual gatherings.

Find an array of UChicago new media sites, as well as contact information for their owners, in the Social Media Directory.

Create targeted communications campaigns and digital platforms.

Work with UChicago Creative’s team of designers, writers, and producers to develop compelling materials and comprehensive multimedia campaigns.

Enlist University experts to build, design, and support your web applications by partnering with Web Services.

Discover resources to enhance your communications platforms and outreach.

Follow social media and multimedia from across the University at UChicago Social.

Collect and disseminate our latest stories with print-on-demand news.

Capture the images and ideas of the University community.

Enlist UChicago Creative to produce expert videography.

Book the TV studio for broadcast interviews.

Book the sound booth for remote radio interviews.

Align the look and language of your communications with those of the University.

Find best practices for the use of our logo, typeface, color palette, and editorial style within our visual identity.

Build and refine social media sites using our social media guide, and find web writing tips in Web Services’ multimedia content guidelines.

Order print materials created for your audience and customized for your office.

Present a uniform look with University of Chicago business cards and stationery for your department, office, or position.

Purchase maps, calendars, and brochures to welcome your guests and visitors to the University.