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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.

So you want to do a podcast ?

Well you've come to the right place. Our goal here at HPR is to make it as easy as possible for you to get a podcast released. We take care of the hard bits so you don't need to. Recording your first show is always a daunting prospect but over 200 people like yourself have done it and so can you.

Syndication of non HPR Shows

We will continue to promote new podcasts and other creative commons material but due to a lack of slots, we are only releasing material created exclusively for HPR. If there is a piece of creative commons content that you would like to promote, then feel free to record a regular show where you introduce the content and explain why it is important, providing links to where we can get more information.

Stuff you need to know

You are agreeing to license your show CC-BY-SA

All our shows are now released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which means that while you continue to retain the copyright to your show you are allowing us (and everyone else) to use it provided we give you attribution and that we release it under the same license. Click the link for more information.

You have permission to redistribute your show in its entirety

Never include content, e.g: music, in your show that you do not have permission to redistribute. Try to avoid using any content in your show that can not be redistributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. If you are redistributing under another Creative Commons License or by arranged permission please make note of the restrictions when you upload your show. We can then signal that so that others who redistribute HPR content can filter your show out.

Your show will not be moderated

We do not vet, edit, moderate or in any way censor any of the content on the network, we trust you to do that. Aside from checking snippets for audio quality/spam checking, we have a policy that we don't listen to the shows before they are aired. This is a long standing tradition arising from the fact that HPR is a community of peers who believe that any host has as much right to submit shows as any other.

Your show will be signalled as containing explicit content

Given that we are an open forum for free speech we signal all our shows as "explicit" with the assumption that the listeners will apply the required discretion when playing the shows in public. The fact is that the majority of our content is technical in nature and therefore is often considered appropriate for any audience. If you feel that your show will be considered inoffensive in every region of the world then you can signal that when you upload the show.

When dealing with content that is "explicit" or contains material that would best be suited for a mature audience, it has become traditional to include a short warning at the very beginning of the show before the intro, to allow listeners time to switch off the episode should they so desire.

You determine when your show will be released

The HPR Schedule is entirely community driven and we recommend that you pick the date or show number as then you know when your show will be released. All shows are scheduled on a strict "first in - first out" basis, but the slots will only be allocated once the shows have been successfully processed. Any missing information can result in a show missing the requested slot. Once the slots have been allocated it is not possible to move them.

Your show will be heard by an International Audience

We have people listening from all over the world, who may not have the same cultural background as yourself, therefore you should be as clear as possible when giving details. For example always give temperatures in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, measurements in Metric and Imperial, dates in YYYY-MM-DD iso8601 format, and abbreviations using the NATO phonetic alphabet. Never assume that your audience knows what age a sixth grader is, or how big a 20 Cent Euro coin is. Keep in mind that keyboard layouts are also different so make sure to specify the key shape or the position in relation to a common known standard. For example:

The at sign normally situated above the 2 key on a US keyboard, and has a unicode number of U+0040. For more information see Wikipedia

An xkcd cartoon showing ISO 8601


The HPR Schedule is entirely community driven and we recommend that you pick the date or show number as then you know when your show will be released. All shows are scheduled on a strict "first in - first out" basis, but the slots will only be allocated once the shows have been successfully processed. Any missing information can result in a show missing the requested slot. Once the slots have been allocated it is not possible to move them.


  1. Always try and fill any free slots that are available in the upcoming week.
  2. If the queue is filling up then please consider leaving some slots free for new contributors.
  3. If you have a non urgent show then find a empty week and schedule it then.

Emergency Queue

The emergency queue is intended only to be used in the cases where there is still a gap in the schedule 24 hours prior to release. The shows will by their very nature need to be "timeless", ie: your topic should still be relevant in four years or more. People will be able to hear the show on the website but they will not be included in any feeds until release.

Please begin all shows with text similar to:
"This is an emergency show, if you are hearing this then HPR needs shows ASAP. Please consider contributing a show. Email admin at hacker public radio dot org for more information."

We expect that we need at least 10 shows in the emergency queue in order to give people enough time to record and submit shows. Remember once that all the emergency shows have been used up and there are no more shows in the queue, HPR as a project will stop.

Show Notes

If you do not supply show notes, they will be created for you but this will result in a delay as a HPR volunteer will need to listen to your show and write them. It is always better if you send us show notes yourself as you know best what information you are trying to convey.

The show notes are important because:

They provide the listeners with more information on the topic

You have taken the time to record a show on a topic, so many people will want to find out more on the subject, therefore you should include links to give more information. It is not enough to just give it in the show itself as people may be listening while away from the Internet, and they may have forgotten or misheard your links.

They ensure your show gets posted on time

Our processing script uses the first lines of the show notes to automatically process the show. If you do not supply show notes then your show will need to be processed manually by an HPR volunteer and this will most likely result in delays. During that time other shows will be processed and may get posted before your show.

They encourage people to download your show

We produce a lot of shows and many people download based on the text in the show notes. If the show notes are not descriptive then it is less likely that it will get as many downloads as other shows with good show notes.

They allow your show to be indexed by search engines

Search engines cannot determine the content of your show from the audio alone. The only way for your show to be indexed is for you to describe in the associated text what you say in the audio.

They make your show accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing

Your audio is completely inaccessible to those who have hearing problems, so the only way for your show to be of help to them is if you distil the essence of the show into the show notes. If you are using a script to prepare your show then include that.

Show Note File Format

We use UTF-8 end to end.

See the video Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle - Computerphile for an interesting background to ASCII and UTF-8

The information at the top of the show notes file tells us how we should process your show. It's always a good idea to download the latest Sample Show notes (html) template file before you upload your show. You will see that the top of the file has the following entries:

Email Address:  
Show Title: 
Desired Slot:
Show Summary Added:
Intro and Outro Added: 
Short Summary: 
Show Notes: 


Before we explain what each of these are for, make sure you include the field name unaltered in your show notes, including the colon ":", as we use those strings to parse the file. Remember All information will be displayed publicly. The only exception is that your email address will be sent in the feed with some anti-spam additions.
For example will become

Also remember that all fields are optional, but if you don't include them then an HPR Volunteer will need to add them manually, which will most likely result in a delay posting your show.


Required and should be the handle you wish to be referred to as on HPR. It can be your real name, an Internet handle or both.

Email Address:

Required and must be a valid email address where we and other listeners, can contact you. We may use this to confirm that you sent the show. You can supply your email unmodified, or with the at-sign replaced with dot nospam at-sign nospam dot.
Either or will be accepted.

Show Title:

Required This will be a short descriptive title and will be used everywhere to identify your show. Any valid UTF-8 character is acceptable, but keep the length short and clear.

Desired Slot:

Required This tells us when you wish to have your show released. The options are limited to:

  • hpr?????

    which tells us to release on this free episode number. This is a preferred option.
    If you select this option then please replace "????" with numbers, do not send in the string "hpr????"


    specified in iso8601 format, which tells us to release on this date, which must be a valid free release date.
    If you select this option then please replace YYYY-MM-DD with numbers, do not send in the string "YYYY-MM-DD"

  • Next

    which tells us to release the show in the next free slot, skipping over reserved shows.
    If you select this option then please send in the string "Next"

  • Emergency

    which tells us that the show is an Emergency Show and will not be scheduled in the queue. See notes above
    If you select this option then please send in the string "Emergency"

Valid examples of Desired Slot:

Desired Slot: hpr9876
Desired Slot: 2099-12-31
Desired Slot: Next
Desired Slot: Emergency

Show Summary Added:

This tells us whether you added the Show Summary, which is a brief spoken introduction that gives the listener some information about the episode.
eg: It is Thu Dec 31st 2099 and this is HPR episode 9876 entitled "Transforming Heliposis". It is hosted by Zork and is 22 minutes long. The Summary: "Upgrading Heliposis with Ubuntu 2099-04 tenatious targ"
Only add the Summary if you know how to get the levels correct between the segments, otherwise leave them out and our processing script will add them for you.
If you have added it then enter YES, and if you have not added it then enter NO.

Intro and Outro Added:

This tells us whether you added the Intro and Outro clips.
The intro is the slick0 theme and is used on all HPR episodes, while the outro is a HPR inspired theme but contains important information about the HPR project.
Only add the clips if you know how to get the levels correct between the segments, otherwise leave them out and our processing script will add them for you.
If you have added them then enter YES, and if you have not added them then enter NO.


Pick an existing series and copy and paste the name.


Add a list of comma separated tags. Pick the most important words from the shownotes


Specify "Yes", or "Clean" (See iTunes for more information.)

Short Summary:

Recommended This is a short 100 character summary of what your show is about. Please fill this out as it is used once the show has gone off the main page, on the mobile site, on printed brochures, on text to speech announcements, on twitter, facebook, Google+ etc.

Show Notes:

Recommended This is a long 4000 (*) character text detailing what your show is about.

The remainder of the file will be your show notes to be displayed on the site. Please restrict yourself to text unless you are experienced writing html by hand. If so then note that your notes will be in a <article> html5 section, where the header and footer are not available to you, also avoid using <div> or <span>. The inclusion of JavaScript will send your show into quarantine, until an experienced HPR volunteer can be found to debug it.

It takes us a lot longer to fix incorrectly formatted html than formatting plain text, so please only create html show notes if you know what you are doing and are sure that what you are writing is valid xhtml/html5.

Hostname: Jo Blogg
email address:
Show Title: How I got into Linux
Desired Slot: Next
Intro and Outro Added: Yes
Explicit: Yes
Short Summary: Join Jo as she talks of punch cards, BBC Micros, Commodore 64, Windows 95 and Mandriva.
Show Notes:

The first introduction to computers I had was sorting punch cards during the summer in my fathers workshop 
etc ....



etc ...

Uploading files

FTP Server

Please email admin at hacker public radio to get access to the ftp server

File names

Only use "A-Za-z0-9" "-" or "_" in the file name. Do NOT use spaces, braces "(){}[]", punctuation "' etc. in the file name.

Prefix the files with your hostid, then name or handle, then the date or show number, followed by the show title and then extension. New hosts should use "0" for their first post.

The filename must be the same for all files, change the extension of the audio, shownotes and optionally one image.


Additional material

If you have more files that you wish to include, then include the audio, and shownotes file as normal, and put the rest in a zip, or tgz file. This should expand to a directory with a index.html file that refers to the other files. This will be hosted in http://hackerpublicradio/eps/hpr${show number}. Adding additional files will delay processing as they need to be verified manually.

Media Metadata ID3/Vorbis Comments

Use any utf8 characters you like but the format of the tags should be:
  TITLE   {Your show title} 
  ALBUM   Hacker Public Radio
  ARTIST  {Your name/handle}
  GENRE   Podcast
          {Then the short summary}

Bedding/background music

You may include backing music but it's best if you don't. Most long time podcast listeners speed up their shows, as this allows them to cram more shows into a day. Others will convert shows to mono to listen in one ear leaving the other free to carry out their other chores. Still more slow the shows down so that they can improve their English. Others are hard of hearing and backing music makes it difficult to understand the text.


We will by default mix down your show to one channel mono and we will transcode to MP3, ogg and spx formats. If you want to control this in more detail then please email admin at hacker public radio for more information.

You want to record a show but have no idea how to.

The quickest way to get started is to use our call in numbers to record a show over the phone. Simply call:

  1. Pick up a telephone and dial:
    USA: +1-470-222-4257 (HCKR)
    UK: +44-203-432-5879
  2. Listen to the introduction
  3. Talks to us, and include your name and email address
  4. Press the # when you are finished and hang up.

That's it. Your show will be automatically sent to us and we will take care of the rest. If you want to send us an email to admin here at with some shownotes that would be great but it's entirely optional.
Don't forget to end by pressing the # sign. If you don't your show will be lost and that makes us sad.

(Thanks to K5tux for supplying the service and finux for the UK number)

Recording with a portable media player

Many of today's portable media players support recording audio out of the box. Search for "Voice Recorder", to see if there is an application for your smartphone. Whichever option you have close to hand, try and set the recording to the best quality format (WAV or FLAC), and set everything else to the highest setting. It's always the goal to get the best quality audio but here at Hacker Public Radio we value content over quality and so long as it's audible we'll take it.

Then just record your show and attach it to an email addressed to and we'll do the rest.

Recording/Editing using your Computer

The majority of podcasters use Audacity.

Audacity Can Record

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems..

First open the Intro Clip as this will have all the correct settings applied (Project Rate of 44100Hz).
Next you can either record your show in Audacity itself or import the file you recorded earlier and edit it as you wish.
Finally use File -> Import to import the Outro Clip. You will need to line all the tracks up using the time shift tool.

When you have finished editing your podcast you can export it.

  1. Confirm that the Project Rate is set to 44100 Hz (bottom left)
  2. File -> Export and select FLAC File
  3. Click Options... to reveal FLAC Export Setup
  4. Set Level to 8 (best)
  5. Set Bit depth to 24

We mix down to mono by default so if you want stereo then make note of it in the shownotes.

Audacity Export Settings

When you are ready you can contact to get access to the FTP server.

Recording Interviews with the Phone

If you want to record a one-to-one interview with someone then you can use Skype in conjunction with Skype Call Recorder. If everyone is using skype then it won't cost you anything otherwise you will need to pay for SkypeOut service.

Recording round table discussions

If you would like to record with multiple participants then you can use Mumble. Connect to Port: 64747 .
Walk through the audio wizard and the pop into the Hacker Public Radio room. Once you are ready press the recording button, select multichannel and then start. That will record multiple tracks, one for each participant which you can edit and then submit.
Kwisher made a Mumble tutorial which you might find useful and Delwin has produced a number of short shows on the configuring audio quality.

Audacity Can Record

Questions ?

Whether you want to do one show, or you have other plans, just email "admin" at "", and we’ll get in touch with you with all you need to know about getting your show published.
You can chat with other podcasters using IRC in the #oggcastplanet channel on the network. Follow us on (use the tag !hpr) and on Twitter (use the tag #hpr). We have a Facebook and LinkedIn group, so please join and spread the word.

Requested topics

If you would like to record a show on one of these topics, please email "admin" at "", and we will take it from the list.

  • How did you get into podcasting/linux/geekdom?
  • What podcasts you listen to and can recommend
  • What’s in your bag? Tell us what tools/gear/stuff you keep close at hand.
  • What got you into Linux?
  • Your favorite Android applications.
  • Your favorite desktop applications.
  • Your favorite browser extensions.
  • A introduction to Wireshark.
  • How to set up your own blog.
  • Choosing a artistic design for website, business cards etc.
  • Music Theory
  • Installing a VPN to your home network
  • Init and System.d
  • Episodes for the LPI, or the Networking series.
  • Beginning Audio Series for HPR and OSMP Release
  • Hackintosh computers - what are they, why would you want one.
  • Grub 2.0 introduction and customization.
  • FM Transmitter hack to listen into internet streams
  • How I Got Into Accessible Computing
  • How to do knitting
  • How to build a house
  • Bitcoin howto hpr0788
  • How to solder hpr1037, hpr1047
  • How to weld
  • How to fix a car
  • Reviews of stream playing software, (for linuxheads who don't want to keep a browser tab open all the time)
  • Reviews of stream ripping software on linux
  • Beginners guide to gnuplot
  • Nagios series, intro, setup, advanced ...
  • How to set up GPG/openPGP
  • What I do with my Raspberry Pi
  • It broke, I fixed it
  • How does coreboot work
  • Introduction to HAM Radio
  • I've moved and they do it like this here
  • How to record a tag team tutorial on a topic
  • Open Street Map new editor
  • etymology
  • functional versus procedural programming
  • sed, awk and grep
  • Setting up imap/smtp (gmail) in a cli mail program
  • Irssi - a sane setup
  • Your view of the future
  • Alternative uses for Bayesian email classifiers (more info)
  • How to use a multimeter, and other basic electronic components like a 555 timer
  • How does Hubble remain fixed on a spot in space while in orbit of the earth

Still Nervous

Fellow listeners like yourself contribute the shows and so we know how hard it is to do that first show. You're probably worried that we won't like the topic -well don't be, have a look at our archive to see how diverse the contributions have been. You're probably worried about the quality of your audio, that you sound funny, that English isn't your native language, that you suffer from a speech impediment, that your show has loads of ummms and awws in it, well don't. Well we have seen it all and at the end of the day the show is about the content and not the quality of the audio. That's not to say we won't help you with ways to help you improve the audio if you wish, or narrate your script if you can't or won't record it yourself. Drop into the IRC channel #oggcastplanet where there are people who will help.

Our Motto

A barely audible show is better than no show at all.
If you have any questions about audio quality, then drop into the #oggcastplanet channel on freenode and talk(ok type) to a live person 24/7.