How to Convert a Hangout on Air to a Podcast

How to Convert a Hangout on Air to an iTunes Podcast

My business holds weekly Hangouts on Air via Google Plus. Those are automatically saved to our YouTube channel where we can repurpose that content in multiple ways. I was surprised to discover just how easy it is to convert those hangouts into an iTunes podcast. It’s so easy and the cost is so low that there is hardly any reason not to attempt it.

Here are the steps I took to repurpose those YouTube video Hangouts into an iTunes podcast.

1. I installed the Chrome extension at SaveVid.com and used it to download the YouTube videos onto my computer in MP4 format. (Thanks to Yifat Cohen, I now know a more direct way.)

1. Inside YouTube, navigate to Video Manager, Uploads. Click on the down arrow beside edit where download MP4 is one of the options! Easy!

2. I then opened each MP4 with VLC Media Player and converted then to MP3.

3. I installed the Blubrry PowerPress WordPress plug-in on my business site.

4. I set up a media hosting account on Blubrry. I bought the large 1000 MB plan at first so I could upload many of our previous hangouts. Later I will downgrade to the 250 MB per month plan that costs $20 each month. A typical hour long podcast is around 50 MB, so even if a month has five weekly podcasts, that 250 MB limit covers it. I estimate that I will spend $300 for a year of podcasting by uploading a lot at once and then weekly thereafter.

5. I used the directions inside the plug-in to walk me through the set-up to connect the plug-in to my hosting account. The website doesn’t have step by step directions, so stick with the plug-in for getting started.

6. I began creating blog posts and using the plug-in to upload the mp3 files to Blubrry and to include the audio files in the post with a media player.

You can upload inside blubrry.com or from your WordPress dash after the plug-in is connected to your Blubrry account. I tried both ways, and they are equally easy. Note: the media player does not show up in the WordPress editor, but when you publish, you will see it there.

7. I submitted the RSS feed to iTunes and waited for approval. The Blubrry PowerPress plug-in even told me what link to submit to iTunes. Immediately after I submitted it, I got a confirmation email, and the approval with the official iTunes podcast link came less than 24 hours later.

After I got the approval email from iTunes, I added the link iTunes sent to my Blubrry PowerPress plug-in settings. I also updated all the podcast posts on my site with the new iTunes link with a call to action to subscribe.

The podcast was then live! All future posts I publish on my blog that include a MP3 through the Blubrry PowerPress plug-in will be added to the feed and are automatically updated in iTunes. Now that the initial set up is done, each week I only have to do steps 1, 2, and 6 above to maintain the podcast.

Now all our hard work on the weekly hangouts will have an even broader reach by making it available in a different medium. Live events are great, but time constraints often keep potential viewers from participating. Of course, the Hangouts on Air are recorded to YouTube for later viewing. But a podcast is even more convenient for listening on the go.

From Hangout to Podcast Video Interview with Carol Dodsley

Carol Dodsley, the G+ How to Girl interviewed me about my choice to convert our weekly hangouts, how I do it, and the strategy behind it.

 

  • It’s good to see IHN hangouts as a podcast now. This is an excellent way to repurpose content. LOVE it, Jimmie, as always.

  • @Jimmie, how did you find the audio quality of the resulting audio file? The reason I ask is that I recorded several Hangouts. But then, when I tried to create audio files out of the downloaded video files I encountered several odd, annoying audio problems – echo on the audio that wasn’t present in the video, etc.

    I think the promise of recording video and repurposing as audio is a great idea. I just didn’t have great luck myself in doing that.

    • It seemed the same as it was in the video. I’ll be honest. Our audio is not fantastic. We are moms who hang out on a panel and chat. It’s very informal, and most of us do not have fancy equipment. To an audio person, I’m sure it sounds bad. But to a normal person like me, it’s just fine.

  • Hi Jimmie,

    Congrats on getting listed in iTunes.
    Where can I find your show link? I’d like to give it a listen.

    My latest podcast episode was a re-purposed Hangout On Air that I did with Wade Harman, and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

    I’m using Libsyn for my podcast hosting and I don’t even use the Power Press plugin. Nothing against it, I just wanted to use the most simple method I could find, so I set up a second blog on Blogger and use Libsyn’s “on publish” feature. Works like a charm.

    • Here it is, Ileane: iHomeschool Hangout Podcast.
      We take the mp4 and convert it to mp3. We don’t add any fancy bells or whistles. Maybe down the line we will have the resources and motivation to do that. For now, we are pretty thrilled to have the podcast at all.
      Glad you found what works for you in terms of hosting and blogging your podcast. I know there are multiple ways to skin this cat, but I wanted the post to be simple and outline exactly my steps. Believe it or not, I have already referenced this post for my own benefit when I forgot a step!

  • This looks like something I might implement! Putting it on my to-do list. Thank you for sharing!

  • Definitely my best share of the year so far to G+, Jimmie!

    Terry

  • I had the same need, but using OS X, I found an app called “Youtube to mp3″ which takes the URL of the hangout and converts it to mp3.

  • Thank you Jimmie!

    This is excellent information for me. I’ve been told repeatedly that I need to create podcasts, but because I don’t listen to them, I have a hard time getting around to creating them. At a recent conference I has nearly lectured by a few participants for not having them. LOL!

    Now I have the tools to get this aspect of my business rolling.

    Thanks,
    Sash
    http://www.TooMuchTina.com

    • Ha ha on the lecturing. It is hard to get excited about something you don’t use yourself. This was my overall attitude toward video being a test-based person myself. But when I saw how YouTube videos were served up in search and how competitive they made me, I was gung-ho about videos despite my personal preferences!
      (No worries on the name. All fixed.)

  • This is possibly my FAVORITE post of the New Year so far. I’m so thrilled to see this and I’m definitely going to be trying it out!

    Thank you, so very much!

  • You can skip step one and download your MP4 directly from your Video Manager in YouTube.

    Thanks for a great post.

  • Even better than good ol’ levelator: auphonic.com. I stoped using levelator since I use auphonic now.

  • Most excellent advice! Now do yourself and your audience a favor and add one more step; run the audio through “The Levelator” from The Conversations Network. The Levelator is a brilliantly simple piece of software that processes the audio level moment by moment. It ensures that every speaker is at a uniform level. It makes podcasts a lot less fatiguing to the listener. We’ve used it for years to product the weekly VoIP Users Conference (http://vuc.me)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levelator

    The Levelator requires an uncompressed wav file as a source, and given you back a second file that is all cleaned up. Thus you should export uncompressed wav from VLC, then process that file via The Levelator, and use VLC to turn the leveled wav into an MP3.

    The Levelator does in a few minutes what once took me hours of effort in audio mixing software. Yes, it’s a bit of extra effort, but it’s worth it!

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