Podcast CMS needed
July 1, 2008 8:52 AM   Subscribe

What CMS would you recommend for my podcast company?

I've searched the previous Asks and not found a solution that fits my needs, so here goes:

I run a start-up company with 5 regularly published podcasts and we need a CMS. I have tried phpNuke and I am currently using, and very unhappy with, Joomla.

Here are the requirements I must have:
--VERY customizable look and feel so that while all 5 of our sites will be on the same CMS, they shouldn't feel like the same site. I have a graphic designer who has come up with some tremendous site layouts, but I need them implemented.
--EASY to customize templates (I know php, HTML, CSS, SQL... but still Joomla templates are a nightmare for me).
--Must be able to store the Podcast RSS feed in its database, while still handling non-podcast items, such as news articles, etc.
--Must be PHP based with a MySQL back-end
--Must have image gallery functionality
--Must have a fairly easy to use (blog or forum like) "Article add/update" feature so my podcast hosts can add content themselves without need for web design help.
--Site statistic logging (number of views, banner rotation, etc)

Features I would like:
--Blog integration
--Topic database search (with possibly thousands of topics)

After looking at solutions such as Drupal and Joomla and none of which do what I want without heavy modding and customization I am on the verge of starting my own Podcast-specific open source CMS (I have several experienced programmers on staff with me who can do this), but I have absolutely no desire to reinvent the wheel if the perfect CMS is out there for me and I'm just missing it.

posted by arniec to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I honestly find it really hard to believe that Drupal would require any sort of heavy modding to do what you need.

Some notes about using Drupal for podcasts

You really need to dig into the Drupal modules to get the full power of it as a CMS but generally I think you'd find everything you'd need in there w/o having to start from scratch.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:01 AM on July 1, 2008

Take a look at Wordpress MU with the Multi-Site Manager plugin. I haven't used it personally but it might be up your alley. As of version 2.5.1, Wordpress has built-in gallery features.

If you're looking for something a little more heavy-duty, I'd recommend Expression Engine. The core version is free and comes ready to handle multiple sites/blogs, and you can edit all of the templates primarily from within the system itself.
posted by burnfirewalls at 9:12 AM on July 1, 2008

I used Drupal for a podcast CMS back when I was teaching podcasting to university students. Worked fine. This was with an early version of Drupal 5 -- it's probably even better now.
posted by the dief at 9:15 AM on July 1, 2008

posted by unixrat at 9:55 AM on July 1, 2008

I'm a little biased, but I tend to think that Drupal will serve you well here, too. If you go with Drupal 6, you may need to muck with the image gallery, as the go-to module for that (imagefield) isn't yet ready for Drupal 6. All the other pieces (audio handling, podcast rss feeds, etc) should be in place.

If you want something that's a bit more bulletproof and has been out and tested for over a year, Drupal 5 is still a good choice. The templating is (IMO, at least) pretty straightforward and it's easy to set up multiple sites hosted on the same server, with different skins and different pools of content setting them apart.
posted by verb at 10:05 AM on July 1, 2008

podPress? Just came across it yesterday. Can't vouch for its quality. But it looks cool.
posted by limon at 10:10 AM on July 1, 2008

Response by poster: Are there special plug-ins for Drupal to skin it easily? Because when I used Drupal I had a bear of a time getting it to change skins.
posted by arniec at 10:31 AM on July 1, 2008

For skinning/custom layout support, it is really hard to beat ModX, even though it's still technically beta software. Granted, I haven't worked with other CMSes extensively (I tried to get into typo3 for a while but it was too much for my needs) but ModX hits the sweet spot for me.
posted by Alterscape at 11:51 AM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Are there special plug-ins for Drupal to skin it easily? Because when I used Drupal I had a bear of a time getting it to change skins.
There are a couple of "starter themes" like Zen (http://drupal.org/project/zen) that are designed to provide a standard XHTML skeleton that lends itself to easy "nothing but CSS" skinning. If you're using Drupal 6, it's also a bit easier as all the actual HTML is in tpl.php fiels that you can copy out, modify, and drop back in rather than having to write any PHP.

If there are any specific questions feel free to ping me.
posted by verb at 12:50 PM on July 1, 2008

Consider me biased too, but Drupal does this. And whatever "heavy modding and customization" you'd need to do to it (not much, writing your own Drupal theme isn't modding Drupal) would certainly be much less work than asking some programmers to write you a CMS from scratch. Why reinvent the wheel?

Not to mention that if you decide to add a forum or some other feature, you won't have to write that from scratch, just drop in the module. (Sure, you might need to customize how it looks, but only if you don't want to use a stock theme.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 1:53 PM on July 1, 2008

Nthing Drupal. As for theming, there are base themes like Zen and blueprint that make it very easy to theme with a bit of CSS and some images.
posted by eafarris at 6:58 PM on July 1, 2008

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