A podcast is a method for distributing media files over the internet using syndication feeds, such as RSS. Podcasting originated as a way for creators to push their audio files out to iPods. Podcasting is not limited to iPods, as users may download your media files to any player that supports your media as well as choose to play the media on their computer.

The term is also often used to simply describe any .mp3 audio file that is available for download from a website by clicking on a link. In regards to vBulletin, podcast media is only accessible from your RSS feeds.

Configuring vBulletin for Podcasting
  1. Forums & Moderators > Forum Manager > Controls > Podcast Settings

    Choose a forum that will host the podcast files and configure the iTunes settings. Podcast feeds will work inside of iTunes, and other clients that support RSS Enclosures, without any information on this page being filled in. These settings are used when you wish to submit one of your forums as a podcast to iTunes as a podcast that can be searched for within iTunes.
    1. Set Enabled to Yes
    2. Select a Category
    You may ignore the rest of the settings if you like. If you would like to configure them so that iTunes works with your podcast, see Podcast Settings for detailed instructions of each option.

    This forum must be viewable to guests so verify this by logging out of your forum and checking if you can view threads and attachments within this forum. If not, configure the permissions for this forum to allow guests to view.
  2. vBulletin Options > External Data Provider > Enable RSS Syndication must be enabled.
  3. vBulletin Options > External Data Provider > Enable Podcasting must be enabled.
Setting up a Test Podcast

Browse to the forum that you setup for podcasting and click on New Thread. You will see a few new posting options that pertain to podcasting.

You have two options for specifying your media file:
  1. You may upload your media file to your website, or another website, via ftp and link to it directly. To use this method, specify the complete URL in the Podcast URL that appears on the New Thread screen. You do not need to specify the filesize unless your are prompted to after submitting the thread. If you want your media file to appear in the thread to those that are viewing the thread via your forums, you will need to place the link within your post, such as Download: http://www.example.com/podcast.mp3 The handling of the media file will be handled automatically for those that view the podcast forum via RSS.
  2. The second option for specifying your media file is to use the vBulletin attachment system. You will be limited by the permissions of your usergroup. Only the first uploaded file will appear in the RSS feed as well. iTunes will not function with attachment uploads on IIS servers and some Apache servers. It is best to use the first method when possible.
You may specify any filetype that you wish, but take note that iTunes only supports six filetypes:

.m4a, .m4v, .mp3, .mp4, .mov, and .pdf
Testing Your Podcast

If you used the vBulletin attachment system, you should see a normal attachment link within the first post of the thread that you just created. If using the Podcast URL method (preferred) then you will only see a link if you manually placed a link within the first post.

For this example, we will use a forumid of 10 for our podcast forum. You can get the forumid of your podcast forum by hovering over any links to your podcast forum and looking for forumid=10.

The link to our example podcast forum is


This is the URL that you would enter into iTunes and other RSS clients that support enclosures. Enclosure is the technical name for including a media file via RSS and is the preferred nomenclature for some clients.

Your RSS feeds are cached anywhere from one minute up to twenty four hours based on the vBulletin Options > External Data Provider > Cache Lifespan setting. Your podcast may not show up immediately because of this. Change this setting to one minute then wait one minute to ensure that your new podcast is available to podcast clients. vBulletin 3.6.5 resolves this issue by forcing the update automatically when the podcast is posted or modified.
Do not specify more than one forumid for your podcast URL
Further Details

Users that are subscribed to your podcast forum will make periodic queries to the podcast URL to check for updates. Some clients can be programmed to automatically download the media file when a new post is found.

You may post as many threads in your podcast forum as you wish, whereas the first post of each thread will be considered a podcast. You should include a media file with each thread but are not required to do so.

You may allow your users to respond to the podcast thread, as a normal thread, as it will not affect the viewing of the podcast by podcast clients.
User Contributed Notes: Podcasting Add a Comment