Podcasting: Telling the World
Podcasting for free is, unfortunately, not a simple process. Furthermore, the services available for free are not as powerful or reliable as you may want, particularly if you are podcasting in some sort of professional capacity. That said, there is no reason you cannot create a professional-grade podcast for free, and this workshop will show you how.
In order to fully understand podcasting, you must first understand blogs and RSS feeds.
- For our purposes, a blog is a website consisting of "posts," arranged in chronological order.
- RSS feeds are explained in this video: What is an RSS Feed?
What is a podcast?
A podcast is fundamentally an audio file, and is almost always in the MP3 format. In this sense, it is no different from any other MP3 on the internet. Therefore, podcasting should not be associated with any particular piece of software or hardware, or a particular brand: podcasting does not require an iPod, or any other Apple product.
One way of thinking about a podcast is that it is like a radio show, with each episode of the show posted online as a separate file.
Another way of thinking about a podcast is by comparing it to a magazine. As with going to a news stand or library for a magazine, you can listen to individual episodes of any podcast online. Alternately, you can subscribe to podcasts, causing each new episode to automatically download to your computer. Most people just listen online, rather than subscribing. I imagine this is similar for many magazines.
Why would I want to listen to podcasts?
There's a huge number of podcasts out there, on a vast number of different topics. Chances are there's at least one you'll find interesting, and because it's online you can listen to it whenever you want. Or, you can download it and listen to it on an MP3 player (remember, this is not a necessary step). Then, if it's good, you can subscribe and get notified when new episodes come out, or even have each new episode appear automatically on your computer.
Why would I want to create podcasts?
How do I podcast?
I suggest using the How to Podcast Tutorial
Other tutorials I have found include:
Also, here is a helpful glossary.
Plan Your Show Ahead of Time
- Topic: anything you want
- Format: each episode should follow roughly the same format, so plan this out ahead of time.
- Episode length
- Frequency of new shows
- Size: knowing the format, length and frequency of your show will enable you to estimate what kind of hosting you'll need.
Planning For Each Episode
- Plan what you're going to say (outline or script)
- Decide ahead of time how much editing you want to do
- Either a separate audio recorder or a Mic for the computer (many laptops and Macs have mics built-in).
- Audio recorder/editor: Audacity
- MP3 Encoder: LAME (may also be possible in iTunes)
- Media Player: Windows Media Player or iTunes
Determine your storage and hosting needs
- Using the per-minute file size from this chart, estimate the average size of your podcasts.
- Multiply this number by the number of podcasts you want to store online to get the total storage space you need.
- Multiply the average file size of your podcasts by the number of people you think will listen to each episode and the number of episodes you plan to release per month. This will give you your bandwidth needs.
Record, Edit and Save Your Podcast
- Audacity Tutorial for Podcasters
- Using Audacity and LAME, record your podcast and save it as an MP3 file.
- Set the bitrate (see chart for recommended settings). This will change the size of the file.
- Be sure to set the ID3 tags. When you open an MP3 in Windows Media Player or iTunes and it comes with information such as Artist, Title and Track Number, this information has been saved in the file's ID3 tags. A discription of this process for Audacity can be found here
Publish Your Podcast
What you need:
- Web Hosting
- RSS Feed
- This is where your files are stored.
- Your main concern will be that your hosting service provides sufficient storage and bandwidth.
- Some Hosting Options:
- This is where you will post the announcement for each new episode, along with notes and the feed itself
- Most free blogs should work, including Blogger.
- RSS Feed
- This will enable people to subscribe to the podcast
- Feedburner can be used for this.
- using Blogger and Feedburner together, you can format your blog to include a link to your feed in the sidebar.
- set up services (Some helpful videos for setting up these services)
- post the file to hosting service
- post link and notes to blog