Aside from the company future looking a little bleak, one of the motivating reasons behind moving Bring Your Own Device from Soundcloud was to add in chapter markers for our listeners. Several shows have been doing this for quite a while and it makes it so simple to find the news we are talking about. This week I finally got around to doing it and here is how you can do it too.
The best way to slice in your chapters is to use the Chapters app for macOS, this is available for £19.99 on the Mac App Store. Although there are other options, the Chapters app in really straight forward to use, and is tried and tested by numerous high profile podcasts.
Unfortunately the native iOS Podcasts app hasn’t supported chapters for some time and it doesn’t look like returning any time soon. So the support options are all third party, with varying results. Although the majority of listeners to our podcast do so on the Apple app (28%), more than 25% use the Overcast app which has the best implementation. Support also exists in Downcast and iCatcher and some others, so although it was worthwhile endeavour for us, check your stats first and work out if it’s worth your time.
How to add chapters
Once you have done all of your editing and exported you usual mp3 file, it’s time to start adding in the extra information. There are ways to add in chapters to AAC files but these are even less supported than mp3 files. Chapters will allow you to add start and end times of chapters, as well as URL links.
Import your MP3 into the app and it’s time to get to work! To add in a new chapter click the + button (or ⌘+N) from here you can customise the chapter title, add in a URL, and even chapter artwork should you wish. If you talk about news and refer to information in your show add links so your listeners know what you’re talking about. The new chapter uses the start of the next chapter (or the end of the show) as it’s end time, just don’t forget to add in the start time as you go along.
You don’t need to do this sequentially as chapters are ordered by start time, so you can break it down in whatever way suits you best. I added in a chapter for introduction and outro - then went through and added in links. This is especially do this is if your episode has in show adverts so listers can go straight to your affiliate links! Chapters are dead easy to identify as you can listen along as you add in your markers.
Finally you can now add in your Podcast Title and Author, as well as Episode Title and Summery. All other metadata is preserved by Chapters although it is not displayed, only the data you change will be added. Upload your file and let your listers enjoy the added benefits.