You can use NetX's Publish to iTunes feature to update your Podcast feed whenever you upload a new audio file to a predetermined source from your NetX instance. This is achieved by creating a URL through NetX and linking your iTunes Connect account to this URL.
In order to have access to the Integrations area from the Systems panel, you must enable the following property. A public user must also be configured in order for iTunes to read your Podcast's feed link.
|true / false||To enable the Integrations area, this property must be set to true.||No|
The user inputted here will act as a Public User, allowing all REST calls to be made on behalf of the configured user. This means your site's administrator will need to create this user as well as enable any permissions relating to access to all folders, assets, collections, or saved searches which will be used for your Podcast. Configuring your Public User for use with iTunes will be similar to configuring a Public User for a Brand Portal.
Please Note: You will not be able to log in as your Public User either using the regular log-in screen or via the login as feature.
Create your link
The first step to connect your NetX database with iTunes is creating a link iTunes will monitor for new audio files to publish to your Podcast feed. Below are the required steps to create a link that fulfills all of iTunes' specifications for their Podcast links from NetX.
- Once you have configured your NetX instance to enable media services as well as a public user, there are two ways to begin creating a Podcast feed. The first of these can be access by simply right-clicking the source you intend to use for your Podcast and clicking Share. This may be a Folder, Collection, or Saved Search.
A window will appear with two options: Create Link and Create Feed. Select Create Feed, and you will be greeted by the iTunes Configuration window.
- Alternately, navigate to the Systems area of NetX and select the Integrations tab.
There are two sections within the Integrations tab: Media Services and Feeds. Navigate to Feeds where you will see either a list of established links. Click the Add Feed + button to open the iTunes Configuration window. If there are no feeds defined, you will see a message which says "No feeds yet". Clicking Create One Now will also open the iTunes Configuration window.
3. iTunes requires some very specific elements for Podcast feeds streaming through their services–all of which will be configured by you through the iTunes Configuration window in NetX. Below is a detailed walk-through for each element of your feed creation, as well as further information regarding iTunes specifications. If you still have questions regarding feed requirements and iTunes, see Apple's official overview.
|Field||Heading||Type||Description||Mandatory for iTunes|
|a||Title||String||This is the title your Podcast will be known by in the iTunes store, and must be a unique title, as the iTunes store will reject any duplicate Podcast titles. If you are uncertain whether or not your Podcast title is a duplicate, search the Podcast section of the iTunes store for your Podcast title.||yes|
|b||Subtitle||String||This is a short line you may use to convey more information about your Podcast to listeners scrolling through iTunes.||no|
|c||Description||String||A Description will act as a summary for your Podcast, allowing you to convey more information about your Podcast to listeners scrolling through iTunes.||no|
|d||iTunes Store Categories||Dropdown; multiple||This drop-down field will allow multiple selections from a list of iTunes categories, which will determine which categories your Podcast appears in through the iTunes store. You must select at least one category.||yes|
NetX search field
|Your completed Podcast link will monitor whichever folder, collection, or saved search you select here for new files, which will in turn update your Podcast feed. Any new episode intended to stream through your Podcast must be uploaded or added into whichever field you select. After you select your desired Source, the field below will search through NetX for applicable data as you type, after the first letter. In order to link your feed to iTunes, there must be at least one valid audio file already in whichever selection you select.||yes|
|f||Podcast image||NetX search field||
You must have an image in this field that adheres to certain specifications:
|g||Author (Managing Editor)||String||The Podcast author will be the name that appears in the Podcast directory. This field will be pre-populated with your current user's data but may be edited.||no|
|h||Owner||String||This will be considered the Podcast administrator and can be the same as the Podcast Author. This field will be pre-populated with your current user's data but may be edited.||no|
|i||Owner email||String||iTunes requires a valid email address for any Apple notifications you receive regarding your podcast. This field will be pre-populated with your current user's data but may be edited.||yes|
|j||Copyright||String||If you wish to add copyright information to your Podcast, place that here.||no|
|k||Episode Title From||
NetX search field
|To populate this field, select a NetX attribute from the drop-down menu. This is where iTunes will look to title your episodes. While the default attribute will be Name, you may set any saved attribute in this field.||yes|
|l||Episode Subtitle From||
NetX search field
|Similar to the Title field, you can select a pre-existing attribute or create an attribute specifically for the subtitle field of your Podcasts. Uploading a new episode with this field populated will give your episode a subtitle. This field will default to no selection.||no|
|m||Episode Description From||
NetX search field
|Also based on NetX attributes, the default for this field will be Description–though you may adjust this field to any existing attribute.||yes|
|n||Publication Date From||
NetX search field
|This will be the date attached to any particular episode; defaults to the Creation Date attribute, though this may be altered to use a custom attribute.||no|
|o||Episode Keywords From||
NetX search field
|If you would like to assign your episode special content tags, you may select an applicable attribute. This defaults with no value, and you may select either a standard attribute or create a custom attribute for this purpose.||no|
Any Source used for an iTunes feed must only contain audio assets or your feed will not validate with iTunes Connect.
4. Once you have completed all desired fields, you may Save your form. Note, you will be able to edit this later if you wish to update your feed's information. You will then be presented with the link to your feed alongside a button which will automatically copy this link to your clipboard.
5. When your link is created and saved, you will be back at the Feeds screen with your new feed now listed, and will thereafter contain a gallery of all configured feeds. There will still be a button to Add Feed +, but you will also be given icon buttons along the righthand side of each feed allowing you to Edit with the pencil icon or Delete your feed with the trash can icon. Note, be very careful with the delete function once your feed has been linked to iTunes, as you will likely need to work with Apple and NetX to restore your Podcast if you accidentally delete a feed. Additionally, above the list of configured feeds, there will be a search bar that will allow you to filter through your feeds.
6. If you need to copy your feed's URL at a later time, fear not. By clicking to edit your feed, there will be a new field directly beneath Title that will display your URL and allow you to copy and paste this to your clipboard–though you will not be able to edit this field.
Once your feed link has been created, navigate to Apple's iTunes Connect site, found here. Log in using your Podcast's administrator's Apple ID credentials.
Once you have logged in–assuming this is your first Podcast–you will be greeted by a mostly empty screen with a prompt to click the + icon to add a new Podcast feed.
The process to incorporate your Podcast feed requires only copying and pasting the URL you received from NetX for your feed, and then selecting the Validate button.
If your feed has met all of Apple's requirements for a Podcast feed as described above, your feed will validate. This will be indicated by a green dot and a Prepared for Submission message underneath the Status field. You will also be able to see your Podcast's data–as configured through NetX–on this screen so that you may check that all fields appear correctly before finally submitting your feed to Apple.
Once you have verified all fields are correct, you may press the Submit button which lies to the right of Validate. This will submit your feed to Apple for review. Please note that while the validation process looks at your NetX URL to ensure all fields follow Apple's guidelines, the submission and review process on Apple's part will be a subjective determination regarding the Podcast being published through iTunes. Any questions regarding your Podcast's status at this point should be communicated with Apple directly, and not NetX.
Once your first Podcast has been submitted to Apple for review, the screen you saw earlier upon logging in to Podcast Connect for the first time will no longer be empty and will instead display your Podcast image and title, as well as indicate below that this feed is still being reviewed by Apple.
If you are experiencing difficulty validating your Podcast feed, you may use a tool such as the Podcast Validator to identify any issues which may be blocking iTunes from properly reading your feed.
Additionally, you may input your feed URL into iTunes directly if you wish to test the audio quality or ensure your feed is being updated as new episodes are added to NetX: