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Import Episodes from a Podcast RSS Feed in Airtable

Feb 25, 2022Andy Cloke

In this guide, we'll import episodes from a podcast RSS feed to Airtable. We'll use the Data Fetcher Airtable app to import the title, description, URL and duration for each episode. We'll also import the MP3 content of each episode as an Airtable attachment file. Finaly, we'll set the import to run on a schedule.

Install Data Fetcher

Install Data Fetcher from the Airtable app marketplace. Data Fetcher is a free Airtable app that lets you connect to any XML, JSON or CSV API. After the app launches, sign up for a free Data Fetcher account by entering a password and clicking 'Sign up for free'.

Group 1Data Fetcher Sign Up .png

Import Episodes from a Podcast RSS Feed in Airtable

On the home screen of the Data Fetcher app, click 'Create your first request'. Requests in Data Fetcher are how you import data to or send data from your Airtable base.

click-create-your-first-request.png

On the create request screen in Data Fetcher, for Application, select 'Custom'.

custom-application-selected.png

Enter a Name for your request, e.g. 'Import Podcast Episodes'.

Enter the URL for the podcast RSS feed your want to import into Airtable. For this tutorial, we will use the More or Less podcast from the BBC. The URL for this podcast's feed is https://podcasts.files.bbci.co.uk/p02nrss1.rss . You can use whatever podcast feed URL you want to!

import podcast episodes name url.png

Select the Output Table & View you want to import the podcast episodes into.

output-table-1.png

Click 'Save & Run'.

import podcast episodes save run.png

The request will run and the Response field mapping modal will open. This is where you set how the fields from the podcast feed should map to fields in the output table. For each field name in the podcast feed, you can either import or filter it. For an imported field, you can set whether to map them to an existing field or create a new field. You can also set the field type for each new field.

The important fields to import are below. Use the search bar to find them.

  • Rss channel item title - the episode title. Map this to the existing 'Name' field.
  • Rss channel item description - the episode description
  • Rss channel item pub date - the publish date. Change the type of this to 'Date time'.
  • Rss channel item itunes:duration - the duration in seconds
  • Rss channel item guid - a unique episode id
  • Rss channel item link - a URL for the episode
  • Rss channel item media:content $ url - the MP3 content. Change the type of this to 'Attachment'.

Click 'Save & Run'.

import podcast episodes rfm.png

Data Fetcher will create any new fields in the output table, then run the request and import the podcast episodes into Airtable.

imported podcast episodes.png

Finally, we want to ensure Data Fetcher can match up items in the podcast feed with records in Airtable, even if we move those records around. To do this, click 'Advanced settings' to open the advanced output settings. Then for Update Based on Field, select 'Rss channel item guid'. Then click 'Save'.

rss-feed-update-based-on-field.png

Import Podcast Episodes on a Schedule

At the moment, we have to click 'Run' in order to import the episodes from the podcast RSS feed. We can use Data Fetcher's scheduled requests feature to automatically import them every 15 minutes/ hour/ day etc.

In Data Fetcher, scroll to Schedule and click 'Upgrade'.

table-1-schedule-upgrade-button.png

A new tab will open where you can select a plan and enter your payment details to upgrade.

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Return to the Data Fetcher app and click "I've done this".

table-1-schedule-ive-done-this-button.png

Click 'Add API key' in order to add your Airtable API key. You can find your Airtable API key here.

Group 11(1).png

Enter your Airtable API key and click 'Save'.

save-airtable-api-key.png

Enable Schedule this request.

schedule-data-fetcher-request.png

Select how often you want the request to run, e.g. 'Every 15 mins'. Click 'Save' The request will now run on the schedule and import the podcast episodes feed automatically.

Group 11(2).png

Fetch Episodes For Multiple Podcasts

Instead of manually entering the podcast URL in Data Fetcher, we can reference podcast RSS feeds in your base. Let's assume you've got a 'Podcasts' table with the RSS feeds in a field called 'RSS Feed'.

podcasts table.png

In Data Fetcher, clear the URL field. We're going to replace it with a reference to the 'RSS Feed' field in our 'Podcasts' table. Then click the '+' icon on the right-hand side of the input.

url input add icon.png

For Table, select 'Podcasts'. For Field, select 'RSS Feed'. Then click 'Confirm'.

podcast url confirm.png

The URL field will now have a reference to the 'RSS Feed' field in our 'Podcasts' table.

url field table reference.png

Data Fetcher will automatically change the Output table to the 'Podcasts' table. Normally this is useful, but here we want to keep the original output table. Change it back to 'Table 1', or whatever table you originally used.

output-table-1.png

Click 'Save & Run'.

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