A few months ago I had this thought:
Wouldn't it be cool to publish a podcast from a DropBox folder?
I don't mean "host my podcast on DropBox". I'm talking about using DropBox simply as a way of getting an episode uploaded so that my network can pluck it out, wrap it up into a feed and publish it, like we do with the episodes people upload at poddle.io.
Now I've done it, and here's how it works.
I use BossJock Studio for iPhone, although I'm pretty sure most smartphone audio editors will work. I've used it for the last few episodes of my Thoroughly Distracted podcast. When I've finished an episode, From within the app I add a title and a description, and tack on an image if I'm feeling saucy. I then export that out to DropBox via iOS 8's extensions platform (because the integrated feature doesn't work now that I've thumb-locked my DropBox account). The episode uploads, and I go and have a sandwich. That's it.
Behind the scenes
The code I've written connects with a folder on my DropBox account, and gets notified when anything changes. It detects the new episode, downloads it and then reads the metadata, taking the title and description and using the image for the player. It then saves that file locally and removes it from DropBox once everything's successfully saved. It all happens within a few minutes.
This is not a revolution
I feel like lots of people have the ability to podcast on-the-go. If you've signed up for SoundCloud's podcast beta you can probably export something via the app and have it hosted. But by using a service I already pay for (but which of course I can get for free), I've got a simple way of uploading my audio.
And because it's a well-known service, I haven't had to fiddle around with writing an iOS extension and I can chop and change my recording app.
You can do it too!
I'm always on the lookout for great shows to add to the network. If you have a cool idea for a show but you don't want to mess around with metadata, remember logins or deal with posting the episodes to Twitter or Facebook once they're uploaded, talk to me.
If you want to stay independent, all I really did was mix and match a bunch of freely available APIs. What I've written is baked into this website but you can find me on Github if you have questions.
My Thoroughly Distracted show is going to change its name, and I'm going to do it exclusively without a computer. I want to see how far I can push the process. I may resort to using an iPad but I'm hoping I can do without it and just go armed with my iPhone, and possibly some sort of mic. A new episode will be out in a few days, so subscribe now to check it out.
Wish me luck!