Podcasting is online audio content which is delivered to listeners through an RSS feed. It has been described as radio on demand, but it provides many options for delivering information on a variety of topics.
Podcasts can be audio only, or they can be small video segments. Most can be listened to or viewed on the internet, on certain PDAs, cell phones, MP3 players and the like.
Podcasts can be used for:
Self-guided walking tours
Whatever you can come up with that you want to publish in a unique way
What will you need? Lots of ponies!
Podcasting software, such as Audacity or Garage Band.
Something to talk about
A pre-written script
One piece of software that works well on a PC is Audacity, which is free and can be downloaded from www.sourceforge.com.
Skype is also an important program to know about if you want to do Interviews.
Skype recorder is a great tool if you’re going to be doing interviews with people on the phone. You can record your whole interview, and output the recording as an mp3 file.
One way to record the narration is in the Windows Sound Recorder located under: Programs>Accessories>Entertainment. However, you can record directly into Audacity.
We then save the sound files into the working project folder on our server so that we can find them easily to import into Audacity.
Audacity looks like this when you first open it up. You can import MP3 files into it to build your podcast.
To import your audio files, go to File>Import>Audio, then browse for the files.
For your podcast, you can import some music as an intro to the main content.
When the music sound file is imported, it creates a stereo track with a graphical representation of the sound.
We then import the next audio file, which for us would be the host of the podcast who introduces the main speaker. We call this the intro. The voice file is a single track.
When this track is imported, it automatically goes to the beginning of the timeline, but if we kept it this way, the voice would be lost under the music file, so we need to move it further down the timeline.
At the top of the Audacity screen is a tool bar. In the middle section there are some tools to help you edit the podcast, move sound fiiles, etc.
The tool above, which is a double pointed arrow, will allow you to move the sound file to the proper place on the timeline.
The intro has now been moved so that it will begin after the introductory music finishes playing.
Notice that there are some lines on the files that extend beyond the main part of the sounds. You can edit these out if you wish.
Use the “snip” or “scissors” tool to cut the extra part of the sound file from the sound track.
Using the “I” tool at the top of the screen, highlight the area you wish to cut, then use the scissors to snip it away.
Extra “stuff” on the sound files is now gone.
For a typical podcast, you might have the following sequence:
10-second music file
5-second music file
10-second music file
The completed podcast will look something like this
You can adjust the sound levels for each track from the control panel at the left end of the track. If the voice is too soft, raise the level. If it is too loud, lower the level.
When your podcast is finished and you are happy with the result, save the project so that you will still have access to the raw files. Then EXPORT the file as an MP3 file. You can then upload the file to a podcasting host, such as Podbean.com. Podbean has embeddable players that can be placed on blogs and web pages to make it easier to access them. You can also configure Podbean to send your podcasts to ITunes where listeners can subscribe and download them as they become available.