A podcasting primer


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This session will introduce you to the basics of podcasting -- the process of publishing and distributing audio files over the Web. We’ll discuss how to record your content, how to distribute your podcasts via RSS on your WordPress website, and how to subscribe to podcasts using iTunes or other podcast aggregators. Educational uses of podcasting within Extension will be emphasized.

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  • Welcome to our May Tech Tuesday Wisline Web. Today we will be discussing podcasting – what it is, how it works, and what are the implications for teaching and learning in Cooperative Extension.
  • Let’s start with a definition. Podcasting is technology used to PUSH audio or audio content from websites to subscribers who can then listen to that content AT THEIR CONVENIENCE on an audio player or computer that supports .mp3 files.The word podcasting has been described as a combination of “Broadcasting” + “iPod” … or a combination of “pod” (portable ondemand) and “broadcast”.Podcasts can be automatically downloaded to your computer and synced to your .mp3 player without you having to do anything more than subscribing to the podcast FEED. Very easy and convenient. What makes podcasting different from simply posting an audio file on the web is the ability for people to subscribe to content via RSS. Posting an audio file on a Contribute site doesn’t constitute podcasting. Posting that same file on a WordPress site DOES because WordPress supports RSS.Podcasting is on-demand portable media.
  • So let’s talk about the process. We’ll go through creating a podcast and getting it published, promoting it. Then we’ll look at this issue from the perspective of a consumer/subscriber so we’ll walk through some options for finding podcasts, subscribing to them, and listening to them.First… Planning & preparation: It’s important to start out with some structure.What is your topic?What’s your expertise?Choose something that excites you (makes it more fun to do!)FormatSolo? Interview?If you use music be aware of copyright limitationsLength of podcastWhat’s appropriate for your audience? Podcast should be as long as it needs to be.The longer the podcast, the larger the .mp3 file. --- WordPress storage limits?Frequency of episodesWeekly, monthly, or…?Regular schedule gives regular contact with your listeners that they’ll come to expectStarting with a outline or a loose script can help keep you on track. Sample outline:Welcome messageMusic?Intro and outline of the points to be covered in podcastMain contentConclusion and thanks…and perhaps a “join us next time for…” as a way to “plug” your next episode if you happen to know what that will be.ADVICE: Listen to other podcasts. What works? What doesn’t? What do you like as a listener? What draws you to those resources? Relevancy to your interests, your field of study, your work, your life? Is the podcast entertaining? Considering your answers to those questions can help you prepare for your own podcast.
  • Now that you’ve done some preliminary planning and preparations it’s time to produce.Tools of the trade:Microphone and headset – so you can record your voice and hear the playback.Computer or portable recorder (digital recorder, even some smart phones) -- either way you’re generating a digital audio file. (More on that in a moment.)Recording and editing software – We’ll be doing a demo of Audacity, a free audio editing program.MP3 converter (maybe need this if your file isn’t already in .mp3 format which is the defacto standard for podcasting). Internet connection – so you can upload your audio file in .mp3 format to the web (WordPress site)Accessible PDF version of your transcript for accessibility purposes, or for those folks who can’t/won’t listen but still want your content.
  • You can record directly onto your computer or use a portable recording device.To record onto your computer you’ll need:Microphone (quality and cost varies -- $20 should suffice for basic recordings)Your computer may have built in mike but external is bestStandard audio jack (mic-in socket) or USB plug (work with any computer)Portable recording device: Can record onto laptop, PDA, smart phone, even some mp3 players have microphone. To do remote recording you’ll need a digital recording device which saves the audio as a digital file, and then you can transfer it from the recorder to your computer to edit/post it online.Quiet room (less ambient noise)SOFTWARE Today we’ll be talking about Audacity (freeware with lots of good online tutorials)MP3 converter -- Mp3 is standard podcast formatACCESSIBLE PDF version Start with a script.Open script in Word – create accessible Word doc (use heading styles, etc.)Convert to PDFSystem requirements: At least Windows XP, 512 MB of Ram, 2-3 GB or hard drive spaceDSL, Cable or faster for uploading to web…dial-up would take forever!
  • Audio Recorder & Editor - Audacity is free, open source, cross platform audio recording and editing softwareEasy to use and quite popular. Has great online user manuals and tutorials. - Windows Sound Recorder comes with all versions of Windows and lets you record sound as a digital media file. Can be found under the Programs List and Accessories. MP3 encoderPodcasts should be saved as .mp3 files (defacto standard file format for podcasting). Makes files smaller & easier to download.LAME (mp3 encoder) can be downloaded for free to use with Audacity.iTunes also lets you convert audio to .mp3MEDIA PLAYER (windows media and iTunes) -- for testing.Transcription/speech to text software for creating transcript of podcast – We’ll talk more about accessibiliy in a minute.Support materials (links to support materials for WordPress, Audacity, etc.) will be sent in an email following this Wisline Web, and we’ll also post information on our Ed Tech blog.
  • Podcasting can be fairly informal. Mistakes can be edited out. Test microphone levels first.Basic editingCan modify the bit rate to get more manageable file size.FILE > PREFERENCES > FILE FORMATS FOLDER tab > 64K (128K is near CD quality, large file size of almost 1 MB per minute of audio)Convert to MP3 if necessary using .mp3 encoder (Lame).
  • Once you’ve recorded your audio and converted it to MP3 you need to upload it to the Internet.WordPress takes care of the RSS for you so the podcast can be subscribed to by listeners.Other free/low cost hosting sites -- beware of ads -- require an accountPDF Transcript of audio - We’re testing Dragon Naturally Speaking - You can also do a manual transcriptionBenefits of accessible podcasts: - discoverability by search engines. Search engines pick up transcript content so more people will find it. - users often prefer both audio AND text version. Podcast makes the audio version portable (while traveling, exercising, etc.) but sometimes transcripts are easier (if you’re talking about step by step instructions, i.e. recipes). - sometimes audio is impractical and podcast might not be usable. Speakers may be turned off or unavailable. Sometimes audio might be inappropriate if speakers aren’t available (libraries or other quiet locations)
  • Show how to upload audio file into WordPress and create a link.Categorize as podcast and use descriptive tags.Later we’ll show how to subscribe to podcasts from WordPress site via iTunes.
  • The final stage in your podcasting effort is to promote or market your podcast so you can start having subscribers. Some strategies for driving visitors to your content are:Use a consistent theme in your podcasts and provide interesting contentDescriptive tagging – when you post to WordPress be sure to categorize and tag it with descriptive keywords.Consider soliciting listener feedback/comments – promotes community, may increase listener baseSubmit your podcast to podcasting directoriesiTunes (requires account) – reviewed by iTunes before going live on iTunes store. Can take up to 24 hours.Podcast Alley (requires account)PodBeanHuffdufferSocial networks include a link to your blog in your profile page inform online friends of your podcast/blog through private messages tools like Hootsuite link your blog (podcast feed) to your Twitter account so you can automatically tweet about any new podcast that gets postedInclude links to podcast feed in email signature
  • So now that we’ve explored how to create a podcast of your own, let’s turn it around and look at how to find other people’s podcasts so YOU can listen.First, you need to search and subscribe. -- You can search for podcasts on iTunes -- Podcast Alley = portal/directory of podcasts -- Huffduffer = tool for discovering and organizing podcasts (requires login), has a bookmarklet so you can automatically download podcasts from websites you’re visiting, you can subscribe to everything you “huffduff” via iTunesLocate the podcast feed – the URL of the podcast looks like a web address but its page is designed to be read by podcast software.Next you need to connect your portable media player (iPod, etc.) to your computer so that your podcast software can automatically load the new podcast episodes onto it. -- We use iTunes but there are others.Let’s look more closely at iTunes…
  • Subscribe to podcast:Copy feed’s URL (http://fyi.uwex.edu/news/category/agriculture/ag-podcasts/feed/)In iTunes, go to ADVANCED > SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST and paste in URL.Show podcast directory for finding other podcasts.By default, after you subscribe to a podcast when you first start iTunes it will automatically check for new podcasts.Also show where the Submit Podcast link…
  • Non-threatening educational delivery device for those already familiar iPods, etc. -- younger, tech-savvy generations who already use podcasting technology will be the ones seeking Extension’s services and programs.Recorded training sessions or educational programs can be distributed as a podcast for those unable to attend. No travel required for participant or presenter, and there is less duplication of presentations and deliveries of same information. More efficient use of time and resources.Guest lecturers, interviews, etc. can be made possibleCan share information easily between educators who have different areas of expertise.
  • A podcasting primer

    1. 1. A Podcasting Primer<br />Tech TuesdayMay 25, 2010<br />Molly ImmendorfInstructional Technology Specialist<br />Lisa LinfieldTechnology Education Specialist<br />
    2. 2. Today’s Topics<br />What is podcasting?<br />How does it work?<br />How do I create a podcast?<br />How do I listen to a podcast?<br />What are the implications for teaching and learning in Cooperative Extension?<br />
    3. 3. Podcasting is…<br />…technology used to push audio or video content from websites to subscribers who then listen to that content at their convenience on an audio player or computer that supports .mp3 files.<br />
    4. 4. How does it work?<br />Subscribers download podcast via a Podcatcher (software used to collect podcast feeds and transfer them to computer or mp3 player)<br />Podcaster<br />Records Audio /Video content…<br />…and then posts audio/video content on a website where people can subscribe to it via RSS<br />Non-subscribers searching for content can listen, too.<br />
    5. 5. Plan & Prep, Produce, Publish, Promote<br />What is your topic?<br />Format<br />Solo? Interview? Music?<br />Length of podcast<br />Frequency of episodes<br />Outline/Script<br />
    6. 6. Plan & Prep, Produce, Publish, Promote<br />Microphone + headset<br />Computer or portable recording device<br />Recording and editing software<br />MP3 converter<br />Internet connection<br />Accessible PDF version (transcript)<br />
    7. 7. Recording<br />Record directly onto computer<br />computer + sound card + headset + podcasting software<br />Record remotely and then transfer digital recording to computer<br />digital Recorder + Microphone<br />
    8. 8. Overview of podcasting software<br />Audio Recorder & Editor<br />Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) <br />MP3 Encoder<br />LAME or iTunes<br />Media Player for testing<br />Windows Media<br />iTunes<br />Hosting site <br />WordPress<br />Transcription/Speech to text software<br />
    9. 9. Audacity Demo<br />
    10. 10. Plan & Prep, Produce, Publish, Promote<br />Hosting of .mp3 file<br />WordPress<br />PDF transcript of audio<br />Transcription/Speech-to-Text software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking<br />Benefits of accessible podcast:<br />Easier for search engines to find your content<br />Sometimes audio is impractical or inappropriate<br />
    11. 11. WordPress Demo<br />
    12. 12. Plan & Prep, Produce, Publish, Promote<br />Consistent theme and interesting content<br />Descriptive tagging<br />Listener feedback/comments<br />Podcasting directories<br />Social networks<br />Include links to podcast feed in email signature<br />
    13. 13. Find and listen to podcasts<br />Subscribe to podcasts<br />Search tools: iTunes, Podcast Alley, huffduffer<br />Connect portable media player to computer<br />Podcast software (Podcatcher) automatically loads new podcast episodes onto it.<br />iTunes<br />Juice<br />www.podcatchermatrix.org (compare various podcatchers and their features)<br />
    14. 14. iTunes<br />Install iTunes for free (www.apple.com/itunes)<br />iTunes store<br />Search for podcasts by category, genre, top shows, provider.<br />Can listen to show in iTunes, download a single episode, or subscribe to all future episodes<br />
    15. 15. iTunes demo<br />
    16. 16. Implications for Teaching and Learning in Extension<br />Podcasting uses entertainment devices (iPods, etc.) for educational purposes<br />Non-threatening <br />Access to educational programming on demand t0 anyone, anywhere, anytime<br />No travel required<br />Production costs are low<br />