So, now we can move on to the nuts and bolts of creating, editing and distributing a podcast
There are two main things we need to cover:
Recording a sound file
Getting the results into proper file format for subscription and distribution
First, recording onto a computer
The main thing you have to remember is that computers have different types of audio inputs (the Mac and the PC don’t always work the same way!)
So, you can’t always just stick a microphone into the computer and expect it to work. You need to check the “levels” and make sure that your mic setup works.
A mic input has a built-in amplification, because the volume of the audio collected by a mic is very low.
What this means is that if you plug a mic into a standard “audio in” port on most computers, you will get only a very faint signal– too soft to do much with.
By far the easiest way to record to a computer is to use the built-in microphone on a laptop (a powerbook or a PC)
The next easiest way to record to a computer is to get a microphone made for the computer. This can plug into either the “audio in” port or USB.
A third approach is to record sound using a dedicated box (deck). The 10FL Lab has a couple of nice Marantz flash drive recorders you can check out. The 9/55W13 has Tascam digital audio tape decks you can use.
If you are using a PC, sometimes you can plug a normal microphone right into the audio input (in the front or back, usually pink in color)
You need a microphone with a “mini” (1/8”) connector
If you are using a Mac workstation, you will need an “iMic” connector (the 10FL lab has a few, check one out)
If you want to get really serious, you can use a fancier preamp unit such as a USB M-Box (by M-Audio, 55W13 labs have some of these) or a fire-wire box (M-Audio makes these too, and the 10FL Lab has one)
The next few slides are about the fancy set-up. We won’t be messing with this stuff today, but some of you will want to try it out to get better quality results.
Mbox front and back USB Mbox front and back-- 55W13 has some of these
Connect the preamp to a power source using the power cord
Connect the mic to the preamp using the XLR cable
Connect the preamp to the computer using the firewire cable
Turn it on!
Ensure that your mic input is turned on and that the levels are turned up.
Depress Turn up
OK now, whether you are working fancy or simple, once you have a mic set-up you think works, go into System Preferences (Mac), or Control Panel (PC), choose sound, and check that your input settings are correct.
If your settings are right, you should see the input level bar go up and down while you speak (on the Mac)
Once you have the microphone set up, you need recording software. There are a few choices (check with the 10FL Lab to see what they have set up, or use your own):
Ableton Live (Mac)
Audacity (PC and Mac)
Of course, some of you may be in a Sound Design class and can do all of this on ProTools. It’s your choice.
We will use Audacity for today’s demo. It is free, and works on both Macs and PCs: audacity.sorceforge.net You should install Audacity on your laptop, if you have one.
Audacity on the Mac (the PC interface looks very similar)
One last software thing we need is the “Lame” libraries, which allows us to export the Audacity files as mp3 files (this may already be installed on the 10FL Lab machines):
So, now please go to the computers, get a microphone set up, and try recording a short file You can use your laptop if you have one (you’ll need to install the software)
Press record and talk into the mic.
Access Audacity’s HELP MENU to get fancy.
Press stop when finished and export the file as MP3.
Then export the file as an mp3. You can play the file back from Audacity or from iTunes.
As far as the sound editing goes, start with Audacity and try putting some clips together. It’s like video editing. It’s easy.
Ok, so now you have an mp3 file. That’s not quite a podcast yet. Why not?
You are expected to script and edit your content. Remember the slide about typical podcast structure (music, intro, credits, etc.)
The final edited mp3 file must be referenced using a protocol that allows users to “subscribe” to your podcast
The code protocol we use for podcasting is called: RSS
RSS actually stands for three things:
Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91)
RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0)
Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0.0)
(No, this is not a joke)
We will use RSS 2.0
RSS is a family of XML file formats for Web syndication used by (among other things) news websites and weblogs [The following RSS defs are from Wikipedia]
The technology of RSS allows Internet users to subscribe to websites that have provided RSS feeds; these are typically sites that change or add content regularly.
The RSS formats provide web content or summaries of web content together with links to the full versions of the content, and other meta-data.
RSS is widely used by the weblog community to share the latest entries' headlines or their full text, and even attached multimedia files.
A program known as a feed reader or aggregator can check RSS-enabled web pages on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds.
On Web pages, RSS feeds are typically linked with an orange rectangle or optionally with the letters or
A podcast is an RSS file that contains a link to downloadable audio files instead of a link to a news story.
An RSS file is a lot like HTML. There are tags and content. The file can be named just about anything, as long as the tags and content are correct.
You are going to make one RSS file for your feed. You can add many mp3 content files to your single feed. You do not need a new RSS file for each mp3!
(click here for a good step by step tutorial)
<?xml version="1.0" ?>
INSERT YOUR CODE HERE
<title>Your Site Title</title>
<description>Description of your sitedescription>
<title>Title of Your Podcast 1</title>
<description>Description of Your Podcast 1!</description>
Repeat for each media (mp3) file
Save RSS as YourFile.xml
Create HTML page to display descriptions of your podcast and a link to the subscription file.
Upload your files to your server.
Test subscription file in an aggregator such as NetNewsWire
Repeat: you must test your final site! Download an aggregator or a feed reader and use it to make sure your RSS file works.
Many of you will still have questions. Please work with your friends to figure this out. It is not complex, but it will require you to work through the different steps.
Remember that testing is the most important step in the whole process!
Test your microphone input
Test your sound levels
Test your final mp3
Test your RSS code
Test your final site
Try adding another mp3 to your site to see if an aggregator updates as it should