Building an iTunes feed with Octopress

Posted: 2013-01-17
Category: Ruby

Octopress is a great little CMS for hackers and it works on GitHub pages for free hosting, so a few PHP developers have been known to use it to smash together a basic site even thought it's using Ruby; Boo, hiss, etc.

One site I've built with Octopress is for a new podcast I co-host with Ben Edmunds called PHP Town Hall. It needed an iTunes compatible RSS feed, so I built one.

source/itunes.rss

Some of this is obviously hardcoded, but I didn't care enough to change that and I don't see what benefit throwing some config options in would have made.

plugins/octopress_filters.rb

Apple require you to use an RFC 2822 format for the date strings, which as far as I could tell was not built into Jekyll or Octopress. In this octopress_filters.rb file I added the following method towards the bottom:

I've written a pull request to add that in on the off-chance folks think its useful, but I'm fine with the hack. It works, and I'll be updating future versions with Git so I wont randomly loose the change.

Posts

The last change to make is to give each of your blog posts some extra parameters. Below is an example of a PHP Town Hall post:

Here we add three new params to an average post, which are:

  • filename - Will be inserted into the iTunes feed which has a link to an S3 bucket hardcoded, and have .mp3 appended.
  • length - The file size in bytes.
  • summary - A short summary just for display on the iTunes page.

That's all you need to do, so run rake preview to take a look at the URL then if it works publish it.

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