My Class Podcast Station Challenge: Preparing The Web Space To Host Our Audio or Video Files

In my previous post I set the scene for the Class Podcast Station Challenge I set myself, and in this post I am going to outline how I have approached the trickiest issue that of storing and getting our audio files onto a web space so we can use them with our podcast. If I am not going to use Podomatic to upload my files to as a host, then I need to find somewhere else to put them, so the world and my podcast station can access them.

Our school has its own FTP space where we host the school website. This was set up for us by our local education authority and is this space to which our domain name was pointed, during the early days of the National Grid For Learning.

All schools in Bristol, have their own web space, and I suspect similar spaces have been allocated for schools elsewhere in the UK. If you are not sure about this then contacting your LA's IT team would be a good place to start. Perhaps with a spot of sweet talking, they will set up some space for you, if they haven't already. Schools with a website already, will have online storage space and a chat with your webmaster, will hopefully allow get you access to part of this space and the ability to follow through the rest of this project yourself.

To access this space you will need the
  • ftp:// Server's web address and details
  • log in details, eg a user name and password.
  • an FTP Client or maybe you can also use
  • Internet Explorer
With these details already in hand, I was ready to prepare the space to recieve audio and video files. I chose to use the File Transfer Protocol (ftp) Client, FileZilla to do this.

Why FileZilla?

Well 2 reasons really
  1. It is open source, and available for free download.
  2. But it is also available as a portable application from, and so can be installed to a "flash drive" to use on any computer attached to the internet.
Because I want to use this process in school the portable application was an attractive option, and is the tool I have chosen to use during this project. I mentioned a visit to the PortableApps site in a previous post and had already downloaded and installed the suite to a flash drive. Adding FileZilla meant another visit to download and then installing this as an additional tool.

Using Filezilla (portable) to Set Up the Space
  • Insert your flashdrive to a USB Port
  • Run The Portable Apps Suite
  • and Select FileZilla Portable from the menu.
To begin using FileZilla to work in your FTP space you will need to set it up.
  • click the file menu
  • click site manager
and a dialogue box like this appears.

  • Press the new site button
  • Enter the FTP details for the site that you have been given
  • and connect to the server
  • your password when prompted
  • and wait for the software to connect.
In a short while you will notice two sets of folders appear in the filezilla windows.
  • the panes to the left are files and folders on your PC (the local site)
  • the panes to the right files and folders in the FTP server (the remote site)
You can now work in these panes pretty much as you would in Windows Explorer, treating the remote site like a drive you have just plugged into your PC.

To prepare the space and to help organise my future podcast files I
  • right clicked in the remote site window
  • Selected create directory
  • right clicked again and named this new directory podcasts
When naming folders and files to store in your ftp space it is good practice to keep all file and folder names in the same case. You may use numbers in your file names, but it is advisable not to use spaces. Use an underscore or hyphen instead.
  • Double click the podcast directory
  • repeat the create directory process
  • Name this folder for your year group/class or station name,
In our case it is named for the year group and it is here we will store the audio or visdeo files we make for inclusion in our podcast.

So in this post I have
  • Set up FileZilla Portable to access my file storage space from any computer,
  • Created my two folders (directories) on the FTP server
The space is ready for me to upload and to begin hosting the audio and video files that will make up our podcast.

Before I do that though I need to set up the podcast page, and establish the feed that will allow our listeners to subscribe to it. I will talk about how I have approached this in the next posts in my Podcast Station Challenge series.

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