Corbett Barr
Articles | 50 Podcasts

The Corbett Barr Podcast (a show of shows)

I mentioned recently that I’m going to be appearing on 50 podcasts in 2021.

I decided to take it a step further. I launched a new podcast!

The new podcast is a collection of all the episodes I’m appearing on as a guest. There are some really great hosts and shows, and I wanted a place to collect all of the episodes together.

If you’re curious about how a ”show of shows” like this is put together, keep reading below and I’ll share all the details for the podcast geeks in the audience.

But first, two things:

1) I’d love you to check out the show :), and

2) If you leave a review of the show, I will be forever grateful AND I’ll give you a free month inside the all new refreshed Fizzle membership once it comes out next month.

Here’s the show link: https://corbettbarr.com/podcast/

If you leave a review, just email hi@corbettbarr.com and let me know, and I’ll get you on the list for your free month of Fizzle (even if you’re already a member). You can leave a review in any player that supports them. Bonus points for Apple Podcasts.

OK, now for you podcast geeks out there, here’s how I spent my Tuesday manually creating a podcast feed.

Until today, I had been adding links to each of the episodes to the podcast page on my site. Easy enough.

Then, I wondered, could I put an audio player on the page too, so you could listen right there, instead of having to click over to another site?

That led to some searching and I came across Huffduffer, which is this cool tool that allows you to collect audio from anywhere on the web, and add it to a personalized public audio feed that you can share.

Pretty cool, right? But this got me thinking. How is Huffduffer doing this, and could I publish the Huffduffer feed as my own podcast that would appear in Apple Podcasts, etc.?

It turns out you almost can, but not quite. The Huffduffer feed has some limitations. You can’t (as far as I could tell) edit the image for the podcast, for example.

What I really started wanting was a full-fledged podcast of my own, where I could just include the episodes from other shows I was a guest on.

Podcast feeds are nothing more than RSS, which itself is nothing more than a simple XML file.

A podcast feed has some special tags that are required, but Apple shows you exactly what those are in their technical spec on podcast requirements. They even provide a full RSS feed sample file.

So, I thought, why couldn’t I just make my own feed? You can! And it’s not that difficult if you have some basic tech skills. It took me around 4 hours, start to finish, including making the podcast artwork and grabbing all the details from the seven episodes I was already on.

At the most basic level, you could literally just take the sample feed file, edit it with your own details, then submit it to Apple and others.

I knew I wanted this to be easy to edit, without getting into a text file every time, so I took it a step further and added dynamic fields to WordPress using Advanced Custom Fields.

My blog’s theme uses Timber, which played very nicely with ACF, so it was a snap to pull in the dynamic episode data into my Twig template. If you have a similar setup and want to see how I configured the template, here’s my Twig file.

Here’s what the podcast episode fields look like in my WordPress dashboard:

When I need to add a new episode, I just click that “Add Row” button and enter in at least the four required fields (title, description, episode date and file URL).

Now, the question is where do I get the values for those required fields? Huffduffer has a handle little bookmarklet (in the footer on their homepage).

When you click the bookmarklet on any page with audio, it tries to grab the title, description and audio file URL. In practice, I found that sometimes the audio file URL doesn’t get populated, in which case you may need to do some digging in the show’s RSS file.

One of the really cool things about this approach is, I could add episodes I record on my own in between episodes from other shows. I just need to host the files somewhere with a fast CDN and enter that file URL into the field in the screenshot above.

You might also notice that I have a snazzy looking player on my podcast page now. It turns out that Apple just recently released a free podcast player, which I think works great.

If you care about analytics, Apple also provides analytics for podcasters through the iTunes Connect platform. This will give you some indication of downloads, at least in the Apple universe, but backend file downloads won’t be available for episodes you don’t host yourself.

So, what would you call this kind of podcast? It’s almost like a collection, or a show-of-shows, or even a reverse podcast (since I’m the guest on other shows).

Sorry for getting geeky for a minute, but this was a fun little project.

Check out the show and let me know what you think!

If you have questions about any of the above reach me on Twitter.

Published February, 2021

About the author

Hi, I’m Corbett Barr. I write about the creator economy 🧑‍🎨 digital minimalism 🧘 and tech for social good 🙌.

I’ve been self employed online since 2005, earning a living from blogging, podcasting, online courses, memberships, SaaS and more. I’ve bootstrapped, freelanced, consulted and raised venture capital.

Recently, I started over to refocus on writing, and to reevaluate my digital self.

I’m a big fan of digital media and techology, but I believe we should all be using it more mindfully and that technology itself should be a force for social good.

I write a monthly-ish newsletter for people who make things on the Internet. I hope you’ll subscribe:

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