Audio-formats are often underrated but offer a huge potential. They can be consumed on the go and first and foremost on mobile devices. Editorially prepared formats such as podcasts are highly appreciated by users and rank among the must successful offers of the foundation.

Podcast icon
Preliminary remark: In the following article we will describe the workflow on boell.de. If you want to publish podcast series on iTunes you may use your own approach. In any case you will be in charge of the audio editing and of creating your own iTunes-account. For the import into iTunes and the presentation in Drupal, which is similar to boell.de, please contact the support.


Formats and responsibilities

Currently boell.de offers four different formats:

  • Böll.Mitschnitt - audio recordings (uncut/ produced by "Medientechnik" department)
  • Böll.Interview - Interviews (production mostly inhouse)
  • Böll.Fokus (an edited audio format on one specific topic with audio recordings from events. (Presently in cooperation with "Detektor.FM" / contact via Lukas Fischer, coordination of dates and topics directly between "Detector", press and department)
  • Böll.Spezial (multipiece podcasts on a specific topic / in Englisch: Böll.Feature / Production by several specialised journalists, individual contact and coordination

Audio editing

Before we can publish audio recordings of events, they have to be edited. This is done by the help of our audio-refinement tool „Auphonic“. In most cases the „Podcast-IDs“ are already saved there as preset for the respective format.

Auphonic is an online service which originally had been bought to enhance the audio quality of recordings. However, meanwhile the quality is so good that we use the tool merely to enter our podcast-IDs automatically to the beginning and end of an uploaded file.

How do podcasts come into the world?

People reach us on different ways: As followers on Soundcloud, via search engine by searching for information on the topic and then being directed to a page on boell.de or because they have subscribed to our channels on iTunes and Co. In order to avoid uploading everything to each single platform, we have developped the following workflow:

Soundcloud is the central place where we host our podcasts. Starting from this point, Palasthotel imports all important settings of a podcast episode (such as title, date, tags, URL, artwork, link to the audio file) into the Drupal backend.

That means, that we start by creating a podcast series as a playlist in Soundcloud and ask Palasthotel, to once carry out the import and to create an own RSS-feed for each series. Whenever a new episode is uploaded to Soundcloud, it automatically becomes part of this feed.

The feed address, once created, looks like this: https://www.boell.de/mediacenter/NODE-ID/podcast.xml. The series „Böll.Fokus“ for instance, has node-ID „11643“, thus the RSS-feed URL is: https://www.boell.de/mediacenter/11643/podcast.xml.

How do these series get on iTunes?

All in all, iTunes is the most important brick in the world of podcasts. In order to make your series available on iTunes, you must once apply for distribution on iTunes and submit the RSS-feed created in Drupal to podcastsconnect.apple.com/. The feed for all the headquarter contents was once submitted by the internet desk. International offices and federal foundations can create their own Apple-Ids thus building up their own presence in their mother tongues on iTunes.

How do series get on further podcast portals?

New series will not be automatically submitted to Spotify or Deezer. Out of license reasons "Detektor.FM" once applied for distribution on these platforms and submitted the feed. However, when a feed is listed, all new episodes of a series will automatically be available.

Creating new series

It is not very often that a new series has to be created. However, new episodes of series will be made more often. That is very easy: All episodes must be uploaded to Soundcloud, marked downloadable in „Permissions“ and be available in the Soundcloud RSS-feed. Before you can do that, please edit the meta data in an audio editor (such as VLC-Player, Hindenburg, iTunes). This is necessary to display all meta information of episodes correctly and comprehensively. iTunes draws this information from the meta data. Currently we fill in the fields as follows:

For series we put the number of the episode into brackets following the pattern no. ... out of ... (total number)
Böll.Spezial is not part of the title.

Of course you can create new playlists in Soundcloud, for instance to put emphasis on related episodes of "Spezial". However, only the main playlists will be synchronized with iTunes.

How do series and episodes get on the website?

This is what the audio portal on boell.de looks like: https://www.boell.de/de/podcasts

On your website you can seperately tease each episode of a series, provide additional text about it in the Body section and offer a download. In order to do so, you have to create a new episode for each node by clicking on CONTENT - ADD CONTENT - EPISODE. The audio file itself will be fetched from Soundcloud. That is why you should provide the Soundcloud data at the bottom of the form:


As you don't want to add every new episode manually to a landingpage, you can use a termpage. It will show all episodes automatically. This is for instance, what the termpage for Böll.Fokus looks like:

In order to create such a termpage (one per series), the respective term must once be created in Drupal (Attention: If you don't have admin permissions contact the person in charge). Go to STRUCTURE – TAXONOMY – PODCASTS – ADD TERM, enter the series' name, maybe a description and upload the artwork. In the lower part of the form you can enter all plattforms on which the series is available:

Each entry here causes an item in the dropdown menu on the termpage, where users can choose on which platform they want to listen, respectivly which one they would like to subscribe to: