Podcasting Here are a series of steps you can follow to create a podcast.
Podcasting Recording. Use an open-source digital recorder, Audacity, to record our audio track. The basics are very simple and following these tutorials enables you to record, edit, import sounds and export the results in no time. In order to export the programme as an mp3 file (a compressed, smaller file than the .wave file you record from the microphone) you need to install an add-on called lame. Instructions can be found here.
Podcasting Background sounds. So that the programmesounds 'live' include ambient sounds. These can be downloaded from the free sound project by a keyword search. Try searching ‘café’ for interesting sounds. You need to register with the site in order to download the files you want. You might also downloaded a 'jingle' type loop to use as an intro and outro for the show. Once these sound files are on your desktop you can import them into Audacity as two separate tracks. Now you have the recording made with the microphone (track 1), the ambient cafe sound (track 2) and the intro/outro sound (track 3). Mix the tracks so that the sound is balanced, add fade in at the beginning and a fade out at the end and the programme is finished.
Podcasting Export the theprogramme (it's called project in Audacity) as an mp3 file.
Podcasting Now you need somewhere to store that mp3 file. I use the internet archive, a non-profit digital library which allows you to upload and store files. You need to register with the site in order to upload files. Once uploaded the site gives you a page where the file is located and an embed code to place the file into your own site/blog. You simply copy the code into, for example a new blog post, publish the post and ... the audio player appears with the programme you’ve just made.
Podcasting That's all there is to making an audio programme and publishing it to the blog. However, it is not, strictly speaking, a podcast. Wikipedia defines the term podcast as: A podcast (or non-streamedwebcast) is a series of digital mediafiles (either audio or video) that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication. So, if you subscribe to a podcast you are subscribing to a series of programmes which will be delivered to your chosen player (iTunes, Windows Media Player, iPod, etc. etc.) when new programmes are made available.
Podcasting Creating a subscription option for the programmes is not difficult, just a little fiddly. To create the feed for this programme I followed the tutorial How to make a podcast feed from Blogger. Fifteen minutes to understand the process, a little cutting and pasting and we now have a feed that allows a listening to subscribe to the programme series in iTunes and other 'podcatchers'.