From TBS to my Ipod


I’ve been thinking about this for a while…

For some reason I recently got the IPod bug. I won one last year at our local Safeway grocery store–the Shuffle.

I got to wondering what it would take to get my cartoons podcastable and found it was pretty simple. I ordered a certified used Ipod, with video screen, and with a minimum amount of work had a couple of my cartoons on my 'pod.

I found the right specs for my pod at the apple site, then exported from TBS using something close to those specs. Import this into Itunes, convert for Ipod (Advanced Menu), then synch it up.

Next I need to figure out how to set up the RSS feed and find out how to get it listed. I think this is a way to get more audience beyond my website. That and creating more content.

I should have looked here first. The Toon Boom tutorial on this subject is complete and more simple than anything I’ve found searching:
http://www.toonboom.com/products/eLearning/articles/article_iPod.php

The gap I kept coming across was mention of the RSS feed and the XML file. I had no understanding of this, but the article actually includes text for such a file as well as a sample file itself.

Last bit of understanding I need to get is how to provide a button on my web site that will allow users to subscribe. I’m sure it’s simple. I’m in no rush at this point as I don’t have anything really ready for podcasting.

I have a few cartoons ready to roll, but when I play them from my website they don’t have much in the way of titles or intro as that information is on the site itself… For podcasting, however, a more graphic presence for opening the 'toon will be good, I think, along with some music.

I’ll keep you updated.

good luck with that man, I’m very curious how easy/difficult the whole process you just described is. Thats pretty much exactly what our long term goal is, ipods & handheld devices in general. hell, noone reads the paper anymore because its all streaming into their phones, why not include the comic pages?

I hope it works out for you, keep us posted

thanks kdog:

I managed to get an xml file posted at my site. I know I can now put the feed at a few places, and putting it at the Itunes store is pretty easy.

Somehow the whole thing makes very little sense to me, but I think it’s like a microcosm of the web in that I still don’t quite get how someone who’s never been to my site before can connect to it from their computer pretty quickly from anywhere in the world.

With the xml/rss thing it’s similar somehow, freeing the feed for the rest of the web to groove on if they so choose.

http://www.cartoonthunder.com/thundercasts.xml

Wierd.

Hey there Rob,
RSS is something that I do have some experience in and I think I can help here.
I use it in conjunction with my newsletter. It’s just another way to get the word out if you have any updates, and since it’s free to do, many sites are doing it these days.
One recommendation I do have is to use Feedburner. This free service let’s you track how many users are using your RSS feed, otherwise you’re relatively in the dark on this subject. Steps to implement:
1. Create an account
2. Add your RSS feed to your account
3. Replace the RSS feed on your site with the Feedburner feed you’ve just created (something like feeds.feedburner.com/NameOfFeed).

To see my example, head here: feeds.feedburner.com/CalicoMonkey

Also, for animation, don’t give away the content in the feed itself. Instead, include a link to the animation on your site. It’s fine to post entire text based entries in the feed, but I don’t recommend posting swf files this way.

I would love to see the Toon Boom forums have an RSS feed. I’m sure Ugo is hard at work on this. :slight_smile:
Rock on,
–Will

thanks Will:

I noticed there’s also an “RSS 101” article that explains a few things at the link you include.

When you say not to put the content in the feed itself, but instead a link to the content at my site, I get a little confused. However, I followed the example provided by Toon Boom and I think that’s how they have it, simply a link to the content itself.

I subscribed to my own podcast and it shows up for me in Itunes on my computer.

However, is there a way to differentiate between the kinds of content within a feed? For example, if a user wants access to the Flash content instead of the version formatted for an Ipod? That way subscribers can get a feed even if they’re not ipod users…

Rob, thanks for starting this thread, I’m learning a lot from following it. Really an interesting subject. It seems logical that you would set-up separate feeds based on target media types that way the subscriber can subscribe to whichever feed they choose based on how they plan to view the feed. The same content could be delivered in many forms but each form would be subscribed to using a different feed. At least that’s the way that seems most logical to me.

Will, is really well versed on this sort of technology so I’m sure he know the most elegant solution. -JK

At its simplest level it could be a separate link for each kind of content, where the xml file has links to only one format. Using a detect script might be making wrong guesses about what the end user wants.

It is indeed perfectly acceptable to have multiple feeds on your site. The most common example you’ll find today is on blogs: one feed for the main posts and a separate feed for the comments.

In your example Rob, you could have the two feeds you mention: one for the site based Flash version and one for iTunes. It sounds like you already have the iTunes one working.

Note also that creating the feed in and of itself does not notify visitors to your site that the feed exists. You need a bit of code at the top of each page to let visitors know.

Inside the tag at the top of your page you’ll need to add this:


(Be sure to change the href to match your feed’s location).

Then visitors to your site will be able to find the feed and add it to their list.

JK, this applies for Between the Frames as well. Am I correct in thinking that your blog runs on Wordpress? If so, it should be able to automatically create your feed, it should just be a setting you can switch on.

Rock on,
–Will


It dawned on me why I would put that code in my tag–so that users can subscribe to the feed via their browsers! My school (work) computer recently got upated to ie7, and the RSS is built into it somehow.

However, when on my page with the new code in the head section, I click on the feed button in the button bar of ie, and it goes to a completely blank page…

Same thing happens at feedburner.



Hi Will,

Sorry I have not been able to check the forums for a while but I would like to let you know that the RSS feature is planned to be implemented in the next version of the forum.

We do not yet have a date of release for the thing (I am not actually developping the website) but it should be pretty obvious when the new forum will be implemented (announcement should be made in the forum).

Best regards,

Ugo

Hi Rob,

I checked your podcast this week end. Pretty cool!

Keep on tooning !!!

Cheers,

Thanks Mathieu!

I think I’ll reduce the size of a couple of them as they’re larger than they need to be for the size of a video ipod. The last two are half the size of the other in frame size, much smaller in file size, but show up just as well on my Ipod.

Hey Rob,
You mention that you found some specs to export to the video iPod, can you share those?
Thank you!
–Will

Oh, sorry, that’s top secret Cartoon Thunder proprietary information. ;D

http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html

Video formats supported:
H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps
640 by 480 pixels
30 frames per sec
Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps
48 kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

H.264 video, up to 768 Kbps
320 by 240 pixels, 30 frames per sec.
Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps
48 kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels
30 frames per sec.
Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps
48 kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats

Sweet, thank you!